These days, it’s not uncommon to walk into a startup or a computing business and find a web developer hard at work on their Mac. This is no surprise as Macs are generally considered to be the best computers when to comes to web design and coding. This is because they essentially work off of a UNIX-based system, which simplifies the whole development process. Additionally, they offer a very stable environment to work from and they rarely experience virus or malware issues. This then brings us to the types of MacBooks that are available for developers to choose from.
Any Apple consumer knows that Macs come in different models and each of them offers different features and functions. So, if you are a developer and you are in the market for a new computer, you are probably stuck trying to decide between the , Mac Mini, MacBook Air, Pro, iMac and Mac Pro. As such, we decided to quickly take a look at the elements that make each model well suited for developers to allow you to make a more well informed decision for your next purchase.
Programming Computer Requirements
The main problem or inconvenience that comes with owning a MacBook is that it doesn’t leave much room for customization, because unlike PCs, MacBooks aren’t designed to be upgraded. As such, that first purchase that you make has to be a well informed purchase, but that raises the question of what features and requirements you should look for.
CPU: When it comes to coding, users will need to utilize heavy programming applications like Xcode. As a result, you need to make sure that you pick a processor that is either dual-core or more. This means going for something like an i5 or better yet, an i7.
GPU: When it comes to the GPU, this largely depends on what you intend to use the Mac for and what your line of programming entails. If you aren’t developing video games for instance, then it's no problem. As you don’t need to be too concerned about a high-performance graphics card.
RAM: This is a crucial element to have in your Mac as not having sufficient RAM memory will severely impact your work by slowing down your processes. Programming applications like Xcode for instance, already consume significant amounts of RAM, so you need to make sure that whatever Mac you opt for has at least 8 GB worth of RAM available.
Screen: As a developer, having enough screen room is vey vital as you will often be working on several things at once and that means having multiple programs running in different windows all at the same time. As such, owning a Mac that offers up significant storage is a bonus. Moreover, the benefit of Retina displays is that they come with scaled resolutions, which means that you should be able to fit more coding windows in your view as well. So, you should opt for a Mac with a large screen, eg. 16” inch or more.
Battery: When it comes to battery this mostly applies if you are considering purchasing a MacBook laptop, instead of one of the desktop Macs. However, the good news is that all the latest MacBook models come with decent battery life, so you don’t have to worry about running low on power half way through the day. However, while we’re on this subject, we do recommend that you consider purchasing a cable organizer in advance. This is because they will help you better keep track of all your charger, USB or mobile device cables by putting them in one convenient easy to carry pouch. Moreover, they aren’t expensive and they do come in different varieties, so you can also find one that suits your personal style quite easily.
Ports: It’s no secret that most Macs come with a limited number of connectivity ports, which can often prove to be very inconvenient. However, the good news is you can always purchase a usb c hub with hdmi to help expand the number of ports available on your computer. For those unfamiliar, this an accessory that brings all your Mac functions into one powerful port. This allows you to connect and charge multiple devices at once, such as external monitors, keyboards, iPhones, etc. This makes it easier for you while you work as it expands your workspace to accommodate multiple programs and tasks!
Storage: When it comes to storage, you should opt for an SSD. This is because they are usually more powerful and reliable. However, that doesn’t mean that you should max out your Mac’s internal SSD. In most cases, 256 GB is sufficient, but you should avoid anything under 128 GB.
In summary, if you are getting into programming or are already an experienced programmer then there is no doubt that the Mac is the best choice for the job. And if you find that you can’t afford any of the latest models, you can always opt for the 2018-2019 models instead. They are worth the investment in the long-term, just make sure that you take these tips we have listed into consideration, before making that final purchase.