2

Mac mini is evidently the most affordable product of Apple Mac which runs on OS X. I don't own any apple product now, so I don't any idea of Apple products. I will like taste OS X and if I love it, I will like to consider software development in OS X. Now, even though with my budget Mac mini may be the only affordable choice, I will like to know what are the things I am going to miss if I use Mac Mini only. Keeping in mind:

  1. Portability is not an issue.
  2. I have a powerful PC with windows and Linux, so I don't have to run Windows in Mac Mini.
  3. I don't intend to play games on my Mac mini.

Will I be able to run developer programs?

5

I'm not sure exactly what type of software development you'll be doing, but I'm guessing it's something that requires a Mac as you already have a machine running Linux and Windows. In that case, a Mini will be more than sufficient for development using Xcode. Even the basic 2.5Ghz dual-core i5 has a fast enough CPU, but if you have enough money I'd go for one of the i7 models - they're quad core and that could make a bit of a difference for big compiles, etc. One thing to be aware of - it's not possible to upgrade the CPU, so buy the fastest you can afford. RAM and storage you can upgrade later on, when you have money.

Two recommendations I'd make

  1. Make sure you have enough RAM. It's probably cheaper to buy this from a third-party rather than Apple and I'd recommend at least 8GB, 16GB if you can afford it. It's easy to install yourself (just remove the bottom cover and slot it in) and won't void your warranty.
  2. Get an SSD. Again, it's cheaper to go third-party than buying from Apple. Installation is a bit more complex than installing the RAM but it's still straightforward if you're comfortable taking a computer apart (see the various guides from iFixit). Doing it yourself will, in theory, void your warranty, so be careful!

I think you'll be just fine using a Mac Mini for software development - I'm perfectly happy using my i7 2012 model for development.

  • One problem is, I am from Bangladesh and the istores here don't give me many options. For example, Mac mini with SSD instead of HHD is rare! I may not have any other option other than getting a third party SSD. Does apple officially support changing from HDD to SSD? – shakib May 8 '14 at 7:55
  • I don't think Apple will do the HDD to SSD swap for you (I think you'll need to order the Mini with an SSD), and they definitely won't install a third-party SSD for you. If you're not comfortable doing the swap yourself, I'm guessing there should be an Apple-certified reseller who can do it without problem. I've done the swap myself and it's quite straightforward. – mjturner May 8 '14 at 7:58
  • Yes, resellers will do that. Now, can I buy one with HDD and then switch to SSD? I can do it PC, because they use SATA port. Does apple have the same architecture? My question may seem silly to you but I have no idea about apple architecture, so I am asking it anyway... – shakib May 8 '14 at 8:05
  • Yes, the Mac Mini has a standard SATA port (actually two - with an adapter and the correct cable you can fit a pair of SATA drives). You can use exactly the same SSD as you would in a PC. – mjturner May 8 '14 at 8:17

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