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View Full Version : You got a 2GB RAM MBA? Find ANY reason you need 4GB RAM yet?




zub3qin
Nov 7, 2010, 06:55 PM
It seems that other posts are indicating that the 2GB RAM MBA (SSD drive) is outperforming the 4GB RAM MBP (reg HD) for day to day uses including Parallels/light photoshop, etc.


So I ask, for those that have the 2GB RAM model, have you yet found an instance where you think 4GB would have made a difference for you in any type of application or usage of your MBA?



KPOM
Nov 7, 2010, 06:57 PM
It seems that other posts are indicating that the 2GB RAM MBA is outperforming the 4GB RAM MBP for day to day uses including Parallels/light photoshop, etc.


So I ask, for those that have the 2GB RAM model, have you yet found an instance where you think 4GB would have made a difference for you in any type of application or usage of your MBA?


I don't think that's accurate. People are saying that the SSD-equipped MBA is outperforming the HD-equipped MBP. Equip a 4GB MPB with an SSD and it will outperform the 2GB MBA on just about anything.

Zackmd1
Nov 7, 2010, 07:01 PM
At first I was going to order the 4GB model however I wanted to buy one at a retail store (previous shipping nightmares with laptops). After spending the last week with the baseline 13inch model I have found no reason to spend the extra $100 for 4GB. Every task I've thrown at it the air outperforms my expectations and even my old MBP 13 with 4GB of ram.:eek:

zub3qin
Nov 7, 2010, 07:07 PM
At first I was going to order the 4GB model however I wanted to buy one at a retail store (previous shipping nightmares with laptops). After spending the last week with the baseline 13inch model I have found no reason to spend the extra $100 for 4GB. Every task I've thrown at it the air outperforms my expectations and even my old MBP 13 with 4GB of ram.:eek:

Any guesses on how mac OS 10.7 will be with 2GB RAM?

1BadMac
Nov 7, 2010, 07:08 PM
I don't think that's accurate. People are saying that the SSD-equipped MBA is outperforming the HD-equipped MBP. Equip a 4GB MPB with an SSD and it will outperform the 2GB MBA on just about anything.

Correct. The Air is bringing SSD's into the more affordable range for Mac users. Giving you "MBP like performance" in a small package. As you state, throw an SSD into the MBP, and it's going to out perform the Air hands down.

That said, I'm trying to talk myself into one of the Air's. :) The 11" seems like it would be cool, and I could sell my iPad. 2GB will likely be fine for anything I would use there. I wouldn't be using Photoshop or anything super intensive on an 11" screen anyways, that would just be silly. :cool:

TxMacAddict
Nov 7, 2010, 07:09 PM
I am very surprised that my 2GB 13" is performing so well. It's performing as well as my 15" i7 with the GT330M & 512 MB video memory when it comes to my WoW. Didn't have any trouble last night on H Lich King running on "good" settings at the native resolution.

Zackmd1
Nov 7, 2010, 07:12 PM
Any guesses on how mac OS 10.7 will be with 2GB RAM?

Well I kinda doubt apple will release a new computer and a year later release an os thats minimum requirements are the standard configurations of the MBA. But lets wait and see next summer.

nfl46
Nov 7, 2010, 07:17 PM
Well I kinda doubt apple will release a new computer and a year later release an os thats minimum requirements are the standard configurations of the MBA. But lets wait and see next summer.

Lol, exactly! I'm sure Apple knows that 1GB will be fine. That would be crazy of them to do that.

johnnymg
Nov 7, 2010, 07:21 PM
Any guesses on how mac OS 10.7 will be with 2GB RAM?

My guess is that 10.7 will not need any more RAM than 10.6

That said, I ordered my MBA with 4 GB because the price difference seemed reasonable and 'you can never have enough money or memory'. :p

cheers
JohnG

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 7, 2010, 07:23 PM
The upgrade to 4G is $100. If you can't afford that, I'm sure you can talk yourself into believing you don't need it.

astrorider
Nov 7, 2010, 07:38 PM
The upgrade to 4G is $100. If you can't afford that, I'm sure you can talk yourself into believing you don't need it.

