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View Full Version : Ordered basic MB Air... now worried 4GB Ram won't be enough




jena55
Jun 26, 2012, 09:06 AM
I ordered a 2012 MB Air and should be receiving it by the end of the week.
I just ordered the basic i5 model with 4 GB ram. I currently have an iMac with 2GB RAM that runs Snow leopard. Although I do get page outs, the speed has never bothered me. Because of this, I stuck with the basic 4 GB RAM for my Macbook Air figuring it was double my iMac and should be fine. Now I am reading how Lion uses so much RAM etc etc and I am worried 4 GB is not enough and that I should have upgraded. Could someone please give me their honest opinion. If I don't need the RAM, I don't want to go through the hassle of sending the computer back etc. I consider myself a pretty basic user. I don't game or do photo/video editing or anything like that.

This is what I use my computer for generally....
web browsing
online classes (which involves some streaming, but not a ton)
itunes
spotify
microsoft office
email
twitter
occasional remote connection to my work desktop for basic tasks

Will I be okay with the 4 GB?



dcorban
Jun 26, 2012, 09:15 AM
I do all those things and more, and 4GB is more than enough. I haven't rebooted since buying my system, and it's currently reporting 2.5MB of page outs. Essentially zero.

Jobsian
Jun 26, 2012, 09:19 AM
With Lion on my new 2012 MBA, I'm regularly crossing 4GB according to istat, with similar use to your list. I would however load (fully cached) quite a few HD youtube vids.

Lion does seem to have more of a fondness for RAM. I can't imagine with your light use experiencing any significant problems though, especially as the SSD is even faster this time. I would however always recommend 8GB RAM at this stage if you can afford it.

Skoopman
Jun 26, 2012, 09:26 AM
I use a lot more programs than you simultaneously and never cross 4GB, don't worry. A lot of people say it's good to have 8GB, but most of us just don't need it. The ones who say everybody should get 8GB RAM are running multiple VMs, Photoshop, InDesign and other heavy apps at the same time. They can always benefit from more RAM, but not the light and normal user. I consider myself somewhat normal, I run more than 10 apps, but none use a lot of RAM, so 4 GB is enough (for me).

jena55
Jun 26, 2012, 10:09 AM
Thanks everyone. These responses make me feel better about my 4 GB purchase. I am back to thinking I should be just fine. :)

dona83
Jun 26, 2012, 10:51 AM
Lol I only have 2GB in my 2006 iMac, it still works great. It's such an old machine I don't really want to throw more money into it especially with the price of PC2-5300 memory nowadays, but I still love using it.

jojoba
Jun 26, 2012, 10:53 AM
I do all those things and more, and 4GB is more than enough.

Ditto. Never lags. You'll be fine.

wilycoder
Jun 26, 2012, 10:55 AM
In the year 2012, buying a machine with only 4GB of RAM is borderline retarded.

Even if you are not using many apps, the OS can use the extra RAM for disk caching.

jojoba
Jun 26, 2012, 10:57 AM
In the year 2012, buying a machine with only 4GB of RAM is borderline retarded.

Those blanket statements never apply to everybody. It's like all the people who say you can't get productive work done on an iPad. You can. But it depends on people's needs and work flows.

wilycoder
Jun 26, 2012, 10:58 AM
Those blanket statements never apply to everybody. It's like all the people who say you can't get productive work done on an iPad. You can. But it depends on people's needs and work flows.

Good job ignoring the more important sentence of my post :rolleyes:

mattopotamus
Jun 26, 2012, 11:45 AM
you will be fine, but in 3 years that will be pushing it. Depends how long you want your laptop to last. The minimum for Mountain Lion is 2gb and i'm sure the next installment will be the same.

palpatine
Jun 26, 2012, 12:19 PM
Good job ignoring the more important sentence of my post :rolleyes:

And what sentence would that be?

The one where you used an insensitive and offensive slur, or the one where you stated the obvious, and in this case, not terribly relevant point, that more RAM is better?

Sure, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of memory would be nice, but in actual performance, you may not notice any difference at all. In my case, I do a little bit more intensive work than the OP, and most of the time I have 0 Page Outs. The RAM is more than enough.

gnasher729
Jun 26, 2012, 12:39 PM
Thanks everyone. These responses make me feel better about my 4 GB purchase. I am back to thinking I should be just fine. :)

What a lot of people don't know: When they say "Lion uses so much memory", it actually means "Lion doesn't waste the memory in your computer; if it is there, it will be used because leaving memory unused would be stupid". So you will see that Lion _uses_ all your memory when that is helpful, but it doesn't mean it is actually needed.

