Which iMac 2019 for Xcode and Parallels?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DZetko, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. DZetko, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019

    DZetko macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2015
    Hi fellow users,

    I am looking to buy a new iMac in the next month or two. Now that Apple has refreshed the iMac lineup with 6-core CPUs, I was thinking of getting rid of my "old" base MacBook Pro 2016 (w/o TouchBar) and an external monitor and getting the new iMac instead with some money to be paid extra.

    My workflow consists from Xcode development (with Simulator running) and I will need to run Windows in Parallels (I will utilize the option to have Windows programs in macOS dock). Other that that, I will not do any intensive work such as video editing.

    My question is, which iMac 27" configuration would you go for? (BTW: I am not looking at 21.5", because I fell like when I upgrade RAM myself, the overall price will be lower)

    My current favorite option price-wise is i5 3.0 Ghz, 8 GB RAM, 512 SSD (for unimportant things I am going to use external storage) and Radeon Pro 570X GPU, but I am worried that the CPU might not handle VM and Xcode at the same time. I know that i9 support Hyper-Threading and is a beast overall, but the price difference of more than 500 dollars for the upgrade, is something I would like to avoid if possible.

    What are your thoughts? I would appreciate any insights (even recommendations of other models).

  2. balph macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2015
    I have the 2019 27" 3.1GHz iMac (which is just slightly faster in terms of CPU performance) and Xcode runs great on it. In your case having enough RAM will be most important I think, especially since you want to run a Windows VM (I think the 8 GB will not be able to do that very comfortably and Xcode also likes to suck up RAM). I upgraded the base 8 GB configuration to 24 GB by myself, it's very easy to do and much cheaper than buying the extra RAM via Apple.
  3. trsblader macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2011
    The base model cpu is more than enough to run xcode and parallels simultaneously. Even macbooks and iMacs from 2010 and 2011 can handle this task easily. Do what balph said above and upgrade ram yourself and then configure parallels to fit your needs. I think by default it's 1 cpu and 50% of your ram.
  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Is the "getting rid" part being used to raise funds for the new iMac? If need very short downtime amiability then having the laptop as a "disaster recovery" system would have some value. However, that would put a tight (or even tighter ) budget on the iMac 27" components.

    The 'middle' iMac is a bit better. It doesn't have hyperthreading but it will hold the various turbo models at incrementally higher clocks than the 3.0 model will. If switch back and forth between the 'simulators' then isn't much of a $100 worth of a win. However, if running both decently hard load levels concurrently that's in the ball park.

    Similarly, if running virtual GPUs ( Parallels mapping of the GPU and Similuator's ) the incremental GPU should also help. CoreML usage (or 'simulation' ) will be incrementally better. (Gave $100 of bump to CPU so GPU is $100 bump here and value is again not a slam dunk but has some value.). The bump won't turn it into a 3D graphics focused system but workload isn't completely 'plain' , ultra low abstraction 2D workload either.

    But if a hard budget choice between $200 for 32GB or more RAM or $200 to bump the CPU+GPU then the RAM is probably better choice. I don't think the i9's > $400 jump would buy much as other options would.

    Another bump if go with the 3.0GHz is to put the VM image on another SSD. ( if churning very high I/O ops on huge compiles putting the VM storage on another fast drive would probably incrementally help. )

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