Best MacBook For Programming

Do you have a great idea in mind that you want to translate into an application for iOS or macOS? Looking for a team to develop code? You have come to the right place. In this article, we will show you the recommended Best MacBooks for programming or Best Mac for developers.

If you are an experienced programmer or developer looking for ways to upgrade your Mac to create and develop applications faster, we help you find the Mac that will best meet your needs.

In addition to having a team configuration that allows you to develop applications, we also list below some aspects that you should take into account:

Belong to the Apple Developer Program. In fact, at the end of last year, the company launched a program to promote the development of apps for entrepreneurs, which you can find out about here.

To test and deploy applications, you only need to have an Apple ID with which you can identify yourself in the Developer Program if you want to sell your applications on the App Store.

You should know that, even if you have developed the application using something other than a Mac, you will need a Mac to compile the final product that is uploaded to the App Store.

Xcode is the primary tool for macOS and iOS development and is only available on the Mac. It is a free download available from the Mac App store and prefer to use an updated version.

It includes other additional tools such as Swift 4.2.1 and SDK for the latest versions of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. Note that Xcode requires macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 to run.

In addition to all the above, there are a number of benefits to belonging to the Apple developer community. Even if you are not compiling for one of Apple’s platforms, you will be able to run all the major operating systems on a Mac, be it Windows, Linux, or others.

Thus, you can use your Mac to develop applications for any other platform. Do you want to make a version of your application for Android devices? No problem, you can compile it too.

You should know that although it is currently possible to run macOS on computers other than Mac, it is something that we do not recommend.

Top 5 Best MacBook For Programming/Best Mac for developers

The significant price jump between a MacBook and a MacBook Pro should only be considered if you demand a lot of processor power, as the MacBook does not have fans so it slows down the CPU speed to prevent overheating.

For MacBook Pro models, the cooling features an active fan system that helps maintain the ideal component temperature without slowing down or lowering performance.

1. Apple 13 Inch MacBook Air Laptop


Brand Apple
Operating System Mac OS X
Screen Size 13.3 Inches
Computer Memory Size 8 GB
Hard Disk Size 128 GB
Chipset Brand Intel
CPU Model Core i5 Family
Series MacBook Air

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The 13.3-inch MacBook Air build with a widescreen LED-backlit display. It supports a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels. It is supported by the dual-core Intel Core i5, clocked at 1.8 GHz, with a turbo boost up to a maximum of 2.9 GHz.

The RAM is 8 GB at 1600 MHz and the flash storage is based on 128 GB PCle. This is combined with the integrated Intel HD 6000 graphics card. It came with the 2.96 Pounds weight.

The battery life lasts about 12 hours. For connectivity, there are 2 USB ports; a Thunderbolt port; an SD card slot, and Bluetooth. It runs on the MAC OS operating system and offers the latest laptop technologies and features.

This MacBook Air Laptop is suitable for programmers looking for advanced performance related to graphics-intensive tasks and games. Also, this product is suitable for consumers who want to get the MAC OS without spending a lot of money.

2. Apple13.3-Inch MacBook Air Laptop


Brand Apple
Operating System Mac OS X
Screen Size 13.3 Inches
Computer Memory Size 4 GB
Hard Disk Size 500 GB
Chipset Brand Intel
CPU Model Core i5 Family
Series MacBook Air

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Designed explicitly to meet your computing needs, the Apple MacBook Air offers progressed features that will assist you with speeding up and improve your efficiency.

Truly this laptop is light and versatile permitting you to bring your work any place you go. Inside, this laptop is furnished with an incredible Intel Core i5 processor with a clock speed of 1.30 GHz for outstandingly quick computing.

Also, this Apple is stacked with 4GB of RAM for multitasking effectively and taking care of memory-concentrated applications.

This Laptop accompanies a 128GB SSD hard drive which is a sizable amount of space to store the entirety of your valuable documents, photos, and applications. Besides, this gadget comes pre-stacked with MAC OS X.

3. Apple 13-inch MacBook Air Laptop


Brand Apple
Operating System Mac OS
Screen Size 13.3 Inches
Computer Memory Size 8 GB
Hard Disk Size 512 GB
Chipset Brand Intel
CPU Model Core i5-3320M

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It is a 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio. It has a 1.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5,

Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz, with 6MB L3 cache. It came with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, and Support for Thunderbolt with 3 enabled external graphics processors (eGPUs).

Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps). It has Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology. 13-inch MacBook Air, 30W USB-C Power Adapter, USB-C Charge Cable (2 m).

4. Apple MacBook Pro Laptop


Brand Apple
Operating System Mac OS
Screen Size 15 Inches
Computer Memory Size 6 GB
Hard Disk Size 512 GB
CPU Manufacturer Intel
CPU Model Core i9 8950HK

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Its display size is 15.4-inch (diagonal) with LED-backlit Retina display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 native resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio.

It has a Processor 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz, with 12MB shared L3 cache or 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz, with 16MB shared L3 cache.

Graphics and Video Support Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching, Intel UHD Graphics 630.

It has four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for Charging and Expansion DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps). It has 5.0 wireless Bluetooth technology.

5. Apple iMac 27-inch with Retina


Brand Apple
Screen Size 27 Inches
Computer Memory Size 8 GB
Hard Disk Size 512 GB
Graphics Coprocessor Radeon Pro 5300
CPU Model Core i5

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This has a 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K stunning display, with a 5120-by-2880 resolution that supports one billion colors, 500 nits brightness, Wide color.

