Advice on Mac Specs

Firstly may I state I plan to remain developing on the Windows Platform so people understand the context of this question.

I have had a increasing number of customers ask Apple specific questions and am thinking of buying a cheap refurbished iMac or Macbook which are available via a major discounter
This will be for testing and to give me a reference platform for issues like email setup etc but it would be nice if it would run Wappler comfortably so I could use it as a fallback/ prototyping platform

So I intend to keep the budget low (just spending some spare money before end of company tax year to reduce corporation tax)

At the prices I can see top of my budget would be a Apple iMac 11,2 Core i3 3.06 21.5-Inch (Mid-2010) with 8GB ram and 2TB HDD (would probably swap out for SSD)

Going down the spec ladder
20inch Apple iMac A1224 Core 2 Duo 8GB Ram 160GB HDD

Macbook, (cheapeest option) something like
Apple Macbook A1342 13.3 Inch 8GB ram 120GB SSD

I would appreciate any advice/ guidance from Mac users as I dont really know what level of spec needed and am basing my options x64 windows platforms, for example I assume *GB ram would be essential (which makes quite a big price difference from 4GB).
I am not looking for a full blown power machine to use as my main computer, looking at a budget fallback and test machine

This is not really answer to your question but is an approach that might be worth considering.

I mainly use Windows but always have a Mac too. When my iMac died recently, I decided to go for a much cheaper replacement - a Mac Mini.

I have seveal monitors on my desk and don’t really need any more. Sometimes I just switch inputs (between Windows/Mac) using a button on the monitor. Recently I’ve been using Teamviewer to avoid switching inputs.

Thanks Tom, didnt even know a mini mac existed!
Yes I see a core i5 with 8GB Ram is well within my price range, like you I have a few spare monitors, certainly an option

Those mac minis are really cheap on ebay,
Apple Mac Mini A1347 Core i7 2.70GHz 8GB RAM 500GB HDD is mid range to my budget! (OS Mojave)

I think the Mac Mini is a good choice, if you want to run OSX Mojave then you will need a model from 2012 or later.

Thanks patrick, on examining the spec in more detail from your comment the headline image says Mojave but the small print says High Sierra 10.13x (this is a mId 2011 model)
Not that this means a lot to me as I have never been a Mac user

Have found late 2012 model with same spec and Mojave at similar price though

Whatever mac you buy make sure it supports metal API. As that is one of the main reasons the newer MacOS versions are not supported in old models.

So go for these or newer.

  • MacBook Pro (mid 2012 and newer)
  • MacBook Air (mid 2012 and newer)
  • MacBook (early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 or newer, or mid 2010 and mid 2012 models with Metal capable GPU)
  • Mac Mini (late 2012 or newer)

I bought the bottom of the range Mac Mini - £800 (inc.VAT). This was one of the new Minis - released late last year. These are quite a bit higher spec than the previous generation.

If you use it a lot, you might want to go for a higher spec model. I haven’t used Wappler with it much but it seems to work fine.

Thanks JonL, thats the sort of assistance I was hoping for.

Could I assume that if it runs Mojave it supports metal API ?

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Yes if it is officially supported.

There a ways to install mojave in non-metal macs. But performance is horrendous.

So make that if the seller says it supports mojave it is officially supported and not that he/she just to install it by following a tutorial to hack it in :slight_smile:

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@Hyperbytes, I don’t know about Metal API, but I do know this, once you go Mac, you won’t go back…!

I love the Mac Universe and how my apple watch, iphone, ipad, and iMac are all linked together, especially when it comes to messaging. The new mac software, Catalina will make it even better! I’ll be able to use my ipad as an additional monitor. And while I can talk and talk about how great macs are, the best part is that software upgrades are free! No more needing to pay for Windows upgrades.

However, I do have Windows on my iMac as well through bootcamp for those pesky programs that are not mac compatible.

I forgot to mention. Try to avoid those macs with a T2 chip and butterfly keyboard mechanism.

The sweet spot for second-hand macs is those machines built in between 2012 and 2015.

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oh and I would chip in and buy a mac keyboard, wired or wireless because there will be times when you get tired of trying to remember how to use a windows keyboard on a mac and will want the ease of using a mac keyboard.

Sorry scott but it will take a lot to convert me, i am a Microsoft Certified Professional and not used macs because I didnt like what I saw when I tried.
Personally I also think Apple products are massively overpriced
As to upgrades, Windows updates have been free since release of windows 10 as it is now software as a service, not a product, upgrades are released as service packs, not products.

Joke: (not meant to be offensive)

Q. How do you milk a sheep…
A. Release a new apple product :grinning:

I actually have a mac bluetooth keyboard already which I used with an old windows 10 tablet

Guess that joke went down like a lead balloon :innocent:

I don’t like sheep milk. I prefer camel milk personally.

I was going to say you were treading on thin ice there :stuck_out_tongue:

To be honest I was thinking about leaving apple’s ecosystem some months ago. But as they got rid of Ive and his obsession around thinness over pro specifications I am willing to stick around a bit more.

When Apple gets something right nobody comes close. Unfortunately they haven’t got anything right these past years except for the watch I guess and I can’t code on one of those.

Yes, they seem to concentrate on watches, phones and ipads with macbooks an afterthought and iMacs when they have nothing better to do.
I agree they used to be a better platform some years ago but I really do believe there is very little between the OSX and Windows platforms now (all the hardware is the same Intel stuff anyway now)
Apple’s latest iMac prices are crazy

Sadly just missed a great deal on a Mac mini i7 with Mojave as it sold as I was waiting for confirmation from their tech support that is was a proper upgrade. May have to settle for a 8gb core i5 unless something else comes up soon

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Pity you don’t want an Apple laptop. I’ve got an Apple PowerBook 170 here, great machine with a 640×400 black and white screen, yes black and white, not even greyscale! Not sure but I think it has the larger 80Mb hard-drive. If you want something more up-to-date then I also have a PowerBook G3 or even the latest PowerBook G4 Titanium. If you definitely want a desktop machine then I can help there too. I have a Macintosh IIFX (upgraded from a Macintosh II) and some other similarly stunning machines. Take your pick :laughing:

Guess I’m holding the lead balloon!
Still scratching my head.