PDA

View Full Version : Macbook Air questions...




Carrotty
Jun 25, 2012, 08:20 AM
I am planning to get my first ever apple laptop, and i have decided to go for the macbook air 13inch, i5~~ I read that it would be best for me to upgrade to the 8gb ram. However, i went to the store nearby and the employee told me that they cannot change the 4gb ram to the 8gb ram for the 128gb 13inch. I know i can configure it this way if i order my MBA online but there're 2 stores nearby so i'd prefer going down and getting it myself.

Also, i am intending to use this MBA as my primary computer and i want it to last me for at least 4 years, so should i get the 256gb SSD instead? Is it worth the money considering how i know that i wouldn't need that much space now but i'm worried that my needs might grow and we can't upgrade the SSD for the 2012 MBA in future just yet, can we?

Finally...if i were to get the 256gb SSD, can the employee in the store actually help me upgrade to the 8gb ram? If he can't, then will getting the 4gb ram affect me after a couple of years? Or should i just order online instead?

Sorry if i wrote too much, but i hope you guys can read this and help me, a future macbook air user... i will mainly be doing work, chatting, music, movies, running some apps at times but i don't game or run heavy-duty apps much if that helps. :)



basesloaded190
Jun 25, 2012, 08:24 AM
I would just order online. Get exactly what you want and not worry about what they have in the stores. Upgrading the RAM to 8GB is a good idea.

As far as the SSD is concerned, you know better than us how much storage you will need. There is always external drives that you could use. You can upgrade the SSD youself, but it won't be cheap.

jojoba
Jun 25, 2012, 08:34 AM
I agree with the previous poster, order online. That's what I did to get the specs I wanted. I would especially go for 8 gb ram if you're planning to keep it for four years. I also maxed out on the specs because I want to keep mine for a while.

KPOM
Jun 25, 2012, 08:38 AM
The RAM is soldered on, so if you want 8GB, you need to order it that way upfront. Some of the stores have 8GB models in stock, though they may be higher end models with the i7 and/or larger SSDs.

The SSD is removable, but there aren't any third party solutions yet. Other World Computing (OWC) made a module for the 2010 and 2011 Airs, but they don't fit the 2012. Also note that only an authorized service center can open the bottom case without invalidating the warranty.

mattopotamus
Jun 25, 2012, 08:42 AM
i have 4gb and will never even come close to using it all. On these forums you will see people say "8 gb is future proofing".....if you only do average task, 4gb will easily carry you for the next 3-4 years

basesloaded190
Jun 25, 2012, 08:46 AM
i have 4gb and will never even come close to using it all. On these forums you will see people say "8 gb is future proofing".....if you only do average task, 4gb will easily carry you for the next 3-4 years

That's hard to say. Depends on what you use the laptop for. When it's only $100 more dollars and the fact that you can't do it yourself in the future, it only makes sense to do it right away.

Carrotty
Jun 25, 2012, 08:58 AM
In what significant way will the 8gb ram make a difference? Sorry if this is a dumb question but i'm quite a newbie, but if i'm not wrong the higher ram makes the computer remain fast loading times and such in the long run? Anything else?

Buying online is kinda difficult for me now because i'm not in my home country and won't be back until a month or so.. i'll die waiting for an entire month :(
is it a bad idea if, the stores doesn't have the 8gb ram and i just go for the 4gb? I'm seriously in a dilemma, as i don't want to make this choice now and regret this decision in a couple of years time when the macbook air starts underperforming...

basesloaded190
Jun 25, 2012, 09:00 AM
You mentioned movies. Is that watching movies or editing and making movies?

RAM will depend on what you will be doing on the computer. More RAM intensive programs will obviously work better with more, but if you are a very casual user, than you could get away with 4.

Carrotty
Jun 25, 2012, 09:10 AM
You mentioned movies. Is that watching movies or editing and making movies?

RAM will depend on what you will be doing on the computer. More RAM intensive programs will obviously work better with more, but if you are a very casual user, than you could get away with 4.

