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View Full Version : MacBook Air 8GB Ram worth $233 extra?




l0gikb0mb
Sep 28, 2013, 07:05 PM
hey guys, so I'm stuck deciding between the two.

I can get a base model refurb in canada for $1044 all in after tax. New with 8gb ram is $1277 all in.

Is this difference worth it? I have a very capable desktop that I might be turning into a hackintosh as well.

There may be times where I use the desktop exclusively for weeks. My needs are GarageBand, Logic Pro, maybe some light movie editing, lots of browsing and homework.



Boyd01
Sep 28, 2013, 07:13 PM
I ran GarageBand, Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro on a 2011 4gb i5 MBA for almost two years and had no problems. I now have a 2013 i7 8gb machine, and see less latency in Logic and faster rendering in Final Cut Pro. But I'm not sure that the RAM is much of a factor. Guessing that the big difference is the faster SSD (I have the 512) on the 2013 machine plus the Haswell i7.

It makes sense to get 8gb if possible, since it can't be upgraded later. But if money is an issue (like you imply), not sure that it will result in any better performance for your uses.

old-wiz
Sep 28, 2013, 07:14 PM
8gb is worth it mostly because you can't upgrade the ram after purchase.

Idarzoid
Sep 28, 2013, 08:26 PM
8gb is worth it mostly because you can't upgrade the ram after purchase.

This rigth here is the main reason why you'll want to go with 8/16GB on MBA/rMBP, even if you don't need it right now, you don't know if you'll need it in the future.

AXs
Sep 28, 2013, 08:58 PM
This rigth here is the main reason why you'll want to go with 8/16GB on MBA/rMBP, even if you don't need it right now, you don't know if you'll need it in the future.

That is the exact mentality Apple counts on to make their profits.

They want their customers to upgrade CPU and/or RAM because "even if we dont need it we can't upgrade it later".

And apple upgrades are expensive.

Miat
Sep 28, 2013, 10:43 PM
I have 4GB RAM on my mid-2012 Air, and it is enough for basic stuff, but it can get a bit frustrating at times.

You have to be much more proactive in your RAM management. Only have the programs and windows/tabs open that you really need. (TIP: quitting browsers when you are not using them usually frees up a bunch of RAM.) Also learn the 'purge' command in Terminal, and don't be afraid to use it frequently.

With the Air any RAM limit problem is somewhat reduced due to having an SSD (especially the current Air, which has the faster PCIe bus for the SSD). But using the SSD for default extra RAM is imposing more work and wear on it.

I can only speak for the Australian store, but 8GB refurb Airs do not come up that often. So for your purposes it might pay in the long run to find the extra money, if you can't wait for an 8GB refurb.

Depends a lot on how long you plan to keep the thing. If you are going to upgrade within a year or so, then it is probably not such an issue for you. Just let the SSD do the work.

BenTrovato
Sep 28, 2013, 11:35 PM
I have 4 gigs and keep every app I want open. This isn't 2002 when double the memory elevated your computing experience to another universe... 8gb is nice to have but IMO not necessary especially at that price.

3lite
Sep 28, 2013, 11:43 PM
8 GB RAM.

Anytime you buy a A Macbook (Pro, Air, etc.) you have to upgrade/have at least an 8GB RAM imo to have the full Macbook experience. With 4GB RAM it will still be smooth but it won't give you that "ooooo" factor.

I have the 2012 MBA 13" Air.

Get the 8GB ram, get the 256 SSD, and 1.8GHz.

Spink10
Sep 28, 2013, 11:47 PM
If you can afford it easily go for it - 4GB will be fine if % is tight.

Mrbobb
Sep 29, 2013, 12:30 AM
This rigth here is the main reason why you'll want to go with 8/16GB on MBA/rMBP, even if you don't need it right now, you don't know if you'll need it in the future.

Apple loves your wallet.

Miltz
Sep 29, 2013, 03:16 AM
Mavericks is extremely memory efficient. 4GB is more than enough. If you really needed 8GB of memory you wouldn't need to even ask, you would just get it.

Aegelward
Sep 29, 2013, 04:05 AM
I'm in a similar conundum myself.

I think i'd feel safer with 8gb personally.

Don't forget the iGPU uses 1gb of the system memory, so in effect you will only have 3 gb of accessible memory with 4gb of system memory

AXs
Sep 29, 2013, 04:47 AM
If you can afford it easily go for it - 4GB will be fine if % is tight.