It's not a question of whether you can afford it, it's a question of whether it's worth it to you. $100 is $100. I can think of many $100 things that are worth more to me than a memory upgrade I don't need. So far, I haven't found any downsides to 2GB for the way I use the machine (Xcode, some CS5, Fusion w/ XP, etc.).

1BadMac
Nov 7, 2010, 07:40 PM
The upgrade to 4G is $100. If you can't afford that, I'm sure you can talk yourself into believing you don't need it.

It's actually only $94 w/ EPP, but I'm still not sure I will get it or not. The local reseller has CS5 loaded on the 11" and it seemed pretty snappy when I was messing around with it. I don't run VM's on my MBP, so I don't think I would ever do that on the 11".

Although, I did upgrade my MBP to 8 GB, which is also overkill, so I have no room to talk. ;)

silverblack
Nov 7, 2010, 07:46 PM
The upgrade to 4G is $100. If you can't afford that, I'm sure you can talk yourself into believing you don't need it.

You must be very proud of yourself being able to afford that $100 RAM upgrade. Congratulations on your achievement :rolleyes:

southnc
Nov 7, 2010, 07:49 PM
My guess is that 10.7 will not need any more RAM than 10.6

That said, I ordered my MBA with 4 GB because the price difference seemed reasonable and 'you can never have enough money or memory'. :p

cheers
JohnG

This.

4GB for $100 more is a worthy investment for future potential "challenges" down the road. Especially since RAM is not likely upgradable.

ayuchan
Nov 7, 2010, 07:57 PM
As Ram is not upgradeable in MBA, I will say $100 is more of an investment, taking into consideration OS Lion which will release next year Summer.

fyrefly
Nov 7, 2010, 08:03 PM
It seems that other posts are indicating that the 2GB RAM MBA (SSD drive) is outperforming the 4GB RAM MBP (reg HD) for day to day uses including Parallels/light photoshop, etc.


So I ask, for those that have the 2GB RAM model, have you yet found an instance where you think 4GB would have made a difference for you in any type of application or usage of your MBA?

Anandtech has done some actual testing of the 4GB RAM MBA models, and found that the 4GB of RAM makes a difference when using stuff like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc...)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4000/apples-11inch-upgraded-macbook-air-review-do-16ghz-and-4gb-make-a-difference/2

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph4000/33490.png

The 1.6Ghz processor and the 4GB of RAM combine for a 16% performance improvement. The graph also shows that the MBA is not faster than the 2010 MBPs. The SSDs are a huge boost, but they barely make the machines keep up with low-end 2GB of RAM 2009 MBPs.

At first I was going to order the 4GB model however I wanted to buy one at a retail store (previous shipping nightmares with laptops). After spending the last week with the baseline 13inch model I have found no reason to spend the extra $100 for 4GB. Every task I've thrown at it the air outperforms my expectations and even my old MBP 13 with 4GB of ram.:eek:

That's the SSD talking. Get a decent Sandforce-based SSD in your MBP 13" and you'll see how fast it can really be. :D

Well I kinda doubt apple will release a new computer and a year later release an os thats minimum requirements are the standard configurations of the MBA. But lets wait and see next summer.

Well... the 11" MBA already doesn't meet some of the requirements for Snow Leopard's more advanced features:

The "Tech Specs" page for SL clearly says: "DVD Player requires a 1.6GHz processor or faster for improved deinterlacing." Sorry 11" MBA base-model.

Plus, Apple's had the Minimum Requirements put recent machines into the "baseline" category before. When Snow Leopard came out in August 09, it had a Minimum Requirement of 1GB of RAM.

MacBooks were shipping until January 09 (less than 8 months before) with only 1GB of RAM. Mac Minis were shipping until October 2009 (2 months after SL's release) with 1GB of RAM in the Base Model.

My guess is that 10.7 will not need any more RAM than 10.6

I hope not... but Apple hasn't shipped a default Mac with less than 2GB of RAM since October 2009 (the Mac Mini base-model). They could easily bump the minimum requirements up to 2GB of RAM (for things like Mission Control) and say "It's been two years since we shipped a Machine with 2GB of RAM" - forcing those with 1GB to upgrade.