Watching. I mostly stream movies online and download some too. Apart from that, mainly music, work (writing essays). Even if i use iMovies etc to edit movies, it would be only for fun.

What are some examples of RAM intensive programs? Apart from movie editing that is?

jimboutilier
Jun 25, 2012, 09:19 AM
If I were considering a machine that I wanted to keep for 4 years, I might look a bit more closely at a MBP than a MBA. At least the memory and storage is easily and readily upgradable in the PRO with commodity parts.

If you want an AIR, consider the highest spec you can afford now. That means 8gb for sure, and likely i7 and 256gb. CPU and memory are not upgradable at all in the Air and 4 years is a long time these days for a computer. Technically the SSD is user upgradable (not by Apple) so you might be able to upgrade in a year or two using something like an OWC SSD. But Apple's been changing their SSD format pretty frequently so their may be no third party's making SSD's for 2012 models a few years from now. And Apple will only put an SSD in that was the original size.

Good luck in your choice.

AppleSticker54
Jun 25, 2012, 09:21 AM
[QUOTE=Carrotty;15119489] Buying online is kinda difficult for me now because i'm not in my home country and won't be back until a month or so.. i'll die waiting for an entire month :(

What about ordering it online and having it shipped to the store nearest you? It might take 7-10 days but it beats waiting until you get home and it will also get you exactly what you want.

Just my two cents :)

basesloaded190
Jun 25, 2012, 09:36 AM
Watching. I mostly stream movies online and download some too. Apart from that, mainly music, work (writing essays). Even if i use iMovies etc to edit movies, it would be only for fun.

What are some examples of RAM intensive programs? Apart from movie editing that is?

Photoshop, running windows in a virtual environment, any 3d programs. But from what it sounds like, you should be good with just 4GB

Carrotty
Jun 25, 2012, 09:50 AM
@jimboutilier thanks for the advice, but i think i'd still prefer the portability of the air, and i should be getting the 256gb SSD which would be more than enough for me.

@AppleSticker54 thanks too, i might just do that if the other store i haven't been to does not have the 8gb in stock.

@basesloaded190 i'm somehow convinced by you that i can live with the 4gb since i don't do any of those things you mentioned and i don't play computer games (but of course why not get the 8gb when it's a now-or-never thing right?)

Anyway a big thanks to all of you guys, but i'll not jump the gun. I'll just keep watch and make a decision i think is best for me, and my money. Once again, thanks! :)

Carrotty
Jun 25, 2012, 11:14 PM
Okay so it's decision time.. I am planning to go for a macbook to last me 3-4years. So should i get the air or pro? I like the air but might be able to go for the 13inch 4gb ram, i5, and 256gb SSD only. Would this be likely to keep me going for 3-4years? My needs and what i'm going to do are stated in the above posts.

Also, because this computer has to last me for a long time, i started considering the macbook pro 13 inch, i5. However, i might be unable to get the 8gb for this too and should i keep the 500gb HDD or upgrade? I was thinking that i should use the 500gb HDD and 4gb ram first, since after 2 years or so, i could upgrade to the 8gb ram and might be able to change to SDD as i heard that prices might drop. So what do you guys think?

Macbook air 13inch with 4gb (the guy at the store said i could have it for 5% off if i took the display set, which looks pretty new and since it was released on june 11, it should have been there for like, just 2 weeks?), or macbook pro 13inch, 4gb ram too, and 500gb HDD (but upgradeable in future)?

Also, i was wondering if i got the 8gb ram macbook air 256gb, would it be able to last me for around 4 years as a primary computer? And the most worrying thing for me is just having to use it for around 5 or 7-8 hours (at max) for assignments (usually just writing stuff) for 4-5days continuously during certain periods of school year. Would it really cause the air, which is pretty thin and flimsy in a way (though i think it's sexy), to kind of overheat or like 'wear out' much quicker? Would i be better off with the pro if that's the case? once again just scroll up, and you should be able to see what i would use my laptop for, :)

Thanks.

