Recommendation for entry level Mac

Hey guys & gals,
I’m a Windows/Linux guy but have a client who would like a software solution for mac os and iphone so I’m looking for your advice on what’s the bare minimum machine to buy and that would work for debugging and building apps for the apple ecosystem?


Take a look at the Mac Mini. It’s small and perfectly adequate for development. You can attach any keyboard, mouse and monitor that you want.


Thanks! So a Mac Mini PC Apple (2020) Apple M1, 8GB, 256GB SSD should be enough? Or should I get the 16GB ram option?

My suggestion is to get 16. Replacing ram is a pain and you’ll run out faster than you think, especially when developing. If you can afford it, get a 512GB drive.


I would go with the larger amount of RAM, it isn’t upgradable on M1 systems as it is built into the CPU.

You can always get external storage but CPU and Memory cannot be worked around. If you can afford the extra SSD space it would be worth having.


Right. I forgot about that.

ssd, ram, are no more upgradable on apple products, since a few years now.
8Gb on a silicon mac is more than enough for bureautic-internet use
but you never know what office 2025 will need, so 16Gb is better.

True, but you can always attach more storage and for development I would certainly go with more RAM.

Yes. Then you can run VMs for testing under Win/Lin without needing any extra hardware.

Thanks guys.

OP said it is for one customer specific app. He did not speak about VM or development …

There are apps you can’t store on external devices; I stumbled on this several times.

Just some weeks ago, after moving from Mac OS 12 to Mac OS 13, I realized AppWrapper stopped working with weird messages. Turns out XCode was no longer working from my USB drive and I had to reinstall it on the main volume.

Add Android Studio and the Library stuffs (Mails, podcasts, etc.) that must be kept on the main volume (or aren’t easily transferrable) and you quickly run out of space, having nothing more to relocate to an external disk.

… and then what? :man_shrugging:

My Air has a small hard disk (256 GB). For testing this is enough - without having VMs, of course.

You can - cough - archive your emails - cough - off the hard disk. :sunglasses:


As I understood this was a secondary machine for Mac development, not the only machine he was ever going have. Obviously if he wants one machine to rule them all, that’s a different question.


Not any issue for the OP, but in general, the larger the SSD the faster it will be.

and the more expensive too… :wink:


As Spiderman’s grandad said “With great size comes great price”. Well it was something like that.

Renting a Mac mini in the cloud is also a solution. check

I’m not sure developing and testing software over a remote connection. I’ve used such connections here over wifi on a local network and the response isn’t great. Equally, even a wired Gbit ethernet connection to our servers wasn’t a great experience.

If possible, I’d got for 51GB internal SSD drive too. My 2018 Mac Mini only had 128GB. Problem was, some of the development tools I used required that I have Apple’s XCode app installed. That App needed GigaBytes of extra space to install - like 20 or 30GB. It was a high overhead for software I didn’t use directly. I couldn’t update it on that 128GB machine without a lot of hoop jumping.

256GB is twice that of course. But it seems for a very small dollar increment, you can easily double the HD storage. Also, if you are considering an M2 Mini, the 512GB SSD is twice as fast as the 256GB version (something to do with NAND chips). However, unlike the M2 Mini Pro, you don’t get another speed double when you go to 1TB.

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