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?
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 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.
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.