MBP for Development

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JiaYow, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. JiaYow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    #1
    I'm going to buy one of the new late-2011 MBPs for development purposes, mainly iphone/ipad development, but also android and web etc.

    At the moment I'm using a MacMini to develop my apps and compilation times are generally quite high, like 30 seconds up to 1 minute for a relatively small project.

    With the new MBPs out in store, I want to buy one of them to hopefully decrease the time I have to wait for profiling and compilation tasks. I guess the bottleneck here is the CPU (I will choose an SSD by the way, so harddrive shouldn't be an issue).

    Now, I'm not developing any high-demanding 3d games, so I don't really need the best graphics card out there, I expect that even the lowest on-board graphics on the current MBPs will do just fine. Also, I expect the notebook to almost always be connected to an external display, so the built-in display of the laptop is not an issue as well. In fact I'd prefer a smaller one for more mobility (I travel alot, that's why I want a laptop and not a MacPro).

    Now my question is, would you guys recommend the 2.8GHz 13" model or one of the 15" models? The 13" processor has a higher frequency (although marginal, I consider this the prime reason to upgrade my mac) but it's "only" a dual core. I don't know if XCode and Instruments support quad-core. If they do, I think I'll buy the 15" one. If they don't, the 13" should be sufficient?

    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Kind regards,
    Mike
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    Xcode will use up all available cores very efficiently, so for faster compilation times the quad CPU will be the winner.
     
  3. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #3
    Quite conflicted there, Mike.

    You seem to suggest that it won't be moved, but then you say you travel a lot.

    Personally, I'd go for the base 15" i7, as, with the refresh, I see it as being the best value for money notebook in Apple's lineup. It's powerful enough to be used as a desktop replacement, but it's convenient enough to carry around if you need to.

    If you're going to be spending long hours developing though, I'd suggest an upgrade to the hi-res antiglare display. Xcode eats normal screens for dinner.

    Some might argue this would be overkill, but you'd be set for quite a while with this setup.
     
  4. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #4
    Agreed with above advice, but I would also upgrade the RAM (yourself) to 8 GB.
     
  5. JiaYow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    #5
    Nah, I just didn't make myself clear enough, sorry ;-)
    What I meant is, I work for a company, and also at home. It doesn't matter if I'm at home or in any office room, there will be a display for me to connect to. I just want to work on the same machine everytime, so it has to be portable.

    Would you mind to specify this a bit for me please? I never had any issues with "normal screens"? Thanks!
     
  6. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #6
    XCode is really a program whereby the more screen space you have available, the better.

    Xcode feels (to me) very fidgety to work with on a macbook pro 13, mostly due to the small size and fairly poor resolution of the screen. Though, having said that, if it's going to be parked at a monitor all day that might not be much of a problem for you.

    It's just nice to have the option to be able to work comfortably elsewhere if you want to, and the 15 hi res will give you ample room for that.
     
  7. pkh540 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington
    #7
    I previously had the 13-MBP but upgraded to the early 2011 MBP-15 @ 2.2GHz/128GB SSD/8GB RAM with a WD500 in place of the optical drive. Awesome set-up. Compiles XCode extremely fast. In addition to a larger screen, I also wanted the AG/HR display which isn't available on the 13" and even though I spend the majority of my time connected to an external monitor, it is sure nice to have a quality second screen. But it really 'shines' when I'm mobile... I don't think I could handle working without the HR display when I'm away from my desk. It really makes a big difference.

    FWIW I do interactive stories so I spend most of my time in Photoshop... Another reason I love the AG/HR display and SSD.
     
  8. JiaYow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    #8
    Alright, so it's going to be the 15" one, with (alright, self-upgraded, good to know) 8gb ram. Thanks for your helpful answers so far.

    Then, does anyone have experience with the processor options of the 15" MBP?

    Since I don't care for the graphics card, I have to choose between 2.2, 2.4 and 2.5GHz. The price jumps between those options (keeping in mind that upgrading to SSD is more expensive with the 2.2GHz MBP) are like $200-250 each, so I'm wondering if I would notice significant improvements when taking one of the more expensive ones.

    As I said, my "benchmark" criteria are mainly compiling and profiling. I would be willing to buy one of the more expensive ones if you guys say it's worth it, but considering my lack of interest in photoshop, videocutting or gaming etc. I figured I'd ask first :)
     
  9. pkh540 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington
    #9
    IMHO, I'm not sure .2GHz is going to make a huge difference so I guess it all depends on what you want to spend. (Maybe if you compile your code many, many times a day and then over the course of a year it *might* add up to an hour... or ten... who knows!) I do a lot of animation and timing so for me I guess it was worth it.

    But the SSD is totally worth it. Boot up time is around 20 seconds and opening PS or any other program is blindingly fast!

    I just tested my MBP and Hackintosh to see how long it took to compile my latest project (about 800MB) and the MBP was faster by maybe a second or two.

    MBP-i7@2.2GHz
    Hackintosh - Quadcore Q9550@2.83GHz
    Both have 8GB RAM

    OH, I remember reading some Cinebench comparisons at the time... here's a link.
     

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