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Ollifi
Jun 30, 2013, 12:12 PM
I consider the newest MBA 13", 128GB

My usage:
- Website development (FileZilla, text editor)
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint
- website browsing
- Spotify, YouTube (1080p?), internet radio
- Skype
- Facetime

I consider of 4GB RAM Memory. Is that enough for doing several of tasks above simultaneously? Thanks for helping, this would be my first MBA.



Saberon
Jun 30, 2013, 12:52 PM
8GB for sure. Especially if you plan to keep it a few years. It's only $100 and you get good bang for your buck with it

Ollifi
Jun 30, 2013, 12:55 PM
Ok, but when you think I would need it?

TC25
Jun 30, 2013, 01:10 PM
Ok, but when you think I would need it?

At purchase time.

Ollifi
Jun 30, 2013, 01:45 PM
But I mean, when would I benefit from the extra 4GB ? I think I maybe should first try with 4GB,and if it seems to be too low, then return and buy another (30 days return guarantee)

enisala
Jun 30, 2013, 02:00 PM
I am similar user to you. I have 4 gb on new MBA and yes I have some page outs but I cant see any lags or something like that. On Mavericks maybe I won't have any page outs

Ollifi
Jun 30, 2013, 02:05 PM
Ok, thanks for your comments. Currently I'm on Win8 and I have 2 GB of 4 GB in use (Chrome, Spotify, Skype, Filezilla, Dropbox etc.) So will Mac use more memory than Windows?

HiDEF
Jun 30, 2013, 03:40 PM
I am similar user to you. I have 4 gb on new MBA and yes I have some page outs but I cant see any lags or something like that. On Mavericks maybe I won't have any page outs

You're having page outs on a new 2013 MBA? What exactly are you running?

----------

Ok, thanks for your comments. Currently I'm on Win8 and I have 2 GB of 4 GB in use (Chrome, Spotify, Skype, Filezilla, Dropbox etc.) So will Mac use more memory than Windows?

I don't think Mac uses as much as windows.

mkeisu
Jun 30, 2013, 03:45 PM
It doesn't sound like you need more memory than 4GB if a text editor is all your using for development. But if you are using a fully fledged IDE, you might want to upgrade. Other applications sound pretty lightweight.

mj1108
Jun 30, 2013, 03:50 PM
Reasons to upgrade to 8GB:

* You plan on keeping this laptop for a few years.
* You can't upgrade it later.

maxosx
Jun 30, 2013, 03:53 PM
This topic had been argued ad nausea. Apple like most other companies is notoriously cheap when it comes to the amount of ram they equip their computers with. Signal the Apple faithful and they'll provide one zillion and two reasons why only a minuscule amount of ram is needed in a Mac.

Yet the bottom line truth never changes. If you plan on _using_your Mac for all that you think you will, it's likely that once you take delivery and experience how nice it is, you'll likely be using it for more than you anticipated.

Buy the most ram you can afford. You'll be glad you did. In addition by the time you're ready to sell it, suddenly that won't seem like an excessive amount compared to new machines of the moment.

enisala
Jun 30, 2013, 04:59 PM
You're having page outs on a new 2013 MBA? What exactly are you running?

----------



I don't think Mac uses as much as windows.

Safari, mail, messages, iTunes, reeder sometimes iPhoto, 1password, dropbox, istat menu, flux, dropbox, activity monitor, libre office (rarely)
Of course I use one app at once. Reeder and safari are often full-screened.
Imho the most problematic is safari but i hate chrome

Ollifi
Jul 1, 2013, 12:52 AM
If I plug external display (21") to MBA via HDMI, will it use more RAM?

iphonesrq
Jul 1, 2013, 02:39 AM
If I plug external display (21") to MBA via HDMI, will it use more RAM?

there is no HDMI port on the new MBA

Isamilis
Jul 1, 2013, 02:51 AM
Just to share. I have 8gb in my MBA 13" 2012. And most of the time, the free memory was for my virtual disk. I am light user of safari, office and video player.
4gb could be less important especially small difference in performance when system swap to ssd storage.

APlotdevice
Jul 1, 2013, 03:01 AM
there is no HDMI port on the new MBA

You could however use a mini-DP to HDMI adapter.

Ollifi
Jul 1, 2013, 03:09 AM
You could however use a mini-DP to HDMI adapter.

Yes, that is what I mean. If I connect my screen via adapter to my Macbook air, will it consume more RAM than just MBA's own screen?

HiDEF
Jul 1, 2013, 08:04 AM
Yes, that is what I mean. If I connect my screen via adapter to my Macbook air, will it consume more RAM than just MBA's own screen?

I don't think its the RAM, I believe it's the Air's video memory.

I was taking a look at the BookArc (http://twelvesouth.com/products/BookArc_for_Air/), and they claim this:

There’s one additional benefit of using your MacBook Air closed in a BookArc vs using it in dual-screen mode with an external monitor. It actually speeds up your MacBook Air! Dedicating 100% of your MacBook Air’s video memory to the external monitor decreases redraw time in everything from iPhoto to Photoshop.

Can anyone confirm this?

Ollifi
Jul 1, 2013, 08:43 AM
Thanks.But, you can close Air's cover without BookArc, too :) So BookArc actually does not speed up Air.

