Teen needs Cheap Mac for Xcode...What is minimum to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mcu, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. mcu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #1
    Hi.

    I am 13 and would like to start learning how to code for IOS using Xcode. I have a PC laptop, but now I need to run Xcode. I have tried runing OSx in Virtualbox/vmware, but it's just too slow.

    Was looking online for a used Powermac G5 (Dual 1.8GHz, 1.5GB Ram, 80GB HD, which I could get for under $50) or a Mac Pro 1.1 (Dual 2.2GHZ, 16GB Ram and 200GB HD for $200). Will any of these work? $200 is really stretching myself and would have to ask my parents to chip in which I didn't want to.

    What's the cheapest/oldest Mac I can buy that will run Xcode on Yosemite or new OS X El Capitan?

    Thanks
     
  2. hypopraxia macrumors newbie

    #2
    I would not get a PowerMac. I would stretch myself and get a computer that can run the latest version of Mac OS X. If you already have a monitor, I would stretch myself and get a MacPro 3,1 (A1186), as this meets the requirements for El Capitan. You can find a good deal on one on Ebay.
     
  3. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #3
    You got it right with needing the latest OS. Yosemite and El Capitan have the same hardware requirements, which puts you at a minimum of:

    early 2009 Mac Mini
    mid 2007 iMac

    I would double check before buying anything just to make sure. I didn't check Mac Pro requirements, but both that and the iMac are going to be more expensive as you're buying considerably more (screen, expandability) than with the Mac Mini. The best I could find was an early 2009 Mac Mini for $150 on craigslist. The problem is that Macs hold their value until the latest OS isn't supported. If it wasn't for Swift I would say to run an older version of Xcode, but I'm assuming Swift is exactly what you want.
     
  4. charlyham macrumors regular

    charlyham

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #4
    Here is a site that sells older macbooks.
    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Refur...htm?searching=Y&sort=1&cat=301&show=30&page=1
    I would recommend the mid-2010 white macbook if you can afford the $350. I have one of these and have 4gb ram and a 250gb ssd and it runs great. This macbook will support at least 8gb with some websites claining you can bump it to 16gb ram. Crucial.com has a 4gb kit memory upgrade for $30. Amazon has a Samsung EVO 850 250gb ssd for $97.00. You can find smaller/cheaper ssds too.
     
  5. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #5
    I looked on eBay and there was nothing for $200 or less that fits what you want. The craigslist mini I found was in Chicago if you happen to live near there. It's underpriced.
     
  6. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #6
    You could also try looking at the early or mid-2009 white MacBooks, they're starting to go for dirt cheap on eBay these days and they're capable of running El Capitan.
     
  7. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #7
    I wouldn't look on eBay as functional Macs tend to be pricey there. Look on local Craigslist. For $200 you should be able to locate an older Mac Mini or a white Macbook. If you have to run the latest - prepare to shell out at least $300 and it will still be a bit slow.
     
  8. GhostRaider, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    GhostRaider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #8
    So how good are you in coding? If you're good at it and if money is really an issue, I'd say build yourself a hackintosh (a PC with OS X compatible hardware). Why waste money on an old Mac when you can build one yourself and then upgrade the CPU, or memory, or graphics card, whenever you want? The important thing to remember is to buy compatible parts. Always research. If you do that then you won't run into any problem getting it set up.

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/buying-advice/118150-building-budget-haswell-build-how-low-can-you-go.html (~$350) BTW this build on the website can be customized. RAM, HDD can be anything you like. There are also other cheaper motherboards that work on OS X. Again research is important.

    Or you can wait and get enough money for a Mac Mini if you don't like getting your hands dirty. (~$550 with tax)

    I built one myself with a Core i3 4330, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and GTX 750TI Graphics Card for ($500). Runs great on OS X Yosemite. But I really needed a good machine with OS X so that's why I built one myself. Apple didn't have any Mac that fit my needs or wallet. :/
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #9
    For 10.10 or 10.11, you will need a 64bit system, so neither the G5 nor Mac Pro 1,1 will work (natively).

    However, from memory, the 1,1 somehow can run 10.11 via hack. If you are happy to pay $200 for that, you may go for it (after you study enough on how to make it works under 10.11).
     
  10. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    Actually both the G5 and early Mac Pro are 64-bit. The G5 won't run the latest OS because Apple dropped support for PowerPC Macs after Leopard, and with the Mac Pro it's just an EFI issue.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    That's why I said "natively". Software / firmware / EFI... is also a part of the 64 bit system, isn't it?
     
  12. hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #12
    I would go 2010ish Macbook and put a bit of RAM in it and an SSD. Easy to upgrade. Very usable, at least up to 10.10, have not tested 10.11.

    Hackintosh is against EULA, and they can be problematic to get running and keep running. Or so I have read. And really, what is one's time worth? I understand the temptation to want to build a beefy graphics rig on commodity hardware, but for low cost, not likely to beat a a used Mac....especially if you factor time into it.
     

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