I'm considering buying a used MacBook (mid 2007 model) with 2GB of RAM and Mac OS X Lion. I am going to use this as a secondary computer to learn iOS development and to become more familiar with Mac OS X in general. Will this hardware be usable as a secondary machine, or is a 2007 model to slow to run Xcode and Lion?

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    2GB's gonna suck a whole lot with Lion. – geekosaur Apr 9 '12 at 13:31
  • Hopefully the ram upgrade will be cheep then. – Jared Apr 9 '12 at 13:42
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    @Jared You should probably accept some answers to your questions if they were helpful. If none of the answers were helpful, consider editing the question to add some more specifics and to bump the question to the front page. – CajunLuke Apr 9 '12 at 13:53
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    There's only one answer, and the question has been posted for less then an hour. It's to soon to worry about accepting an answer. – Jared Apr 9 '12 at 14:02
  • Max RAM supported may depend on which model you are looking at (Core Duo vs Core 2 Duo). See this forum post: discussions.apple.com/thread/2334321?start=0&tstart=0 – JW8 Apr 9 '12 at 17:53

I have a mid-2007 MacBook (2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) with 2GB RAM (which is the max. supported) running Lion and Xcode. It was getting a little sluggish but I recently replaced the HD with a SSD. I choose a OCZ Vertex 2 120GB (SATA II) drive, which cost around £100, and it's made a huge difference. More information on this upgrade can be found here.

However, you may find it's better to pay a little more up front and get a Mac mini.

  • I have a similar setup: First Core 2(!) Duo MacBook, upgraded to about 3GB (installed 2 x 2GB), with a SSD, running Lion and Xcode 4. Works well enough for me when I'm on the road. I also have a Mac Pro with 8 Cores and a recent iMac, all with SSD, and they're certainly faster, but the MacBook is still acceptable with even some bigger Xcode projects (I wouldn't try to build Chromium on it, but anything smaller is okay). – Thomas Tempelmann May 12 '12 at 20:25
  • I did the same to mine, but with a 240GB SSD from OWC the speed gain is amazing! though, by now, I would love to have an i5 core :) – balexandre May 13 '12 at 7:08

I would advise not to buy such machine.

here is my reasons:

  • Ensure that, at least, it has a Intel Core 2 Duo. If it does not have that (or any of the brand new i3, i5 and i7 CPUs) you will never be able to update the OS to anything bigger than 10.7 (Lion).
  • 2 GB of RAM is really the standard for Xcode, I have 4GB and I wish I could have 8, but, once again, 4GB is the maximum you will probably can have.
  • With the price of that laptop, you could buy the new Mac mini and will have everything needed for work with Xcode, plus, in the future, it's a very upgradable machine (you can have 2 Hard drives, up to 8GB of RAM, Thunderbolt, all brand new OS).

The inability to upgrade should be a stopper right on spot, for example, with 10.6 (Snow Leopard) you can only have Xcode 4.2 installed, and Xcode is already at 4.3 (4.4 in beta) and moving up. I strongly expect that you will have the same problem once in Lion.

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    I think you mean GB not Gb. – MDMarra May 12 '12 at 17:40

It might be a bit slow. I am using an early 2009 MacBook with 4GB of RAM, and the performance of Lion wasn't as smooth as Snow Leopard.

For the record, I am also running Xcode. It runs OK, not exactly smooth. So I think your experience on 2GB RAM might not be too pleasant.

  • and I fid that Xcode shows the worst difference on my 4GB iMac - so I suspect you need more memory than that – Mark Apr 9 '12 at 13:56

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