Macbook Air for programming

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by michaelsviews, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    Would a MBA with only 4gig of memory be ok for Xcode, VMware, C programming.

    I'm trying to help a friend out and really tight on funds, really tight, looking at refurbished.

    Sorry if this should have been posted in another forum

    TIA :apple:
     
  2. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #2
    C programming... check.
    XCode... not great, but doable.
    VMWare... On it's own, but I wouldn't want to do anything else.

    So I'd say it can do any one of those tasks, just not all at once. The cheapest refurb with 8GB of RAM is a 13" MBP for $1049. That's $50 more than the cheapest refurb. Seems worth it to me, or get a machine where RAM is user-serviceable.

    -Lee
     
  3. michaelsviews thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    Thank you for the reply. So 8 gig is bare minimum. And of course 16 would be the cadillac .

    Thanks again.
     
  4. merrickdrfc macrumors 6502

    merrickdrfc

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    Berlin
    #4
    I use my 2011 13" MacBook Air for development while out and about, has a 1.7 GHz i5 and 4 GB RAM. I'm an iOS Developer, but use Visual Studio and C# for uni work.

    4 GB RAM is fine, never have any hiccups with Xcode or indeed Visual Studio 2013 running under Windows 8.1 in Parallels Desktop. Although if you can get 8 GB go for it. Biggest issue I've had is disk space, Xcode and the iOS SDK takes up quite a considerable amount of space, and Visual Studio with Windows certainly does. :)
     
  5. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #5
    I don't think it's bare minimum. merrickdrfc just posted that they can work fine with 4, but they're using a machine that's a couple of years old. Your friend is going to want to use this machine for a few years, and RAM, in my experience, is often the limiting factor in longevity. Now that Apple's machines are harder to service RAM-wise, loading up at the time of purchase seems most prudent.

    I think picking a machine and specs, with some wiggle room, then checking the refurbs on the Apple site until the machine with those specs shows up, is a good strategy. I bought my last machine refurb and this worked out pretty well.

    -Lee
     
  6. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #6
    I also used to do a lot of iOS and Mac development, using Xcode, with occasional running of VMs, on an MBA with only 4 GB, but only small VMs, and it's not very future-proof. So, when my old MBA SSD was nearly full, I upgraded to a new MBA with 8 GB and more storage to hold more/bigger VMs. But, in a pinch, I can still use the old MBA with 4.
     
  7. Dranix macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Gelnhausen, Germany
    #7
    You can work with less but imo 8 is the minimum for productive work. Better 16. I currently have 32 and idle usage is around 10...
     
  8. michaelsviews thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Thank you, 8 is probably where he's going to be at, went to the Apple store this weekend in CT, and 8 was the most recommend. 16 was an overkill from what another customer said who is a IOS and C programmer. We started out with one Apple sales person and with in 5 minutes there were 3 and other customers chiming in and adding there thoughts. Actually it was very informative for everyone.
     
  9. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #9
    I use macbook pro 15 for development on the go. 13" isn't horrible, but just a wee bit too small for me. The 15" also is loaded with 16GB of RAM which helps when I have 5 tabs, 2 windows, PS or Blender, Xcode or Coda open at the same time. No hiccups at all.

    I did notice the Air seemed really snappy. The SSD I imagine really helps out with moving large image files around and compiling. Definitely keeps up the my maxed out macbook pro, I cannot bring myself to admit that it may actually beat it. At least not yet, I have a MacAir shipping right now, should be here today or tomorrow. :)

    16GB is an overkill, but when I was upgrading it was only like $40US more so I thought what the heck. When I check my macbook's stats I rarely hit 8GBs.
     
  10. michaelsviews, Mar 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014

    michaelsviews thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    Went with a refurbished 15" w/16GB of Ram guess it was a great deal. 16 maybe an overkill, but he said it's future proofing and the added program's he use's he figured it would be better to have to much

    Ok back to square one, well square 2, so far the model above has been in the genius bar 3 times and now its on it's way back to apple as a return, not sure , but I was told that he had screen flickering and sometimes would not boot up at all. So he's going to do a MBA w/8 gig. Just thought I'd post it

    Thanks for the comments
     

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