What's your rig?

I’m curious what hardware people are using to develop software. With WWDC today it got me thinking about other options. I currently have a 15" MacbookPro with a 2.66 i7, 8GB ram and both a 180 SSD and a 500 HD (I made the optical external). I use an external monitor to increase screen real estate when at home.

The upside is that I’ve always got all my “stuff” with me on the laptop. The downside is that I’ve got setup time and minor hassle instead of just sitting down and getting to work at home. The idea I’ve been mulling around is a 27" iMac for primary development and one of those nifty little 13" Macbook Air’s for travel. Dropbox makes this more tenable than in the past when I tried such a setup. The doubling up on some software seems like an issue although the Xojo license appears it will play nice.

Any thoughts, comments or criticisms are encouraged.

Let me add that I travel a lot and the 15" is a bit too big unless I get upgraded to first class. Back when I had a 13" Macbook it seems to fit just perfectly on the tray table. That’s some of the temptation. I dunno, they say buy for the rule not the exception. I’m certainly on the ground more than I’m in the air.

Last year I bought a Retina MacBook Pro 2.6Ghz with 16gb RAM and 512gb SDD, and the Apple 27" Thunderbolt display. It’s truly the best of both worlds. I have a large high resolution screen when working at home, and when I travel I have everything with me and simply carry on working. Not to mention that with this setup I have a real Retina screen attached for debugging Retina based applications.

I used to work on a 24" iMac and have a 17" MBP for traveling, which meant that I had to keep the machines synchronized.

13" MacBook Pro / 2.7 GHz i7 / 16 GB / 240 GB SSD. Just upgraded the RAM and hoping to upgrade the SSD soon. With three OSes I’m running a bit low on space.

At home I close it, set it on my desk, and plug it into everything (big monitor, keyboard/mouse, HDs). Side note: I don’t know what you mean by “setup time” or minor hassle. I freaking love that in a few seconds I can switch portable<->desk. Vastly superior to file syncing.

I hope that notebooks continue to remain close enough in speed to desktops that I can stick with this configuration. I don’t have any performance complaints with this MacBook yet, so once I upgrade the SSD I think I’ll be set for another year or two.

While I have desktops for testing, my everyday usage is laptops.

My primary laptop is a i5 with 4GB memory, 500GB hard drive and a 15" 768x1366 screen.

My secondary unit is a Celeron with 2GB memory, 500GB hard drive and a 11" 768x1366 screen.

Both machines run Windows 7 64bit though the 11" is scheduled to be “upgraded” to Windows 8 this week.

I use a new 2012 iMac 27" i7 for 95% of my work…
with a 13" MBP laptop for travel.

Just transformed my old 2006 MacPro to run WIN7 via Oracles VirtualBox (would have used Bootcamp… but my SuperDrive doesn’t work, and WIN7 won’t boot from an external device)

15" old style MBP 2GHz i7, matte screen, custom SSD upgrade with hard drive in the optical bay that Thom goaded me into. Couch next to my desk for whichever dog wants to keep me company. Notebook in my lap w/feet up on the couch. 12 foot Thunderbolt to HDMI cable for a second monitor. Second monitor doubles for Acer netbook for Windows/Linux.

2012 iMac 27" i7 3.4GHz, 24G memory, 1TB HD, 2TB LaCie external, 23" secondary monitor (really excited about 10.9’s dual monitor support). I also have a 15" MacBook Pro (2012) and 2011 Acer Aspire w/Windows 7. I run Parallels and test in Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

an 8GB RAM/2.66 i7 MBP right before the retina displays came out.

I use a 14" Windows 7 notebook with an I5 CPU & 8Gb RAM.

When in the office I attach two 23" screens & a USB hub which has 7 devices attached - Logitech Wireless keyboard & Mouse, Brother A3 printer, Brother Label printer, CCD barcode reader, 2Tb USB HDD, Camera and microphone. Three plugs + power turns my laptop into a desktop.

[quote=13063:@Joseph Claeys]I’m curious what hardware people are using to develop software. With WWDC today it got me thinking about other options. I currently have a 15" MacbookPro with a 2.66 i7, 8GB ram and both a 180 SSD and a 500 HD (I made the optical external). I use an external monitor to increase screen real estate when at home.

The upside is that I’ve always got all my “stuff” with me on the laptop. The downside is that I’ve got setup time and minor hassle instead of just sitting down and getting to work at home. The idea I’ve been mulling around is a 27" iMac for primary development and one of those nifty little 13" Macbook Air’s for travel. Dropbox makes this more tenable than in the past when I tried such a setup. The doubling up on some software seems like an issue although the Xojo license appears it will play nice.

Any thoughts, comments or criticisms are encouraged.[/quote]
This is very close to what I moved away from. I used a high-power iMac and a low-power MacBook. Keeping the stuff I needed “with me” proved to be a challenge. Not a constant challenge, but a challenge nevertheless. I remember sitting in the Atlanta conference with Geoff and needing to get to files on my iMac. I had to use “Back to my Mac” to screen share to my iMac, move the files into my Dropbox, and then retrieve them on my laptop.