Adidas Addict
Nov 7, 2010, 08:04 PM
I have not needed more than 2GB so far, but went for 4GB due to not being able to upgrade later. Obviously none of us know what the future holds and feel it's more future proof with the 4GB. Also, which many frown upon, I feel re-sale will be much better with 4GB down the line.

astrorider
Nov 7, 2010, 08:12 PM
Anandtech has done some actual testing of the 4GB RAM MBA models, and found that the 4GB of RAM makes a difference when using stuff like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc...)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4000/apples-11inch-upgraded-macbook-air-review-do-16ghz-and-4gb-make-a-difference/2

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph4000/33490.png

The 1.6Ghz processor and the 4GB of RAM combine for a 16% performance improvement.

Looks like processor speed is the only effect you're showing here.
For the 11":
Photoshop Time from chart: (72.4-62.3)/72.4 *100 = 14%
CPU processor difference: ((1.6-1.4)/1.4 *100 = 14%

hlkc
Nov 7, 2010, 08:25 PM
I upgrade my MBP to 8GB and have that 4GB DDR3 laying around. I assume I can use them here, right?

KPOM
Nov 7, 2010, 08:29 PM
I upgrade my MBP to 8GB and have that 4GB DDR3 laying around. I assume I can use them here, right?

The RAM is soldered onto the MacBook Air's logic board.

barmann
Nov 7, 2010, 08:45 PM
The MBP 13" used for the Anandec test was the '09 , 2.26Hhz, 2GB Ram .

Use the latest MBP 13", and it akes it even more clear that the new MBAs are the slowest Macs available right now by at least a 50% margin.

Ther retouch artist test isn't even very demanding, it's light photoshopping done within a few minutes.

OSX , along with light use as in multitasking a few light apps, needs 2 GB as a minimum.
4GB Ram gets you a little further with slightly more ambitious tasks, but not very far.
The SSDs help to hide the underlying poor performance to a degree, and that's why they are being used, apart from the lower power requirements, heat and small size .

I love the new MBAs, and have an ultimate 11.6 waiting for me when I get back home, but their performance is not comparable to the other Apple offerings.
And why should it be ? It's nt made for that, it's just the best netbook ever, works for me.

jimboutilier
Nov 7, 2010, 08:50 PM
For light work like surfing and email and editing simple documents or pictures 2gb of ram is fine as OS X is pretty memory efficient and the SSD really helps swapping speed.

But for many things additional memory can improve performance. Any use of virtual machines for instance - even just Linux or XP can really benefit from more memory, editing large complex documents or pictures or video also benefit a lot.

As someone that used previous MBA models as my primary machine I know that limit can chafe even under routine use for me and I'm definitely going with 4gb of ram. It gives you options you wouldn't otherwise have now and in the future and as the ram is not upgradable, I'd recommend 4gb for anyone using it as a primary computer.

rkahl
Nov 7, 2010, 09:02 PM
At first I was going to order the 4GB model however I wanted to buy one at a retail store (previous shipping nightmares with laptops). After spending the last week with the baseline 13inch model I have found no reason to spend the extra $100 for 4GB. Every task I've thrown at it the air outperforms my expectations and even my old MBP 13 with 4GB of ram.:eek:

Yeah today, but what about a year from now.

Zackmd1
Nov 7, 2010, 09:09 PM
Yeah today, but what about a year from now.

Us mac geeks all know that we will be getting a new laptop next yr.:D But I will just wait and see, right now its more then enough for what I do (activity monitor says I use only a gig of ram).

ayuchan
Nov 7, 2010, 09:19 PM
Human being will always defend whatever perspective that is rooted in their mindset. If you say 2GB is enough, by all means go ahead. ;)

fyrefly
Nov 7, 2010, 11:47 PM
Us mac geeks all know that we will be getting a new laptop next yr.:D But I will just wait and see, right now its more then enough for what I do (activity monitor says I use only a gig of ram).

Yeah, we'll all be getting a new laptop a year from now...

And it'll be a 13" MBA:
i7 LV CPU
4GB RAM - standard
Backlit Keyboard - RETURNED!

:D

Then I'll be getting a new laptop. :D Till then my RevB SSD MBA will suffice :D

Human being will always defend whatever perspective that is rooted in their mindset. If you say 2GB is enough, by all means go ahead. ;)

It's true. People who bought 2GB want confirmation that they made the right choice, and 4GB RAM purchases want confirmation that they spent their ~$100 wisely. I side with the 4GB people though. :D