HiDEF
Jul 1, 2013, 08:47 AM
Thanks.But, you can close Air's cover without BookArc, too :) So BookArc actually does not speed up Air.

I get that--should have explained myself a bit more..

My point was, if you connect a ext monitor and have the MBA in Closed Clamshell Mode, it shouldn't use the MBA virtual memory--according to their site.

I also understand that wasn't your original question but I thought I'd share what I read.

wermy
Jul 1, 2013, 08:51 AM
I don't think its the RAM, I believe it's the Air's video memory.

I was taking a look at the BookArc (http://twelvesouth.com/products/BookArc_for_Air/), and they claim this:



Can anyone confirm this?

Isn't the video memory shared with the RAM for the integrated graphics?
Also if you have the laptop closed while driving an external monitor, it makes sense that it would be faster - it's driving far fewer pixels in that scenario.

Ollifi
Jul 1, 2013, 08:53 AM
Ok, I'll understand.

Jedi Master
Jul 2, 2013, 02:00 AM
I consider the newest MBA 13", 128GB

My usage:
- Website development (FileZilla, text editor)
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint
- website browsing
- Spotify, YouTube (1080p?), internet radio
- Skype
- Facetime

I consider of 4GB RAM Memory. Is that enough for doing several of tasks above simultaneously? Thanks for helping, this would be my first MBA.

If you do all the above tasks at the same time, also how many browsers tabs open and which browser do you use. You can't add the memory later.

Besides if if need the ask, you need the 8GB

Ollifi
Jul 2, 2013, 10:26 AM
I usually don't do all those tasks at the time. I usually have ~5 browser tabs open (Chrome), Spotify, Skype, and Filezilla. And currently memory usage:2,3Gb/4Gb, on Win8 64-bit. So what you think, if the memory is enough now, would it be enoguh with MBA? Does laptop consume more memory than normal computer? I actually don't have much experience on laptops, I'm sorry for that.

Saberon
Jul 2, 2013, 10:33 AM
A laptop doesn't use more or less memory than a desktop


I build and fix computers for a living. Ill just be blunt. Getting 4GB on a notebook in 2013 is shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you "might only be using 2.5-3GB" now, why cut it so close? The more memory the better. Memory requirements for operating systems and programs are only going to be growing. Don't sell yourself short with 4GB, give yourself a bit of breathing room. The difference is only $100, what a small price to pay for peace of mind if anything. Nobody wants to see page outs when you've spent over $1000, I'm actually quite saddened to see 4GB as stock for that price.

Ollifi
Jul 2, 2013, 10:38 AM
That's a good point. But, if I buy locally, I get 30-day return guarantee and three-year (3) warranty! I cannot get those from online store. Do you know why Apple sells 8GB models only online?

Mezmorizor
Jul 2, 2013, 11:14 AM
This topic had been argued ad nausea. Apple like most other companies is notoriously cheap when it comes to the amount of ram they equip their computers with. Signal the Apple faithful and they'll provide one zillion and two reasons why only a minuscule amount of ram is needed in a Mac.

Yet the bottom line truth never changes. If you plan on _using_your Mac for all that you think you will, it's likely that once you take delivery and experience how nice it is, you'll likely be using it for more than you anticipated.

Buy the most ram you can afford. You'll be glad you did. In addition by the time you're ready to sell it, suddenly that won't seem like an excessive amount compared to new machines of the moment.

While I do agree that 8GB is a good idea for future proofing, let's not pretend that 4GB is anywhere near insufficient. 4GB is more than enough for nearly all common uses, and the TC fits into that boat too. Unless he decides to start using photoshop, logic, protools, etc., he's not going to need more than 4GB at any point in the near future, and that's a pretty unreasonable assumption. The only exception to that would be if OS X Maverick is a resource hog, but that doesn't seem very likely given that the MBA's update was mainly new wifi tech and a more efficient processor.

I feel the same way about i5 vs i7 on the MBA. If you'd actually use the extra processing power of an i7, you should have bought a rMBP. There are a few fringe exceptions, but I feel like it's a pretty good rule.

Note: I'd still recommend getting 8GB if you're not hurting for money.

That's a good point. But, if I buy locally, I get 30-day return guarantee and three-year (3) warranty! I cannot get those from online store. Do you know why Apple sells 8GB models only online?

AFAIK Apple only stocks base models at Apple stores. You can order the computer online and then pick it up at an Apple store though. I'd personally recommend it due to the summer heat.

thehustleman
Jul 2, 2013, 11:23 AM
I consider the newest MBA 13", 128GB

My usage:
- Website development (FileZilla, text editor)
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint
- website browsing
- Spotify, YouTube (1080p?), internet radio
- Skype
- Facetime

I consider of 4GB RAM Memory. Is that enough for doing several of tasks above simultaneously? Thanks for helping, this would be my first MBA.

Do the 8 unless you plan on my having it for long at all.

