iMac for XOJO app building

I never had a mac, so I do not know what model is good to buy.
I am in the possibility to buy a second hand ‘iMac 4K Retina 21.5 inch late 2015’ for about 700 $ (=600 €).
3,1 Ghz i5 processor / 8 GB Ram / 1 TB harddisk / Magic mouse and keyboard included.
Is this a good choice for building apps for macOS ?
Apps build on this mac can they be used by older mac models and/or also for newer models ?


8 GB is a bit small
have upgraded to 32 GB is a good thing
often have several Xojo programs open at the same time

1TB hard disk is certainly a mechanical hard drive. replace as quickly with a ssd and it will be fine.
ram can also be upgraded but you have to dismantle the whole imac to change them … ifixit has tutorials about this but it is really painful. 27" imacs are far easier for ram replacement.

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Macs get about 6 years of updates for macOS. Your computer will get BS and BS + 1, but nothing newer.

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You may check on apple site for refurbished Macs. They are cheaper than new Macs, but not that cheap. Macs are good computers, but they come with a price.

You can buy without fear, I make my Apps on a Macbook Air 2014 4GB Ram/250GB SSD and on a Macmini 2012 with SSD and without performance problems, even if HD is going to go well because I also have an iMac 2012 core i5 with HD that goes very well.

For that price, you can get a nicer brand-new Mac mini, a KVM, and hook it into your existing hardware. It would take up very little additional space on your desk. That’s my advice.


On a MacMini :
Is it possible to connect a wireless keyboard/mouse (wireless via USB adapter) that I use now for my Windows PC ?

there is a bluetooth board inside the macmini. if you use a bluetooth keyboard you don"t need any usb adapter. but yes a keyboard with an usb adapter and non-bluetooth works too.

Absolutely. It’s just a computer. It has a full range of ports. Instead of a KVM, you could also just set it up once, then use remote control (such as Google Remote Desktop) to connect to it from your PC and do what you need with it. It’s actually a pretty common use.

Ok. I did not think about that.
Once setup the mac mini it doesn’t need a monitor, keyboard or mouse anymore when working in remote control ?
I’m going to think about that seriously.

you need a monitor to set it up, then activate “screen sharing” in the prefs panel
then use VNC on another computer of the network.

Exactly. You might want or need a “headless display adapter” though. They are dirt cheap and work well. They trick the system into thinking there is a monitor attached.

I use the fitHeadlessGS on mine.

to allow air display ?

The headless display adapter does a couple of things. I use them on all my mac minis:

  • Makes mini think there is an external monitor attached, enabling higher resolutions
  • (For 2014 and later minis, I recommend a 4K headless adapter; for 2012 non-4K is fine)
  • Tricks the mini into enabling the GPU because it “detects” an external monitor

Dirt cheap and makes screen shares able to provide much larger resolutions than without them. Highly recommended.

Exactly. I have an LG 5k for my main computer. The headless adapter allows Apple Remote Desktop to give me 4K remote control so it looks nice and sharp. Without it, the best I can do is 1080p, which gives the same usable space, but looks bad on the 5K display. Even if you aren’t using retina resolutions, there are the other benefits that Douglas mentioned.