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trdsol23
Jun 27, 2013, 08:02 PM
Hey guys, last day to return my macbook air within the 14 day period is tomorrow. Question: right now, when I run activity monitor with programs I normally use, it says I have about 500-600mb remaining. Is that adequate if say I were to open more tabs in chrome or more preview files or more word documents? Also, with Maverick coming out soon, will I need the extra ram? Thanks!



Saberon
Jun 27, 2013, 08:26 PM
Without a doubt get the 8GB, you'll regret it if you don't

HiDEF
Jun 27, 2013, 10:06 PM
I hate these "4GB or 8GB" threads more and more each time. And the reason why is..I'm scared that I'm going to regret staying with the 4GB model. If I could I'd go with 8GBs to be safe but Best Buy doesn't carry it. I do have the option of getting the 13" rMBP but I'm really liking the air.

iterva
Jun 27, 2013, 10:24 PM
i hate these "4gb or 8gb" threads more and more each time. And the reason why is..i'm scared that i'm going to regret staying with the 4gb model. If i could i'd go with 8gbs to be safe but best buy doesn't carry it. I do have the option of getting the 13" rmbp but i'm really liking the air.

Yep :rolleyes:

With that, 8GB is a minimum in my world, regardless of use.

----------

Without a doubt get the 8GB, you'll regret it if you don't

Indeed

DisMyMac
Jun 27, 2013, 10:28 PM
There's no excuse for that little RAM except trying to frustrate ignorant buyers into upgrading sooner.

Same with the 5400rpm drives, == Apple marketing conspiracy.

mj1108
Jun 27, 2013, 10:46 PM
There is no reason to not get 8gb since you can't upgrade later on.

fedecape
Jun 28, 2013, 01:31 AM
I just upgraded my 2012 MacBook Air with i5 and 4gb to the new 2013 with i7 and 8gb.

To tell the truth, the GENERAL performance is almost the same.

Multiple tabs, mail, skype, spotify, and videos worked perfectly on my 2012 4gb model. Final Cut Pro X and PS worked flawlessly as well.

I wouldn't bother for multiple tabs, and word documents. Those are not demanding tasks. Besides, if Mavericks needed at least 8gb to work properly, Apple would be in trouble.

iterva
Jun 28, 2013, 02:44 AM
I just upgraded my 2012 MacBook Air with i5 and 4gb to the new 2013 with i7 and 8gb.

To tell the truth, the GENERAL performance is almost the same.

Multiple tabs, mail, skype, spotify, and videos worked perfectly on my 2012 4gb model. Final Cut Pro X and PS worked flawlessly as well.

I wouldn't bother for multiple tabs, and word documents. Those are not demanding tasks. Besides, if Mavericks needed at least 8gb to work properly, Apple would be in trouble.

What is your recommendation for OP? Upgrade to 8GB or stick with 4GB?

ibarnett
Jun 28, 2013, 02:51 AM
I replaced my 2012 i7/8/256 with 2013 i5/4/256.
To be honest,I don't see any difference.
Running OSX 10.9 DP2.

Brandon263
Jun 28, 2013, 03:08 AM
Hey guys, last day to return my macbook air within the 14 day period is tomorrow. Question: right now, when I run activity monitor with programs I normally use, it says I have about 500-600mb remaining. Is that adequate if say I were to open more tabs in chrome or more preview files or more word documents? Also, with Maverick coming out soon, will I need the extra ram? Thanks!

4 GB is working fine for me.

APlotdevice
Jun 28, 2013, 03:16 AM
I think it largely depends on how long you intend to hold onto the hardware. 4GB should be plenty enough for now, though in 3-4 years it might not be. (Eg. A lot of people only upgrade their computers every 5 years or so)

DisplacedMic
Jun 28, 2013, 03:43 AM
What is your recommendation for OP? Upgrade to 8GB or stick with 4GB?

clearly his recommendation is to stick with 4GB.

iterva
Jun 28, 2013, 05:59 AM
clearly his recommendation is to stick with 4GB.