You can't upgrade the air (bad decision on Apple's part) so what you get you're stuck with

maxosx
Jul 2, 2013, 11:41 AM
While I do agree that 8GB is a good idea for future proofing, let's not pretend that 4GB is anywhere near insufficient. 4GB is more than enough for nearly all common uses, and the TC fits into that boat too. Unless he decides to start using photoshop, logic, protools, etc., he's not going to need more than 4GB at any point in the near future, and that's a pretty unreasonable assumption. The only exception to that would be if OS X Maverick is a resource hog, but that doesn't seem very likely given that the MBA's update was mainly new wifi tech and a more efficient processor.

I feel the same way about i5 vs i7 on the MBA. If you'd actually use the extra processing power of an i7, you should have bought a rMBP. There are a few fringe exceptions, but I feel like it's a pretty good rule.

Note: I'd still recommend getting 8GB if you're not hurting for money.



AFAIK Apple only stocks base models at Apple stores. You can order the computer online and then pick it up at an Apple store though. I'd personally recommend it due to the summer heat.
I believe a lot of what forms our individual opinions is our usage patterns and overall workflows. Research work often demands using ones browser with lots of tabs open. In that case the extra ram is essential. Without it the browser slows to a crawl.

Mezmorizor
Jul 2, 2013, 11:52 AM
I believe a lot of what forms our individual opinions is our usage patterns and overall workflows. Research work often demands using ones browser with lots of tabs open. In that case the extra ram is essential. Without it the browser slows to a crawl.

I guess, but I'm personally only using 2.2 GB with 8 chrome tabs open and another user logged in. Granted, I'm using a windows 8 desktop right now, but the MBA has better specs in every way(except for GPU).

I still do recommend 8GB. 4GB probably won't be a problem for you, but the extra RAM is nice.

maxosx
Jul 2, 2013, 12:06 PM
I guess, but I'm personally only using 2.2 GB with 8 chrome tabs open and another user logged in. Granted, I'm using a windows 8 desktop right now, but the MBA has better specs in every way(except for GPU).

I still do recommend 8GB. 4GB probably won't be a problem for you, but the extra RAM is nice.

Even though Apple tends to charge premium prices on BTO upgrades I always max out the ram at time of purchase. Then I simply unbox it and use it, no worries.

Ollifi
Jul 2, 2013, 01:38 PM
AFAIK Apple only stocks base models at Apple stores. You can order the computer online and then pick it up at an Apple store though. I'd personally recommend it due to the summer heat.

There is no Apple Stores in Finland. And do they give three-year-warranty?

Mezmorizor
Jul 2, 2013, 02:14 PM
There is no Apple Stores in Finland. And do they give three-year-warranty?

If you buy applecare, then yes.

DarwinOSX
Jul 2, 2013, 05:58 PM
To have fewer skus in the stores. But you can usually get a fully loaded MBA or other Macbook in stores.

That's a good point. But, if I buy locally, I get 30-day return guarantee and three-year (3) warranty! I cannot get those from online store. Do you know why Apple sells 8GB models only online?

Black.Infinity
Jul 2, 2013, 06:19 PM
A laptop doesn't use more or less memory than a desktop


I build and fix computers for a living. Ill just be blunt. Getting 4GB on a notebook in 2013 is shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you "might only be using 2.5-3GB" now, why cut it so close? The more memory the better. Memory requirements for operating systems and programs are only going to be growing. Don't sell yourself short with 4GB, give yourself a bit of breathing room. The difference is only $100, what a small price to pay for peace of mind if anything. Nobody wants to see page outs when you've spent over $1000, I'm actually quite saddened to see 4GB as stock for that price.

best advice listen to this guy

fedecape
Jul 2, 2013, 07:05 PM
You don't need 8gb, but will definitely make the computer last more.

As some people above said, it's just $100 and you're spending over 1K

ET iPhone Home
Jul 2, 2013, 08:15 PM
A laptop doesn't use more or less memory than a desktop


I build and fix computers for a living. Ill just be blunt. Getting 4GB on a notebook in 2013 is shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you "might only be using 2.5-3GB" now, why cut it so close? The more memory the better. Memory requirements for operating systems and programs are only going to be growing. Don't sell yourself short with 4GB, give yourself a bit of breathing room. The difference is only $100, what a small price to pay for peace of mind if anything. Nobody wants to see page outs when you've spent over $1000, I'm actually quite saddened to see 4GB as stock for that price.

I have a 2011 MBA, where do I monitor how much RAM i'm using? Thanks.

Ollifi
Jul 3, 2013, 12:35 AM
If you buy applecare, then yes.

Yes. But if I buy locally I can get three-year-warranty, for free. I think that is not possible in AppleStores?

throAU
Jul 3, 2013, 12:47 AM
But I mean, when would I benefit from the extra 4GB ? I think I maybe should first try with 4GB,and if it seems to be too low, then return and buy another (30 days return guarantee)

You will likely see a benefit from it immediately (I have noticed improved performance every step from 4 GB to 16 GB on my MBP - with the biggest jump for non-heavy usage being from 4-8 GB), but you will most likely see a larger performance benefit after a couple of years as software inevitably gets bigger.

Bear in mind that OS X these days uses roughly a gig for itself once booted and you have a couple of apps running (e.g. Mail, Calendar, maybe a virus scanner).