If it was the regular $100 upgrade, I'd say yea go for it even though it's not essential.

But this is a $230 difference. It's not worth it by any means to add 4GB for $230 bucks.

OP just wants reassurance that 4GB will be enough for regular usage... and yes, it is.

ezekielrage_99
Sep 29, 2013, 04:55 AM
8gb is worth it mostly because you can't upgrade the ram after purchase.

This 100%.

8GB you may not need now but a year or two then it's going to make your machine last longer. Got for the extra RAM :cool:

Idarzoid
Sep 29, 2013, 06:54 AM
That is the exact mentality Apple counts on to make their profits.

They want their customers to upgrade CPU and/or RAM because "even if we dont need it we can't upgrade it later".

And apple upgrades are expensive.
Yes, but you don't really have much choice if the tasks you do requires that much memory and portability is needed.


Apple loves your wallet.
Maybe, but I've never paid a full price for a Mac product, it's usually either refurb or education discount if I'm eligible.

T'hain Esh Kelch
Sep 29, 2013, 06:58 AM
Logic and movie editing? Get all the RAM you can afford!

jbstew32
Sep 29, 2013, 09:28 AM
hey guys, so I'm stuck deciding between the two.

I can get a base model refurb in canada for $1044 all in after tax. New with 8gb ram is $1277 all in.

Is this difference worth it? I have a very capable desktop that I might be turning into a hackintosh as well.

There may be times where I use the desktop exclusively for weeks. My needs are GarageBand, Logic Pro, maybe some light movie editing, lots of browsing and homework.

Yes, without a doubt!! Don't spend $1000+ just to settle. Put a bit more with it and buy what you need.

DisplacedMic
Sep 29, 2013, 09:35 AM
That is the exact mentality Apple counts on to make their profits.

They want their customers to upgrade CPU and/or RAM because "even if we dont need it we can't upgrade it later".

And apple upgrades are expensive.

agreed

sjinsjca
Sep 29, 2013, 09:39 AM
Yes it is very much worth $233.

Night and day in terms of user experience, and your SSD will last longer since virtual memory will have an easier job.

Mrbobb
Sep 29, 2013, 10:14 AM
Maybe, but I've never paid a full price for a Mac product, it's usually either refurb or education discount if I'm eligible.

Good for you.

OP implies he cannot get an 8 GB refurb at this time, hence the large differential$, so perhaps we should tell him, yes do it but wait until an 8 GB refurb becomes available.

MrGimper
Sep 29, 2013, 10:38 AM
Mavericks is extremely memory efficient. 4GB is more than enough. If you really needed 8GB of memory you wouldn't need to even ask, you would just get it.

This post should not be overlooked. My mid 2012 Air with 8GB RAM is certainly more efficient with Mav. Memory compression and App Nap make a big difference.

ValSalva
Sep 29, 2013, 11:13 AM
Memory compression in Mavericks will be a help but it won't work miracles. Go with 8GB. You won't regret it.

Boyd01
Sep 29, 2013, 11:52 AM
Night and day in terms of user experience

I suppose it depends on what software your using and how many applications you need open. As I posted above, I really don't notice much difference between my 4gb 2011 MBA and 8gb 2013 MBA.

Coming from a 2008 MBP, when I switched to the MBA I learned that I didn't really need to keep a lot of applications open at the same time. The main reason I did it on the old MBP was that it took so long to open a big program. But applications launch so quickly with the SSD on the MBA, there wasn't much reason to keep them open unless actively using them.

Now I did get 8gb when I upgraded, but that was just because I could (4gb was the max available in 2011).

Tfb
Sep 29, 2013, 12:08 PM
Refurbs with 8gb are starting to show up on the American Apple Store. If you have a working computer for now, maybe it makes sense to wait and see if the same will happen in the Canadian refurb store?

eXan
Sep 29, 2013, 12:24 PM
I find 4 GB to be barely enough these days. Didn't realise it was the case until I could no longer use my 12 GB iMac and was stuck with 4 GB MBP. If it chokes under moderate use now, image 2 years from now? O_O

In your case, the price difference is certainly a huge factor. If the Air is not your only machine, or if you only browse the web and use Office, 4 gbs would suffice, imo.

l0gikb0mb
Sep 29, 2013, 12:36 PM
Mavericks is extremely memory efficient. 4GB is more than enough. If you really needed 8GB of memory you wouldn't need to even ask, you would just get it.

