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View Full Version : How important is 8G ram?




email68
Sep 11, 2012, 01:27 PM
Choice for me is i5 - 4G - 128SD refurb for $929.

Or i5 - 8G - 64SD new for $1099.

The idea is that I can never upgrade the ram, but I could the SSD.

Still its a big price difference just to get the 8 and lose the double SSD.



charlieegan3
Sep 11, 2012, 01:32 PM
All depends on your amount of use. How many programs do you like to have open at once?

jav6454
Sep 11, 2012, 01:32 PM
I would take the 8GB because that is something that you will never upgrade. That factor is the one that makes my decision.

email68
Sep 11, 2012, 01:43 PM
Its a machine to take with us on vacation. So some iMovie stuff, iPhoto. Mostly web surfing and email.

I plan to have a mac mini as soon as they update them for my regular machine.

tiwizard
Sep 11, 2012, 01:48 PM
Its a machine to take with us on vacation. So some iMovie stuff, iPhoto. Mostly web surfing and email.

I plan to have a mac mini as soon as they update them for my regular machine.

If you're planning on using iMovie and iPhoto, storage space will disappear pretty quick... I'd rather have the 128 GB SSD than the RAM if you want to store any photos on your computer.

Or, alternatively, you could get an external drive (http://macbooktips.info/mac/saving-hdd-space-macbook#purchase).

jav6454
Sep 11, 2012, 01:51 PM
Get a big external drive via USB3, and that will suffice. That way you will never be bound by storage space. But RAM is critical when doing large photos or movies.

dkersten
Sep 11, 2012, 01:54 PM
Better go the 8GB of RAM route and then get an external HDD

pommie82
Sep 11, 2012, 01:59 PM
The macbook air wasn't really designed for high editing it was designed purely just looking up things checking email syncing iPhone,iPod and any other apple device if you are looking to editing photos and videos then my best advice would be to use a macbook pro with 16Gb of ram you would need alot of ram for cloning retouching with adobe elements at the end of the day if you aren't doing editing of any kind then i should of thought a macbook air would fit the bill just nicely

Carlanga
Sep 11, 2012, 02:02 PM
I would say get the 8GB RAM one. I believe buying one w/ 4GB is too little in this day & age when you can't upgrade it. Especially if you want to work w/ videos and editing.

You can also buy a USB drive of 64GB for pretty cheap nowadays ~$35 Sandisk on Amazon for your extra needs and less weight than an external hard drive and won't get damaged like a mechanical external hard drive.

WilliamLondon
Sep 11, 2012, 02:29 PM
There are so many alternatives to the smaller internal storage issue, as others have said, go with more RAM (always!) and get an external drive or use cloud services like DropBox or SugarSync.

My iMac's 1TB HDD died last year, and I replaced it with a 64GB SSD as I had lots of external drives around here (where I have moved all my data). I've not missed the internal storage at all, which is great for my MBA about to arrive (meaning the centralised data is accessible to that machine easily) - you can easily deal without lots of internal storage, but it's much more difficult to deal with not having enough RAM.

Mrbobb
Sep 11, 2012, 02:47 PM
Its a machine to take with us on vacation. So some iMovie stuff, iPhoto. Mostly web surfing and email.

I plan to have a mac mini as soon as they update them for my regular machine.

If you have a desktop at home, most likely that's where u store most of your stuff, so a big local storage probably isn't necessary.

For vacation use, I don't see a big diff between 4 and 8 ram, I assume u won't be holed up in your hotel room doing heavy video editing.

However, is this your first AIR? lots of people have commented once they hooked on the Air's portability they end up using it more and when and if that happens u wish it has more ram.

Your call.

robvas
Sep 11, 2012, 02:49 PM
I would be more restricted by 64GB than 4GB

KPOM
Sep 11, 2012, 03:02 PM
Choice for me is i5 - 4G - 128SD refurb for $929.

Or i5 - 8G - 64SD new for $1099.

The idea is that I can never upgrade the ram, but I could the SSD.

Still its a big price difference just to get the 8 and lose the double SSD.

Why not get a reburb 2012? My guess is we will see some 8/128 combinations soon.

PaulKemp
Sep 11, 2012, 03:19 PM
+1 to 8 GB of RAM, and
+1 to waiting for a refurb 2012 so you can expand with USB 3.0 disk in the future.

email68
Sep 11, 2012, 03:24 PM
Why not get a reburb 2012? My guess is we will see some 8/128 combinations soon.

Thats the problem. There are no 8g 2012 refurbs now. Only one thats an i7 for $1399.

Have you guys seen 8g refurbs very often? I've only been looking for two days.

Cmmts
Sep 11, 2012, 03:57 PM
Choice for me is i5 - 4G - 128SD refurb for $929.

Or i5 - 8G - 64SD new for $1099.

The idea is that I can never upgrade the ram, but I could the SSD.

Still its a big price difference just to get the 8 and lose the double SSD.

Honestly, at this point I wouldn't go with either. Upgrade from 4 to 8 gigs on my iMac made huge difference, but at the same time 64 gigs is pretty bare bones. With photos and home movies even 128 can get a bit smallish. Remember that you're stuck with your choice for quite some time. Spending 1 000 USD for something that barely does the job at the moment really doesn't seem the wise choice. I'd try to save up or think about the traditional Macbook Pro 13.

Beanoir
Sep 11, 2012, 04:03 PM
Its a machine to take with us on vacation. So some iMovie stuff, iPhoto. Mostly web surfing and email.

I plan to have a mac mini as soon as they update them for my regular machine.

In that case you won't notice any difference between 2GB and 8GB of RAM. Save your money and don't bother with 8GB if you're not going to use it (which by your description you will never come close)

And ignore the people here that clearly haven't read your requirements before spouting out the standard line of "get the most RAM you can because its what you need" which is becoming a bit cliche and boring.

Cmmts
Sep 11, 2012, 04:09 PM
In that case you won't notice any difference between 2GB and 8GB of RAM. Save your money and don't bother with 8GB if you're not going to use it (which by your description you will never come close)

And ignore the people here that clearly haven't read your requirements before spouting out the standard line of "get the most RAM you can because its what you need" which is becoming a bit cliche and boring.

Well I base my opinion on my personal experience. On macs RAM makes a difference even on small daily tasks.

Alameda
Sep 11, 2012, 04:11 PM
I'm perfectly happy with 4 GB of RAM. The limitation is that I don't run VMWare Fusion unless absolutely necessary... which is pretty much never. But I have it with a copy of MS Office 11 just in case I get a file I can't read.

The SSD is very fast, so it's very practical to open ten apps at once and let it page if necessary; you barely notice it. I don't see how you can live with 64 GB of storage; I have 256 GB and wish for more.

Beanoir
Sep 11, 2012, 04:23 PM
Well I base my opinion on my personal experience. On macs RAM makes a difference even on small daily tasks.

How can it if small tasks don't use all the RAM, it won't make any difference?! If you understand how your RAM works you'd realise that statement is wrong i'm afraid.

Mike in Kansas
Sep 11, 2012, 04:38 PM
The macbook air wasn't really designed for high editing it was designed purely just looking up things checking email syncing iPhone,iPod and any other apple device if you are looking to editing photos and videos then my best advice would be to use a macbook pro with 16Gb of ram you would need alot of ram for cloning retouching with adobe elements at the end of the day if you aren't doing editing of any kind then i should of thought a macbook air would fit the bill just nicely

So the Air is designed mainly for CONSUMPTION of content, not CREATION of content?? Where have I heard that before?

I can assure you, the 2102 MBA runs circles around my 2008 iMac 2.8GHz with 6GB of RAM - it's clearly made for CREATION of content. It runs Aperture, iMovie, CS5, etc. without a hitch. You might want to look at some of the 2012 MBA benchmarks compared to the 2010 and 2011 MBPs.

Seamaster
Sep 11, 2012, 05:14 PM
How important is 8G ram?

Christ, can we get through just one day without this question being asked AGAIN?

KPOM
Sep 11, 2012, 05:24 PM
Thats the problem. There are no 8g 2012 refurbs now. Only one thats an i7 for $1399.

Have you guys seen 8g refurbs very often? I've only been looking for two days.

The 2012s just started showing up as refurbished models a few days ago. If you aren't in a hurry, I'd give it time. The 2012s have much faster SSDs, so even with the 4GB version you'll notice that page-outs are faster on the 2012s. For web surfing, e-mail, and Office-type tasks, 4GB is plenty. Where the RAM would come in handy is iMovie, as well as running virtual machines if you do that. 64GB will be used up very quickly with movies. Remember that the actual capacity is about 59GB, and that OS X and the standard application set take up about 12GB of that itself.

Barna Biro
Sep 11, 2012, 06:43 PM
1) Not upgradable
2) Helps you run more programs at once
3) HD4000 chip gets a boost

Overall... totally worth the upgrade. Would not get 8GB of memory only if you use your notebook for simple web surfing and opening / writing documents. It's a really cheap upgrade compare to the benefits it comes with... I personally would get it no matter what :)

email68
Sep 11, 2012, 06:53 PM
Thanks guys.

I decided on the MacAir 2012 4g refurb with 128SD. $929. I just sold my 2008 Macbook for $700. This made it just a couple hundred for the upgrade.

I'll get a beefy MacMini after they refresh them. The MacAir will be just a goof around machine for web, email, and writing. I'll use the cloud to sync things up.

Of course, I'll keep watching the refurb store for the next 14 days :p

DVD9
Sep 11, 2012, 07:10 PM
Choice for me is i5 - 4G - 128SD refurb for $929.

Or i5 - 8G - 64SD new for $1099.

The idea is that I can never upgrade the ram, but I could the SSD.

Still its a big price difference just to get the 8 and lose the double SSD.

If you have to ask then you don't need more than 4GB of RAM. Anyone who needs more than four gigs of RAM is acutely aware of this and can easily explain why because when the RAM runs out everything stops. I remember back in the day when computers came with 384MB of RAM.

If you're using your Air as a desktop you're overtaxing it and you should not expect a happy ending.

WilliamLondon
Sep 11, 2012, 07:18 PM
Christ, can we get through just one day without this question being asked AGAIN?

No more, I suppose, than we can get through a day without snide, rude or offensive responses to honest questions.

Mr. Retrofire
Sep 11, 2012, 07:51 PM
How important is 8G ram?
Safari says:
Very important!
;-)

email68
Sep 11, 2012, 07:53 PM
The real question should have been can I get by with 4g. Sounds like I can from what I was hearing.

The difference was I could get a refurb MA 2012 with 4g. If I wanted an 8g, I'd have to go new and the difference would have been $260 more just to get the extra 4g.

I decided to stick with the refurb, and use that extra cash to build out a new mini after they refresh them.

Mike in Kansas
Sep 11, 2012, 08:10 PM
If you're using your Air as a desktop you're overtaxing it and you should not expect a happy ending.

What does this mean? My new 2012 MBA outperforms my 4 year old desktop in pretty much all measurable categories without even breaking a sweat. And my 4 year old desktop runs even better now than when I bought it due to an SSD upgrade and maxing out the RAM. The MBAs have improved dramatically in the last couple of years, and are easily on par with desktops of just a couple of years ago. Just check out the Geekbench scores on mid-2010 iMacs vs. the 2012 MBAs. Add the MBA's SSD to the mix, and you have a MUCH faster user experience than with the 2010 iMac.

Pharmscott
Sep 11, 2012, 08:12 PM
I remember back in the day when computers came with 384MB of RAM.

At the risk of dating myself, I remember 1MB of RAM: my good old 8088XT.

thekev
Sep 11, 2012, 08:22 PM
Thanks guys.

I decided on the MacAir 2012 4g refurb with 128SD. $929. I just sold my 2008 Macbook for $700. This made it just a couple hundred for the upgrade.

I'll get a beefy MacMini after they refresh them. The MacAir will be just a goof around machine for web, email, and writing. I'll use the cloud to sync things up.

Of course, I'll keep watching the refurb store for the next 14 days :p

I can't believe a 64 GB option still exists, especially given the pricing of NAND. So the Air will have a 64GB option through mid 2013:rolleyes:? That just seems so silly to me.

Mrbobb
Sep 11, 2012, 08:50 PM
I remember back in the day when computers came with 384MB of RAM.

That was me just 12 months ago! in my 10 years old vaio Z505. Then I noticed the HD came on alot, so I went ahead and maxed it out at 500M, things improved, then something else happened and my 750mhz Celeron (remember those?) processor slowed down to 500mhz and it was 100% cpu ALL THE TIME! :mad: so that's when I said it's time for a new laptop.

I blame on software developers. Every time they update something, they invariably give you more "features" you don't need, but now the bloated app wants you upgrade$ the hardware. Is a vicious cycle. Reason why I had stayed with Photoshop 6.0 (remember that?) works just great for what I do at home, no need to make other people rich.

jrcsh6
Sep 11, 2012, 09:23 PM
more storage space will be missed more than the ram amount

Alameda
Sep 11, 2012, 09:28 PM
remember back in the day when computers came with 384MB of RAM. My first Mac came with 1 MB of RAM, but that was more than the capacity of its 800KB floppy drives. I couldn't afford $700 for a 20MB hard disk.

ducatiti
Sep 11, 2012, 09:58 PM
Thanks guys.

I decided on the MacAir 2012 4g refurb with 128SD. $929. I just sold my 2008 Macbook for $700. This made it just a couple hundred for the upgrade.

I'll get a beefy MacMini after they refresh them. The MacAir will be just a goof around machine for web, email, and writing. I'll use the cloud to sync things up.

Of course, I'll keep watching the refurb store for the next 14 days :p

As another option for you, Fry's has the 2012 13" base on sale right now for $999. I had Best Buy match this price.

However, running Win 7 via VmWare had page outs in the amount of 1.17 gb in less than an hour, downloading only videos. I didn't feel any slowdowns or experience any lag.

I am tempted to return this one and upgrade to 8gb but that would be an additional $300 based on the discounted price I purchased @ $999 for the base.

What do you guys think?

iamsen47
Sep 11, 2012, 10:12 PM
As always, it depends on what you're using it for. If you're going to be doing video all the time, like every-day kinds of all the time, then you're going to want 8Gb (or even the Pro). If however, like the OP you're only using it for occasional photo and video edits while on holidays, the base model is more than enough for your needs.

plucky duck
Sep 11, 2012, 10:37 PM
I'd be too restricted with 64GB SSD, even without bootcamp. If you want to run Parallel/VMWare then neither is a good tool for the job. The Air is a creation device, but can be severely limited based on your configuration of choosing.

Based on what you use it for, you'd be less restricted with a larger internal SSD than you would with more ram in my opinion. The lesser of two evils. I see ram is more of a luxury compared to storage. I don't let the fact that ram is not upgradeable sway me towards something that at the end of the day may not suit my usage pattern. 4GB of ram is enough for what I do, but 64GB SSD is really cramping and would defeat the utility of the laptop.

DVD9
Sep 11, 2012, 10:37 PM
I am tempted to return this one and upgrade to 8gb but that would be an additional $300 based on the discounted price I purchased @ $999 for the base.

What do you guys think?

How many more posts do you need to see? You don't need more than four GB of RAM.

Now that 128GB SSD which is made by Toshiba, that has a Sandforce controller so good luck using Filevault2.

KPOM
Sep 11, 2012, 11:23 PM
I remember back in the day when computers came with 384MB of RAM.