Oh is it...thanks for clearing that up for him

beautifulcoder
Jun 28, 2013, 07:32 AM
I think you can start by looking at your current usage. Also, battery life could be impacted by having more RAM. Lastly, tech specs have hit a wall in the computer industry so I think in the future you'll start seeing software that is more efficient with limited resources.

Specs are not getting bigger and faster. They are getting smaller and more efficient.

RightMACatU
Jun 28, 2013, 07:37 AM
I hate these "4GB or 8GB" threads more and more each time. And the reason why is..I'm scared that I'm going to regret staying with the 4GB model. If I could I'd go with 8GBs to be safe but Best Buy doesn't carry it. I do have the option of getting the 13" rMBP but I'm really liking the air.

Indeed... But until the day Apple offers only one RAM option, we are doomed to read them.

Unless... MR has a rule that if you talk about this you're banned :D

DisplacedMic
Jun 28, 2013, 08:12 AM
Oh is it...thanks for clearing that up for him

seems like you're being a bit sarcastic, but you're welcome:D

let's see - he just upgraded to 8g and "the GENERAL performance is almost the same"

so he said he "wouldn't bother for multiple tabs, and word documents"

which to me sounds like he's saying 4g is good enough.

iterva
Jun 28, 2013, 08:20 AM
seems like you're being a bit sarcastic, but you're welcome:D


Tried to.. But in hindsight i have to consider it a fail due to 2 days of insomnia (and counting) :p

On a sidenote: These 4GB/8GB - i5/i7 - LG/SS display - Batterylife threads are getting really..um, amusing :D

Dr Charter
Jun 28, 2013, 08:50 AM
Tried to.. But in hindsight i have to consider it a fail due to 2 days of insomnia (and counting) :p

On a sidenote: These 4GB/8GB - i5/i7 - LG/SS display - Batterylife threads are getting really..um, amusing :D

Let's just resurrect this thread in a few years and change the 4s to 8s and 8s to 16s. It will save time and all of the advice will be exactly the same.

SMDBill
Jun 28, 2013, 10:23 AM
The only real difference most users will experience is in read/write delay using swap. If you wish to reduce wear and tear on your drive and slightly improve performance when swap is necessary, go with 8GB. Otherwise, 4GB is fine if you accept the slight delays during heavy RAM usage while your system uses swap and the fact that those read/writes place wear on your SSD.

jdechko
Jun 28, 2013, 12:47 PM
Let's just resurrect this thread in a few years and change the 4s to 8s and 8s to 16s. It will save time and all of the advice will be exactly the same.

A few years ago it was worse when we only had 1 and were trying to figure out if we should go to 2 or 4! :eek:

The big difference is that now the RAM is soldered on.

Personally, I'm probably just going to stick with 4. I know I've kept going back and forth on it. But based on my projected usage, 4 is going to be plenty (my desktop at home only has 3). Also, while the Air will be my primary machine, it won't be my only machine.

Plus with all of the improvements Apple is making to their computers & OS X, the average user won't notice much of a difference. OS X has always been good at making do with RAM and it's only getting better. And, in my opinion, Apple doesn't sell computers with inadequate RAM for average use: meaning that for web browsing, music, movies, documents & light gaming, the base RAM is sufficient. "Power-users" (VM, Audio/Video Production, Graphics) would likely upgrade from the base RAM.

BenTrovato
Jun 28, 2013, 01:17 PM
Go for it!

HiDEF
Jun 28, 2013, 01:26 PM
How many can confirm the performance of 4GB's? Does it lag or hang after owning it for more than a year?

Dr Charter
Jun 28, 2013, 02:00 PM
How many can confirm the performance of 4GB's? Does it lag or hang after owning it for more than a year?

It's probably not the time so much as the demands of a new OS or specific software. That is my understanding anyway.

APlotdevice
Jun 28, 2013, 02:20 PM
It's probably not the time so much as the demands of a new OS or specific software. That is my understanding anyway.

Yes, but those demands can increase in successive versions.

Weaselboy
Jun 28, 2013, 02:51 PM
Yes, but those demands can increase in successive versions.