What I use today is almost exactly like Sam Rowland’s setup. A Retina MBP with a Thunderbolt display. What makes this setup easier is a dock. Henge Docks makes an outstanding dock for non-Retina MacBook Pros that I used before my Retina upgrade. It was fantastic. I quite literally had all the power and features of an iMac, but I could just lift the “tower” out of its base and go. They don’t yet have a Retina-capable dock, but they’ve got one in the works that I’ll likely pick up this fall.

I’ve used a desktop-only environment, a laptop-only environment, a desktop + laptop environment, and after all these years my current setup is by far the best setup for me. Aside from shear cost, there are no disadvantages. Well, I guess I’m SOL if my computer ever needs repairs. But worse-case scenario I’ve got a stupidly powerful PC I could work from.

Been a straight laptop only + external displays since I bought my Pismo way back when.
Always had to be on the road so it made more sense way back then & has ever since.
Now I have home & office external display keyboards mice etc so I just take the laptop & I’m pretty much good to go.

Now to go get a Retina MBP so I can finally get back to my 3 display set up I fell in love with in the days of my IIfx & huge CRT monitors - I could suntan back then without going outside :stuck_out_tongue: That way I was never the typical “pasty white computer nerd” despite being one :stuck_out_tongue:

Last year I switched to the Mid 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, just because of Retina. It came with a 2.7 GHz i7 processor, 16GB Ram and a 750GB SSD. I have a Matrox DS1 thunderbolt docking station where printers, disks, network and an external Asus Monitor (via HDMI) are connected. I’m using a stand for the rMBP to lift it to eye level and to align its upper edge with the Asus monitor.

This setup suits me well, because I can put it to sleep and unplug it in a second and take it with me.

iMac i7 27", 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 2x22" displays. All projects are on a Synology DS409+ running Subversion for easy access from wherever I am and version control.

I’ve been using mine for about a year and have done most of my Xojo stuff on it. It’s great, very compact and portable, starts up lighting-fast and I have never missed the optical drive.

Two comments: after long sessions eye-strain can be an issue, and it does get distinctly warm doing anything prolonged and processor-intensive (mine is the i7 version).

Most of my work is on a 13" Macbook Air w/ 8 GB RAM plugged into a 24" touch screen (for mobile testing on emulators), but I hope to sell that laptop for an upcoming 13" Retina Macbook Pro w/ 16 GB RAM, if such a thing ends up existing with the new Haswell CPUs.

I went to a 13" MBA from a 15" MBP since the vast majority of time I’m on an external display, and trying to make a 15" work in coach on the plane was not fun. Of course now that I’m not traveling as much…hmmm… :slight_smile:

The new Mac Pro is the first Mac that has tempted me to move from my 13" MBP — mainly for Steam games! I have external 24" screens (plus keyboards, Time Machine HDs and iPhone docks) in the two locations I work at and I almost never power down, so the MBP is almost always closed (open on holidays). I use BootCamp for Windows 7 and Parallels for Windows XP/Ubuntu Xojo testing. Apart from the many dings in the Aluminium I can’t fault it, although a hybrid drive sounds nice!

My older 27" iMac has become “the family computer” so I use a 15" MacBook Pro with a 27" thunderbolt display at home and the MBP solo on the road. The new Mac Pro, although crazy overkill, really got my saliva running! I’ll hold off til retirement for that kinda fun. I’m seriously considering a loaded 13" Air as I’m sick of lugging the weight around. The Xojo IDE real estate requirements are making me pause though. That and the 8GB RAM limit. I’ll probably go that route though as yet another of my kids is whining about their laptop being old and slow.

There are advantages to children.

Pros: They need your current computer - You get a new one.

Cons: Pros * number of children

I use a Mac mini 4Gb RAM dual FullHD (2 x 1920x1080) monitor workstation with keyboard/mouse, thinking in moving to a magic trackpad. MBP 13" 4Gb just for mobility.

As I told, and looking for advices, for those who use the magic trackpad, how do you feel? My index finger is hurting. :slight_smile:

I have two Macs:

I use a Mac Pro when I’m here in the office, which is 95% of the time I’m working. It’s a 2.93Ghz Xeon Quad Core with 10GB RAM, an SSD for the boot volume and a few terabytes of hard drive storage. It’s connected to two displays (24" Dell and 19" Dell – I really need new displays, though). This thing is fast and quiet, and as a bonus it puts out enough heat to warm my small office in cold Maine winters.

When away from my office, which is not that often, I use an 11" Macbook Air with low-ball specs of 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD. This is not cutting it any more, so I’m eyeing one of the new ones announced yesterday. Or maybe a refurb of the prior generation.