What Do You Recommend as a rMBP Configuration for Beginner Web/Software Development?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thomj, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. thomj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #1
    I am just starting programming, but would like to make a move on a new Mac. Based on the average life cycle of a computer (3-4 years?), what configuration would you recommend?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TheCakeIsALie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #2
    base 13" is enough. if you have the money and wanna future proof it a bit more grab 16gb. if you need more storage get however much storage you need
     
  3. Starfyre macrumors 68000

    Starfyre

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    #3
    15'' for more real estate. The more space to look at the better!
     
  4. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    #4
    13inch plus an external monitor, portability and when working, big screen
     
  5. Starfyre macrumors 68000

    Starfyre

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    #5
    Why force yourself to work with an external monitor when all your real estate is right there on your laptop. (while still being plenty portable). If you really want portability....

    Get a MBA and plug that into an external display.
     
  6. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    #6
    wait a 15inch is considered alot of realestate? LOL
     
  7. Starfyre macrumors 68000

    Starfyre

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
  8. aiyaaabatt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #8
    +1. The 13'' feels like a toy compared to the 15''. I have a hard time doing work on the 13''
     
  9. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #9
    I'd even suggest an MBA 13" with 256 GB SSD.

    If you need more screen real estate at your desk, spend the money you saved over an MBP on a 27" monitor.


    Don't think the MBA isn't capable of doing far more than you'll need as a beginner just because it doesn't have pro in the name.

    Also, if you go MBA instead of MBP, you can use the money saved to upgrade again in say 2 years instead of 3-4 - and the 2015 MBA will most likely significantly out-perform a 2013 MBP at that point.
     
  10. durkkin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    #10
    MBA is fantastic for development, especially the new ones with 12-15 hours of battery life. 13" MBA plus Thunderbolt Display was my setup for about 6 months until I switched to a rMBP. Even still, running the 13" at 1680x1050 is great for on the go, but feels cramped at a desk. I would absolutely recommend getting an external monitor. Compiling is a processor intensive task, however, so I would go for the faster clock speed, but don't waste the money on a bigger SSD. Put what you need on your computer and the rest on an external, just my opinion.

    MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is going to suit your needs just fine. Get the best computer in your price range and you won't be disappointed.
     
  11. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #11
    Agree with everything except this bit. I've been buying computers for years, and getting the best just because burns a lot of money.

    Just turn the machines over and get another one more often.

    For most people, a $1100 MBA will get all or 90% of the performance of a $2000 MBP.

    So instead of spending 2k today, spend ~1k, pocket the difference (or buy something else you want), and spend another 1k in 2 years time.

    In 2015, sell the MBA off (will still be worth say $500) and buy another current spec one for $1000-1200.

    If you did that, once replacing in 2015, you've spent:

    $1100 - $500(?) + $1100 = $1700 for the MBAs
    or
    $2000+ for the MBP (more if you get applecare, which might be an idea for an expensive machine), which you're still commited to using for another year.

    The 2015 MBA will also most likely be faster.
     
  12. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #12
    i was in your situation myself and took the plug and buy the 27" imac haswell +rMBP haswell 15" so all my needs are completed. So i suggest do the same if you want a mac for home and a mac for portability everywhere you go
     
  13. thomj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #13
    If I bought the 13" rMBP, is 4GB memory enough?
     
  14. durkkin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    #14
    This is true. My reasoning was simply based off the assumption he would be keeping the computer for 4-5 years. I tend to keep a machine for a while, since I find trying to sell them so often to be more of a hassle than it's worth. But yes, I do agree with your strategy, and if that works for you that's awesome. Not my cup of tea, but it very well may suit the OP.

    For right now, yes, but in the future most likely no. There's no reason to go for the 16GB option for what it sounds like you're doing, but I would certainly recommend 8. I think you'll find that you'll be multitasking quite a bit while developing, especially for web. Typically speaking I have Photoshop, Illustrator, Sublime Text, Adobe Edge, Terminal, and some Chrome tabs open at any given time, plus iTunes and Messages. They're not all up on screen, but I jump between them depending on what I'm doing. Mavericks is very good at managing RAM usage, but I would still go for 8GB. In about a year or two that's going to be the standard.
     

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