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General Discussion

mac laptop suggestions for web development

hi there guys , I'm interested in buying a laptop for my web development journey , what sort of power ( processor , ram , hard drive ) on your laptop do need for coding and programming ?

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

This is probably the most popular topic on Treehouse ... buying a mac.

Mac users love to tell you what they have you can search the forum and read about a lot of different peoples experiences.

4 Answers

Honestly, I love my computer with power behind it that allows me to do multiple things at once. I normally have photoshop, illustrator, sublime, multiple tabs in chrome, ios simulator, and any number of other apps I'm using for the day. It all really depends on what you're gonna be doing. In my opinion I believe developers should have the best of the best :) A nice Retina MacBook Pro 15 Inch i7 2.3GHz with 16GB 2GB Graphics. It is $2599 for this laptop, but it's the only laptop on that line up with a non integrated graphics card. So actually, this would be your best choice out of all the laptops in that line up.

thanks heaps!

Pol Martin
Pol Martin
8,200 Points

Hi David, if you plan on using it just for web development, you don't need the most powerful machine on earth. I use a late 2012 Macbook Air 13' (i5 1.8GHz, 8GB RAM, 128Gb SSD) for daily web development, some iOS development, Photoshop, Illustrator and all and works like a charm.

If you don't need heavy graphics / video processing you don't really have to spend all that money on the best Macbook Pro out there. Of course it depends on your preferences and budget ;)

The recommendation is depending on your needs. First do you have to use photoshop and illustrator? If so tending to a 15" with a own non on board graphic card would be a wise choice. If you need your computer mostly for front end code work, you need portability and you have a external monitor i would rather stick to 13" ( i use a 13" with a 27" monitor at home - while have a ultra portable device on the road). On the specs side i would go for a retina display. and if you don't have too many too extensive operations to do in photoshop and alikes a i5 would be more than enough but 8 gig are the minimum to go for for ram. the more the better. especially on a retina device since you dont have the ability to stack up on ram at a later point since the ram is soldered. on the harddrive side speed wise a hd is ok and you can do everything you need. if you want to go for an ssd you have to be perfectly clear if the size you need for your operations (if 120 gig are enough or if you are more of the data messy type and need 500 and more) is in your price range. ssds are still expensive and if you got used to the speed there will be never a going back to regular hds. ;)) so your running costs are higher afterwards. ;) as well as ssds only have a limited livespan so you have to keep in mind you need a new one sooner or later. ;) best regards ralf

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

If you are a web developer, you don't need much at in terms of specs, pretty much anything will work, text editors & web browsers don't take up that much ram.

If on the other hand you are a designer and use Photoshop all day than you might want a bit more ram. Whereas the people who do video editing need more and the people that do animation rendering need a top-of-line mac pro desktop.