iMac for programming?

After 25 years as a Microsoft user/programmer I ma moving into the Apple world. I just purchased iOS Programming and joined the forum. I have an IPad and an IPhone but no Apple computer. I am looking at the 27" iMac and I would like to know if there are any issues running it as a developer machine.

Does the 27" iMac ($1699 version) have enough horsepower to run xCode and be productive with it? Any issues I should be aware of? Is 4 gigs enough memory or should I up the memory?

This brave new world is so different from what I am used to but I am excited about the challenge. I’ll be visiting the local Apple Store in the next week to make my purchase and get started.


Welcome aboard! I think you’ll find it a alot of fun.

I’m currently using a 13" macbook pro and its fine except for the screen size. xCode is a bit cramped with such a low res screen.

I think any mac Apple currently sells will be fine performance wise*… Just pay attention to screen size. (i think the 27" you are looking at would be enough)

even used macs of 1-2 years would prolly be fine also.

*without knowing what kind of apps you will be making…

If you can afford, get a high-end Mac mini with 8GB of memory and a 27-inch Apple display (unfortunately they don’t make the 23 inch displays anymore). The reason is that a 27-inch iMac is physically huge and thus poor ergonomically. If you still want an iMac, better to get the smaller one.

I too recently made the big leap from windows to Apple, although the environment where I work is, like many, firmly entrenched in the Micrsosoft world.

Anyway, I use a 27" iMac with 8GB and the i7 processor. It’s a beautiful machine and I have yet to make it breathe hard, let alone work up a sweat. I’d definitely spring for the extra memory.

Thanks for the replies.

I really want the 27" monitor a I like larger real estate when developing. I currently use a 23" and a 19" second monitor and I am hoping to go with just one monitor for the Apple setup.

if you factor the cost of the monitor out of the iMac then the rest of the stuff only amounts to $700. with the mini you need to ad a keyboard and a mouse and if I am reading the specs right there is no DVD drive. It just seems economically better to buy the iMac. Am I missing something in my analysis?

Not sure yet if I can swing the $1999 version but I will definitely upgrade to 8gigs or more after I purchase it.

I’m not giving up my Microsoft development (25+ years) as that is what my day job as well as my consulting entails. I am just expanding my skills and trying to learn new things. Down the road I am hoping to do more Apple dev after I learn this stuff.

But a Mac mini is more economical in the long run if you want to upgrade (provided of course Apple does not ditch it.) As for the DVD that’s a good point, however you can get an external one if you really want one.
Keyboard and mouse. Jettison the mouse in favor of a trackpad. Also get a wired keyboard.

My inner child kept pushing me until I gave in and bought the $1699 iMac today. I had them update Lion then download and install Mountain Lion before I left the store. I got both the mouse and the Magic Trackpad but no other upgrades.

After getting home I hooked it to my network and my printer with no problems. I then downloaded xCode. Having to rearrange everything on and under my desk to fit it in then tomorrow I’ll start on the iOS Programming book.

Thanks for everyone’s help.

Update: this thing is awesome. My last Apple was a IIc back in the 80’s. Things have sure changed.

Congrats on your new Mac! I know you’ll enjoy it!