A processor of 3.1GHz 6-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz or 3.3GHz 6-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz or 3.8GHz 8-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz

The ability for video support with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, Thunderbolt 3 digital video output.

Contains a 3.5 mm headphone jack, SDXC card slot (UHS-II), Four USB-A ports (compatible with USB 2), Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector), Kensington lock slot.


How to choose the best Mac for programming

Let’s take a deep look at all the interesting aspects, such as the screen, portability, mobility, storage, battery life, connection ports, as well as CPU and RAM to choose MacBook For Programming.


One of the most determining factors that you should take into account. As a developer, you likely have multiple programs and windows open at the same time, such as a web browser, a text editor, and the Xcode IDE (integrated development environments), to name a few.

It is for this reason that it will be good for you to have a large-format screen so you do not feel pigeonholed (even more so if you are using Unity3d for game development).

Here, the 27-inch iMac has an advantage by having the largest screen, with a Retina 5K model that will be one of the best Apple that you can buy today. In fact, if you want a 5K screen with these resolution values, it is better to buy a 27-inch iMac than to go for a single screen.

But do developers need a 27-inch iMac? Obviously not, since if you opt for a MacBook you will have greater mobility to program anywhere (when inspiration strikes you), with the added incentive of being able to add a second monitor.

You might consider a 15-inch MacBook Pro then, but would a 13-inch MacBook Pro or a cheaper MacBook Air suffice? What about a 12-inch MacBook?

The difference between a 15-inch and a 13-inch Macbook Pro does not seem very decisive beyond the small difference in inches on their screens. Opting for the MacBook Air was not a good option, but after Apple’s 2018 update, things have changed for the better.


The process of coding a given application will not require the same resources that a Mac demands when playing a game with intense graphics. However, if you make a living programming and developing applications, you will value immediacy in coding positively, despite the fact that many processes already take place in the cloud.

So, what are the best specs to consider on your Mac for programming? We are going to talk about CPU, RAM, and storage.


When we talk about macbook for programming, the amount of RAM is a key factor. Xcode uses a large amount of memory and if you use other applications, such as Photoshop, your system will soon have problems or suffer lag.

In this way, you will need a computer with at least 8 GB of RAM, so rule out previous generations that have 4 or 2 GB. If it turns out that you are buying a new computer, consider buying it with 16 GB of RAM thinking about the future.

As a general rule, Macs have proven to be difficult computers to update. In some cases, it is possible to do so, but it is almost never easy, and generally, you risk even voiding your warranty. Also, don’t expect to be able to save money by upgrading it yourself afterward, since the components are expensive.


At this point, you should bear in mind that for programming environments you will not need to acquire the fastest or latest generation processor. Now, among so many varieties of Apple equipment, it is normal that you find Intel processors of one or another previous generation.

Some Macs have been updated in 2019, while others did in 2018. But there are also some configurations of 2017 or even earlier. An older generation processor may be many GHz, but a newer one with less GHz ends up being faster and more efficient.

Another aspect to consider is the type of processor and its cores. Do you need a Six-Core, Quad-Core, or will a dual-core suffice? What about the Core i3 or i5 models versus the more powerful i7?

You should know that you will not need to program a workstation with Intel Xeon processors, as the iMac Pro or Mac Pro are offering unless you are programming something with very intensive use of graphics.

So choosing a dual-core Core i5 processor for encoding may be sufficient. Or even a MacBook Air with Core i3. But if you have a higher budget, don’t skimp on buying more processor cores either since it is something that you will not be able to update later.


Unlike CPU or RAM, the codebase doesn’t require a lot of storage. It’s always wise to avoid using mechanical hard drives, so discard the entry-level iMac or Mac mini or older second-hand Mac models.

You will find that Xcode builds take longer if your Mac has a mechanical hard drive. Instead, opt for models with SSD flash drives. If you’re worried about running out of storage, you can always go for an external drive.

Battery duration

Battery life is an important factor if you are one of those who take advantage of travel and commute to find inspirational moments. With the MacBook Air, you will have 12 hours of autonomy compared to 10 hours on average with the MacBook Pro.

What you should not buy is the MacBook Air from 2015 to 2017 since its screen is not a Retina type. In this case, the best screen of the Pro model is worth it, even if you have to assume the loss of two hours of battery life.

Ports and peripherals

The connections and ports are always important in the equipment since sooner or later you will have to resort to them even if it is punctual. It is something that Apple has cut recently in order to offer more compact and lighter equipment.

A clear example is the 12-inch MacBook in which you will only find a USB Type C port that you must also use to charge its battery. If you want to connect your device to an external display and additional storage, make sure you have enough ports.

Fortunately, the new models come with a Thunderbolt 3 port combined with a USB C port to offer the best of both worlds. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports; the 15-inch MacBook Pro has 4 Thunderbolt ports, and the MacBook Air offers 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. Only the MacBook offers USB C without Thunderbolt.

It is not the same case as that of the iMac, since both the 21.5 and the 27 inches have 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3 USB 3 ports, and a slot for SDXC cards. The 2018 Mac offers up to 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports along with USB 3 and HDMI output.

Finally, choosing MacBook For Programming by keeping in mind the above factors will lead you to a better choice.

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