MBA viable coding platform?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kapolani, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. kapolani macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2011
    Hello all!

    Been lurking for a while now.

    Finally decided to bite the bullet and get my first Mac.

    Been using an iPhone for a few years now. Currently using a jailbroken iPhone 4.

    I'm not impressed with the current specs for the new MBPro 13inch. That was going to be my target. Re-evaluated and now considering getting the MBA 13inch model. I like the resolution better and like that it's ultra portable. Won't be doing heavy coding. More likely surfing the web while in front of the TV, but may bang out some code when the need arises.

    I currently use: Netbeans, Eclipse, and VS 2010. Mostly code C/C++ and Java apps for window's boxes.

    The model in question will probably be:

    13 inch, max cpu, 4GB of ram, and the 128G SSD drive.

    Few questions for the programmers:

    1) Would you recommend it for coding as a secondary rig?

    2) Do virtual environments run 'decent' on it?

    3) If you're a programmer and have an MBA what do you wish you _would_ have gotten on your current model?

    Mahalo nui loa!
  2. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I am a programmer

    1- it's great for dev
    2- it's works great
    3- uh I have the max specs on my 13" couldn't ask for more
  3. MisterEd macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2006
    I'm also a developer, and have had a 13" 1.86 with 4GB Ram since this generation was released.
    My thoughts:

    - The extra screen resolution over the 13" MBP is IMO crucial and the primary advantage of the Air, for coding. You really need the extra pixels.

    - I dual boot with Windows 7 for Visual Studio 2010 dev work in C# - this works great, no problems that I've come across.

    - I've used NetBeans for mac previously for Java development - again, no issues whatsoever.

    - The SSD improves build/compile times slightly, and makes for much quicker startup of large IDEs.

    Overall, I can't really fault the 13" Air. Definitely the best Mac I've owned and developed on (and I've had a few!)

  4. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I used Eclipse, Netbeans, coded in Visual Studio and using the GNU toolchain for C and C++... back in 1999 on a 333 mhz machine.

    I think the MBA would be fine. In fact, I'm pretty sure any computer built in the last 10 years is perfectly fine as a primary coding rig. In fact, it's not like Coding was suddenly something new... C was developed in 1969...
  5. kapolani thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2011
    I agree completely.

    More interested in the overall package with the MBA. Coding isn't really cpu intensive. It's not like I'm going to be cranking out billions upon billions of calculations.

    Past laptops included various Dells, and Microns back in the day.

    Basically trying to get some hugs and kisses and that warm fuzzy feeling if I choose the MBA over the new MBPro 13...

    Taking a look at the Apple Store and there doesn't seem to be a way to select the 2.13 cpu model.

    **edit **

    The 2.13 was the 2009 model?

    Why do some people mention they got the 'Ultimate' model?
  6. MisterEd macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2006
    You need to select the high-end MBAir 13" - then you'll see the processor upgrade option at the configuration stage.

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