KPOM
Jun 25, 2012, 11:18 PM
Watching. I mostly stream movies online and download some too. Apart from that, mainly music, work (writing essays). Even if i use iMovies etc to edit movies, it would be only for fun.

What are some examples of RAM intensive programs? Apart from movie editing that is?

For your uses, 4GB will likely be fine. RAM intensive applications include photo editing, as well as running virtual machines (e.g. Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows).

chanyitian
Jun 26, 2012, 12:02 AM
I am planning to get my first ever apple laptop, and i have decided to go for the macbook air 13inch, i5~~ I read that it would be best for me to upgrade to the 8gb ram. However, i went to the store nearby and the employee told me that they cannot change the 4gb ram to the 8gb ram for the 128gb 13inch. I know i can configure it this way if i order my MBA online but there're 2 stores nearby so i'd prefer going down and getting it myself.

Also, i am intending to use this MBA as my primary computer and i want it to last me for at least 4 years, so should i get the 256gb SSD instead? Is it worth the money considering how i know that i wouldn't need that much space now but i'm worried that my needs might grow and we can't upgrade the SSD for the 2012 MBA in future just yet, can we?

Finally...if i were to get the 256gb SSD, can the employee in the store actually help me upgrade to the 8gb ram? If he can't, then will getting the 4gb ram affect me after a couple of years? Or should i just order online instead?

Sorry if i wrote too much, but i hope you guys can read this and help me, a future macbook air user... i will mainly be doing work, chatting, music, movies, running some apps at times but i don't game or run heavy-duty apps much if that helps. :)
I have a similar experience too. I also plan to stick to my MBA 2012 13 inch for 4-5 years. Although I wont need 256 GB, I got the high end model with 8GB ram because I wont have to worry about memory space. Yes, get the 8GB ram as programs tend to use more memory. Dont bother with the CPU upgrade if you dont want to pay for it( benchmark only shows 5% improvement in CPU upgrade). improvement is more significant with ram upgrade. good luck.

Moshe1010
Jun 26, 2012, 12:05 AM
That's hard to say. Depends on what you use the laptop for. When it's only $100 more dollars and the fact that you can't do it yourself in the future, it only makes sense to do it right away.

it's $90 more, not $100.

It makes no sense not to upgrade to 8GB even if you don't need it right now.
256GB SSD is a different story and depends on your computer usage. Any way, in worst case scenario, you can buy a SSD drive (or USB3 drive) and connect it via USB.

You'll need more than 128GB only if you are going to store pictures/movies in your MBA.

Carrotty
Jun 26, 2012, 12:12 AM
I have a similar experience too. I also plan to stick to my MBA 2012 13 inch for 4-5 years. Although I wont need 256 GB, I got the high end model with 8GB ram because I wont have to worry about memory space. Yes, get the 8GB ram as programs tend to use more memory. Dont bother with the CPU upgrade if you dont want to pay for it( benchmark only shows 5% improvement in CPU upgrade). improvement is more significant with ram upgrade. good luck.

it's $90 more, not $100.

It makes no sense not to upgrade to 8GB even if you don't need it right now.
256GB SSD is a different story and depends on your computer usage. Any way, in worst case scenario, you can buy a SSD drive (or USB3 drive) and connect it via USB.

You'll need more than 128GB only if you are going to store pictures/movies in your MBA.

Thanks, i think i should be going for the macbook air i5, 8gb ram, 256gb. The only question is whether it will run fine for 4-5 years, but i believe it can, right?

chanyitian
Jun 26, 2012, 12:25 AM
Thanks, i think i should be going for the macbook air i5, 8gb ram, 256gb. The only question is whether it will run fine for 4-5 years, but i believe it can, right?

yes you can, as long as you dont pour anything onto the keyboard accidentally lol. macbooks have great build quality.

Moshe1010
Jun 26, 2012, 01:01 AM
Thanks, i think i should be going for the macbook air i5, 8gb ram, 256gb. The only question is whether it will run fine for 4-5 years, but i believe it can, right?

