General Question

cadetjoecool's avatar

What kind of computer should I get?

Asked by cadetjoecool (215 points ) January 13th, 2012

What I want to do with this computer:

Develop Ipad apps
Video editing
Image editing
Creating/publishing various web content (videos, possibly web pages or blogs)
Also, I’m planning to buy an Ipad 3 when it’s released if that would factor in at all.

What are your thoughts?
Much thanks!
-Joe

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6 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Since xCode only runs on Macs are you looking into what Mac to get?

jerv's avatar

@johnpowell It won’t run on a Hackintosh?

Apple really has a limited lineup. If you go Mac, it all basically boils down to how large a display you need. And if you want to develop iPad apps, then you need OS X; as stated above, xCode is OS X-only.

All of the other things can easily be done on either a Mac, or on a PC running either Windows or Linux. If you ditch the need for iPad app development, you could actually do the other stuff better for about half the price.

Where it gets tricky is the aforementioned “Hackintosh”, which is a PC that runs OS X. However, that is a little tricky to set up, so I won’t get too far into those, except to say that it is the first thing that sprang to my mind. Hey, you asked, “What are your thoughts?”! Then there is the possibility of a PC running one of the many, many, many types of emulators or Virtual Machines out there. Granted, Apple doesn’t like that, but they dislike many other things too, like using desktop-grade graphics chips instead of laptop GPUs that only perform ¼ to ½ as well.

It all boils down to priorities. What sort of budget are you on; is money a priority? How important is the iPad app development compared to the rest of the stuff? The two are almost mutually exclusive, actually. How much graphical prowess do you need? What are your priorities?

ratboy's avatar

Maybe the iPad will serve as its own development platform.

jerv's avatar

@ratboy I think that would be the way to do it. VMs are not always 100%, so what works fine under virtualization may not actually work on the real device and vice versa.

cadetjoecool's avatar

@jerv
So wait, is there a difference between a Hackintosh, and an emulator/Virtual Machine?

jerv's avatar

Yes.

The difference is that a Hackintosh boots right into OS X and runs it “native” right on the hardware whereas a VM will translate the OS X instruction to Windows/Linux instructions and run that way.

Think of it as the difference between having an interpreter translate between French and English or speaking French yourself and not needing an interpreter to have a conversation in French.

Running a VM or having other translators is generally good enough for most things though. I run some Windows programs in Linux under WINE; some things actually run better that way than they do under Windows! I can’t figure out why that is, but it isn’t common anyways, so I don’t worry about it. It may not be great for games where speed matters and the overhead from translating may cause a slight drop in framerates, but for something less time-sensitive than lining up a head-shot on a running target, they are generally sufficient.

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