So rather than comparing 4 GB to 8 GB, the amount you'll actually have left over for applications you want to run is 3GB vs 7 GB. Or 3 GB for applications vs. 3 GB for applications with 4 GB of disk cache... even though SSD is fast, RAM is still much quicker.

APlotdevice
Jul 3, 2013, 12:56 AM
... even though SSD is fast, RAM is still much quicker.

And doesn't have a limited number of write cycles.

Ollifi
Jul 3, 2013, 01:34 AM
Ok, but which one is better- free 3-year-warranty with 4GB memory, or 1-year(actually 2-year, because of EU)-warranty with 8GB memory

iterva
Jul 3, 2013, 02:34 AM
Ok, but which one is better- free 3-year-warranty with 4GB memory, or 1-year(actually 2-year, because of EU)-warranty with 8GB memory

Thatīs a though choice you have... :)
Personally, i would go with the 8GB/1-year option and then save up (if needed) to buy AppleCare. Since this can be purchased anytime within the 1st year.

But looking at your usage 4GB probably would be fine...But with that said, i always recommend people asking to go with 8GB.

Sidenote: Calling the 2nd year EU Warranty, anything other than ***** is a understatement. Since after the 1st year it comes down to the consumer to be able to provide proof that any faults with the device was present during the 1st year or is a manufacturing malfunction/error etc..Then again, Apple (in Sweden) is way, way more focused on customer satisfaction (goodwill) than other companies. At least in my past experience..

Dr. McKay
Jul 3, 2013, 02:39 AM
Nobody wants to see page outs when you've spent over $1000, I'm actually quite saddened to see 4GB as stock for that price.

Hear, hear...
8Gb and 256SSD as stock, with the possibility of BTO with 512SSD and/or 16Gb of RAM... Why 16Gb of RAM : try running Win8, a 64-bit linux distro and OS X side by side with Parallels with 'only' 8Gb of RAM :D

Ollifi
Jul 3, 2013, 03:14 AM
Thatīs a though choice you have... :)
Personally, i would go with the 8GB/1-year option and then save up (if needed) to buy AppleCare. Since this can be purchased anytime within the 1st year.

But looking at your usage 4GB probably would be fine...But with that said, i always recommend people asking to go with 8GB.

Sidenote: Calling the 2nd year EU Warranty, anything other than ***** is a understatement. Since after the 1st year it comes down to the consumer to be able to provide proof that any faults with the device was present during the 1st year or is a manufacturing malfunction/error etc..Then again, Apple (in Sweden) is way, way more focused on customer satisfaction (goodwill) than other companies. At least in my past experience..
Good to hear your experiences, too. Thanks!

Tanax
Jul 3, 2013, 03:56 AM
Thatīs a though choice you have... :)
Personally, i would go with the 8GB/1-year option and then save up (if needed) to buy AppleCare. Since this can be purchased anytime within the 1st year.

But looking at your usage 4GB probably would be fine...But with that said, i always recommend people asking to go with 8GB.

Sidenote: Calling the 2nd year EU Warranty, anything other than ***** is a understatement. Since after the 1st year it comes down to the consumer to be able to provide proof that any faults with the device was present during the 1st year or is a manufacturing malfunction/error etc..Then again, Apple (in Sweden) is way, way more focused on customer satisfaction (goodwill) than other companies. At least in my past experience..

It's actually already after 6 months we have to give that proof. But from what I've heard it's not that hard to prove it since you just need to prove you didn't drop it or open it up and changed something :)

Psychj0e
Jul 3, 2013, 01:01 PM
I believe a lot of what forms our individual opinions is our usage patterns and overall workflows. Research work often demands using ones browser with lots of tabs open. In that case the extra ram is essential. Without it the browser slows to a crawl.


Are you serious? 8GB of ram to surf the internet?

Why are the people on Macrumors so ignorant about Ram. I have 4GB in a 2012 MA, and my little air runs everything I need fine - SPSS, MATLAB, Adobe Illustrator, Word, Papers etc etc etc. All open at once. The latest little macbook air is faster than some of the computers used at CERN.

Ollifi
Jul 3, 2013, 02:26 PM
This is not related to this topic,but Iīll ask it anyway
Is there cheaper alternative to this: http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F4U055
Especially need for Earphone, HDMI- and few USB ports.

Mezmorizor
Jul 3, 2013, 03:27 PM
After thinking over your situation some more, I would definitely advocate getting the 4GB. 8 GB is nice, but you're never going to actually need more than 4 GB.

If you can wait, this looks like it's comparable to the belkin for $100 less. It doesn't look as good imo, but it should be equally functional.

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/caldigit-thunderbolt-station-adds-to-growing-ranks-of-thunderbolt-docks/

Note: Rumored release date is sometime in July.

daviddth
Jul 3, 2013, 07:08 PM
After thinking over your situation some more, I would definitely advocate getting the 4GB. 8 GB is nice, but you're never going to actually need more than 4 GB.


Never say Never. My original 2011 Air had 2GB - I thought I would never need more, then got into photography and Photoshop. 2GB was a huge bottleneck then, but at the time I never thought of serious photography.

Peoples needs change, especially once they have an item they can use everywhere, you start thinking "hey I might play a game" or "I might edit that bit of video or image" because you have a mobile item that you can take almost everywhere, and it has a lot of power.

