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i'm looking to buy a used MAC to start my personal projects going on. I have some ideas of apps, they're very simple, couple of screens max and very basic functions. I have a very limited budget. I was searching for some used macs that supports El Capitan because of Xcode 8.2.1.

I have come cross 4 macs.

Mac Mini Early 2009 Core 2 Duo 2.0 4GB old owner added more RAM

MacBook Pro Late 2007 Core 2 Duo 2.2 2 GB

Macbook Air Late 2008 Core 2 Duo 1.6 2 GB

Macbook Late 2008 Aluminium Core 2 Duo 2.0 2GB

My question is, will i be fine if i used any of them for development? Which one is the best? If none of them are good enough, which one is the cheapest that i can get? Thanks!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, grg, user3439894, Allan, fsb Jan 28 '17 at 7:19

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All of them will perform similarly for development, since they all have Core 2 Duo's running at about the same clock. RAM will be your saving grace in this case, so plan to upgrade any 2GB machine to 4, 6, or 8GB. I also recommend upgrading the drive to an SSD, which should be possible in all of these machines (except perhaps the Air).

If you get the Mini, you will have to factor in the cost of a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, unless you have them already.


I have a 17" 2007 MBP with 6GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD. It boots quickly and El Capitan looks great on it. I am able to detect a little bit of sluggishness compared to my newer machines, but that is to be expected. It does heat up when doing heavy tasks, like compiling.

Beware that some of the 2007 MBP's had problems with the Nvidia GPU solder failing and the screen going blank. If the owner got the GPU problem fixed by Apple's recall or by one of the companies performing the GPU replacement, it should be fine. Mine has had its logic board baked twice in the oven (google it), and I'm babying it by keeping it as cool as possible this go around.

  • I see! Thanks for the reply. I just found a Macbook Pro 2010 13' with 8GB for a good price, i think i'm going to buy it – Viskee Jan 27 '17 at 22:14
  • That's a better idea, especially since Sierra should be supported. – Bryan Scott Jan 29 '17 at 3:36

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