I'm really interested in trying it out to see, but I just sold my MBP for the MBA.

I had a MBA around a year ago with only 4gb. I would do very basic tasks, and page out occasionally. I always thought OSX was very bad with memory usage - windows was always fine with 4gb aside from gaming.

Thanks for the help guys. I think I'll be going with 8gb as it probably will take over as my main computer down the road. I also haven't seen 8gb refurbs (unless high end models) on the Canadian refurb store ever.

Spink10
Sep 29, 2013, 01:08 PM
If it was the regular $100 upgrade, I'd say yea go for it even though it's not essential.

But this is a $230 difference. It's not worth it by any means to add 4GB for $230 bucks.

OP just wants reassurance that 4GB will be enough for regular usage... and yes, it is.

Truth!

l0gikb0mb
Sep 29, 2013, 04:54 PM
Well looks like the refurb 2013 air is gone already. Lasted a total of a day. Wow.

oh well, at least the new air is $100 cheaper than last year.

Thanks again guys.

newdeal
Sep 29, 2013, 05:00 PM
I got my base 13" for 1015 after tax. It was on sale, the 8gb model would have been 1354 I couldn't justify the extra $340 for the extra ram. I will just sell this computer and buy a new one when the ram is a problem in a couple of years

flowrider
Sep 29, 2013, 06:14 PM
To me, the answer is pretty simple. If you have a desktop machine and you do your power computing on that machine (I have a souped up Mac Pro) than for my Macbook Air needs, 4MBs is plenty.

If the Macbook Air is your only Macintosh, and you plan to do any power computing at all, then you'd want 8GBs.

If it's your only machine and you do only web surfing and word processing and the occasional spread sheet, then 4GBs is plenty.

Lou

sofianito
Sep 30, 2013, 07:24 AM
^^this^^ ;)

old-wiz
Sep 30, 2013, 12:50 PM
To me, the answer is pretty simple. If you have a desktop machine and you do your power computing on that machine (I have a souped up Mac Pro) than for my Macbook Air needs, 4MBs is plenty.

If the Macbook Air is your only Macintosh, and you plan to do any power computing at all, then you'd want 8GBs.

If it's your only machine and you do only web surfing and word processing and the occasional spread sheet, then 4GBs is plenty.

Lou

Right. I have an iMac 24" from 2008, and when it dies I'll use my new MBA (i7, 8gb, 512 ssd) as my main machine and add a monitor.

flowrider
Sep 30, 2013, 01:11 PM
^^^^Well, they ya go. You'll need all of your 8GBs of RAM.

Lou

MBHockey
Oct 2, 2013, 08:35 PM
8 GB RAM.

Anytime you buy a A Macbook (Pro, Air, etc.) you have to upgrade/have at least an 8GB RAM imo to have the full Macbook experience. With 4GB RAM it will still be smooth but it won't give you that "ooooo" factor.

I have the 2012 MBA 13" Air.

Get the 8GB ram, get the 256 SSD, and 1.8GHz.

What a gem.

You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you.

Y So Jelly
Oct 2, 2013, 08:45 PM
LOL. Some people would tell you to get the RAM upgrade even if it doubled the price.

Buran
Oct 17, 2013, 03:47 PM
If it was the regular $100 upgrade, I'd say yea go for it even though it's not essential. But this is a $230 difference. It's not worth it by any means to add 4GB for $230 bucks.

I see a price difference of $100 to bump the RAM from 4GB to 8 on the standard store and $90 on the education store on both versions of the 2013 Air. What am I missing? Or was the RAM more expensive when these were released? I ordered mine just last week from the EDU store, so I didn't check the prices earlier than that.

l0gikb0mb
Oct 19, 2013, 12:32 PM
I see a price difference of $100 to bump the RAM from 4GB to 8 on the standard store and $90 on the education store on both versions of the 2013 Air. What am I missing? Or was the RAM more expensive when these were released? I ordered mine just last week from the EDU store, so I didn't check the prices earlier than that.

It was the price of a base model refurb vs a new 8gb one. That's why the difference was bigger.

In the end, I went with a refurb 11". Had lots of bad luck with 3 13" build quality wise. All new too.