OS X Mavericks is introducing technology that actually reduces the need for more RAM, so I don't know that that axiom will prove true any longer. Early reports in this from Mavericks users are favorable.

getEstimates
Jun 28, 2013, 03:43 PM
Had 8gb on my 2011 because of these threads. The 4gb in my 2012 has been more than enough. Go for the 8gb if you need it, but if you don't then just enjoy what you have.

The max RAM on the 2011 Airs was 4GB.

Dr Charter
Jun 28, 2013, 07:12 PM
OS X Mavericks is introducing technology that actually reduces the need for more RAM, so I don't know that that axiom will prove true any longer. Early reports in this from Mavericks users are favorable.

Well that is very good news. I always buy base configurations, but since I tend to upgrade every two or three years, I've never had problems. Even my 2010 Air with 2GB RAM did fine with ML. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that I use my computer for English professor type things rather than Pro applications.

NewbieCanada
Jun 28, 2013, 07:21 PM
Also, with Maverick coming out soon, will I need the extra ram? Thanks!


While I agree with the others that you should get 8, I want to point out that memory management is better under Mavericks.

bit density
Jun 28, 2013, 07:37 PM
Ok,

I don't ever have problems with 4g of memory, I have no problems with processor speed. What I find is that I have storage issues...

i have been a mac user for about 20 years, My latest is a 128g/4g/I5/11" 2012 air. I would be happier with more storage.

I am not upgrading this time, as the battery storage is not enough of a plus, though more battery storage is awesome. Just not worth it for me, I guess I am skipping a gen.

So... My answer, way happy with 4g, if I was to upgrade anything it would be the storage, up to 256K.

racer1441
Jun 28, 2013, 09:28 PM
I hate these "4GB or 8GB" threads more and more each time. And the reason why is..I'm scared that I'm going to regret staying with the 4GB model. If I could I'd go with 8GBs to be safe but Best Buy doesn't carry it. I do have the option of getting the 13" rMBP but I'm really liking the air.

4gb is fine for most people.

KiwiAdventure
Jun 29, 2013, 05:41 AM
My new one week old 13" 4gig is flying along using parallels and with my new wifi ac time capsule backups are super fast.

Kevbodian
Jun 29, 2013, 11:19 AM
...battery life could be impacted by having more RAM...

Lastly, tech specs have hit a wall in the computer industry so I think in the future you'll start seeing software that is more efficient with limited resources.

Specs are not getting bigger and faster. They are getting smaller and more efficient.


let's break this into 2.5 comments:

1. yeah, by having more ram, you could positively affect battery life (in the case of intensive tasks requiring swap, you will reduce the chance of requiring swap). As far as negatively affecting battery life (as in powering the DIMM?), good luck determining how much.. maybe less than 1%.

2. Tech specs have in no way hit a wall. Sure clock speeds fluctuate a little but clock speeds aren't everything. The big companies are trying to sell the "app" (win 8 apps, apple store apps etc) but most traditional software are still requiring more and more 'specs'.

2.5. While it looks like they're still listing requirements as 3ghz cpu, 2gb ram etc, these are just ballpark estimates for what these companies see as their market reasonably using; a 3ghz p4 is probably not sufficient.

----------

My new one week old 13" 4gig is flying along using parallels and with my new wifi ac time capsule backups are super fast.

How is parallels btw? I've never used it but heard great things. I will install on my i7/11" as soon as I get back to North America, lol.

HiDEF
Jun 29, 2013, 03:28 PM
My new one week old 13" 4gig is flying along using parallels and with my new wifi ac time capsule backups are super fast.

Have you experienced hangs or lag with parallels?

KiwiAdventure
Jun 29, 2013, 03:38 PM
Have you experienced hangs or lag with parallels?

No hangs or lag with parallels.

portishead
Jun 29, 2013, 05:39 PM
8GB should be standard. This is 2013. It probably costs Apple $20 to add it. I have a rMBP with 16GB, and it's probably been overkill 98% of the time, but even just light usage i'm around 4GB already.

