I'm having a little trouble finding any decent information on the minimum requirements in terms of hardware for the latest Xcode. I'm soon going to be starting iOS development, but I want to see whether I ought to get a new Mac or not. I currently have:

MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010)

2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM

Running OS X Yosemite

I have read that this MacBook will support El Capitan, which the newest Xcode will require, but I've no idea if it will run it well. In your guys experience, would it run the latest Xcode alright, or is it a bit of a memory hog? It will be something I want to last at least a few more years, so wondering whether I'll need to make that investment now or will it hold off? I appreciate the 13-inch size is going to be rather small, and I'll be hooking it up to an external monitor, so this is purely down to the capabilities of the system. I have a feeling it will work, but was hoping for someone's experience in the matter to suggest whether (for a newbie iOS develop) it would be really scraping the barrel in performance or if it should suffice. Sorry for the amount of ambiguity and personal preference this question might include!


This question is primarily opinion-based, but in my experience, your MacBook Air should be good enough for you to use to begin iOS programming. I currently use a 15-inch Mid-2009 MacBook Pro (2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB Intel 530 Series SSD) for my iOS app development and it's alright. Would I like a newer MacBook? Of course. But, it's not like I'm making a complex 3D-platformer using Metal or something, I'm just developing a simple 2D game. Apple does a good job of supporting older hardware, so it may be a few years before I get a new Mac. In short, yes, you should be able to use your MacBook Air for learning how to do iOS app development, just don't expect to have an easy time developing complex 3D games on it. The fact that this machine is lean on RAM is compensated for by it having an SSD. This will greatly help with the memory intensity of running a dev env including a simulator.

  • Thanks! Do you happen to have tried the newest Xcode GM yet or betas at all? – Leonard Challis Sep 16 '15 at 8:27
  • I'm on Xcode 7 Beta 3. I just moved and can't get an internet connection out here until tomorrow, but I will definitely update to the GM when I can. – RedEagle2000 Sep 16 '15 at 15:40
  • hey RedEagle2000 are u going to install the macOS Sierra in your Mid 2009 MacBook Pro? Are you still using it? I'm looking for some benchmark, reviews, etc...Thank you! – Wils Jul 8 '16 at 13:09
  • @Wils Yeah, I'm still using it. Overall, I'd have to say its not the fastest, but is still a decent computer for the price of one used (like $300-$400, better than a PC at that price, that's for sure). It does everything I need it to (editing HD videos for my YouTube Channel withFinal Cut Pro X, iOS app development with Xcode, web browsing, etc.), just not as quickly as on a new MacBook Pro. I put an SSD in it, but only 4 GB of RAM, for the record. I'd like to upgrade to at least a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro (used, like $600) soon, but that's not a high priority. I want to put Sierra on it, even – RedEagle2000 Jul 8 '16 at 13:25
  • @Wils if I have to use additional software in order to install it, but I'll probably wait until it comes out in the fall. – RedEagle2000 Jul 8 '16 at 13:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .