XCode Development Laptop Recommendation

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BBuff, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. BBuff, Jun 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2011

    BBuff macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    I would appreciate any input you guys can provided.

    I'm a Windows/Web developer and looking to dip my toes in the iOS world and I'm in the market for a new laptop. I've got a pretty powerful desktop for the Windows side. I've been looking at the entry level MBP since I won't do any gaming on it (although I think I'd like to do some basic video editting of my daughter - not sure if that makes a difference in which model). Then the Airs caught my eye - I believe this is simply due to the form factor and I don't plan on really taking the laptop anywhere all that often. I've got a Dell Precision M4400 Core 2 Extreme that I don't think has left the house more than 5 times in 2 years. Now, if it were more portable that might be different story.

    Anyway, I can get the Air from my local BB with 2GB ram, but for development that concerns me - especially since it's not user upgradable. My closest Apple store is almost 2 hours away and I don't want to order it online. Yeah, I'm weird like that.

    So, all that being said, what's the recommendation for me for doing XCode, MS Office, and the like?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and respond.

  2. PraisiX-windows macrumors regular

    May 19, 2011
    I'm pretty sure Apple won't secretly give your credit card and shoe size details to aliens who will soon invade the earth, and use the information to probe you, so I'd say don't be afraid to buy online, it's easier.

    Not knowing the requirements of xcode I wouldn't know whether the MBA or the MBP will be best for you. But I'd think the Sandy Bridge specced MBA which is to be released according to rumors in a few weeks, will be sufficient.
    - I would definately order it online to be able to get the 4gb of ram, however, the refresh of the MBA MIGHT contain a 4gb ram standard configuration, but I doubt it.

    My advice is to get the MBA after the refresh, but if you find that xcode is a heavy program, I'd probably get the MBP.
  3. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Yep. Wait for the sandy bridge refresh and go for a 128gb ssd, 4 gigs of RAM on the low end 13. Just order it online with a credit card and you should be fine.

    I'm going to be getting mine on the release day, I had a shot of the 11 and 13 today and feel the 13 would be a bit better doing work on for a longer period. The 11" is very cool, but the 5 hour battery life is the thing putting me off, compared to the 7 hours on the 13.

    It should improve in the next model though, especially if apple decides to go the fully integrated graphics route with the HD3000, which wouldn't bother me especially as I'm no gamer and if I was, I wouldn't do it on an Air.
  4. BBuff thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    I'm not afraid to buy but would rather buy locally so I can have it now. There's not an advantage to me buying online if I can get the configuration I need locally.

    Thanks for the laugh...
  5. SeanU macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
    I've been using XCode 4 on the base 11" (2gb/64gb). The only slowdown i have seen so far is when the program went online to download the docs and things got really slow. Disk space is getting a little cramped with the 64gb SSD. It's the only laptop I've owned that I don't mind carrying every day, so from that perspective its a real winner. As everyone is saying, if you can wait a bit... see what happens when the refresh comes along.

  6. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    There are some reports that the latest XCode 4 works better with 4 GB, which is what I have. The MBA 11 is so portable that I've been using it as my primary Xcode development machine, so that I am rarely ever tied to coding at my desk. It's about like carrying a magazine to read out under a tree in the garden on a nice summer day.

    My current MBA 11 builds large iOS apps reasonably quickly, but if you don't use it for gaming or OpenCL, the upcoming MBA models will probably perform even better.
  7. PraisiX-windows macrumors regular

    May 19, 2011
    Hehe, alright. - However I do think the only way to get 4 gb of ram is to buy it online.
  8. michaelz macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    xcode is not a heavy program doesn't require much processing power. But 4GB should be the minimal to have for OS X. The yet to be released 13" MBA should be perfect machine for almost anything.
  9. BBuff thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    Yeah, I think you're right on that point. I'm holding out to see what the new MBA's hold. Not a big deal since I'm currently stuck in the "Analysis Paralysis" phase.

  10. rovitotv macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Here is my setup for XCode

    I have an 11" Ultimate 4 GB RAM/128 GB SSD plus 32 GB USB Lexar, the machine is used almost everyday for development in xcode. Normally my MBA would be connected to a 30" LCD panel with Apple Magic Mouse and Apple keyboard. I have both Mac OS X and Windows 7 installed for development testing, the machine can run both (even at the same time). So for me the Ultimate was worth the $300 extra it costs, I could not imagine doing development on less. My only compliant is being constrained for SSD space which is why I got the 32 GB USB Lexar (tiny) drive.

Share This Page