I would go 8GB (and did) without a second thought. My air went from $1440 to $2099 (Australia) with everything maxed out. Yes I could have bought a MacBook Pro for that.... a Heavy, large, thick, hot laptop, or a light fast Air with everything I need....

akdj
Jul 3, 2013, 10:42 PM
Safari, mail, messages, iTunes, reeder sometimes iPhoto, 1password, dropbox, istat menu, flux, dropbox, activity monitor, libre office (rarely)
Of course I use one app at once. Reeder and safari are often full-screened.
Imho the most problematic is safari but i hate chrome

Messages, 1password, iStat, DropBox and activity monitor are 'passive' apps....there if you need them but certainly not known as memory hogs. iTunes and iPhoto opened simultaneously will utilize your RAM...but OSx is excellent at divvying up the RAM on active apps. As well, Mavericks is supposedly excellent at RAM and 'power' efficiency.

If you do all the above tasks at the same time, also how many browsers tabs open and which browser do you use. You can't add the memory later.

Besides if if need the ask, you need the 8GB

Not true. Typically if you HAVE to ask you don't need the extra RAM;)

While I do agree that 8GB is a good idea for future proofing, let's not pretend that 4GB is anywhere near insufficient. 4GB is more than enough for nearly all common uses, and the TC fits into that boat too. Unless he decides to start using photoshop, logic, protools, etc., he's not going to need more than 4GB at any point in the near future, and that's a pretty unreasonable assumption. The only exception to that would be if OS X Maverick is a resource hog, but that doesn't seem very likely given that the MBA's update was mainly new wifi tech and a more efficient processor.

I feel the same way about i5 vs i7 on the MBA. If you'd actually use the extra processing power of an i7, you should have bought a rMBP. There are a few fringe exceptions, but I feel like it's a pretty good rule.

Note: I'd still recommend getting 8GB if you're not hurting for money.



AFAIK Apple only stocks base models at Apple stores. You can order the computer online and then pick it up at an Apple store though. I'd personally recommend it due to the summer heat.

Apple does stock the 'ultimate' versions of each laptop and iMac. IE: core i7/8GB/512GB
Though I agree with the rest of your assessment. 4GB with a read speed of nearly 800Mb/sec, although slower than RAM access makes page outs a non issue in comparison with mechanical HDDs

I believe a lot of what forms our individual opinions is our usage patterns and overall workflows. Research work often demands using ones browser with lots of tabs open. In that case the extra ram is essential. Without it the browser slows to a crawl.

Again, not true. If you're only using the browser with the new SSD in the 2013 Air, you're not going to see your 'browser slow to a crawl'.

I have a 2011 MBA, where do I monitor how much RAM i'm using? Thanks.

Activity Monitor. OSx is exceptional at RAM management. Windows has also become much Better with Win 7---Windows 8 definitely benefits from a bit more.

Things can and do change....but the tasks the OP is looking to use his/her Air for don't necessitate 8GB of RAM. The speed of the new PCIe RAM is incredible. Read speeds (if you're paging out) is getting closer to RAM access all the time and this iteration is a massive leap. If you've got $ to spend its not a 'bad' idea per se....but you don't need it. That's a fallacy. The Air is a consumer computer and if you're not editing video, audio or manipulating 50mb RAW files in batches of several dozen, you're going to be more than fine. That goes for a while into the future...again, simply because of the speed on the SSD. If you were buying a 'spinner'...8/16GB makes more sense in this computer. I'm running a 2011 Air, core i7/4GB/256GB. It never pages out and I'm often using Safari, Chrome, Audition and PS/LR simultaneously with iTunes playing in the background :)
The 2011 MBA SSD is about a quarter the speed of the 2013 @ 240/225 read/write. These new Airs are fast.

All that said....if you've got extra cash, go for it. If you're on a budget, pick up extra internal storage instead (256GB SSD) and an Apple TV module with that extra C Note

JMHO

J

SteveJobs2.0
Jul 4, 2013, 01:00 AM
Well I am tempted to get 8gb for my Air, but I was just looking at my 2010 iMac and I have almost 4gb free out of 8. Right now I have several basic apps running such as iTunes, outlook, safari, word, etc. Would it run much slower with just 4gb? I could take out the RAM I put in and see, but I doubt it.

TC25
Jul 4, 2013, 04:13 AM
Typically if you HAVE to ask you don't need the extra RAM;)
You need to pay more attention to the threads people, particularly newbies, start in all forums on MR. It is clear most of them have very limited ability to make even simple decisions without starting a thread.

throAU
Jul 4, 2013, 09:06 AM
They way OS X works these days (or windows for that matter), it is not a terrible, terrible thing to see page outs.

It just depends how often and how active they are while you're working.

If you have software running in the background that isn't actually doing anything for long periods of time you probably WANT the OS to page it out to disk so that RAM can be used for disk cache for active tasks.

For example - if i have 16 GB of RAM, a 60 gig iPhoto library that is sitting on a slow disk (or maybe a network share), and have a few apps in the background sitting idle - there may be cases where it is better for my application performance for OS X page them out to disk and use the memory for caching in iPhoto.

