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I intend to create iOS and Android games. My main priority is to create 2D games. The software that I’m planing to use are Unity, Cocos2d-x and GameSalad.

I am a bit interest in the Mac Mini, because it is cheap compared to other Apple machines. What are the minimum hardware requirements for an Apple machine?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you can go very overboard with the graphics if you do 2d. \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Nov 23 '16 at 6:47
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Actually, the base system requirements for developing with Unity, Cocos2d-x and GameSalad are quite minimal, and are just within the system specifications advertised of the Mac Mini. In fact, the hardware requirements are fairly loose, and you should find support in any current or future generation Macintosh.

Note that there is a difference between your hardware running the software and running the software as required to make games. Just as different games have different system requirements, you will definetly need a better computer if you intend to work on more complex games.

This should not be an immediate problem, and you should have no trouble actually running the game, assuming you have appropriate devices to test your iOS and Android variations.

Note that most listed requirements are software based; you may be required to perform system updates and download additional dependencies for full support.


Unity System Requirements.

According to the Unity website, the system requirements for a Macintosh are as follows:

  • Running OS X 10.9.4 +
  • Running Xcode 7.0 +
  • Graphic card with support for
    • Direct3D 9.0 + with support for shader models 3.0 + , or,
    • Direct3D 11 + with support for level 9.3 capabilities

You will also need to download the Android SDK and the Java Development Kit to publish to Android devices. Both of these are freely and easily accessible from their respective developer's websites.

Cocos2d-x System Requirements

According to the official Cocos2d-x wiki, the system requirements for Macintosh are as follows:

  • Running OS X 10.7 +
  • Running Xcode 5.1 +
  • Running Python 2.7.5

You will also need to install Android NDK r9d to provide Android support. Android games will be limited to supporting Android 2.3 +, while iOS games will be limited to supporting iOS 5.0 +.

GameSalad System Requirements

According to the official GameSalad website, the system requirements for a Macintosh are as follows:

  • Core 2 Duo + processor
  • 2GB + RAM
  • Running OS X 10.7 +
  • Graphic card with OpenGL 2.0 + support

You will need to update to at least OS X 10.9 + and be running Xcode 6.0 +, to develop for iOS, while Android development requires Java 6 + and the Android SDK.

Mac Mini System Specifications

According to [the official Apple website]( http://www.apple.com/au/shop/buy-mac/mac-mini), the lowest model of Mac Mini has the following system specifications:

  • 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Intel HD 5000 graphics

At minimum, the Intel HD 5000 graphics range reports support for Direct3D 11.0 and OpenGL 4.3, which meets the minimum requirements for the above mentioned software.


Note that this will give you the minimum support; if you intend to work with more intense graphics, you might want to consider whether you would need a better graphic card. If you want to work with more complex concepts, you might want to consider whether you would need a better processor. While you can opt to purchase a Mac Mini with an upgraded processor, you might wish to move to a more powerful device, should you choose to explore a faster graphic card.

Ultimately, devices that run iOS and Android do not tend to have powerful graphic cards, and one would target an average level of processor, to support a greater variety of devices. Neither of these additional upgrades should be required to develop for iOS or Android devices.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that I had missed the 2D requirement, when writing this answer. Naturally, you should have no trouble running 2D graphics, in comparison to 3D. I am leaving my comments regarding potential graphic cars improvements, for the point that if you do move up to 3D graphics, it might be a good idea to be prepared as opposed to having to potentially purchase a new Macintosh. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Nov 23 '16 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow you gave a really nice answer for this. Thanks!. I'm using an iPhone and nexus device to do build testing for this. What do you think about following specs? 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 8GB RAM 256GB SSD Intel Iris Graphics Will these specs do a build quickly? Will the Intel Iris Graphics do a better job ? \$\endgroup\$ – Carlson Nov 23 '16 at 10:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Graphics wise, I do not think it will make much difference, especially for 2D. The processor is an improvement, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Nov 23 '16 at 12:28

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