TC25
Jun 30, 2013, 03:49 AM
8GB should be standard. This is 2013. It probably costs Apple $20 to add it. I have a rMBP with 16GB, and it's probably been overkill 98% of the time, but even just light usage i'm around 4GB already.
According to this forum, and the endless questions about 4 gig vs 8 gig, lots of people go with 4 gig. So, no, 8 gig should not be standard. 4 gig is perfect for people who use an MBA like a Chromebook.

cube
Jun 30, 2013, 04:35 AM
According to this forum, and the endless questions about 4 gig vs 8 gig, lots of people go with 4 gig. So, no, 8 gig should not be standard. 4 gig is perfect for people who use an MBA like a Chromebook.

4GiB is the bare minimum today. A computer is supposed to last at least 3 years. No laptops should be sold with less than 8GiB RAM when soldered. In fact, it should NEVER be soldered.

tomjleeds
Jun 30, 2013, 04:37 AM
OS X Mavericks is introducing technology that actually reduces the need for more RAM, so I don't know that that axiom will prove true any longer. Early reports in this from Mavericks users are favorable.

As far as I'm aware the only thing being introduced is compression of inactive memory, and this is unlikely to have a significant effect.

TC25
Jun 30, 2013, 07:58 AM
4GiB is the bare minimum today.
Which is why that is the std config for MBAs.

A computer is supposed to last at least 3 years.
Says who, other than you?

No laptops should be sold with less than 8GiB RAM when soldered.
People know the RAM cannot be upgraded after purchase. If they don't like this, they should buy it with 8 gigs or buy something else.

In fact, it should NEVER be soldered.
So many pronouncements. Wow. I'll take thin over having to make room for a socket.

Weaselboy
Jun 30, 2013, 09:19 AM
As far as I'm aware the only thing being introduced is compression of inactive memory, and this is unlikely to have a significant effect.

You should read over the Mavericks DP threads. Users there are reporting much better memory management. My point is due to these changes in Mavericks it will need less memory than say Mountain Lion and not more, so the old axiom about successive OS updates always requiring more memory does not necessarily hold.

portishead
Jun 30, 2013, 10:39 AM
According to this forum, and the endless questions about 4 gig vs 8 gig, lots of people go with 4 gig. So, no, 8 gig should not be standard. 4 gig is perfect for people who use an MBA like a Chromebook.

Yes it should. I already said it. Go ahead and justify your 4gb purchase, but you messed up. Enjoy your page outs.

TC25
Jun 30, 2013, 01:09 PM
Yes it should. I already said it. Go ahead and justify your 4gb purchase, but you messed up. Enjoy your page outs.

You are ASSUMING I bought 4 gigs. You are wrong. This exchange was about what the DEFAULT amount of memory should be, a FACT you clearly missed. YOU messed up.

portishead
Jun 30, 2013, 03:20 PM
You are ASSUMING I bought 4 gigs. You are wrong. This exchange was about what the DEFAULT amount of memory should be, a FACT you clearly missed. YOU messed up.

Default should be 8GB. Less than 8GB you're GOING to have page outs. Enjoy those RESTARTS. Sorry, my CAPS LOCK keeps getting RANDOMLY stuck.

TC25
Jun 30, 2013, 03:36 PM
Default should be 8GB. Less than 8GB you're GOING to have page outs. Enjoy those RESTARTS. Sorry, my CAPS LOCK keeps getting RANDOMLY stuck.

Read the first two sentences in my post.

/end

portishead
Jun 30, 2013, 03:48 PM
Read the first two sentences in my post.

/end

Read the last sentence of my third post of this thread.

robertpetry
Jun 30, 2013, 09:11 PM
I would rather not read either of your posts. Neither one of you is adding anything to this conversation by bickering.

Booji
Jun 30, 2013, 09:34 PM
Have you experienced hangs or lag with parallels?

My first Air was a 2010 with 2gb ram and it ran Parallels (with win XP) just fine as long as I was not running a lot of other programs in OSX at the same time. Running Safari was fine, but Safari plus iTunes at the same time as Parallels would seriously max it out.

Second Air was 2011 with 4gb and no issues, but I think the 8gb is a cheap and good upgrade and its hard to go wrong so I went for it on my 2013.