Don't worry, you'll buy a new one in 2-3 years.

Carrotty
Jun 26, 2012, 01:08 AM
yes you can, as long as you dont pour anything onto the keyboard accidentally lol. macbooks have great build quality.

Alright, it looks like i'm going to go for the macbook air then, thanks to you, and to everyone else for their help!

----------

Don't worry, you'll buy a new one in 2-3 years.

hah yeah, especially when a newer, better model gets released. The temptation is hard to resist but i'll try.. :)

kodeman53
Jun 26, 2012, 04:55 AM
Okay so it's decision time.. I am planning to go for a macbook to last me 3-4years.

While the device has to perform your current tasks, since you want to keep it for 3-4 years, you need to anticipate how you will use the device in the future. If you can't, it is wise to get as much computing power you can afford.

This is particularly true for all the posts by college students whose use patterns will change upon graduation. It is also critical with the MBA since neither memory nor disk space (SSD) is upgradeable, by the consumer nor the retail store.

theSeb
Jun 26, 2012, 05:09 AM
In what significant way will the 8gb ram make a difference? Sorry if this is a dumb question but i'm quite a newbie, but if i'm not wrong the higher ram makes the computer remain fast loading times and such in the long run? Anything else?

Buying online is kinda difficult for me now because i'm not in my home country and won't be back until a month or so.. i'll die waiting for an entire month :(
is it a bad idea if, the stores doesn't have the 8gb ram and i just go for the 4gb? I'm seriously in a dilemma, as i don't want to make this choice now and regret this decision in a couple of years time when the macbook air starts underperforming...

You can read through this to find out what adding extra RAM does

Upgrade RAM, CPU, SSD - is it worth it?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1293809

Carrotty
Jun 26, 2012, 07:52 AM
While the device has to perform your current tasks, since you want to keep it for 3-4 years, you need to anticipate how you will use the device in the future. If you can't, it is wise to get as much computing power you can afford.

This is particularly true for all the posts by college students whose use patterns will change upon graduation. It is also critical with the MBA since neither memory nor disk space (SSD) is upgradeable, by the consumer nor the retail store.

Alright i have decided to get the 256gb SSD and 8gb ram. i'll order it online when i get back to my home country. I think i can wait.. thanks!

----------

You can read through this to find out what adding extra RAM does

Upgrade RAM, CPU, SSD - is it worth it?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1293809

Nice thread, thanks, i've decided to go for 256gb SSD, i5, 8gb ram macbook air 13inch.

basesloaded190
Jun 26, 2012, 08:12 AM
it's $90 more, not $100.



No, it's $100

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD231LL/A?

AppleSticker54
Jun 26, 2012, 08:39 AM
No, it's $100

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD231LL/A?

Maybe they are quoting educational pricing? That was a $10 savings on the RAM, as well as additional savings on the processor, and AppleCare too.

Moshe1010
Jun 26, 2012, 10:45 PM
No, it's $100

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD231LL/A?

$90 if you buy it through Apple's educational program that is eventually for everybody (they don't check if you're a student or not).

Carrotty
Jun 26, 2012, 11:00 PM
can i just ask... if i order my macbook air online, will the iLife (iMovie, garageband, and iphoto) as well as words, excel and powerpoint be available in it when i get my mba?

Sambo110
Jun 27, 2012, 01:07 PM
can i just ask... if i order my macbook air online, will the iLife (iMovie, garageband, and iphoto) as well as words, excel and powerpoint be available in it when i get my mba?

iLife comes with the Macbook, Microsoft Office, obviously, does not.

Also, I don't know if you've decided, but I would definitely go the 8GB of ram. I had 1GB in my iMac in 2008, and it was fine. I upgraded it to 2GB eventually, but in 2011 (OS X Lion), it became incredibly slow. It now constantly freezes, and often has trouble loading simple web pages. After this experience, I would always recommend going more ram than is currently necessary, especially if you want to use it in the long-term.