Thinking of getting a new Macbook Pro to have better build times

amirvenusamirvenus USMember ✭✭✭

Hi guys,

I am really fed up with long build times Xamarin.Forms has!

I am currently using a Macbook Pro Early 2011 with 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 2.2 GHz Core i7 Quad Core processor but it takes ages to build a relatively simple app not to mention building in release mode using LLVM that could take up to 15-30 minutes!

On that note, I am considering to get a new Macbook Pro 2018 Core i9 6-core 32GB of RAM and 2TB SSD. When maxing out the CPU and GPU, the price comes to a whopping £4600 (I can of course claim the 20% VAT back) but before doing so, I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience of building with a high end machine like the one I mentioned above and whether it's worth it or not.

Also, does anyone know if there is a way to boost build times using the GPU power?

Thanks!

Posts

  • RHudsonRHudson CAMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 17

    @amirvenus

    What sort of build times are you getting now? Are you running VS on the Mac?

    To compare, I'm running VS on a fast Windows 10 desktop.

    I'm connected to a 2011 Mac-mini (as we've previously discussed on the Mojave hack thread).
    2.3 GHz i5
    8 GB only
    256 GB SSD

    My build times are about 45 seconds
    Plus another 10 seconds to deploy to simulator

    For me, I would hesitate spending that much. I bought my old clunker on kijiji for about $300 CDN. It seems to work ok.

    Not sure about GPU.
    For releases, I like @JohnH 's idea to use Azure Devops

    ...

    (I do occasional maintainance updates to a VB6 app that's about 16 years old. In that old-fashioned Visual Studio, I press F5 and the app is up and running in about 50 milli seconds. I miss that. )

  • amirvenusamirvenus USMember ✭✭✭

    @RHudson

    The normal debug build is around 30 seconds for both Android and iOS but it is still a lot to me..

    Yes I am using VS for Mac

    I managed to buy a server that had 2 x 6 Core CPUs, 256GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD running Windows 10 Workstation but the build time was still the same on Android!

    I commute a lot on the trains so that's why I was thinking to get an Apple machine but I do hope it can give me a <10 secs build time considering what I am going to pay for it..

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    Paying an aweful lot for the MacBook feature set if its just going sit there as a build server.
    You could save a bunch by getting a more power powerful mac/macmini as a build server. More power for less money.
    Our site uses one as the build server then windows PCs running VS Windows for development. Visual Studio Mac is generations behind, still. If you are okay with the limited feature set that's terrific. We couldn't build enterprise grade apps in a team environment using something like that.

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @amirvenus I use a 2017 MBP and the build times with VS4Mac are pretty good, just make sure you aren't building for multiple architectures when you only need to run it through the debugger.
    These days however I use Parallels to run Windows and Visual Studio paired to the actual mac for building. Its slightly slower to build than for VS4Mac, but still much more preferable for its stability and feature set.

  • amirvenusamirvenus USMember ✭✭✭

    I agree with features being missed in VS for mac..

    It's painful to code without Resharper and Paste JSON as Classes but I think I can live with that.

    I need a new laptop anyway as I spend 4 hours a week commuting by trains...

    @JohnH

    Could you please share your system specs and average build times?

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 17

    @amirvenus said:
    I agree with features being missed in VS for mac..

    It's painful to code without Resharper and Paste JSON as Classes but I think I can live with that.

    I need a new laptop anyway as I spend 4 hours a week commuting by trains...

    @JohnH

    Could you please share your system specs and average build times?

    Will do but at work right now (VS for Windows paired to 2014 Mac Mini) <= (EDIT Corrected spec)
    Average build times for my apps will be different to yours however.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not saying I condone piracy.... And since I own true Macintoshes that weren' t using the OS license at the same time anyway...

    But I will say that running a Windows PC, with VMware Macintosh and Windows on the same box was the best of both worlds. I could develop in Windows and still have a Mac build machine: All in one box. With more memory and faster processor for half the cost, on a quality high-end HP.

    It was also very cool on my dual screen Acer 6120 laptop where I could have each OS on its own screen. Freaked people out at Evolve 2016. hahaha

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 17

    @ClintStLaurent said:
    Not saying I condone piracy.... And since I own true Macintoshes that weren' t using the OS license at the same time anyway...

    But I will say that running a Windows PC, with VMware Macintosh and Windows on the same box was the best of both worlds. I could develop in Windows and still have a Mac build machine: All in one box. With more memory and faster processor for half the cost, on a quality high-end HP.

    It was also very cool on my dual screen Acer 6120 laptop where I could have each OS on its own screen. Freaked people out at Evolve 2016. hahaha

    That is seriously tempting, but I like to be able to restore my Windows VM back to a base build at will. Every time I need to install an update I restore back to base, install, take a new image etc.
    Also, the licencing issue with MacOS running on non Apple hardware is not enforceable in the UK, possibly Europe. As long as you actually have a licence it is good enough. Please note I am not a lawyer so whomever reads this, do your own research. :wink:

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 17

    @JohnH said:
    That is seriously tempting, but I like to be able to restore my Windows VM back to a base build at will. Every time I need to install an update I restore back to base, install, take a new image etc.

    Then do that. I ran a VMware Windows environment for years on Windows for the same reason. I set it to restore to last snapshot every time it shut down. Guaranteed way to have a pristine system every day.

    Physical Windows machine runs nothing but VMware workstation. Lean and fast.
    Launch two VMware environments: One Windows, One Mac.
    Let the two virtual machines be your daily working state. Backup and restore and update at will. Let them see each other as if they are on a network together. Bam you're golden.

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