As for running Parallels with 4gb vs. 8gb, I don't really see any difference unless you run a lot of other programs at the same time.

jdechko
Jul 1, 2013, 12:41 AM
Yes it should. I already said it. Go ahead and justify your 4gb purchase, but you messed up. Enjoy your page outs.

It sounds like you're trying to justify spending more money on 8GB when in fact 4GB is likely to be plenty for years to come for the majority of people. Maybe it's not enough for you, but its a reasonable default. A 2010 MBP with 4GB of RAM runs Lightroom 4 just fine while editing RAW images from a D90. Not a professional workflow, but above average usage.

Average people don't open every app on their computer or have 20+ tabs open in their browser. Average people don't run photoshop and don't give a crap that it takes an extra half a second to switch from Safari to iPhoto to iTunes. And no average computer user gives a crap what a "page out" is.

The real truth is that both OS X and windows do a really good job of dealing with memory management. They will adjust to the users habits (auto termination of apps, memory compression, etc).

My point is, if you know you'll need more memory, you arent going to be asking on a forum. You'll buy it anyway. But if you have to ask, you probably don't need it.

beautifulcoder
Jul 1, 2013, 03:09 PM
1. yeah, by having more ram, you could positively affect battery life (in the case of intensive tasks requiring swap, you will reduce the chance of requiring swap).

Well, flash memory is just as efficient as RAM. So if you are talking about old school HDD you would be correct.

As far as negatively affecting battery life (as in powering the DIMM?), good luck determining how much.. maybe less than 1%.

Correct, more memory means more to power the DIMM. Also, more stuff the OS has to haul. My point is that having a bunch of unnecessary RAM can affect your experience. My recommendation is to buy what you actually use. For example, I run Ubuntu at home and my memory consumption is no more than 1.5GB.

2. Tech specs have in no way hit a wall. Sure clock speeds fluctuate a little but clock speeds aren't everything. The big companies are trying to sell the "app" (win 8 apps, apple store apps etc) but most traditional software are still requiring more and more 'specs'.

There are physical limitations in how much you can do on silicon and no amount of engineering can bend the laws of physics. You are right, clock speeds fluctuate but they are not getting any faster. Typically what I see in 'traditional' software is software that was written pre-2007 with a different philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law). However, I think these software packages are a bit of a Dodo these days. If there is a software package X that has 10,000 features and runs like crap on my machine, and there is another software package Y that has 5 features I actually need and runs well, I'm going to go with Y never X.

2.5. While it looks like they're still listing requirements as 3ghz cpu, 2gb ram etc, these are just ballpark estimates for what these companies see as their market reasonably using; a 3ghz p4 is probably not sufficient.

If you look at Windows 8 for example, it actually has the same minimum specs as Windows 7 so you can kind of start to see where the industry is heading.

You should read over the Mavericks DP threads. Users there are reporting much better memory management. My point is due to these changes in Mavericks it will need less memory than say Mountain Lion and not more, so the old axiom about successive OS updates always requiring more memory does not necessarily hold.

Amen brother! I think in the future software is going to have get more intelligent in the way it solves a problem. More convolution and nonsensical code can no longer hide behind ridiculously high 'tech specs'. It is a common trend for people to abandon complexity in favor of simplicity.

APlotdevice
Jul 1, 2013, 03:27 PM
Well, flash memory is just as efficient as RAM. So if you are talking about old school HDD you would be correct.

If flash were totally comparable to RAM then we wouldn't even be using RAM anymore. It is certainly faster than a HDD, yet still not as fast as RAM. Also flash memory has a relatively limited number of write cycles. So caching to it all the time could reduce the life of the drive.

tomjleeds
Jul 1, 2013, 03:33 PM
You should read over the Mavericks DP threads. Users there are reporting much better memory management. My point is due to these changes in Mavericks it will need less memory than say Mountain Lion and not more, so the old axiom about successive OS updates always requiring more memory does not necessarily hold.

Much as I'm sure there are valid opinions in such threads I'm wary of treating them as any kind of science...

Anyhoo, you're right, the axiom does not necessarily hold in this case.