There’s nothing that affects your Android development experience like hardware. I’ve tried many configurations and want to share with you. Because if you’re hating Android development because of builds, all-consuming emulator – the following stuff is for you!
But first I’ll start with software. I’ve tried it all: Windows, Mac, Linux. I definitely do not recommend Linux. It is OK in general, but if you ever launch default Android Studio emulator – you’ll highly regret it. It’s going to kill your system
I think it’s because there’s no graphic card acceleration support on Linux. Ether way, I recommend using Windows or Mac. If you miss those terminal commands from Linux – you can easily get them on Windows
This one is the most important. I started with cheap HDD, thinking it doesn’t matter so much. Recently I’ve upgraded my MacBook Pro with SSD, trust me, it’s a game changer. Everything from launching OS in few seconds, opening Android studio, initialising project, build time and more
Plus half of the work is text editing, finding stuff on disc. SDD’s are so much better in this. If you’re short on money or just don’t want to upgrade your machine – just buy SSD. It’s going to change everything! 250 GB if you’re not playing games is enough and they’re not that expensive
I started writing code on 8 gigs and this is the lowest I suggest you having. I’d say – mostly it’s not enough. Because when I switched to 4 GB on my MacBook Pro, even Google Chrome with few tabs and a YouTube was crushing during development multiple times per day.
The reason I said 8 gigs of RAM was actually not enough – because other than Chrome crushing – I didn’t see much difference between 8 and 4 GB or RAM in speed. Ether way you use lots of swap memory. And if it’s HDD – definitely get yourself an SSD!
So I updated my laptop with 16 GB of RAM as well and it’s a real deal! No more Chrome crushing, emulator starts faster, no swap memory usage. It’s just feels better
So definitely, for Android development I recommend min 16 GB of RAM. I don’t know who’s fault is that – Java/Intellij IDEA/Android Studio/Gradle, the fact is – Android Studio consumes hell a lot of RAM and you need 16 GB of it
Now this one is the last because I couldn’t have a big variety in performance difference. Currently I’m on i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz and on my PC laptop I have I5-4200U @1.6GHz. Both give about the same rating at cpubenchmarks
And since both of them are laptops, I can’t upgrade a CPU to get something better. But if you got a desktop – definitely buy some 7 gen CPU
Just by upgrading RAM to 16 GB and replacing HDD with SSD – I saw drammatic improvements in every aspect of develpment. Launching Android Studio in few seconds, initializing huge project fast, full build times reduced about twice. (from 3 minutes to 1.5). And release build from 7-9 minutes to 2 – 3 minutes (those numbers arern’t flaky, I built big project several times)