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I want to remote into a Mac Mini (4 GB RAM) from a PC and wanted to know how slow is it and is it fast enough to do iOS development?

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closed as not a real question by slhck, Shinrai, random Sep 7 '11 at 16:05

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The real performance depends on so many factors, but generally, yes. –  slhck Sep 7 '11 at 15:22
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Remote in using what protocol? Over what kind of connection? Hell, what are the specs of the PC? There are entirely too many variables here - you should just try it. –  Shinrai Sep 7 '11 at 15:36

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If you're planning to do iOS development, than the performance really shouldn't be the issue. When you're typing out code the display changes little enough that moving the display data will be trivial. Any slowness in the connection might become annoying when it comes to testing on the emulator, because the phone's screen image might come over laggy or with low color-quality depending on the technology you use. You should still be able to work fine, though, and just do your fine visual testing at the physical console.

When it comes to remote connections, performance depends on two key factors:

  1. Technology: there's more than one way to use a computer remotely. You have text-only standards like SSH that are going to be fast on virtually any connection (although possibly laggy), you have instruction-forwarding systems like RDP in Windows and X forwarding on Linux that actually forward the programmatic drawing instructions to a different computer (RDP is very well performing, X forwarding less so because most Linux applications produce a ridiculous number of X instructions for theming), and you have video-forwarding systems that take the rendered image and send it as a video stream (VNC, TeamViewer, LogMeIn, etc are examples of this), which have much lower performance and often reduce color quality to maintain responsiveness (at the benefit of being completely cross-platform - the client and server don't need to speak the same graphics language)
  2. Connection speed: Remote control of machines can feel just like using it locally on a LAN, but doing it over the internet is laggier - especially on a slow or inconsistent connection.

In general, try to use a system that forwards instructions. Unfortunately, looking up OS X remote control suggests that OS X does not provide such a system. In that case, you'll probably be stuck with VNC (if your computer can accept direct connections - e.g. routers and firewalls are configured properly if present), or LogMeIn if you cannot establish a direct connection (I do highly recommend LMI as an excellent product, but only use it when you have to).

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xrdp.org - RDP server that might work on a Mac...worth a shot if you don't mind spending some time tweaking something that may or may not actually function in the end. –  MaQleod Sep 7 '11 at 16:43

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