Of course you might call Apple and ask them whether your order can still be changed. I would hope if it's not on the UPS truck yet it should be no problem.

GREEN4U
Jun 26, 2012, 01:04 PM
I am planning to get 4GB. Tell me, will that be enough if I have Mail, iTunes, iMessage/iChat, Safari, and 10 PDFs open at once? I will be in graduate school so I suspect I will be reading a lot of papers.

bizack
Jun 26, 2012, 01:21 PM
I completely disagree with most responses in this thread. Primarily because:

a) the bump to 8GB of RAM is relatively cheap at $100
b) every program (including the OS) will consume as much memory as possible, in order to run as efficiently as possible (meaning, just because your current 4GB system isn't paging, doesn't mean it couldn't benefit from more RAM)
c) 4GB is already considered the minimum, and you can't upgrade to 8GB later on
d) next generation Operating Systems will likely consume less disk space, but more RAM
e) why limit yourself to having x number of applications open and manually 'delegating' memory when you can pay 100 bucks and not worry about it?
f) moore's law - your computer is obsolete _now_. RAM will be cheaper, manufactures of software will take advantage of this and write applications that consume more RAM because it makes developing complex applications easier (I do this all the time)

Paying $100 for the extra 4GB of RAM is a no brainer. What works for you today probably won't work for you in 1 year or less, like it or not.

BBman
Jun 26, 2012, 01:25 PM
You'll be fine.

Watch this video, this guy does the same basic stuff as you and it is running solid with 4gb of ram.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S3fZJVOHi8&feature=related

GREEN4U
Jun 26, 2012, 01:30 PM
You'll be fine.

Watch this video, this guy does the same basic stuff as you and it is running solid with 4gb of ram.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S3fZJVOHi8&feature=related


are u answering me or the OP? Thanks.

trondah
Jun 26, 2012, 01:53 PM
Even browsers are taking up a lot of memory with tabs open today and the system will swap at some point even if it doesn't necessarily need to. I had 4GB in my 2011, but went with 8GB on my 2012. Do keep in mind you can not upgrade later. With 8GB there is no swap used so far, everything is very snappy :)

BBman
Jun 26, 2012, 01:56 PM
are u answering me or the OP? Thanks.

From reading your post I also think you will be fine as well, that being said if you open up a couple or several more apps with moderate memory usage you will begin to knock on the door of spinning beach balls. If you feel you might keep adding more opened apps in the future then I suggest you upgrade to a more comfortable 8 gig.

jmgag03
Jun 26, 2012, 02:18 PM
I'm curious to see if 4GB is enough for me. I'm leaving a 2010 17in MBP which I upgraded to 8 on my own.

The problem with ordering from Apple is that upgrades are more expensive due to sales tax. I got my MBA for 1494 from Amazon. It would be 1732 to upgrade the RAM and get it from Apple because sales tax in Texas is high. Add the i7 and you're looking at 1840. Those are expensive upgrades.

Reha
Jun 26, 2012, 02:19 PM
Paying $100 for the extra 4GB of RAM is a no brainer. You never know what you might need it for. I'm sure it will also sell better in the future. 4gb is probably way below average in a couple of years from now.

ZBoater
Jun 26, 2012, 02:42 PM
Will I be okay with the 4 GB?

Yes, you will be ok.

But you will always wonder how things could've been with 8GB... :p

darthpotato94
Jun 26, 2012, 03:12 PM
Everybody's saying that the 8GB ram upgrade is a no brainer because it only costs $100 and it's future proof - although that's debatable.

Consider this: would you spend $100 for 4GB more RAM or 1TB external hard drive?

prayalone
Jun 26, 2012, 03:18 PM
If I can upgrade to 8GB later. - 4GB for now is ok.
but that's not an options for macbook air.

4GB is now a minimum.

plucky duck
Jun 26, 2012, 03:18 PM
Everybody's saying that the 8GB ram upgrade is a no brainer because it only costs $100 and it's future proof - although that's debatable.

Consider this: would you spend $100 for 4GB more RAM or 1TB external hard drive?

