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I'm planning to change to MacBook from my PC and I was thinking on buying first an older model as I can't afford a new one currently. I would use this laptop for Xcode development as well so I'd be curious about the opinions and experiences you have regarding the MacBook Air 2012-mid and 2013-mid models with entry level CPUs and 4GB of RAM. So my question is: Would it be enough for Xcode development? How fast it performs? Any experience?

Thanks in advance!

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I use both Xcode 6 and the 7 Beta on a mid-2009 MacBook Pro with a 2.66GHz Intel Core Duo, 4 GB of RAM, and a 260 GB Intel 530 Series SSD. It's good enough for me to develop apps on, though it's not like I'm using Metal to make 3D games or anything. I personally wouldn't get a MacBook Air, as it's just not a performance laptop and you'd get a lot more out of a slightly older MacBook Pro. The one I have is pretty good for what I use it for: Xcode, Final Cut Pro X, web-browsing, etc. But that's not to say I wouldn't want a newer MacBook Pro.

  • Thank you for your experience! I'm little bit surprised that you don't have performance issues with MBP2009. Would you recommend it more than MBA2012? – zdtorok Sep 1 '15 at 19:01
  • If you can afford it, then no, I wouldn't recommend an older model over a newer one. The 2012 MacBook Pro would run circles around my 2009, but the 2012 also costs more. The best thing that you could do is get the best MacBook Pro you can that you can afford. By the way, whatever model you get, make sure that you buy a SSD for it (some already have one, though), made all the difference in mine, it booted up literally twice as fast as with a hard drive. Also, don't let anyone tell you that Yosemite doesn't run well on there's older systems, it does. – RedEagle2000 Sep 1 '15 at 19:06
  • Hmm I got your point thanks. I haven't checked yet but If I remember well the MBP2009/2010 has around the same price as MBA2012. You said you wouldn't recommend the older version but also that I should buy an MBP - the latest I can afford. So even if it's older should I go for MBP with SSD? Is MBP that much better than MBA? – zdtorok Sep 1 '15 at 19:22
  • The Intel SSD that I got was about $100 for 260 GB of storage, so a SSD in it should be worth $100 + whatever the trouble of installing an SSD in your MacBook yourself is worth to you (the replacement is very simple). To answer your second question, yes, a MacBook Air is a consumer laptop, which basically means that it's good for email, web-browsing, etc. I'm sure that you could get by on one, but for a little bit more for a MacBook Pro, you'd be better off with one of them. As a dev, you'll appreciate a bigger screen, and the option to upgrade your RAM later on to 8GB, or 16GB on some models. – RedEagle2000 Sep 1 '15 at 19:39
  • Great! Thanks again for your help! I'll check out the MBPs than :) – zdtorok Sep 1 '15 at 19:41

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