iOS [mac mini or imac for] xcode

grandM

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
1,100
57
I'm hesistating between buying an imac with 256GB SSD or a mini 2.3/2.6 with 256 GB SSD. Anyone have an idea if the mini would perform better or worse in Xcode?
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,394
195
I'm hesistating between buying an imac with 256GB SSD or a mini 2.3/2.6 with 256 GB SSD. Anyone have an idea if the mini would perform better or worse in Xcode?
I don't think the Mini would be significantly slower, if at all. After all,

- both have SSD's (which is a must for dev work) and comparable CPU's
- the major difference is in the graphics card, which has no effect on the speed of compilation etc.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,394
195
the cpu in imac is 3.2 but i5?
Dunno as I haven't personally compared the two. Generally, unless you continuously have to recompile thousands of sources, the CPU speed isn't as important as SSD speed / throughput compared to HDD's.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,394
195
No, it really isn't a _must_.
Well, with the current SSD prices (at least when it comes to traditional S-ATA 2.5 models), it's a sin not to get at least a 128GB system SSD if one develops and compiles a lot.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,394
195
That's news to me. I use a Mac Mini with a 1TB HDD and a MBP from 2008 with a 500 GB HDD for my dev work.

Sure a SSD would be nice, but I wouldn't call it a must
Of course it's not a must. I too could work on my projects on my MBP 17" before getting an SSD. Just far slower. And SSD prices are so low today that it's a sin not to buy one if one does dev work.
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,981
447
The Centennial State
Also, dev work also sometimes means lots of files to save, especially if one is doing graphics for their apps. I don't know about you, but I would fill up a 256 GB SSD really quick
Yeah, I would say capacity of the drive is more important for development than access speed (as a general guideline).
 

xStep

macrumors 68020
Jan 28, 2003
2,006
99
Less lost in L.A.
Of course it's not a must. I too could work on my projects on my MBP 17" before getting an SSD. Just far slower. And SSD prices are so low today that it's a sin not to buy one if one does dev work.
SSD prices are not low enough. I want one drive in my laptop and my personal minimum size is 500GB which I'm already hitting the limit of. My next drive will be at lease 1TB. I like having all of my pictures, video, music and Xcode projects with me. :)

I've considered a hybrid drive but the Seagate I've looked at has a 5400rpm drive. So when the cache isn't hit, it could end up being slower than the 7200rpm drives I'm used to.

I could replace the DVD with another drive but I actually use the DVD once in a while. Given Apples direction of DVDs, I'll eventually be forced into an external option. I already am with Blu-ray.

Menneisyys2, do you have any real world performance numbers for Xcode comparing the use of a SSD and hard drive?
 

grandM

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
1,100
57
Yeah, I would say capacity of the drive is more important for development than access speed (as a general guideline).
I was planning a mini 2.6 i7 with 256 GB ssd done by apple & hook up a 4 TB 7200 via usb 3. Or should I go fusion 1TB by apple for developping?
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,394
195
Well then don't say it is. Also, dev work also sometimes means lots of files to save, especially if one is doing graphics for their apps. I don't know about you, but I would fill up a 256 GB SSD really quick
Yup, if you have a lot of graphics (you, say, develop a game with tons of high-res pre-rendered screens etc.), it might be necessary.

I develop and maintain a large-scale multilingual mapping app with some (not much) bitmaps and splash screens and several versions for different locations (meaning essentially multiplied disk usage as they're entirely separate projects with the same SVN-synched codebase). I've never have run out of disk space on my 256G SSD, even with a 60GB Parallels disk image in there.

That is, if one's projects don't contain that many graphics / other stuff, 256GB might prove to be more than sufficient.

Of course, I also use a 1TB 9.5mm HDD in my DVD bay but not for any kind of development - only as an iTunes media hard drive.

----------

I was planning a mini 2.6 i7 with 256 GB ssd done by apple & hook up a 4 TB 7200 via usb 3. Or should I go fusion 1TB by apple for developping?
I'd say depends. As I've pointed out above, with projects not having that much multimedia assets, 256G may be more than sufficient. At least it's for me.

I'd personally go for the true 256G SSD + external HDD way (instead of the slower hybrid drive) if hooking up the HDD isn't a problem.

