Xcode/eclipse C++ on 11" MacBook Air with 2GB RAM, OS X Lion and 64GB HDD

Stanoefc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
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Hey, I'm planning on getting a 11" MacBook air with a 2GB RAM, 64GB HDD and OS X Lion. I am also going to get a 500GB external HDD with it and I would just like to know if it would be good to run Xcode or eclipse on it? Please note that I will install Xcode/eclipse to the external HDD If that affects the performance? Thanks.
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
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I'd honestly try getting the higher-end 11." Lion is very painful with only 2GB of RAM, much less trying to use with other programs. Especially ones as big as XCode.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
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Montreal, Canada
What do you mean "higher-end 11"?
The 4GB/128GB model.

I think the worse here will not be your RAM but the fact that you'll be loading applications from USB. They should stay on your SSD. Use an external HDD for your iTunes library and videos, not for your applications.
 

iCody3

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Sep 17, 2008
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X; en_US) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile [FBAN/FBForIPhone;FBAV/4.0.2;FBBV/4020.0;FBDV/iPhone4,1;FBMD/iPhone;FBSN/iPhone OS;FBSV/5.0.1;FBSS/2; FBCR/Verizon;FBID/phone;FBLC/en_US;FBSF/2.0])

I agree with stanoefc. Def go with the higher end MBA and keep all apps on the ssd.
 

Stanoefc

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Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
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The 4GB/128GB model.

I think the worse here will not be your RAM but the fact that you'll be loading applications from USB. They should stay on your SSD. Use an external HDD for your iTunes library and videos, not for your applications.
Whats wrong with running aplications from your USB?
 

adamtj11

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2011
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Belfast
It runs it great, I run Eclipse and Xcode every day on my 2gb Air with pure ease, some people on here are overly concerned with specs.
 

Stanoefc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
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It runs it great, I run Eclipse and Xcode every day on my 2gb Air with pure ease, some people on here are overly concerned with specs.
That's great to hear! Are you running them from the SSD? Or from an external HDD? And what is the size of your SSD?
 

adamtj11

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Feb 26, 2011
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That's great to hear! Are you running them from the SSD? Or from an external HDD? And what is the size of your SSD?
I'm running straight from the SSD (64gb) only about 5 gigs for both , still have 44gb free on my SSD, I do keep things like music and images on an external drive though.
 

Stanoefc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
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I'm running straight from the SSD (64gb) only about 5 gigs for both , still have 44gb free on my SSD, I do keep things like music and images on an external drive though.
Do you use Xcode for coding or for developing iPhone apps?
 

adamtj11

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Feb 26, 2011
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Do you use Xcode for coding or for developing iPhone apps?
Both, I use it for Mac OS X apps and toying around with iPhone/iPad apps, also use it for other types of programming like rule engines(mostly for bracket matching and the likes) and sometimes just bog standard C.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
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Montreal, Canada
Whats wrong with running aplications from your USB?
It will be much slower. The SSD inside your MBA can be read at up to 264 MB/s while the USB 2.0 interface is limited at 60 MB/s. Expect at least 4.4x longer loadings and that's if your hard drive is already spinning, if not it will take longer.

What's good about the MBA is not only its form factor but also the fact that it has SSD. You should take advantage of that.

Basically in order of speed you have:

SSD
Internal hard drive
Thunderbolt hard drive
USB 3.0 hard drive
Firewire hard drive
USB 2.0 hard drive

You'd be going from the best to the worst. Not the best choice. I use Eclipse and it's already pretty long to load from my SSD compared to every other application I use, so I imagine it would be a pain to load it from USB 2.0.
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,525
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The 64GB/2GB 11" will not hold you back today for iOS development.

2GB RAM is fine especially since hitting VM cached on disk is so much less costly than with a HDD.

But...
I'd get 128GB/4GB 11" for $200 more if you can possibly afford it. I'd get that as an Apple refurb before I'd get the 64GB/2GB new. Apple is developing Xcode very actively so 2GB may not cut it next year. Also, 64GB is very tight. You *will* want to run anything but media from the SSD and the 64GB is going to start half full and fill the rest of the way up pretty fast.

Put it this way: there are four pillars of machine usefulness: Processor, RAM, Drive, Screen. You will get twice the machine in two out of four of these for $200 more.
 

Stanoefc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
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Both, I use it for Mac OS X apps and toying around with iPhone/iPad apps, also use it for other types of programming like rule engines(mostly for bracket matching and the likes) and sometimes just bog standard C.
Do you have any main apps installed on your external hard drive that you regularly use?
 

adamtj11

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2011
408
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Belfast
The 64GB/2GB 11" will not hold you back today for iOS development.

2GB RAM is fine especially since hitting VM cached on disk is so much less costly than with a HDD.

But...
I'd get 128GB/4GB 11" for $200 more if you can possibly afford it. I'd get that as an Apple refurb before I'd get the 64GB/2GB new. Apple is developing Xcode very actively so 2GB may not cut it next year. Also, 64GB is very tight. You *will* want to run anything but media from the SSD and the 64GB is going to start half full and fill the rest of the way up pretty fast.

Put it this way: there are four pillars of machine usefulness: Processor, RAM, Drive, Screen. You will get twice the machine in two out of four of these for $200 more.
Half full is a huge exaggeration, I had about 57gb free when I got mine

----------

Do you have any main apps installed on your external hard drive that you regularly use?
I run a VM once in a blue moon from the External HD and it runs pretty much ok, but running the same VM from the SSD is a good bit faster, its bearable but the SSD is much faster.
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,525
253
Half full is a huge exaggeration, I had about 57gb free when I got mine
Good for you. But the OP needs to install Xcode, SDKs, Framework documentation and other development tools. Some people also like to put a few other things on their computers. I'm glad a 10GB drive is more than enough for you, but that's not good advice in general.
 

adamtj11

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2011
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Belfast
Good for you. But the OP needs to install Xcode, SDKs, Framework documentation and other development tools. Some people also like to put a few other things on their computers. I'm glad a 10GB drive is more than enough for you, but that's not good advice in general.
Right and I have all the development tools on mine now and have 44gb free , whats the deal ?
 

jamesr19

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2009
251
0
You should really look at getting the 4GB RAM model because it will help make the laptop more useable and it's something you can't upgrade manually. You'd regret saving £150 and having to upgrade it in a year. Resale value of a 4GB/128GB MBA will be higher than the low version too.
 
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