Saying simply that "page outs are bad!" isn't quite accurate any more. It's a lot trickier than that, and in some cases (early versions of Lion) a minor tweak to the way the OS decides how and when to page can really screw things up.

Seeing lots of them constantly while you are working is bad yes, but seeing a page out number on activity monitor is not inherently bad these days.

It very much depends what you're doing.



edit:
I'm running Mavericks here, and activity monitor actually no longer has a page-outs counter. It's been replaced with a "memory pressure" graph, which no doubt does some more complex calculations than the basic page out counter (most likely, checking to see how often the same memory pages are paged in and out in a short period of time - as THAT is the metric which really indicates whether your machine is real short on RAM. Its called "page thrashing" and is REALLY bad for performance).

Zer0n1nja
Jul 4, 2013, 09:50 AM
I highly recommend 8gb, I have virtually nothing running, I am downloading diablo 3, 4 tabs open in safari and the mail client open and here is my memory usage.http://i.imgur.com/pRx9UmZ.png

throAU
Jul 4, 2013, 10:48 AM
^^ that is simply the OS using all the free RAM you have for cache.

If you had 16 GB or 32 GB eventually if you were doing enough disk access it would all become inactive RAM - I've seen something like 13 GB of inactive memory before when running 16 GB, due to some massive amount of disk access I was doing. So, in your case above, you actually have roughly 2 GB of memory "available", just 1.8 is currently cache. Which will be purged if required.

But yes, I would not recommend less than 8 GB of RAM on a new machine, especially if you are running a non-SSD drive.

SSD changes things a bit because the drive pages so fast, but 8 GB is cheap and will reduce the wear on your SSD in addition to being even faster.

Here's my box running Mavericks with 8 GB (one of my 8 GB sticks failed and I've gone back to 8 GB (2x4s) for the time being).


http://users.on.net/~rosej/activitymonitor.png

As you can see, the stats in mavericks are a lot more informative with regards to WHAT the memory is actually used for, rather than more vague terms like "inactive"...

Zer0n1nja
Jul 4, 2013, 12:53 PM
^^ that is simply the OS using all the free RAM you have for cache.

Ah, thank you for the explanation, I was wondering why all of my ram was getting inhaled. It's my first Mac so I am getting a basic feel for the OS other then the times when I use a friends or something else.

APlotdevice
Jul 4, 2013, 02:37 PM
SSD changes things a bit because the drive pages so fast, but 8 GB is cheap and will reduce the wear on your SSD in addition to being even faster.

Unfortunately it's not that cheap on the MacBook Air. (ie $100 upgrade)

akdj
Jul 4, 2013, 05:07 PM
You need to pay more attention to the threads people, particularly newbies, start in all forums on MR. It is clear most of them have very limited ability to make even simple decisions without starting a thread.

Lol...not sure why you quoted me, but I'm assuming its because we agree to a 'T' :)

Thanks throAU

That's very interesting the way Mavericks is displaying memory and RAM usage. Agreed completely. A much better 'graphic' of how and how much your machine is using. That said, it looks as though you may be a bit more of a 'power' user than our OP. I'd be interested in anyone running Mavericks on a 4GB Air or MBP. Performance and the graphic included would be nice. As well, a subjective analysis of the computer's behavior running the OS update on 4GB vs. Mountain Lion.

J

happyhippo1337
Jul 5, 2013, 12:34 AM
Was using Mavericks on my new MBA with 4GB. No graphics because I had to downgrade, having massive problems with Chrome.

Observations: Awesome. I'm not using this machine for heavy tasks, that's what the Desktop is for. Of course, light web browsing, videos and writing at the same time is no problem.

But I deliberately tried to mess the machine up. Opened about 25 programs, had several running in the background like LittleSnitch, Wunderlist, Evernote etc. and streamed YouTube 1080p while running a 12gb .mkv movie.

It was still perfectly possible to open 19 Chrome tabs, switch lightning quick between them and edit two 19MB Photoshop files while applying a few random filters to one of them.

Ram was obviously full and it took 1,7 GB of SWAP. Memory pressure (that's what it's called now isn't it!?) was at 37%.

No problem with 4GB, as I would never ever ever ever do this sort of things at the same time. :D

Not justifying my purchase, would still recommend 8 for everyone using parallels or doing heavy stuff. But I'm really not a fan of this 'get 8GB or you are doooooomed next year' crap.

throAU
Jul 5, 2013, 01:42 AM
Unfortunately it's not that cheap on the MacBook Air. (ie $100 upgrade)

Terms like "cheap" or "expensive" are all relative, but on a purchase of over $1000, i consider a 10% purchase price increase to double the long term capability of the machine for many tasks (very few things are CPU bound or GPU bound for most people these days - it's usually RAM that is the limiting factor - or storage, which can be swapped in either case) to be "cheap".

edit:
I did have a few things open when I took that screenshot. The big number to pay attention to in that pic is "wired" memory".

Memory that is "wired" can't be swapped out by the operating system. And yeah, Mavericks is great :-)

I've run into a bit of a WIFI bug though (very specific circumstances, playing music in the background with soundcloud's web site), but have filed a bug report...

MBHockey
Jul 6, 2013, 08:56 AM
They way OS X works these days (or windows for that matter), it is not a terrible, terrible thing to see page outs.

