currently I have a mac mini:

Hardware Overview :

Model Name: Mac mini
Model Identifier: Macmini2,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 1,83 GHz
Number Of Processor: 1 Total Number Of Core: 2
L2 Cache: 2 Mo
Memory: 1 Go
Bus Speed: 667 MHz

Basically it is a 2 years old mac mini.

I installed XCode 4 recently. I want to leave Xcode 3 aside. And I am fed up with the slowness of that setup! What is your own experience of a configuration suitable to perform development with Xcode 4?

To give you an idea of my budget, I am considering buying a 27" quad core iMac.

  • My mother has this exact machine and I put the MAX Ram (4gb AFAICR) and it was a "new" machine. Seriously. Try that, it's cheap. And get a big screen. If you're changing machines, see the other answers, good points there. Bear in mind that any recent apple hardware will be 'faster' and more 'responsive' that your Mini in its current state. Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 5:49
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    – bmike
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 17:55

4 Answers 4


Yves, my experience suggests you may have different configurations depending on your mobility needs.

  1. If you develop at home (presumably for consumer market) so you don't need to demo to customer, and presumably you don't need to code when you're attending conferences e.g. WWDC, then I'd recommend an iMac with maxed RAM and another external display. Don't need to spend for big internal hard disks since external ones are cheaper (than Apple) and you're not mobile anyways.
  2. If you travel, attend conferences (e.g. WWDC, NSConference, etc), and/or demo to your customer, then you should get a MacBook Pro with maxed RAM, and either maxed hard disk or SSD (which unfortunately tends to be expensive at larger storage size).

In other words, I'm suggesting the decision factors are 1) mobility, 2) RAM (for speed), 3) display (enough for doc and your code side by side), 4) storage (Apple Developer videos take up a lot of space).

Hope this helps. Please don't forget to mark your question as answered after reading all the answers shared by everyone here, thanks.


The iMac you are considering will be much faster than your mini. One tip I have is to upgrade your RAM, Xcode will use it.


Maximizing your RAM is the best investment for improving your computer speed. It will make a big difference, is fairly cheap, and is much cheaper than a new computer.


XCode use more memory. But if you want develop for iphone and use iPhoneSimulator i would buy a big resolution monitor, for comfortable use XCode :) On my MacBookPro 13" (1280x800) it look not so good, as when i connect monitor with 1440x900.

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