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 Post subject: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system requested.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Sorry if this should be posted elsewhere but here it goes.

I'm new to the Mac world, I do have a Mac and have had one in one configuration or other for a few years but not until recently hace I had the need or desire to develop for OS X.

I was about to purchase a new Macbook Pro with all the bells and whistles for around $2,000 but today I was offered a bargain iMac 27" intel dual core 3.3Ghz, 8GB RAM (which I would update to 16 immediately), Late 2009 model.

I like the size of the screen and all but would you Mac guys think this is an acceptable option for RS developing? Sure, the new system with an i7 processor is tempting but I'm being offered the used Mac for the equivalent of $500 which is more tempting.

You guys think that this is enough system to use for around a year or so? Not being cheap, just money conscious.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Currently, I have 5 mac's and one 10 inch lenovo laptop in my computer arsenal.

Development wise, I use:

- macbook pro 15 inch - i7 2 GHz, 4 GB mem, 225 GB SDD
- mac mini server - i7 2 GHz, 8 GB mem, 120 GB SSD, 500 7200 RPM (powers 2 Dell 24 inch monitors)

on both mac's its not uncommon for me to run 1 or 2 Virtual Machines and a number of other applications including Real Studio.

I have found both systems meet all my needs and then some.

If you are looking for portable solution, then macbook pro 15 inch is the way to go. If you are looking for a desktop solution, a Mac Mini fully loaded with two displays.


Last edited by Sky Stream on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:27 pm 
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That's a great deal. If you don't need to be moving about with it, get that.

Put 12 or 16GB of RAM in it, if it doesn't have that already.

Get a second monitor of some kind. At current prices, I think you'd be crazy not to get a 27", but get something.

FWIW, I alternate between a dual-screen 27" like that, and a maxed-out 11" Macbook Air. Both are terrific, in their own way.

Honestly, if you're considering a laptop, I say get the 11" Air. I've owned this, a 13" Air, and a Macbook. If you're getting a machine to be portable, get one that maximizes portability. When you want it, you can plug it into a large external monitor.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Here is a snapshot of my current setup:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Also, consider wall-mounting it.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:27 am 
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Sky Stream wrote:
Here is a snapshot of my current setup:

Image


Nice setup! I'm impressed.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:39 am 
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gisborne wrote:
That's a great deal. If you don't need to be moving about with it, get that.

Put 12 or 16GB of RAM in it, if it doesn't have that already.

Get a second monitor of some kind. At current prices, I think you'd be crazy not to get a 27", but get something.

FWIW, I alternate between a dual-screen 27" like that, and a maxed-out 11" Macbook Air. Both are terrific, in their own way.

Honestly, if you're considering a laptop, I say get the 11" Air. I've owned this, a 13" Air, and a Macbook. If you're getting a machine to be portable, get one that maximizes portability. When you want it, you can plug it into a large external monitor.


I own a laptops in 10", 15"' and 18" from atom, i5 and i7 processors but those are windows systems. Also I have a couple of windows based desktops. However the only Mac that I currently own is defenitelly not suited for developing.

I have considered the Mac Air in 11" but my aging eyes might suffer a bit.

However the question remains: is the core duo iMac good enough?

As I mentioned, the price is very attractive. But I don't want to regret throwing $500 out the window if it's not a good choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:57 am 
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I don't believe the content of the 11" screen is particularly small; there's just less of it.

If you get a good one, it's a perfectly adequate development machine. For me, I use it when I don't want to stand at my desk and use the big screen, but prefer to lounge. Or if I want to go somewhere. It's at the "going somewhere" that it is just brilliant. I sold a 13" Air to buy this one, and the contrast is amazing. As something you can just take anywhere, it's unparalleled.

The thing is fast enough for development. The only real issue to my mind is the storage. I paid for the 512GB version, but I paid dearly. :-)

But other than that, a great arrangement would be a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and external 27" display that you dock with when you want to be at your desk, and then you can undock and be free.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:53 am 
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HMARROQUINC wrote:
However the question remains: is the core duo iMac good enough?


I exclusively use an early 2009 iMac (20" screen), with 8GB RAM and upgraded to OS X10.8. If has a 2.66 GHz processor and is perfect for my development work. So in answer to your question, a core duo is definitely good enough for most development work.

I also run a VM of Windows XP for testing and debugging Windows based applications with no problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:39 am 
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20" iMac from 2008, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB of RAM, OS X 10.6.8.
I am very happy with the performance and plan to use this machine at least 2 or 3 more years.
I will upgrade the RAM and the HDD in the near future.


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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:53 am 
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Thanks for the input!

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:14 pm 
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I'm late to the party, but...

* That iMac is fine for development. Anything Core 2 Duo or newer is.

* I only have 8 GB on my MacBook and I never quit apps or need RAM while working, and that's with VMWare Fusion taking 1-2 GB depending on the VM that's running. The only time I've quit apps to free up memory for something is while working on large photo stitching projects.

* The #1 thing you can do to dramatically boost performance on any machine is use a SSD drive for the OS and apps. Plenty of 3rd party options are available (though I forget how hard it is to get into that model iMac). On my MacBook I keep photos and movies on an external drive. OS, apps, and all my development work is on my 240 GB SSD, along with 2 virtual machines (XP and Win7) and their apps/programming tools.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:14 pm 
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taylor-design wrote:
* I only have 8 GB on my MacBook and I never quit apps or need RAM while working, and that's with VMWare Fusion taking 1-2 GB depending on the VM that's running. The only time I've quit apps to free up memory for something is while working on large photo stitching projects.

Depends what your time is worth, but RAM is pretty cheap right now. I like to run something like Menumeters, so I can see how I'm hitting things like memory. If you are, buy more RAM. But honestly, by the time you run a web browser, a database server, REALbasic, and then Windows I'd be really surprised if you weren't well into virtual memory.

It might cost you $100 to put 12 or 16GB of RAM in your computer. You should almost certainly just do that.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:33 pm 
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gisborne wrote:
Depends what your time is worth, but RAM is pretty cheap right now. I like to run something like Menumeters, so I can see how I'm hitting things like memory. If you are, buy more RAM. But honestly, by the time you run a web browser, a database server, REALbasic, and then Windows I'd be really surprised if you weren't well into virtual memory.


Right now I have RS, FireFox, Mail, iTunes, Postgres, Win7 VM (2 GB), TextEdit, and two other small apps running with just under 1 GB free.

With 4 GB I would agree, upgrade the RAM first. But with 8 GB and a HDD the first upgrade should be a SSD, then RAM if you want.

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 Post subject: Re: Not programing question. Opinion on a mac system request
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Of course I had to do the odd thing...

I ended up purchasing a 2.5GHz i5 Macbook Pro, comes with only 4GB RAM but I have 8GB on my desk ready to get installed and I'll order a 16GB upgrade tonight.

I'll try to hook up this thing to a 27" TV tomorrow, I already have the TV which is not in use so I'll just purchase a wall mount and see how that works out. If it doesn't work out as expected I'll get an Apple 27 screen later on.

Thanks for your input guys!

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