It just depends how often and how active they are while you're working.

If you have software running in the background that isn't actually doing anything for long periods of time you probably WANT the OS to page it out to disk so that RAM can be used for disk cache for active tasks.

For example - if i have 16 GB of RAM, a 60 gig iPhoto library that is sitting on a slow disk (or maybe a network share), and have a few apps in the background sitting idle - there may be cases where it is better for my application performance for OS X page them out to disk and use the memory for caching in iPhoto.

Saying simply that "page outs are bad!" isn't quite accurate any more. It's a lot trickier than that, and in some cases (early versions of Lion) a minor tweak to the way the OS decides how and when to page can really screw things up.

Seeing lots of them constantly while you are working is bad yes, but seeing a page out number on activity monitor is not inherently bad these days.

It very much depends what you're doing.



edit:
I'm running Mavericks here, and activity monitor actually no longer has a page-outs counter. It's been replaced with a "memory pressure" graph, which no doubt does some more complex calculations than the basic page out counter (most likely, checking to see how often the same memory pages are paged in and out in a short period of time - as THAT is the metric which really indicates whether your machine is real short on RAM. Its called "page thrashing" and is REALLY bad for performance).

Great post. It's cute how a lot of people in this thread spent $100 on 8GB of ram just because they think it will allow them to have Activity Monitor show 0 pageouts forever. Imagine their disappointment when they have 3GB of free ram and they are getting pageouts :p

neteng101
Jul 6, 2013, 09:31 AM
But I'm really not a fan of this 'get 8GB or you are doooooomed next year' crap.

You're most doomed if you decide next year you need to do more, like your Parallels example... there's no upgrade path. Penny wise, pound foolish is often the end result of penny pinching today.

People can do fine with 4GB sure today, but there's a reason why so many are for paying the little extra today for longevity and future proofing. Especially when upgrades down the road are not an option.

I'm still chugging along with a 2010 MBA - but it does have 4GB. If it was one of the 2GB models I imagine I would have chucked it out the window a while back. Fire up a VM and it slows to a crawl, but even back in 2010 I knew the 4GB wasn't going to quite cut it.

Get 4GB today if you want to, but as always - caveat emptor.

SteveJobs2.0
Jul 7, 2013, 12:14 AM
I don't know. Today I went to best buy and I tried using a 2012 MBA i5 with 4gb ram. I opened all the iLife apps, all OSX apps, iWork apps, many random system apps, and about 30 Safari tabs and it all worked perfectly fine. I still had around 300 mb free. All this to say that if you are planning to use the laptop for basic functions 8gb is not necessary.

617aircav
Jul 7, 2013, 12:27 AM
Get the most you can afford. I have 8gb on my 2012 and it lags sometimes with photos.

TC25
Jul 7, 2013, 04:19 AM
I don't know. Today I went to best buy and I tried using a 2012 MBA i5 with 4gb ram. I opened all the iLife apps, all OSX apps, iWork apps, many random system apps, and about 30 Safari tabs and it all worked perfectly fine. I still had around 300 mb free. All this to say that if you are planning to use the laptop for basic functions 8gb is not necessary.

All the threads and questions about how much memory people need and a trip to Best Buy and a simple test is all that was needed.

Note: If you actually want to use the programs opened, that's a different story.

Psychj0e
Jul 7, 2013, 09:14 AM
I don't know. Today I went to best buy and I tried using a 2012 MBA i5 with 4gb ram. I opened all the iLife apps, all OSX apps, iWork apps, many random system apps, and about 30 Safari tabs and it all worked perfectly fine. I still had around 300 mb free. All this to say that if you are planning to use the laptop for basic functions 8gb is not necessary.

No dude, some guy posted eariler. He uses a lot of safari so he needs 8gb of ram...

Tarrou8
Jul 7, 2013, 03:14 PM
If you plan to retain your laptop for more than 2 years and do more than just Facebook, Netflix, and Microsoft word get 8. For the majority of users, an iPad and smartphone is more than enough for their needs.

ldburroughs
Jul 7, 2013, 08:50 PM
I consider the newest MBA 13", 128GB

My usage:
- Website development (FileZilla, text editor)
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint
- website browsing
- Spotify, YouTube (1080p?), internet radio
- Skype
- Facetime

I consider of 4GB RAM Memory. Is that enough for doing several of tasks above simultaneously? Thanks for helping, this would be my first MBA.

For your needs, 4gbs will be plenty. Eight is nice if money is not an issue, but you shouldn't notice any slowdown with what you are doing. I've had the same since my first 2012 MBA and haven't had an issue. I likely won't have this machine in three to four years anyway.

Short answer: Eight is nice, but isn't necessary for your stated needs.

throAU
Jul 8, 2013, 03:25 AM
All the threads and questions about how much memory people need and a trip to Best Buy and a simple test is all that was needed.


Except its not.

The programs are the small bit. Did you fire up an iphoto library with a few years worth of photos in it? Any projects in the rest of iLife?

Running the programs with nothing (or very small amounts of data) in them is one thing - running them with an actual real world work load is another.

I mean, I can fire up photoshop just fine on my old 2007 Mac Mini. It runs fine. I'm sure if I was to load up a bunch of 10 plus megapixel images it would chug.

