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Mac suitable and best value for joint Windows & iOS dev PC?

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#21 blueshogun96   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 854

Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:55 PM

Not sure if you still want advice, but I'll give you my two cents as a fellow Mac owner.


I own two Macs, a Macbook Pro (2008) and a Mac Pro (2006).  They're a little dated, but I bought them used.  The Macbook Pro uses a GeForce 9600 GT, and I basically use it for mid-range stuff, nothing too serious.  Eventually, I needed something that had as much horsepower as a gaming PC.  So I looked on craigslist and found a guy selling a problematic MacPro 1,1 for $200.  All it really needed was a new HDD as well as a new video card because it was dying.  Bought a new HDD for $10, and bought an OEM version of a GeForce GTX 760 for $175.  Follow up with a workaround to install OSX Mavericks, and viola, an inexpensive Mac running 10.9.3 w/ OpenGL 4.1 support.


Even thought the MacPro 1,1 is 8 years old, it's actually much more upgradable than some people claim it is.  With the later versions os OSX, you can install a PC video card which works like normal (in most cases; and minus the boot screen), but it has to be an NVIDIA GeForce 8xxx or better card.  AMD cards don't work out of the box last I checked.  If you need a decent amount of RAM, even the MacPro 1,1 supports up to 32gb of RAM at a minimum (later models will support more).  If you need more CPU power, you can upgrade the CPU from 2 Xeon dual cores to 2 Xeon quad cores (up to 3.0Ghz).  There's also some relatively cheap Airport (wifi) and Blutooth upgrades that attach directly to the mobo, keeping your PCI-e slots free.  I spend a total of $405 so far, I just didn't upgrade the ram and CPU yet.


If you can afford a 2010 model, you can go for that.  Just be sure you know what you're doing if you're going to be a cheapskate like me.



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#22 d000hg   Members   -  Reputation: 716

Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:57 AM

My current thoughts are to get the cheapest MacMini i7-quad core (4Gb, 1Tb 5400rpm drive) and then upgrade the RAM to 16Gb and add a 256Gb SSD (or replace the internal drive with a larger SSD or hybrid). These are well documented upgrades and likely to be far cheaper than upgrading the base spec.


For a PC it still ends up expensive for the spec - about £850 - but compared to buying a new PC and a new Mac it's rather cheap!