On extra ram without a doubt.

halledise
Jun 26, 2012, 03:31 PM
Apple have a great no-questions-asked return policy for 14 days.

if you still have any misgivings by the time it arrives, you can aways send it back for a full credit and order same model with 8gb memory ;)
(which is what I'd be doing. makes it easier to sell, come the time)

in fact you could even use it for a few days before packing it up to return, which'd lessen the time you'd be without one, assuming you have the spare $ to effectively pay for 2 until Apple credit your a/c with the $ for the 1st one.

robdrj45
Jun 26, 2012, 03:31 PM
A factory optional 4G-to-8G RAM upgrade for $100 is a decent deal, IMO. They're making plenty of profit on the upgrade, I'm sure, but I think it's a fair price. Even if you could upgrade the Air's RAM, by the time you bought the hardware and paid for installation (for argument's sake), you'd probably have near that amount invested. Plus, you may loose the warranty.

lonewolf604
Jun 26, 2012, 03:36 PM
Stupid question but if you order from apple online do they charge for shipping and are there any hidden taxes? A lot of you are making the 8gb ram upgrade seem like a necessity.

Also, can you order a custom macbook from an apple store? (so you can pick it up at the store when it is shipped).

jena55
Jun 26, 2012, 03:40 PM
A factory optional 4G-to-8G RAM upgrade for $100 is a decent deal, IMO. They're making plenty of profit on the upgrade, I'm sure, but I think it's a fair price. Even if you could upgrade the Air's RAM, by the time you bought the hardware and paid for installation (for argument's sake), you'd probably have near that amount invested. Plus, you may loose the warranty.

I agree $100 is not much to upgrade RAM.... but I don't want to upgrade it if I don't really need it. If 4 gb will get the job done without much difference, than why drop the $100. I have 2 GB RAM in my IMac from 2008 and I have never upgraded. I see the beach ball occasionally, but not much. I just can't imagine 4 GB not being good enough, but then I am no expert, so that is why I am asking here. Also, I am guessing I keep this laptop a couple years, but if retina displays are introduced in a 13" mac, I will eventually upgrade to that. So, I don't see myself keeping this computer for 5 years or something like that.

GREEN4U
Jun 26, 2012, 03:48 PM
I agree $100 is not much to upgrade RAM.... but I don't want to upgrade it if I don't really need it. If 4 gb will get the job done without much difference, than why drop the $100. I have 2 GB RAM in my IMac from 2008 and I have never upgraded. I see the beach ball occasionally, but not much. I just can't imagine 4 GB not being good enough, but then I am no expert, so that is why I am asking here. Also, I am guessing I keep this laptop a couple years, but if retina displays are introduced in a 13" mac, I will eventually upgrade to that. So, I don't see myself keeping this computer for 5 years or something like that.

4GB will definitely be fine then. Even 4GB will last you at least 5 years.

I suggest you go to the Apple store and test drive the Airs. Their demos are base models. Bring a USB flash drive and open up all the files and applications (or similar) at once if it were your own computer and see how it performs.

robdrj45
Jun 26, 2012, 06:07 PM
Stupid question but if you order from apple online do they charge for shipping and are there any hidden taxes? A lot of you are making the 8gb ram upgrade seem like a necessity.

Also, can you order a custom macbook from an apple store? (so you can pick it up at the store when it is shipped).

Are you in the USA? It's probably best to call Apple and ask them about sales tax (or other possible taxes). But as far as I know, you will be charged sales tax if you are sending it to an Apple store located in a state that charges sales tax. Or if you live in a state that charges sales tax and also has an Apple store which sells its products there, you will be charged sales tax if you send it directly to your home. There was no charge for standard shipping (at least when I ordered), but quicker delivery service does cost extra (2nd day, etc.).

I would have preferred running down to Best Buy or the Apple store and picking up a base machine (instant gratification and all), but the RAM upgrade was too hard to pass up. I asked at the Apple store and they said a custom built Air cannot be ordered there. It can be picked up there, but it must be ordered online.

lonewolf604
Jun 26, 2012, 07:58 PM
Are you in the USA? It's probably best to call Apple and ask them about sales tax (or other possible taxes). But as far as I know, you will be charged sales tax if you are sending it to an Apple store located in a state that charges sales tax. Or if you live in a state that charges sales tax and also has an Apple store which sells its products there, you will be charged sales tax if you send it directly to your home. There was no charge for standard shipping (at least when I ordered), but quicker delivery service does cost extra (2nd day, etc.).

I would have preferred running down to Best Buy or the Apple store and picking up a base machine (instant gratification and all), but the RAM upgrade was too hard to pass up. I asked at the Apple store and they said a custom built Air cannot be ordered there. It can be picked up there, but it must be ordered online.
I live in Vancouver BC Canada.

Hmm....I can't really wait any longer. I don't think I really need the 8 gigs because hell, I'll be upgrading in 3-4 years anyway....I've had a 2008 white Macbook up until now (it died on me a few weeks back), so I think i should be fine.

Stein357
Jun 26, 2012, 09:47 PM
How long do you plan on keeping the computer?

$100 isn't bad to semi future proof.