Tysknaden
Jul 8, 2013, 03:28 AM
Amount of RAM is more important than processor speed.

throAU
Jul 8, 2013, 03:42 AM
Amount of RAM is more important than processor speed.

Definitely.

Most people's machines spend most of their time pretty close to idle on CPU (other than brief spikes - even gaming these days is mostly GPU bound - not CPU, which is identical between all MBA spec).

This has been true for at least the past 18 years I've been working in the industry.

My advice has always been, both in PC land and on the Mac - get as much RAM as you can reasonably afford. Typically this is 2x the regularly shipping amount. E.g., if machines are shipping with 4 gigs base, go for 8. if it means dropping a speed grade on CPU then do so.

You will not notice the difference betwen say, 1.7Ghz and 1.9Ghz unless under very specific circumstances.

You WILL notice the difference in responsiveness between 4GB and 8GB in daily use, and having half the memory will eventually render your machine pretty much unusable, when software or the data files you are working with outgrow the RAM.

Dropping a speed grade on CPU won't.

To the OP:
Given the choice between 1 yr warranty and 8 GB or 3 year warranty and 4 GB (non-upgradable), i'd take the 1 year warranty every time (and did so, with my MBP).

Sure, if the machine dies after 12 months, you're boned.

But in my experience (18 years in the IT industry both PC repair and later network stuff) most machines that die, either die very early (manufacturing defect), or well after the warranty period or due to stuff not covered by warranty anyway (i.e., drop, liquid ingress, etc). The most common failure is storage, which is replaceable. I.e., it's a chance; you'll most likely NOT have an early failure, if it hasn't failed within the first couple of months.

However, going for HALF the RAM, and having no upgrade path, you WILL reduce the usable life of the machine. There's no "maybe" about it. It's a certainty, and has been the case with every machine I've owned.


But - that's a calculated risk on my part. If you'd prefer the safety of knowing your machine is covered, and can accept that you WILL need to upgrade sooner, then the longer warranty may be attractive.

TC25
Jul 8, 2013, 04:36 AM
Except its not.

Try reading the NOTE in my post.

lawlbringer
Jul 8, 2013, 12:15 PM
I just recently got a base model 2013 MBA and was wondering the same thing. I was looking to get it fast, and according to the sales rep there, they only carry 2 variants of the base model(both with 4GB of memory) and the "high-end" model that's like $1800.

I'm fairly new to OSX, but I'll be using mostly a mix of the following:

- A lot of Chrome Tabs Open
- Office 2013(I get a year from work)
- A lot of streaming content(Youtube/Netflix/Twitch.tv/Sports/etc.)
- Perhaps some very light video editing(for YouTube videos)
- Some Virtual Machine work possibly(VirtualBox)

I usually don't do all of these things at once, mind you. I close programs a lot if I'm not using them to avoid any possible slow downs.

Should I stick with 4GB? Or do you think I should swap it for a 8GB model? This is mainly going to be used for schoolwork type stuff in the long run.

HiDEF
Jul 8, 2013, 12:34 PM
I just recently got a base model 2013 MBA and was wondering the same thing. I was looking to get it fast, and according to the sales rep there, they only carry 2 variants of the base model(both with 4GB of memory) and the "high-end" model that's like $1800.

I'm fairly new to OSX, but I'll be using mostly a mix of the following:

- A lot of Chrome Tabs Open
- Office 2013(I get a year from work)
- A lot of streaming content(Youtube/Netflix/Twitch.tv/Sports/etc.)
- Perhaps some very light video editing(for YouTube videos)
- Some Virtual Machine work possibly(VirtualBox)

I usually don't do all of these things at once, mind you. I close programs a lot if I'm not using them to avoid any possible slow downs.

Should I stick with 4GB? Or do you think I should swap it for a 8GB model? This is mainly going to be used for schoolwork type stuff in the long run.

If you post this question, you're going to get the same answer, "GET 8GB's!"

Doesn't necessarily mean you have to but ppl will have you believe you have to. I have 4GB's but my MBA isn't my primary machine, I have a Mac mini for that.

So, if this is going to be your primary machine, go for 8GB's if not, stick with 4GB's UNLESS you edit video or photography then 8GB's will be your best option.

B...
Jul 8, 2013, 04:45 PM
If you post this question, you're going to get the same answer, "GET 8GB's!"

Doesn't necessarily mean you have to but ppl will have you believe you have to. I have 4GB's but my MBA isn't my primary machine, I have a Mac mini for that.

So, if this is going to be your primary machine, go for 8GB's if not, stick with 4GB's UNLESS you edit video or photography then 8GB's will be your best option.

Right. While most here claim 8GB is the new 4GB, the vast majority of Air users get the base model and are fine with it. Another consideration, though, is how long you plan to keep it.

throAU
Jul 9, 2013, 11:46 PM
Right. While most here claim 8GB is the new 4GB, the vast majority of Air users get the base model and are fine with it. Another consideration, though, is how long you plan to keep it.

To an extent. But when you're spending say, $1k, spending ~$100 to double the effective life of the machine may be the difference between being able to sell it in 12 months or not (or not without taking a big hit to resale price).