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The cylindrical Mac Pros (2013 model year) are inexpensive as used machines. Can one develop Apple Silicon software on intel Macs or otherwise produce faster development in Xcode than the M1 Mac mini available at the $700 price point in the US?

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    You can build Universal Binaries on them: but they run hot (e.g. use a lot of electricity); don't have USB-C/Thunderbolt3; and are nearly 10 years old. They can't run Ventura; only Monterey. Even an M1 Mini or MBA outpaces the 12-core model.!!
    – benwiggy
    Nov 15, 2022 at 22:14
  • If you were to put in a specific Mac Pro to compare with the baseline mini, this might be worth reopening. I can't see any case where you would want Pros other than legacy testing or if you were buying half a dozen or more build machines, but perhaps others could weigh in on a more subjective version of this post.
    – bmike
    Nov 15, 2022 at 23:25

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Since that Pro was discontinued, Apple has dropped support (officially) macOS Ventura so you will likely want to develop on the latest hardware even if you can make it work short term with current Xcode versions. I have both models that are in the question (via edit) and can say that the M1 mini runs circles around the Pro which will help me for running legacy software and older builds but would in no way be my primary machine or one I could recommend unless you had a fleet of machines for testing and running special code on those GPU or special compilers and not "general Xcode" use.

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  • Thank you for the responses. This settles the question definitively and explains why the trash can Mac Pros are so cheap. I'll get an Apple Silicon Mac so speed up programming.
    – Philonous
    Nov 17, 2022 at 14:48

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