Mac to tide me over until next update?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ogre_Gandalf, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Ogre_Gandalf, Oct 3, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015

    Ogre_Gandalf macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2015
    I'm currently using a base 2014 11" MBA, primarily for Xcode and iOS development and then just for general web browsing otherwise when I'm on the sofa. No video or photo editing.

    I dock it to two external monitors when I'm at my desk, using one DisplayPort and one USB->Displayport adaptor. This works - but the refresh rate of the USB monitor drives me insane. I was aware it would just be a hack, but thought I'd cope better.

    The MBA also struggles with Xcode, notably with autocomplete and Storyboards. The latter is horrendous. Have no problem with compile times.

    I absolutely love the rMB but this doesn't solve the first problem - though I could replace one of the external monitors with a stand for the rMB and have two monitors that way. As much as I'd like one, I'm aware that it's probably not the best fit for iOS development - would love to hear from people who are using it with Xcode. Perhaps the increased RAM makes it cope better. Love the idea of a single port to dock to a monitor + power + USB. If it was a TB3 USB C port I'd be more likely to jump...

    I've been looking at Mac Mini's so that I could use that as my main desktop, and then pick up a second gen rMB next update for general browsing/movies/minor Xcode edits. This means I need not worry about the power of the rMB.

    Struggling with whether to go 2012 (nearly 3 years old?! and still the same money?!) or the 2014 Mini. Will only go for an SSD, and at least 8GB RAM. Advantage of the 2012 is that I can do both those myself, but I'm hesitant when they're so old. I'd buy a rMB and keep the Mac Mini I already have. So if I go 2012 with SSD/16GB, it'll be old old. Whereas if I go 2014, I don't want to spend loads of money to find it immediately outdated, given it's already a year into cycle.

    Alternatively I pick up a rMBP 13, and use that to tide me over until next year. This means I've still got a laptop, but two mini Displayports for docking. Still the faff of having to plug all (okay, 3) cables in, and weight/size is bigger than my MBA for couch/travel. I don't really want anything bigger than the 11" MBA, hence liking the rMB, but needs must! Would likely sell later to fund a redesigned rMBP, updated rMB, or updated Mac Mini. If any of those things arrive.

    I guess advantage of a retina display is I can use it to run the simulator without scaling.

    Mac Mini + rMB vs rMBP; 2012 or 2014 Mac Mini. Thoughts?

    Anyone using the current rMB for iOS dev? Anyone using Sketch 3?

    After writing this, am swayed towards a s/h rMBP 13 to sell next Q1 for rMB with Skylake, but that doesn't solve the laptop + dock vs. more powerful desktop + laptop problem.

    (P.S. always waiting for the next best thing, you'll always be waiting. I know. I'm still waiting. Am I trying to talk myself into a rMB? Yes. Should I? No.)
  2. pjfan macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Columbus OH
    Based on you talking yourself in and out of the decision, here is my advice. (No offense, I feel your pain!)

    Buy the rMB from Apple and try it out for 14 days. See if it satisfies your needs--
    Questions to answer with this is:
    1) can it handle my workload?
    2) am I satisfied with the the 12" screen and one external monitor?
    3) has my mobile computing improved?

    If the answer is yes to all the above, or at least "acceptable", you can sell this rMB when version two comes out -- plus enjoy it from now until then.

    If the answer is "no" to #1, I think I would buy a rMBP and try it all out again. If you still aren't satisfied, then go Mini and wait.

    I can't speak specifically to whether or not to go desktop and mobile combo, as my workflow is very different than yours... I suspect if I had your workflow, I would be striving for one system, rather than two....
  3. Ogre_Gandalf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2015
    Superb advice - thank you! Did see a rMBP 13 last night and it wasn't as big as I'd thought.

    May well do that to get it out of my system - and like you say can always sell it for 2nd gen if necessary. Then knowing the rMBP is a suitable backup option alleviates the need to faff about with a mini.

    Again, thanks!

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