View Full Version : How much power do I need?

Mar 24, 2011, 07:06 AM
I've fallen in love with the 11 inch MBA and have been looking at them since they were launched. I currently have a MBP, which manages all my iTunes and other media quite well. When I travel, I usually take a clunky netbook with me. I use the netbook to dump my photos each day, as well as make a second copy of them on a passport external drive. The MBA would essentually replace the netbook.

I've found one on Amazon for a really good price, its the 1.4Ghz, 128Gb with 2Gb RAM. I'm trying to decide if 2Gb is plenty of RAM for my tasks. I would basically be using it to store the photos each night, as well as make a backup of them....then dumping them over to my main computer when I get home. I would also use it to surf the web, check email and minimal word processing (if any at all).


Mar 24, 2011, 07:37 AM
MBA is more powerful than a Netbook, so if you can get by with a NetBook the base MBA will have power to spare. In fact, if you are just storing the pictures and not processing them in any other way, you could probably get by with a camera connection kit for your iPad, depending on the volume of pictures you need to store at a time. The iPad wouldn't give you the ability to do the redundant backup to a USB drive, but if you have connectivity, you might be able to do an online backup to mobileMe, dropBox or some other storage site.

Mar 24, 2011, 07:43 AM
The 11" MBA 2GB Ram should do the job perfectly. As Panch0 says its more powerful than a netbook. Besides if your main usage is light web browsing, little word processing and storage of photos you will love the SSD. Especially because it boots in seconds ;)

Mar 24, 2011, 07:45 AM
Rest assured; the Air is more than powerful enough for your needs, as Panch0 has already said in a roundabout way.

It's even powerful enough to run Pixelmator or Photoshop Elements, in case you want to do some moderate photo editing. I like Pixelmator myself, and it's available via the Mac App Store.

Mar 24, 2011, 08:06 AM
As the people above said, for your specific tasks (very low demanding), 2Gb should work like a charm.

That beeing said - the 4Gb upgrade is the best value-for-money for the Air hands down. You will notice that the Air is indeed powerful enough to do photo editing and more complex tasks with no problem at all. If you will ever do something like that, 4Gb is highly recommended. Also, it will be easier to sell if you ever want to upgrade since most people are looking for the 4Gb.

Anyway, good luck with your purchase, you will be happy no matter what memory size you choose. In my own opinion though, I think you should add the extra memory if you got $100 to spare. It will keep your computer snappy no matter what tasks you hand it and increase resell value.

Mar 24, 2011, 08:16 AM
Thanks for your responses. The main reason I was checking out the 2gb ram is because its on Amazon for about $50 less than retail, plus no tax and free shipping is a plus. So, all together it would save me about $120 to go that route.

I do have an iPad 32gb, but its quite loaded with several games, movies and tv shows. The iPad is used as my in-trip entertainment (watching shows, playing games). I may have about 7-8gb free if I'm lucky.

Sounds like the base 128 MBA may be what I'm looking for. My pityful Acer netbook has 1gb ram...but XP just makes it crank so slow its just sad.

Mar 24, 2011, 08:40 AM
Anyone else have this model? I'd love to hear your views and what all you do content wise on yours....the 1.4ghz/128gb/2gb ram.


Mar 24, 2011, 09:31 AM
I have the 11" with only 2 GB and I promise you it will be ample for your needs. I run much more complicated things without any problem. Good luck and I bet you'll be happy.

Mar 24, 2011, 09:58 AM
That model with 2GB RAM is probably sufficient for your needs, however, get 4GB. If nothing else it will help tremendously with the resale value down the road for a minimal upfront cost. Plus if you decide to use the MBA for more than its currently intended use, you won't be screwed.

Mar 24, 2011, 07:31 PM
That model with 2GB RAM is probably sufficient for your needs, however, get 4GB. If nothing else it will help tremendously with the resale value down the road.

I don't agree. I don't see the lower end Air is targeting the demographic that cares about specs (ie. your girlfriend, mom, etc) say vs. the ultimate.

The fact is he's doing this through amazon so BTO is not an option. I went as minimal as possible (refurb base 11) due to the cost vs. waiting for Sandy Bridge. Haven't had a machine with less than 4GB for more than 5 years, surprisingly this one is doing fine for media consumption and software development (even running a VM using visual studio 2010 and expression blend 4).

Mar 25, 2011, 04:25 AM
I just ordered an 11.6 MBA and my vote also goes toward 4gb of ram. For a hundred bucks more, it's your best bet. I got the 1.4/4/64 model.

Try B&H at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=macbook+air+11.6&N=0&InitialSearch=yes
Prices are also slightly discounted with no tax and free shipping with BTO models.