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Thank you for future responses to this question.

I am a web developer. I work corporate during the day and freelance during the night utilizing mostly front-end technologies/design tools and some back-end technologies. I'm trying to transition into Macs for my freelance so that I can prototype with better software like Sketch and I would like to start developing in Swift. I also am Microsoft Certified at work, so I will probably need to run VMs.

I'm looking to purchase a Mac to do this. However, I need to make sure it will cover my stack/tools. I'm willing to spend a bit more than my budget if it really would make the difference into the future but would prefer options within my budget.

I am on a budget, looking to spend less than $1600 on hardware if possible. I already have a phenomenal design monitor and the peripherals to match.

I have read that Macbook Pros and iMacs are great for what I am trying to do.

I am willing to buy refurb as well.

Thank you again for any suggestions.

John M.

  • Since Apple uses a very specific set of hardware, I'm really not sure how the answer can really be anything other than "buy a Mac." Buy a refurb from Apple and call it good. Don't get an Air or non-Pro model. – user1691 Aug 9 '18 at 19:46
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Long time MacBookPro (on my 3rd) user and asp.net web developer here.

A Macbook Pro will blow your budget out of the water, and you will have storage issues. It is nice to have the portable option though.

Any new 21.5 iMac with a dedicated graphics card should cover all bases and fit your budget. Also consider running BootCamp instead of, or along side VMs.

BootCamp will give you native speeds and I've run VisualStudio very happily there, the downside is no direct sharing between OSX and Win. You do get extra overhead with VMs that may impact performance, though it's been a while since I've used one. I just BootCamp these days.

VMWare allows you to use the bootcamp partition as your VM, it was a little clunky swapping between VM and boot camp though due to Win Authentication issues (different hardware detected). This is when I gave up and exclusively used BootCamp. I'm not sure if other VM providers have the same feature or issues associated with it.

One more tip if using BootCamp look at Paragon - NTFS for Mac. It allows you to write to your BootCamp partition, or any other NTFS drive and is well worth the price.

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