Would the new 2018 13'' be sufficient for development?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by linkgx1, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. linkgx1 macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #1
    Learning development right now and will probably push towards games. Would the top end 13'' mac (and 16gb of ram) be sufficient for developing for iOS? If I need do do heavy graphical stuff, I'll probably switch over to my gaming PC.

    Just wondering because tax-holiday is coming up soon and want to combine the savings with the beats promo. Or is there a better alternative?
     
  2. Azeroth1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #2
    A friend of mine does development on an 11.6 Air. It’s really about your expectations I guess.

    In short, I think you will be fine. But the 15 inches offer a lot of advantages to consider.
     
  3. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #3
    That 13" model is more than sufficient for development. Is the 15" faster : Yes Will you notice ?: Depends on how large your codebase is.

    I would go with whatever size you prefer
     
  4. Orioloku macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    #4
    The 13" is good enough for your needs, just keep in mind you may find the display too small if you don't have an external one.
     
  5. hajime macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #5
    I am also trying to decide between the two. In terms of speed, the 13" should be find but the 15" offers more desktop real-estate. Is the extra weight worth it?
     
  6. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

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    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    I'm very happy developing on my 13", but often connect it to a 27" external display.

    It's bearable working on the 13" on its own when you set the display scaling to 'more space', but if I didn't have the external monitor I'd probably go with the 15" (solely for real estate rather than power).
     
  7. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #7
    I am getting one tomorrow.

    How much of an issue is the lack of a physical Esc key on the Touch Bar for developers? I use the key all time and I am concerned that this is really going to bug me.
     
  8. hajime macrumors 601

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #8
    What does the "more space" option do"?
     
  9. Saad-M macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2010
    #9
    I have a work supplied 2015 13" MacBook and a personal 2017 15" MacBook for development. The main limitations of the 13" are the fact that it is dual core and the size of the screen. Since the new 2018 13" MacBooks come with quad core processors the multi-threading limitations are removed at least. Screen resolution/size might be a problem if you don't have an external screen to hand to view a large number of code files.
     
  10. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #10
    I've got a 2016 TB 13" and have never thought it lacks for power (I'm a developer).

    I used to use a 15" several years ago, but found the additional screen real estate wasn't really enough to warrant the extra size (I tend to use it with an external monitor most of the time anyway and when I'm not it's because I'm commuting where the smaller size is beneficial)

    For me, the 13" is the perfect size for a laptop
     
  11. johannnn macrumors 65816

    johannnn

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    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    Not a rant, just curious here. I'm no developer, but I use my iMac daily for work and private (Mail, Safari, Excel, Adobe Illustrator, etc). I literally never press the Esc key.
    In what workflow is that key so important? Even in Xcode? Or is everyone still using Vim?
    Also, I completely understand that muscle memory tells you where the Esc key should be located on the keyboard, but if you Really need that key you can just go to System Preferences → Keyboard → Modifier keys, and set up e.g. Caps lock to act as the Esc key.
     
  12. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

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    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    It looks like a 1680x1050 display - the default is 1440x900. With it being retina, you have a lot more room to manoeuvre in terms of shrinking UI elements but still keeping them readable.
     
  13. linkgx1 thread starter macrumors 65832

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #13
    So I have an external monitor at home that I could connect to. So my biggest concern is portability, but the 15'' seems to be a better value.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 14, 2018 ---
    I rarely use the esc key. Usually when I do, it's because something went very wrong. Or I'm play a PC game.
     
  14. Beau10, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018

    Beau10 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I think you may be underestimating how popular Vim has become. Back in college in the 90s people seemed evenly split between vi and emacs. According to the most recent SO developer survey only about 4% of the market uses Emacs while 26% use Vim. ~11% use XCode.

    But that doesn't tell the whole story, as it's fairly common to use Vim emulation packages in various other editors - I did that when I used Sublime, Atom, VS Code, and even back in the day doing .NET development in Visual Studio. I wouldn't be surprised to find close to 40% of the market represented by using a Vim-esque modal workflow.

    That said, it's also fairly common to remap caps-lock to either esc or ctrl. I do the latter and do esc-[ to return to normal mode. Having to reach esc really can slow things down.
     
  15. robvas macrumors 68030

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    USA
    #15
    It’s livable but annoying. Esc is actually not as annoying as missing all the function keys
     
  16. cavtastic macrumors newbie

    cavtastic

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    Nov 15, 2016
    Location:
    Europe
    #16
    It's absolutely sufficient if you're just getting started. If you need more screen real estate, buy a cheap 27" display and hook up your MacBook.

    If you're thinking about developing professionally (working on multiple projects, multiple VMs, depending on fast compilation, fast test execution, etc), you can always sell your 13 incher and get something that's better suited.
     
  17. linkgx1 thread starter macrumors 65832

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #17
    I like this answer. Might just get the 13”. Thanks!
     
  18. tarsins macrumors 6502a

    tarsins

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    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Wales
    #18
    In the world of development real estate is king.
     
  19. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #19
    I would agree. which is why a 15" is far too small as well. I can live with the pain of the 13" for short periods but when I sit down and do stuff I will always hook up to larger monitors, preferably 2
     
  20. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #20
    Yes. I always had my 15” connected to a 27” QHD monitor. But that still wasn’t enough, so swapped the rMBP for a 27” 5K iMac and it is just right most of the time with the external monitor connected. But still think about adding a second external.
     
  21. bulldoze macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2011
    #21
    Difficult to go back after you have experienced 2 x 27" monitors and the laptop screen displaying your email inbox and slack updates.

    Moving back to just the 13" is like viewing through a porthole in a submarine.
     
  22. Beau10, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018

    Beau10 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 6, 2008
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    Downtown San Diego
    #22
    Eh, back in 2012 I went from a 3-monitor setup (2x24 and 1x20) doing .NET enterprise healthcare to a Rails consultant using a 11" MBA.

    My workflow became super refined working with a tiling manager, workspaces, visoring apps, VIM, tmux, etc. My focus and cadence went up and I made nearly 50% more $$ that year. As a dev, these are the things you should strive for.

    Best part is some serious neck pain went away as I didn't have a screen just devoted to displaying things like your bug tracker and email all day long that I kept craning my neck at.

    A year and a half later a company I worked at bought me a maxxed rMB 15". As the lead dev they wanted me to have the most capable machine possible. They offered to give me an external monitor setup but I refused. When I left that job to go back into consulting I got a rMB 13" as it's just a significantly more ergonomic device. The screen is more than fine, although I do admit I now pump it up to 1920x1280.

    Maybe I'm just too old, having programmed professionally for 22 years I still remember the early days of using a 15" CRT at 800x600.
     

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