Need advice on mac for programmer/developer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mets3214, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. mets3214 macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2010
    Hi everyone, I'm having trouble deciding between the Air and rMBP. I'm getting the laptop mainly for iOS development and I will also be programming in other languages such as Java and C#. I don't really need a lot of storage since I keep most of my media on my desktop/external hdd.
    I have narrowed it down to a few different models.

    13" Air
    1.4 ghz i5, 4gb ram, 128 gb ssd

    with 8gb ram: $1,131
    with i7 and 8gb ram: $1,283

    13" rMBP
    2.4 ghz i5, 8gb ram, 256 gb ssd


    Is the processing power of the Air enough for my needs? Is the rMBP worth the extra money? I also want the laptop to last 3-4 years, thanks.
  2. alainking macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Cape Town, South Africa
    In your question, you mention C# which implies a .Net and Windows platform to run side by side with OS X through bootcamp or a virtualization system. Windows is bloated and really takes up space (a Win 8 VM with VS 2012 is around 28gb) and you will really feel it if you go for the 128gb in the Air so I would go for 256.

    With regards to the processing power, it depends on how bigs the apps are that you are writing. I have a 2011 Air and my iOS apps are great on that. For work, I have an Asus i7 running Windows with a top performing SSD and I can really feel it taking strain when running solutions with lots of projects, even a web app with a services layer takes it's toll when doing debugging. I have tried this on my Air in a bootcamp setup and gave up very quickly as the CPU really takes strain as is it is clocked so low to keep the voltage low and give the great battery life.

    The extra cpu muscle of the rMBP makes sense and also the beautiful screen. I have good eyes and love high res screens to get as much on as possible. I also think that this will give you the best life span as well.
  3. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Just my two cents:
    I'm a developer and find that the 15" screen is barely enough real estate for me. I purchased a 13" MBA ( I wanted something easier to carry around ) but moved back to my MBP because of the screen size.
  4. mets3214, Jun 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014

    mets3214 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2010
    Thanks for the advice, I think I'll go with the rMBP even though it costs more because of the CPU and that it will also give me a longer lifespan than the air.
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    1280x800 is too small. 1440x900 is alright, but you really want something larger if possible. 2 or 3 external monitors is preferred.

    As far as space goes, unless you plan on using your laptop for college and chucking it, 128 is useless, and 256 is borderline. I have a 500gb hard drive, and only 71gb free on my work computer. If I wanted, I could free up about 40gigs by deleting personal music and games, but there's still about 400gb of "stuff". Virtual machines, windows, etc...

    Keep in mind this is just for web development, not objective C or even graphic work.
  6. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Maybe you should try to find the old 17 inch MBP. That MB still has the most gorgeous screen to work on. 1920x1200 is a breeze, and even easier to the eyes than a new retina. And it is killer to open it on your desk/lap: you sure make an entrance!
  7. popcorn5 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2014
    Retina MacBook Pro. You get more pixels per inch so everything is sharper.

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