Develop with XCode on Mac Book Air of Mac Mini?

Hello all, i am not a real Mac user. I buyed a Mac Book Pro years ago only to be able to build IOS apps. As that one became quit old i decided to sell it. Now i need a new one but i don’t want to spend that much money on it because i will only use it to build one app for my client…

Is it sufficient to have Mac Book Air to build IOS apps with XCode?

For the Mac Book Air the specs are Intel Core I5, RAM 8GB, SSD 128GB.

Can i use 2 external monitors with a Mac Book Air?

Is a Mac Mini also suitable for XCode?



If your priority is dual monitors for the lowest cost, the Mac Mini is the better of the two.

Thanks but my priority is to be able to use XCode well and if possible use 2 monitors

The last quad-core Mac mini (late 2012) is highly regarded for development. The late-2014 mini is very good also. An Air is just as good - I had an 11" i7 that remains one of the best Macs I have ever had. But it could not drive two external monitors… The mini is a far easier machine to attach multiple monitors to but you will rely on the one HDMI port as well as the Thunderbolt port for that. Be warned - some monitors, like my Dell 27", do not support full native resolution through HDMI. And you will have no Thunderbolt ports left if you decide you need ethernet.

I get where you are coming from wanting two monitors, but I changed my mind about this partly as a result of Apple making this hard to do and partly through using a big monitor at work. My baseline environment is 2560x1440 on one monitor - this beats a pair of 1920x1200 monitors easily for me. I have my eye on the LG 34UM88C, a nice 3440x1440.

The really nice thing about all these old machine is that they handle the task of working in Xcode really well. At home I work on a dual-core i5 mini, I believe from 2012, and I barely notice a difference from my late-2014 MacBook Pro.

If you are tempted to buy something new I would make do with what you have and wait to see what appears this year. The mini and pro have to be updated soon… and I personally would not touch the current MBPs, I need a proper ESC key.

Thanks aeberbach for your answer that is making lot of sense to me! For the Mac Mini (i consider buying a 2,6-GHz dual-Core Intel Core i5 ) Do you know if the hdd can be replaced with a SSD?

Thanks again and regards,


You have to almost disassemble a Mac Mini :scream:, but the hard drive can be replaced with an SSD.

With some additional hardware ($25 or so), you can keep the hard drive and add an SSD! Once the hardware installation was done, you would want to make the SSD your boot drive and have your applications installed there, using the hard drive for data storage.

Good luck!

Right - my 2014 mini has both the factory-fitted SSD as well as a second drive. I wrote about the process of upgrading it here. While you can upgrade to two drives if you start with the factory single-drive nonstandard-SSD-on-a-card I don’t believe you can add two drives if you start with the conventional SATA model.