1. cnalk's Avatar
    I am a software developer and have decided that I need to get into mobile development so that means I need a mac. The primary use for this will be development and general web browsing.

    I will be writing most application using xamarin in visual studio and may play with writing some games using UNITY (I am a c# developer so it seems more natural for me to start with these frameworks). With that being said I will likely need to run a VM with windows on it that can run visual studio and UNITY.

    I am not sure if the air is powerful enough to accomplish my needs. (There will never be any photo editing or rendering on this machine just a vm running windows that will be using visual studios, xamarin, and unity).

    I may be doing some nodejs work on the machine also (But if it can handle the other situation this is a non-issue).

    So what should I get?

    Thanks
    07-06-2014 10:19 AM
  2. kch50428's Avatar
    Go with one of the Pro models.
    07-06-2014 10:24 AM
  3. cnalk's Avatar
    Thanks.

    Any suggestion on how to configure?

    I don't see a cpu upgrade helping me any but not sure about the 8GB or 16GB upgrade since 8GB seems low for trying to run a development environment in a VM.

    Also is there an upgrade coming for the Pro in the next month or two that I should wait on?

    Thanks again.
    07-06-2014 10:31 AM
  4. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    Get the16GB.
    But if you aren't planning on getting into iOS development, why do you want a Mac?
    But if you get only afford the 8GB, you can run Windows with Bootcamp which is booting directly into Windows rather than running a VM.
    07-06-2014 10:34 AM
  5. cnalk's Avatar
    Thanks Karenkcoulter.

    I will be doing iOS development just not native. To my understanding I will eventually have to switch to xcode in order to deploy the app so I need a mac for this step. I also believe that xamarin requires a mac for the build server and possibly the simulation(not sure on this just started looking into it).
    07-06-2014 10:46 AM
  6. warcraftWidow's Avatar
    Thanks Karenkcoulter.

    I will be doing iOS development just not native. To my understanding I will eventually have to switch to xcode in order to deploy the app so I need a mac for this step. I also believe that xamarin requires a mac for the build server and possibly the simulation(not sure on this just started looking into it).
    Not familiar with Xamarin but yes you need a Mac to run the iPhone and iPad simulators.
    07-06-2014 04:43 PM
  7. UJ95x's Avatar
    Agree with KarenK. Get the i5, 16GB RAM model and however much storage you think you'll need.

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2
    07-07-2014 07:43 PM
  8. Algus's Avatar
    There isn't a huge difference between the CPUs in the MBAs and the entry level i5 in the rMBP. The MBA uses a low voltage CPU but it can still turbo clock and perform near the same level as a regular i5 (near enough that there's not really any statistically significant performance hit). However, the step up between the 2.4 gHz i5 in the rMBP and the 2.6 gHz is not bad and the 2.6 ghz i5 blows away the LV CPUs in the MBA.

    You'll want that extra RAM though so even if you leave the CPU as is, going with the rMBP is a good choice. I'd go for the 256 GB model as once you factor in that 16 GB RAM upgrade, the difference between the two is only $100 ($1599 vs $1699) and since the on-board components are not upgradeable or replaceable it might be a smart investment to spring for the larger drive. You will also want that extra storage if you decide to Boot Camp Windows.

    Down the road if you need more storage, just go with Thunderbolt storage. The transfer speed on Thunderbolt is really high (10 GB) so the bottleneck is usually the drive itself, which is great as it means you'll get the same performance from an external Thunderbolt drive as you would an internal drive.
    07-07-2014 08:43 PM
  9. UJ95x's Avatar
    However, the step up between the 2.4 gHz i5 in the rMBP and the 2.6 gHz is not bad and the 2.6 ghz i5 blows away the LV CPUs in the MBA.
    Not really. The 2.6 GHz i5 isn't a big improvement over the standard i5. Doesn't make sense that it would blow out the ULV i5, if the 2.4 GHz one doesn't...

    And the Thunderbolt 2 ports are 20Gb/s, not GB.