BTW, hybrid drives also mean higher replacement costs when the mechanical part breaks down and the whole thing needs to be replaced. (Which is VERY common with 2.5 drives.) No such problem with the separate SSD + HDD approach.
 

waterskier2007

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2007
1,811
146
Novi, MI
Of course, I also use a 1TB 9.5mm HDD in my DVD bay but not for any kind of development - only as an iTunes media hard drive.


Ah, see, I use both of my machines as personal/development machines. Therefore I want my primary (only) drive to be able to hold my iTunes library, XCode projects/resources, and any other documents. On my Mini I also use Final Cut Pro. I store all of my files locally (I know, I should get a USB 3 drive for Final Cut, but whatever)
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,981
447
The Centennial State
I think all this discussion just goes to show that without knowing significantly more about how the OP plans on using their machine and what kinds of apps they plan on developing, there's no simple answer. In truth: it depends. :)
 

grandM

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
1,100
57
software is not game oriented but rather business minded
I have a 4 TB usb 3 laCie lying around
 

waterskier2007

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2007
1,811
146
Novi, MI
Seems like either machine would be a good choice then. I would compare the cost of the two (factoring in that you need to get a monitor/keyboard/mouse with the mini).

Also, one thing to consider, is that with the mini you can buy the base model and upgrade the ram yourself for crazy cheap. I don't recall if that can be done on the iMac as easily (googled: see here regarding upgrading ram in an iMac)
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
7,641
873
Silicon Valley
Either would be far more than enough for typical app development using Xcode. Decide based on other criteria (any uses other than Xcode, fits on your desk better, different monitor preference, etc.)
 

grandM

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
1,100
57
I already have a dell u2713h
logitech webcam's supposed to be compatible too
 

xStep

macrumors 68020
Jan 28, 2003
2,006
99
Less lost in L.A.
What ever you buy, get 16GB of RAM. I just received a project that is challenging my work machine that has only 4GB. Time to order an upgrade.
 

grandM

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
1,100
57
uhu did intend to put in 16 GB ram
will also be using it to look at 1080p movies, listening to online radio stations, webbrowsing, office. As for gaming goes: I only play "the hobbit, armies of the third age". My half-life days are over. Why did I ever give that up!
No video-editing or so either
REALLY IMPORTANT though: it must support wifi 5GHZ, 2.4 is a war zone here
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,575
4,005
Seems like either machine would be a good choice then. I would compare the cost of the two (factoring in that you need to get a monitor/keyboard/mouse with the mini).

Also, one thing to consider, is that with the mini you can buy the base model and upgrade the ram yourself for crazy cheap. I don't recall if that can be done on the iMac as easily (googled: see here regarding upgrading ram in an iMac)
iMac RAM is easy to replace on my model (the original Al one) - you just lay it on it's face, you remove the sole screw from the bottom of the computer, pop the RAM out and pop the new RAM in, put the screw back in, and stand the computer back up. You can do it all in under 3 minutes.

IDK if the redesigned slim one made this a lot harder.
 

waterskier2007

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2007
1,811
146
Novi, MI
iMac RAM is easy to replace on my model (the original Al one) - you just lay it on it's face, you remove the sole screw from the bottom of the computer, pop the RAM out and pop the new RAM in, put the screw back in, and stand the computer back up. You can do it all in under 3 minutes.

IDK if the redesigned slim one made this a lot harder.
From the linked page it sounds like the 21 inch model is capable of replacement, the 27 is not. That being said, it sounds like based on user comments, both are kind of a rough task
 

DavidG328

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2009
191
0
Portland, OR
From the linked page it sounds like the 21 inch model is capable of replacement, the 27 is not. That being said, it sounds like based on user comments, both are kind of a rough task
It's the other way around, if I understood your comment correctly. 27" is the one that's easy to upgrade.
 

grandM

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
1,100
57
I've been reading a lot about the mini
Turned up a lot of compatibility problems connecting it to a dell u2713h (read something about mouse lagging, also rgb or so (that could be fixed)). So probably connecting my speaker set of logitech, webcam etc will go nuts too.
So I guess I'll be buying an iMac, it really stings.

Given I'll buy an internal ssd (probably 256 GB) done by apple, that I'll hook up a 4 TB 7200 through usb 3.0, I have a very important question.

Is an i7 processor needed? Apparantly apple forces one into an even more expensive model. If it's recommended, I won't make a fuss and pay the money.

The goal is to program business oriented apps in Xcode. I will also be using the machine to watch 1080p movies, do word processing, web browsing etc. I won't do any video rendering, graphic animation etc.

Thanks
 
Last edited: