Tutorial :Minimum hardware for effective Mac development


I am looking to expand my development into the realm of Mac OS X and am trying to determine the minimum system I need to do some proof of concept apps for the Mac desktop as well as for the iPhone. I would like to spend as little money as possible at this stage, so I am trying to determine the minimum hardware that one can get away with and still be able to develop directly on a Mac, preferably a laptop. Do the regular MacBook's meet this need, or will I have to step up to a MacBook Pro?


A regular MacBook is fine.

Getting a big external monitor will help, as will a nice mouse and keyboard. But OS X and iPhone development don't require big iron.


A MacBook will be sufficient as long as you're not developing any 3D applications that would need a dedicated graphics card. The screen can be a little small for extended coding sessions, so I recommend getting the DVI adapter and the largest monitor the computer can support (1920x1200).


If you're looking to save some $$ and you're not completely set on a laptop, I'd recommend the Mac Mini (especially if you have a keyboard and monitor you can use).

You can find a deal on a refurb from Apple pretty often (keep checking back, they appear from time to time, but seem to sell pretty quickly)


I have a Intel dual core Mini 1.67 GHz at home. I upgraded the RAM to 2GB. It runs XCode very quickly (and Visual Studio inside a VM, for that matter).

The new Minis are even faster.


I would recommend a desktop machine (20" iMac), unless you don't have a laptop you like already. You get much more power and screen real estate for your money. If you are a student, be sure to get the student discount. There is also a discount for registered Apple developers, though there is a membership fee for that program.


Not used it myself (have an MBP :) ) but from this link it seems the Air can run it and so I would assume a Macbook could too.


A friend of mine got their first Mac laptop recently. I've been using them for years, but this was his first. He's a developer, so he has the same kind of requirements as the rest of us. Decent horse power, etc, but he didn't want to spend too much.

After a month or so, he was sold, but he's told me on several occasions that he now wishes he'd got for the MacBook Pro, for the better screen, keyboard, and additional horse power, etc. Yeah, it's more expensive for sure, but it's definitely a better, all round developer machine, as it doesn't really lack in any area.

That said, I love my MacBook. Just too small to develop on. I personally use a 24-inch iMac.


mac laptops and desktops are so costly but mac mini is somewhat cheapest of all.It is basically a cpu box that is small that's it.you can add your peripherals such as display,mouse,keyboard etc it should be enough for ios and osx development.

Don't waste your time on hackintosh ...It is such a waste of time in my humble opinion


If you do go the MacBook route, I'd also like to recommend hooking up an external monitor. XCode and Interface Builder can display a ton of windows, and working on the built in 13" screen can get very tight. I have a 17" LCD hooked up to my MacBook, and that works pretty well (but of course, the bigger the screen, the better).

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