New Mac purchase advice

A few years ago I downgraded my development system from a Mac Pro 2009 to a Mac Mini. The problem I have now with that machine is that its video card (afaik) doesn’t support retina screens and I find it a bit slow with last Xojo 2017r3.0, especially when you click on the Run/Build button, I get sometimes a one-minute lag at the very beginning and right before finishing. My projects are big actually. Not sure what’s happening though.

I wonder whether the next Xojo version will be faster than that but also if it is time to get a new machine. I was looking at the iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro product lines but finally I have eliminated both the Mac Pro and the iMac Pro. I am about to purchase an iMac 5k i7 with 32Gb of RAM and a 1Tb SSD HD. From other’s experience, is that a good choice? I have read the iMac Pro is not worth the money. Is that true? Unfortunately (and obviously) I can’t test-build my projects with those machines and see which one is the best. By the way, if that matters, I am a profesional developer spending most of its life coding.


For Xojo, maybe get 2 to 4 cores, 8+ GB RAM and a SSD.
if you use VMs for cross platform development, so you run several VMs, you may go to 16 or 32 GB of RAM to support that and maybe get 6 or 8 cores.

I am using an 2017 5k iMac i5 and I think it is a good machine for developing software.

Have you put an SSD into your Mac mini? You might not need a new computer after all .…


My Mac Mini already has a SSD, that doesn’t fix the video card not compatible with retina resolutions and yes, I use VMs, to run Windows 10 most of the time.

Wait the next Xojo to be released (when it will be released), put it in a MemoryStick with yoyr project,
make tests to know the speed on your actual development hardware (to compare, read below),
then go to a new Apple Hardware vendor (Apple dealer / AppleStore),
ask polite if you can make some tests,
do the same tests as above.

Compare: you will have a good idea about your new hardware (be careful: do not make tests on the expensive hardware; on a hardware you do not want to buy; :frowning: or ;), depends).

Understand what I mean ?

from what i’ve read (here and where) yes it’s a nice machine, but the price you pay is too much for what you get.
like 3x the price compared to a 5k imac, and not 3x the speed or space.

For Xojo developing, I think that is likely true. Where they probably are worth the money is high end editing of 4K video, audio, and perhaps CAD type work and maybe even graphics.

Remember with the 64-bit LLVM compiler, multiple cores can be used to increase compile time. Since OSX development should all be 64 bit soon, you may want to consider that aspect when deciding how many cores to get for your next machine.

And from what I’ve been reading I won’t hold my breath that the new Mac Pro (not iMac) will be any cheaper than the iMac Pro or more suitable to us developers. But how do you say this in english? “Ich lasse mich überraschen.” = “I’ll get a surprise”. At some time next year.

However, it is possible we’ll see spec bumps in the Macbook Pro around the time of the WWDC conference in June. While we now know the new Mac Pro won’t happen until 2019, it is anyone’s guess whether or not there will be a new mac mini (or when).

But with the latest Intel chip availability, they could release a 13" MBP which is quad core. Running that in clamshell mode with external monitors is not so different that using a mac mini (well, except the price for a 13" MBP + TB3 dock is higher than a comparable mac mini if they ever release an update). I suspect that is the big reason we have not seen a new mini – less profit margin…

Funny thing is I like my 2012 quad core mini better than my 2014 dual core mini.

While you could say „I’m waiting to be surprised“ I feel that‘s bad English and a much better translation would be „I’m waiting to be amazed“ as „surprise“ implies you have no clue about what is coming.

I have a Mac mini 2012 16 GB SSD working with Xojo and several VM under Fusion without problem…

problem with OP is not the speed but rather no retina display.

Who tried the iMac Pro ? (with or without Xojo ?)

@David Cox did.
See the first entry on February 2018.

the only Mac Mini that supports 4k (as “Retina” refers more to the Monitor), is the 2014, and for the most part
it does it at 24hz… which is "why bother’.

Hopefully the Next “soon?” Mac Mini will be able to do 4k >60hz

It really depends on what you’re doing with it. The main advantage of the iMac Pro is the multiple multi-core processors, if the apps you use can rally take advantage of multi-cores then it’s worth it. The main use I see for it is rendering 8K video. I think it was MKBHD who bought the $13,000 iMac Pro so rendering of 8K video would take a 3rd of the time it takes on anything else (made by Apple).

The iMac 5K is really the only Apple computer worth buying (unless you really can put an iMac Pro to good use, and afford it). There are too many compromises with the MacBooks IMHO and you are well aware the other product lines are being neglected.

My personal recommendation is not to buy a brand new Mac, take a look at their refurbished products, you’ll save some money and still get a full warranty (just avoid 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro), or even consider buying second hand. The more people buy Apple’s products as they are, the more they can justify their design choices.

On the other hand…

If a new Mac Pro takes 2 years to be delivered (created), that means… no one was working on that market segment :frowning:

And I do not talk about 2017 laptops :frowning: too

I am 100% with what Sam wrote above. Unfortunately, hardware machines have a life time (say 5 years *), so buy a second hand machine relatively recent (the ones from early 2016, if some exists).

  • Spare parts availability.

While the 2015 MacBook Pros are better in many aspects than the 2016 or 2017, they do have a really weak graphics card, so if you’re doing anything that’s GPU intensive, I wouldn’t even recommend these machines :frowning: