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IPadNParadise
Jan 12, 2013, 09:27 AM
Please give me several opinions. I have asked this on another forum and gotten one answer. Disappointed. Ok, I want to order a MacBook Air 13". My budget is small however I am willing to spend those extra $ a Mac costs vs a PC.

I am an older retired (former PC user) and my needs are small. I web surf, have numbers on my iPad that I use I spreadsheet in for budget/bills, have some photos, Facebook and that's about all. I read on my iPad, never will play games. I just think I need an ample machine to handle the seemingly annual Mac OS upgrades. So, I am planning to order 8 gb ram and 128 ssd. I just barely understand what ram and ssd are LOL I can't really afford 256 ssd so my question is, will 8 gb and 128 ssd get me thru the next few years? If not, my alternative is to buy windows 8 machine, uug

I do know my iPad does a lot but I just had a 5 yo (basic) toshiba laptop die that I liked for flash needs and to scan pics. Thank you for any advice you might offer.



Stetrain
Jan 12, 2013, 09:34 AM
RAM: RAM is used by currently running applications. More RAM will help with running multiple large applications at once, and also probably with helping it run future OSX versions. You would probably be just fine with 4GB, but 8GB will be a bit of extra future-proofing and it's a relatively cheap upgrade all things considered.

SSD: This is the storage space of the computer. You mention photos and scanning, do you know how large your photo library is currently? Things like lots of high-resolution photos, music, and videos can use up the storage space quickly.

Worst case if you happen to fill up the SSD you could always buy a USB 3 external hard drive to store your photos.

IPadNParadise
Jan 12, 2013, 10:47 AM
Don't laugh - I currently have 8 photos stored on my iPad. I take bad pics so if I don't like I delete. I could get better but I doubt it. I have done some investigating into the external drive capability and cost. Think that's doable.

Stetrain
Jan 12, 2013, 11:39 AM
Don't laugh - I currently have 8 photos stored on my iPad. I take bad pics so if I don't like I delete. I could get better but I doubt it. I have done some investigating into the external drive capability and cost. Think that's doable.

In that case I think the 128GB model will do just fine for you.

kage207
Jan 12, 2013, 11:52 AM
You shouldn't even need 8GB of RAM. It just helps multiple applications run more smoothly if you are a power user and by the sounds of it, won't touch it. I mean I use 5 or 6 applications (most of them RAM hungry) and I get close to 4GB RAM used. I got 8GB so I didn't Page my memory to my SSD.

So the SSD, it sounds like you'd have trouble even filling 128GB. I'd just stick with the base model of either the 11" or 13".

IPadNParadise
Jan 12, 2013, 12:27 PM
Since the 8 gb ram is only $100 more, I'm thinking I want that even tho I know it is way overkill now. It's the ssd number that I am unsure of.

So let me see if I'm correct - I think the 8 gb will allow me to keep current with Mac OS upgrades for a few years and 128 ssd will handle my simple storage needs as long as they stay fairly simple in the future.

Stetrain
Jan 12, 2013, 01:35 PM
Since the 8 gb ram is only $100 more, I'm thinking I want that even tho I know it is way overkill now. It's the ssd number that I am unsure of.

So let me see if I'm correct - I think the 8 gb will allow me to keep current with Mac OS upgrades for a few years and 128 ssd will handle my simple storage needs as long as they stay fairly simple in the future.

Sounds about right. The RAM can never be upgraded in the Air, so the 8GB is a pretty smart investment. As kage207 said you may never need it or notice the difference but if you're leaning towards getting it I think it's a good choice.

If your storage needs grow beyond the 128GB SSD you can either add on a USB external drive, a network storage drive, or even upgrade the internal SSD once you're out of the warranty period.

One advantage of sticking to the base 4GB/128GB model is that you'll have a better chance of finding a deal on it.

Apple sells them refurbished with a one year warranty for quite a bit off http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD231LL/A/refurbished-macbook-air-18ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5

You might also get a good deal on a new one at places like Amazon or B&H Photo.