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2
    07-08-2014 02:55 AM
  10. UJ95x's Avatar
    Edit: Double post
    07-08-2014 02:56 AM
  11. Algus's Avatar
    The 2.6 ghz i5 in the rMBP generally benchmarks better than the LV i7. You also won't have battery loss issues that the MBA would have from needing to turbo clock to take advantage of faster clock speed.

    Knock it down to the 2.4 ghz i5 and you can see that the MBA's i7 starts to benchmark more more favorably against the rMBP.

    The base i5s benchmark almost identically though obviously the ULV has to turbo clock to play catchup, which is ok if you don't mind battery loss or are plugged in.

    Once you step up to the 2.6 ghz i5, there is no comparison as you beat the ULV CPUs in every category and do it while not having to worry about your CPU eating your battery. If you regularly need the CPU on the go, it is a very good upgrade choice over the MBA.
    07-08-2014 06:52 AM
  12. UJ95x's Avatar
    The 2.6 ghz i5 in the rMBP generally benchmarks better than the LV i7. You also won't have battery loss issues that the MBA would have from needing to turbo clock to take advantage of faster clock speed.

    Knock it down to the 2.4 ghz i5 and you can see that the MBA's i7 starts to benchmark more more favorably against the rMBP.

    The base i5s benchmark almost identically though obviously the ULV has to turbo clock to play catchup, which is ok if you don't mind battery loss or are plugged in.

    Once you step up to the 2.6 ghz i5, there is no comparison as you beat the ULV CPUs in every category and do it while not having to worry about your CPU eating your battery. If you regularly need the CPU on the go, it is a very good upgrade choice over the MBA.
    You never said you were comparing it to the i7 in your earlier post 😛
    Either way, I don't think the minimal increase is worth $100. More storage or RAM would be a far better investment.

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2
    07-08-2014 12:00 PM
  13. Algus's Avatar
    Sorry, I was speaking generally about both of the CPU options for the MBA in my first post. The 2.6 ghz i5 is really the only CPU upgrade I think much of in the MBA and 13'' rMBP. The differences are largely academic. It's not like the difference between the dual-core i5 and the quad-core i7 in the Mac Mini. However, IMO the 2.6 ghz i5 for the rMBP is a much better upgrade then the 1.7 ghz i7 in the MBA and is probably worth considering for photo editing, programming, etc.

    You're right though, the best upgrade option on the entry level Macs is to step up from 4 GB to 8 GB. It makes a HUGE difference. Storage is kind of a "whatever" for me because I'd rather use an external than pay Apple's SSD prices but is probably worth the money if you need to carry a lot of stuff locally and want to have to throw as little as possible into a laptop bag. The original poster mentioned using VMs so going to 16 GB of RAM is probably the best investment he can make.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    07-08-2014 12:19 PM
  14. OBF's Avatar
    I'm sort of like this too, but for me it's a Mac mini. I was thinking about purchasing one of these, but the lack of optical drive might sway me away.
    07-08-2014 01:03 PM
  15. UJ95x's Avatar
    I'm sort of like this too, but for me it's a Mac mini. I was thinking about purchasing one of these, but the lack of optical drive might sway me away.
    They have an external super drive for $80

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2
    07-08-2014 08:08 PM
  16. the_tech_eater's Avatar
    They have an external super drive for $80

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2
    There are cheaper external drives that are just as good IMO.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    07-08-2014 08:32 PM
  17. UJ95x's Avatar
    There are cheaper external drives that are just as good IMO.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Probably. I don't have the need so I didn't look into it. I just like that it matches the color and material scheme of the Macbooks.

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2
    the_tech_eater likes this.
    07-08-2014 08:57 PM
  18. Algus's Avatar
    I use a SuperDrive with my Mac Mini. It is pretty great and worth it to me on design.

    There are some really good BD burners in the $40 range that kind of eat the SuperDrive for breakfast.

    OWC sells a slot loading optical drive/external disk drive combo that matches the Mini's body. I'd like to have one but will probably upgrade my Mini's internal drives first.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 using Tapatalk
    07-09-2014 04:46 AM

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