My first PC (in 1987) had 256KB of RAM. It cost us almost $500 to max it out at 640KB a year or so after we bought it. I splurged back in 1994 for a 90MHz Pentium with a whopping 16MB of RAM. :D

tiwizard
Sep 11, 2012, 11:39 PM
How many more posts do you need to see? You don't need more than four GB of RAM.

Now that 128GB SSD which is made by Toshiba, that has a Sandforce controller so good luck using Filevault2.

He isn't the OP and he is indicating he uses VMs. Of every type of user, he would be the one to need the 8 GB of RAM. (More info on how much RAM to get (http://macbooktips.co.cc/buying-macbook/ram-macbook-air-macbook-pro/))

ducatiti
Sep 11, 2012, 11:46 PM
He isn't the OP and he is indicating he uses VMs. Of every type of user, he would be the one to need the 8 GB of RAM. (More info on how much RAM to get (http://macbooktips.tumblr.com/post/31384630785/how-much-ram-should-i-get-in-a-macbook-air-or-macbook))

Thank you. I just tend to ignore those kind of posts.

DVD9
Sep 12, 2012, 12:02 AM
He isn't the OP and he is indicating he uses VMs. Of every type of user, he would be the one to need the 8 GB of RAM. (More info on how much RAM to get (http://macbooktips.tumblr.com/post/31384630785/how-much-ram-should-i-get-in-a-macbook-air-or-macbook))

So you're saying he didn't read the thread and that's OK?

Interesting.

tiwizard
Sep 12, 2012, 12:10 AM
So you're saying he didn't read the thread and that's OK?

Interesting.

So you're saying he can't ask for advice on a forum?

Interesting.

DVD9
Sep 12, 2012, 12:17 AM
So you're saying he can't ask for advice on a forum?

Interesting.

The answers are already given. Refusing to read the thread is rude.

tiwizard
Sep 12, 2012, 12:21 AM
The answers are already given. Refusing to read the thread is rude.

But he doesn't have an answer. He is asking a new question about a discounted Mac and its tradeoffs for having less RAM.

Of course, "refusing" to read threads didn't stop all of these people (http://forums.macrumors.com/search.php?searchid=29891055) from posting. This is a forum for people to ask questions and provide their advice, not to limit discussion.

And chastising him for asking a legitimate question is also rude.

ducatiti
Sep 12, 2012, 12:45 AM
He isn't the OP and he is indicating he uses VMs. Of every type of user, he would be the one to need the 8 GB of RAM. (More info on how much RAM to get (http://macbooktips.tumblr.com/post/31384630785/how-much-ram-should-i-get-in-a-macbook-air-or-macbook))

Your input is well appreciated. So I installed Aperture 3 and edited three photos for about 10 minutes and my Page Outs are already at 2 GB lol. Processing the adjustments took a little long but not bad. I'm in the process of moving my library to the network drive and will see if it gets any worse.

Ubele
Sep 12, 2012, 11:15 AM
My first PC (in 1987) had 256KB of RAM. It cost us almost $500 to max it out at 640KB a year or so after we bought it. I splurged back in 1994 for a 90MHz Pentium with a whopping 16MB of RAM. :D

You youngster! :D My first computer (in 1983), a KayPro II CP/M machine, had 64 KB of RAM. That was a great computer. I used it until 1989 (primarily for word processing) until I got my first MS-DOS PC.

tiwizard
Sep 12, 2012, 11:50 AM
Your input is well appreciated. So I installed Aperture 3 and edited three photos for about 10 minutes and my Page Outs are already at 2 GB lol. Processing the adjustments took a little long but not bad. I'm in the process of moving my library to the network drive and will see if it gets any worse.

Yeah, it seems like for you the 8 GB of RAM would be beneficial, even for $300. The photo editing and VM scenarios you posted would probably benefit by having that extra RAM.

Of course, assuming you're not talking about the Retina Pro with 16 GB of RAM you have in your signature ;)