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View Full Version : MBA w\4GB RAM vs. MBP w\8GB RAM




dcheng
Nov 29, 2011, 06:26 PM
So I'm playing around with a 13.3" MBA with the 256GB SSD, and I'm really enjoying it so far. However, I did notice that I'm quickly getting into virtual memory. I'm coming from an older MBP with 8GB of memory, so I rarely, if ever, started using virtual memory. For the people that have had an MBA for a while, have you found that the user experience is not impacted because of the SSD, or is this something that I should be concerned about going forward. I love the slimness of the MBA, and I especially appreciate the fact that I'm not losing any screen real estate, but I just want to make sure I'm not going to run into issues down the road.

My general work involves a fair amount of terminal work and having one or two VMs open (Parallels 6 and VMWare Fusion 3; I know more recent versions are out, but I haven't upgraded those yet). There's always the standard email and browser windows open as well.

Also, I apologize if these questions have been answered, but I was hoping to get some input on this specific question. I browsed through a lot of the memory-related threads, and there was a mix of responses, so I'm wondering if there are more experiences based on longer-term usage.



theSeb
Nov 29, 2011, 06:30 PM
What are your page ins and page outs?

dcheng
Nov 29, 2011, 06:50 PM
Sorry, forgot to include the Page Out vs. Page In. After about 6 hours of use, I was at 232 MB of Page Out and 3.69 GB of Page In, so it's not at the 10% threshold that I've considered memory upgrades in the past.

Edit: It also doesn't appear to be incrementing rapidly

sporadicMotion
Nov 29, 2011, 08:55 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

I use an i5 Air every day day in day out with multiple VM's open. It handles it well. Paging with an SSD is also quite different than paging on a spindle drive.

johnhurley
Nov 29, 2011, 09:05 PM
So I'm playing around with a 13.3" MBA with the 256GB SSD, and I'm really enjoying it so far. However, I did notice that I'm quickly getting into virtual memory. I'm coming from an older MBP with 8GB of memory, so I rarely, if ever, started using virtual memory. For the people that have had an MBA for a while, have you found that the user experience is not impacted because of the SSD, or is this something that I should be concerned about going forward. I love the slimness of the MBA, and I especially appreciate the fact that I'm not losing any screen real estate, but I just want to make sure I'm not going to run into issues down the road.


So far on my macbook air ( like the one you are looking at ) I just have one vm set at 1 gb of RAM and it works just peachy. Lots of times for me I don't have the vm ( win 7 ) even running.

I think pushing more than 1 vm may not be a strength of the machine and if you really need multiple ones going on that is going to be somewhat problematic. Like other people have said the speed of the SSD makes some paging less immediately painful.

Going from 8 gb to 4 is a big step.

It is unclear what is on the horizon for 2012 but at some point apple may give consumers a higher limit on memory for the mba. You gotta think there are a ton of apple developers and apple employees that want an air with more memory available.

If you can sit it out and see what shakes in 2012 that might be a good option.

dcheng
Nov 30, 2011, 09:44 AM
Thanks for the input. I still have some time, so I'll keep working with the machine to see how I like it. I admit that I haven't observed any slowdowns due to the infrequent swapping, so I'll just monitor it. Still enjoying the overall experience, but I don't want to have to change the way that I do things to accommodate the machine; I think the machine should accommodate me...:)

johnhurley
Nov 30, 2011, 11:57 AM
but I don't want to have to change the way that I do things to accommodate the machine; I think the machine should accommodate me...:)

Well nice theory ... I can guess you probably are not married!