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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - iMac, Mac Pro or Mac Book pro; for iPhone development

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Member Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 1
BillyA is on a distinguished road

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Hello everyone, sorry if this is in the wrong area of the forums; I couldn’t find anywhere where I thought it properly fit.

I am a University student living in the UK and I have been a PC user for my entire computer using life. Recently, however, I have fallen for the iPhone and its SDK; to the point that I am planning on focussing my dissertation around developing an app for the iPhone.

To realistically do this though I am going to need a Mac of my own to develop on; hence my conundrum ‘which Mac is for me’.
Unfortunately I don’t know any big Mac users to ask advice of but from looking around online I have created a short list for myself of; the Mac Pro, the iMac and the Mac Book Pro.

From what information I’ve been able to find I can’t see much difference between the Mac Pro and the iMac; other than the ability to open up the Mac Pro to upgrade its hardware and that the iMac incorporates a monitor.

I’m finding myself naturally drawn towards the Mac Book Pro, mainly for portability reasons; however, I suspect that it may have performance issues in comparison to its desktop counter parts.

As I mentioned before, I plan on mainly using whichever mac I end up with for iPhone app development; though it is likely that I will also be using it for 3D modelling with Maya, and video/photo/audio editing with the adobie CS3 suite. If anyone has any useful advice on which would be more suitable I would very much appreciate a reply.

Thank you for your time.
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Member Since: Jul 17, 2009
Location: MA
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Mac Specs: 27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 5 & 5S, iPod Nano 7th Gen, iPad 2 16GB WiFi, iPad 3

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The Mac Pro is going to be the most powerful of the Mac's available (and also crazy expensive) as compared to the others. It does have the beefier processor, lots of RAM and with it's standard case, allows you to upgrade very easily.

The iMac is the next in line and has a good processor and enough RAM as well and is cheaper. Upgrading this is a little bit tougher, but can definitely be done. The advantage here is that you get a nice monitor and takes up little space.

the MBP is of course the laptop and way cheaper (compared to iMac/Mac Pro) and can definitely be used for development.

The one you are missing/ignoring is the Mac Mini, and at a starting price of $799 is the cheapest of the Mac's. I currently use one for my iPhone App development. Since I already have PC (and keyboard, mouse, monitor), I just used a IOGear KVM and hooked up the Mac Mini and it's been working great.

The Mac Mini is the toughest to upgrade, but if you do upgrade the memory to it's max allowed, it actually performs quite well..

If you're thinking about using the Mac as a long term thing beyond your dissertation, then definitely look at the beefier machines, but don't ignore the Mac Mini which can hold it's own..

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Member Since: May 02, 2009
Posts: 480
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.33 4GB: MacPro 8 Core 2.8, 16GB: MacMini 2.26 4GB: MacMin 2.53 4GB: iPhone3GS 32GB

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For my two cents:

I am in software development (Java, C/C++, Cocoa) and I do most if not all of my development on a MacBookPro circa late 2006, Core2Duo 2.33MHZ. I haven't found a situation, development wise, that I felt hampered by the performance of my machine.

I can run Eclipse (Java IDE), XCode, JBoss etc with no issues whatsoever. All of the choices you listed, as well as the mini, would make a good platform. Also, plenty of people on this and other forums seem to use the MBP for the 3D rendering tasks so I don't think that is an issue either though you may want to check the recommended specs for the applications for OSX.

In any case, it's a win/win/win/win situation :-)
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