I’m a Windows guy with slightly limited access to a Mac. I’m thinking of buying a Mac for Rack-development-related work, but that’s all I’d use it for and I don’t want it to cost the earth.
I’m looking at buying an iMac A1311 21.5" Mid-2011 Core i5 4GB with a 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400.
Is that a suitable machine for MacOS development and testing work? I won’t be using it all day every day. It needs to run the Rack development toolset and Rack itself with small-to-medium patches, nothing too demanding.
I believe it can’t be upgraded beyond MacOS 10.13 High Sierra.
My main concern is whether the toolset will continue to be available and suitable for Rack development for at least the next few years?
CPU per core performance and 4 cores is ok.
GPU not suitable at all, too slow and only 256mb.
Without SSD combined with 4gb ram, that is too little for macOS would result with writes to swap and slowdown.
My dev machine is a 2012 I5 mbp upgraded with a SSD, it works really good for programming and simple VCV patches as well. Those are more reliable than newer macs IMO, If you can have a good price on it, go for it I’d say
I looked up the specs of the machine, and the video card listed by the retailer didn’t seem like it was an option on that machine, so I took a gamble and ordered it. Sure enough the video card is actually a 512MB Radeon HD - still not the fastest, but it runs Rack OK with not-too-demanding patches, and the toolchain works nicely.
Aside: I unpacked the machine, switched it on, all was well. Installed the toolchain, checked out and built Rack, no sound. That might be a problem for a machine bought for the development of music software. No sound from any application, not just Rack. Bizarrely, the OS doesn’t even list the built-in speakers as an available audio device.
Long story short, the machine had a broken-off headphone jack jammed into the headphone socket. It turns out that when you plug headphones in, not only does MacOS mute the speakers, it removes them from reality.
Some very careful work with an electric drill and the sound is back. I might just suggest to the retailer that there’s an item missing from their quality checklist.