Air, Pro or Mini: Which MacBook should an iOS developer choose?

Air, Pro or Mini: Which MacBook should an iOS developer choose?

In 2021, Doubletapp more than doubled in size. One of our competencies is iOS development, so we needed a lot of new MacBooks. We tested a number of models and now we can say with confidence which MacBook is suitable for programming, in particular for iOS development.

Note that all tests described below were carried out in the fall of 2021. In 2022, we will supplement this article, where we will update the selection by adding new models to this article.

Air, Pro or Mini: Which MacBook should an iOS developer choose?
Air, Pro or Mini: Which MacBook should an iOS developer choose?

Criterions of choice

We purchased macbooks for iOS developers.

There are criterions of choice:

  • 16 GB RAM
  • Scissors keyboard. There were many problems with the "butterfly", Apple refused it, so there is no reason to take a keyboard with a "butterfly" for several years ahead.

Models that meet these criteria:

  • MacBook Pro 19, 16″
  • MacBook Pro 20, 13″
  • MacBook Air 20, 13″
  • Devices on M1 Air and Pro,13″ (Mac Air M1; Mac Pro M1)
  • Mac Mini M1
  • Mac Mini Intel

We tested MacBooks, shared benchmarks, and also decided on the most optimal MacBooks for an iOS developer.

We have 10 devices with different processors and all possible configurations:

  • Mac Air 2020 i3
  • Mac Air 2020 i5
  • Mac Air 2020 i7
  • Mac Pro 13 2020 i5
  • Mac Pro 13 2020 i7
  • Mac Pro 16 2019 i9
  • Mac Air M1
  • Mac Pro M1
  • Mac mini M1
  • Mac mini i7

Preparing for testing

Testing was divided into two parts:

  1. User experience assessment
  2. Performance assessment

User experience assessment:

  • Computer startup speed
  • Wake up speed
  • Program opening speed

Performance assessment:

  • SSD read and write speed
  • Speed of unpacking the archive (we will unpack the archive with the x-code, this is a development environment for iOS developers)
  • Geekbench performance score
  • Cinebench (evaluating processor performance)
  • Xcode benchmark

Our results

We carried out all the tests that we planned, and also checked the build speed on one of our large projects - the EDGE messenger,

And here's what we got:

  1. The cost of used device (in rubles):

  2. New device cost (in rubles):

  3. CPU single score (more is better):

  4. CPU multi score (more is better):

  5. Read score (more is better):

  6. Write score (more is better):

  7. GPU score (more is better):

  8. Xcode Benchmark score (less is better):

  9. Unpacking score (less is better):

  10. Copying score (less is better):

  11. Cinebench single score (more is better):

  12. Cinebench multi score (more is better):

  13. EDGE project assembly score (less is better):

In conclusion

As expected, the Mac Pro M1 turned out to be the most productive MacBook.

The most optimal MacBook in terms of price / quality ratio turned out to be the Mac Air M1, it costs 30,000 less, while its performance for closing iOS development tasks is not much lower.

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