Cheap Mac for compiling - recommendations?

I’m looking to buy something cheap and nasty for my compiling needs, my project is a small for mobile game with similar size to the Match3 example.

How much of a **** machine can I get away with? I hear people say they use machines that cost $100-200, what models would that be?

Just anything really to help me decide here, don’t want to go above $400 or so if don’t have to… and care more about the ability to compile at all over long compile times, although it’d be interesting to hear about times too.

Is anyone offering remote compile servers btw? Or is that a bad idea? I’m not sure if my project would get sent over first, then compiled, in which case there’s a security concern.


Oh, this goes for what OS versions to, I guess, not go for as well. Is there a version that’s just too old?

I am really not familiar with Macs… Cheers!

Not sure where one would find a machine costing $100 - $200 for an even moderately capable machine. If you have a reasonably capable PC you could try making an OSX virtual machine. I’ve never tried running an OSX image on a PC virtual machine but it’s worth a shot. You could also try the hackintosh route for which there are many tutorials on.

I think you could find used Mac Mini on eBay. I tried compiling UE4 game for iOS on Mac Mini from 2012 and it was great :slight_smile:

yes, same here, I have a mac mini just to deploy and test ios, you can also work a bit if you set all the quality at low

Thanks for the feedback all, might just try to get a used Mac Mini then, and maybe for a bit more than I hoped for but it’s all ok. I think it could be worth getting something small as opposed to mucking about with other things if it’s going to be a hassle. Cheers!

If you want to buy a used mac mini for Graphic arts, texturing, internet etc. That’s fine. ----Unreal development. Good luck.
If your doing this on a shoe string. Here’s some examples. Truthfully, and honestly without costing you 500$, and the next 2 weeks of your life.
Youll want a mac with metal running gpu. If it doesnt have metal than you Cannot install ue4. Most post 2013 macs have this. Post 2014 mac mini, but with 1.5ghz.
Most University libraries in major cities have macs in their learning commons. It isnt too much trouble to ask them.
There are also tech lending systems in place on the campus. It doesnt hurt to register as a student and pick up a small class that you’ve always wanted to take.
World class Libraries have Macs. Think LA, Houston, NY, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Shanghai, and HongKong.
There are mac learning, and continue educations programs in a lot of places. They teach mac courses on macs. most of their machines should be up to date.
Best Option. Hands down. With a completed UE4 project on a usb stick, and an Apple ID.
If you walked into an apple store, and told them you were an Unreal developer. Can you get some assistance compiling a project because your mac doesn’t have metal. I’m positive you could have someone interested in looking at your project, and themselves learning how to compile something cool. These are the only cheap solutions. As a few hundred dollars is more than likely going to buy you someone else’s junk. That wont work, and then your out of your time, and money, but will benefit greatly if needing a “Fancy Internet machine.” For example. I can buy a 15" 2.66ghz core I7 Macbook with 8gb ram for maybe 800$ Running Yosemite OS, and Latest version of Xcode. Sounds like it meets requirement. It Doesn’t. It’s not capable of installing Unreal engine. It doesn’t have “Metal” or “Opengl 4.1” If you buy a late 2014 mac mini, ormacbook air. for 5-600$. If it does install UE4 with a small processor. Place it in the freezer and run it from there while your compiling, and building your project. Just being totally honest with you. Mac is great for somethings, but used macs. You really need to educate yourself. Mac computers that support Metal - Apple Support
Unreal requires opengl 4.1 So you need a computer that has metal, and open gl 4.1 with 2.5ghz, and 8gb ram. Mac computers that use OpenCL and OpenGL graphics - Apple Support
You will NOT find a Mac for a few hundred dollars that can run Ue4. If you do. I’ll buy two of them.