First-timer buying a mac for Codea publishing

The game I’m putting together is getting to a stage where I’d quite like to start being able to test it with friends, but I’ve always had a PC rather than a mac. I think I’m ready to take the plunge and get a mac (and dev account of course). So the question is: what’s the cheapest kind of mac I can get, which is still usable for compiling / publishing Codea games? Everyone says that running apps virtually on a mac is super slow anyway so I’m not worried about that performance, but I would quite like everything else to run at a decent clip. Can I just get a low-end mac mini? I know nothing about macs so anything I should be looking out for / avoiding? I was thinking of a budget of say £500. Maybe a second-hand one like this?

Maybe that’s more powerful than I really need? I searched for old forum threads, which tended to suggest that any old mac mini would be fine but I’m a bit nervous of wasting my money. All suggestions gratefully received.

@epicurus101 I was in your position a few months ago. I got the 2nd tier mac mini and I successfully published my game. I think that mac in the link is a bad idea because I think its an old model. 2gb of RAM is not good at all for the price your paying. My mac cost about the same as your budget and it runs medium weight class games at 60fps on medium settings. If you get the least expensive mac mini I think it will fall behind the times pretty fast but will be fine for publishing apps.

You can use any modern mac to publish apps. I think its just a matter of how much power you want to play games or edit video or what have you.

And reducing the window size on the iOS simulator helps out a lot with the performance.

(middle one)
My mac:

Just a quick update. Followed your advice @Goatboy76 and it’s working out great! The framerate on the simulator isn’t brilliant (and that might be due to my inefficient coding) but it does everything I need.

I bought a used 2009 MacBook pro (earliest year that can run Yosemite) for $250 on craigslist. Cheapest I was able to find a publishing mac for.

The simulator is crap on Xcode, always laggy for me on my hackintosh or MacBook. When you add a build to your app in iTunes connect, you can email the build to your iPhone/iPad and test on the actual device in seconds.

@Crumble You can load a build straight to your device if you plug it into your Mac.

@epicurus101 Glad it turned out well for you, good luck.