Recomened deveolpment hardware (work unknown to Mac)

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by PracticalMac, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Our company is going down the path to make an App (yay!), but have ZERO Mac/iOS experiance (but many do have personal Mac/iOS).

    Our purchasing dept is a bit of a tight wad, looking at 27" iMac (instead of tower), with dual SSD+HD. I think I an successfully argue the screen size avoids getting 2 separate screens (have one at home, wife uses it like a big screen TV!!)

    What minimum RAM? 4GB suffice?
    1TB enough HDD?

    What else should I consider?
  2. ArtOfWarfare, Apr 4, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

    ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I develop on a 24" iMac with 2.4 GHz, 3 GB RAM, and a 1 TB HD.

    I have never once felt that it was inadequate for developing an iOS app.

    I also develop on a 13" MBA with 1.6 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and a ~300 GB Flash Drive, when I'm traveling. I find it feels underpowered (too slow) and the screen is too cramped.

    So 4 GB RAM should be more than enough, 27" should be more than enough, 1 TB should be plenty.

    Don't forget to test your apps on as wide a range of iOS devices as you'd like to support. I'm only an independent developer, so I often have to settle for the iOS devices I have:
    An iPhone 3GS, an iPhone 4S, an iPad 2, and a third generation iPod Touch. All of them are running iOS 5, as they all get treated as personal devices as well as test devices.

    You want to have a range of devices with different CPU/GPUs, different hardware capabilities, different OS's, different screen resolutions (Retina vs. pre-retina,) to make sure your app runs as expected on any hardware/software combination (or at least any you expect your target users to use. Aiming for the original or second generation iPhone seems a bit silly, given most users replace them after 2 years, with few holding onto them beyond 3 years.)
  3. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    The iMac is great for development. The Mac Mini is fine too as long as you have a monitor. We use MacBook Pros because of the portability.

    Whatever you go with, consider 4GB of memory as a minimum. I have found 8 to be a good number.
  4. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The imac is fine.

    Don't be a tightwad, spend the extra money (not from apple!) to upgrade RAM to 16gb from OWC. For like, a hundred bucks...

    4 is not enough for serious development on Lion, 8 is OK, but 16 is cheap and will give you plenty of headroom for other stuff.
  5. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    One thing you might want to leave open is the SSD (solid state drive). Being able to add this later can make a huge difference.

    I like systems that have more than 1 hard drive or at least the option to have a 2nd drive directly on the computer.

    I run 6G ram and have no problem with it.
  6. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    SSD is not a user installable option (sucks, I know).
  7. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    The cheapest Mac that will run MacOS 10.7/Lion will work for iOS development. A mini or a refurb mini, with a large current PC monitor on a KVM switch, will do just fine if your company's budget is really tight. 2 GB was enough before the latest iPad and Xcode. 4 GB is currently plenty. An SSD will buy you faster compiles.

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