The M1-powered MacBook Air can build apps in Xcode quicker than iMac Pro

Macbook Air M1
Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Apple's M1-powered MacBook Air can build apps in Xcode faster than a decked out iMac Pro.
  • You should buy a MacBook Air.

Apple's M1-powered MacBook Air, with 16GB of RAM, can build apps in Xcode faster than a 10-core iMac Pro with 32GB of RAM.

That's it. That's the post.

Well, it could be. But let's continue.

We learn this from Dave Lee's review of the new M1 Macs in which he shares a slide that outlines the time it took a number of machines to complete a build in Xcode. Some of those machines are big, powerful machines like the 10-core, 32GB iMac Pro. Others are the lowly, fanless MacBook Air.

And the Mac without a fan more than held its own.

Dave2d Xcode Build Times M1 Mba

Dave2d Xcode Build Times M1 Mba (Image credit: Dave 2D)

Maybe Apple wasn't wrong when it called the M1 "a breakthrough" after all.

M1 is here. Our first chip designed specifically for Mac, it delivers incredible performance, custom technologies, and revolutionary power efficiency. And it was designed from the very start to work with the most advanced desktop operating system in the world, macOS Big Sur. With a giant leap in performance per watt, every Mac with M1 is transformed into a completely different class of product. This isn't an upgrade. It's a breakthrough.

Based on that it's entirely possible that developers could dump their expensive iMac Pro and buy a $999 (base model, admittedly) MacBook Air and be perfectly happy. They'd need a display to attach it to, but still – the capabilities of this M1 chip are pretty insane. Imagine what M2 and M3 will be capable of!

Be sure to check the full video out below – it really is quite the watch! After you've read our M1 MacBook Air review, of course!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.