MacBook Retina for Software Development

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by PressureDrop, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. PressureDrop macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2011
    Hello @all,

    as a software developer (and always on the go) I'm very interested in how this computer performs development tasks. At the time I use a MBPR 13" 2015 and I'm fully satisfied with this little guy, but this dawn MBr looks so sexy to me. :D

    Any developer here, who uses this computer for light/regular development (IntelliJ, Xcode - no VMs)? If so, please share your experience.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    That is my use case as well.
    My base model is on the truck for delivery today.

    Will post tonite with initial thoughts
  3. PressureDrop thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2011
  4. AdonisSMU macrumors 604

    Oct 23, 2010
    I will be using it for some development tonight. I love the keyboard. I have only been setting up stuff I haven't created anything new yet but I will get to that after work today.
  5. junkw macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    it is twice as powerful as the 2009 mbp I use for daily software dev so it should be ok :)
  6. jjfcpa macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    I'm a software developer as well and I was just getting mine setup last night. It won't be my primary computer - that's a MBP 15" that's tethered most of the time - but I will use it for traveling, coffee shops, bookstore, anywhere out of the office.

    I use Filemaker and XOJO and VMware to run Windows 7 and a few Windows apps and so far... sure, it's slower, but nothing I can't tolerate.

    Love the keyboard, size, trackpad, screen, and weight. I took to the keyboard like a duck takes to water. A touch typist's dream come true.
  7. terencedriver macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Could you run 2 or 3 VMs on a rmb? Would it work tolerably well?
  8. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    Played with Xcode last nite.

    Too slow for me :(

    VM's no way.
  9. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    Absolutely no way would I run multiple VMs on the MacBook. It's way too underpowered. Even 1 VM would tax it.

    You could use it for some native development, but large compiles would take a while.

    A MacBook Pro would be better for nearly all development, and the entry level MacBook Pro costs the same.
  10. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    I bought 2 laptops that came on the mail on the same truck yesterday.

    I already own a base model rMBP 15".

    Yesterday I got.

    1. Base Model rMP
    2. XPS 13 (last years model) - i7/8/256) that costco is dumping for $799

    I wish I could take the power of the Dell into the design/feel of the rMB

    I was hoping Xcode woould perform better than it does. I tried to test it at the Apple Store before I bought but they would not let me download it......

    Leaning towards returning but I love everything about this but the power
  11. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Java IDEs on rMB?

    That's a bit disappointing. I think some people have run a VM (from VMWare Fusion) and said it was OK. Presumably this was Windows. Maybe a light-weight Linux VM would fare better?

    How was Xcode performance compared to a modern (2013+) rMBP?

    Anyone else tried any of the Java IDEs: IntelliJ, Eclipse, NetBeans, Jdeveloper?
  12. rhodesy22 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2015
    My base 11" 1.3ghz/4gb late 2013 MBA runs a huge Xcode project without too many issues and has been my on the go laptop which included a 6 week stint in Bali, Indonesia working on it full time. The rMB should do just fine. It's a pretty subjective thing though.

    Build times are slow relative to my iMac but so long as your storyboards aren't too big then you'll be fine - though in saying that, the retina iMac struggled with storyboards until I split it up into many smaller ones.

    I ordered the 1.3 rMB to make sure it's at least on par with the mba I use
  13. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    Tried IntelliJ , seemed a little better than Xcode but slow enough I will not
    use this machine for development.

    It really is taking a 4 year step back in performance IMO.

    Keep in mind I just have the base rMB.

    Now I just need to determine (for me_) if $1300 is too much for a play device, no dev work.

    Leaning toward 'no', but I will give it a few days.

    Other than performance, this device is soooo sweet.
  14. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    There is a reason why Apple's entire MBP lineup is unaffected by the rMB launch.

    The rMB is meant to be a personal device, not a professional, heavy duty compute device.

    For me, I'm doing NodeJS / web development, so the rMB will suffice, but if you're going to run an Eclipse or Netbeans based IDE or even XCode, or do any kind of virtualization? I'd strongly suggest sticking with the rMBP.

    (My company provides me with a 15" rMBP for work, so the rMB is a no-brainer for me)
  15. Cvx5832 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2014
    Looks like you'd be the perfect candidate to try the 1.3 model. If you ever get to try one sometime I'm sure we'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

    The benchmarks indicate (at least to me) that it's more capable than the base model 1.1 would do, so it might be worth a try if you can wait. It's added cost, but would pay for itself if you're able to draft it into dev work.
  16. legioxi macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2013
    While I primarily use my homelab servers for virtualization and just manage it from my laptop, I've run several at once on the rMB without an issue. Will post screenshots later. I'm in the process of switching to the 512GB version as once I found I could run VMs ok, I swapped laptops to have more storage for them. Should have things up and running today or tomorrow.

    Large compiles can be outsourced to remote servers like Bamboo. There isn't much left in development or IT work that I do on my laptop which requires heavy processing power. I use the low cost $10 license in my home lab, but there are open source alternatives for no cost.

    I've been managing to do this work on the baseline 11" air for quite a while now. The only thing I've missed from my rMBP was the retina screen. Switching to the rMB from my air was fairly lateral except for the display and keyboard (I love this keyboard). My work has been unaffected.
  17. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm a web developer and my day-to-day tasks require me to use a VM for testing; however, I mainly use Vagrant, using VirtualBox and a debian linux distro. Although it's not very CPU intensive (runs on minimal RAM; 256MB), it is running in the background the whole time (sometimes I forget it's still running when I play games), and I normally don't shut it off.

    I prefer Chrome for development over Safari (Safari changed the DevTools in WebKit too much), so I always have Chrome open, which is more of a resource hog than Safari, and Sublime Text for my textual editing.

    Overall, this entire setup doesn't sound very taxing at all and can run on pretty much any barebones setup, but for those who are simply curious about using the rMB for web development, it runs fine; I've had no issues so far.
  18. terencedriver macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2015
    So virtualbox with a small Linux VM is fine on your rmb? Is it a 1.2ghz 8gb ram model?
  19. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
  20. tgwaste macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2013

    whats so slow about it? Ive been developing in Xcode on the new mac for a few days now and it works perfectly fine.
  21. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Hell no. A VM should have a core to call its own.
  22. hans1972 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    I ran two virtual machines in VMware on a Core 2 Duo (11" Macbook Air 2010 model) with 4Gb of RAM. I could even run 3 virtual machines for a short time but that wouldd make the machine very slow.

    Adding virtual machines and Windows is not CPU heavy by itself. It depends entirely on that you do inside the virtual machines.

    There are also settings you can do in Windows to reduce the CPU use.


    That depends entirely on what you do.

    I ran two Windows VMs on a 2010 11" Macbook Air with a Core2Duo and 4Gb of RAM without any problems. The new Macbook is faster.
  23. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    Just compared to my rMBP 2015. I know it is obvious.

    I have the base rMP, do you have base ?
  24. TheBuffather, Apr 18, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015

    TheBuffather macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I'm a web designer and developer. Purchased the 1.1GHz base model. So far, without a hitch, I've used:

    • Terminal for SSH / Git
    • GitHub
    • Coda
    • Sublime Text
    • CodeKit
    • All Major Browsers
    • iA Writer
    • OmmWriter
    • Private Internet Access
    • VLC
    • Transmission
    • Photoshop / Creative Cloud
  25. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    Which model?

Share This Page

49 April 17, 2015