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Old Oct 29, 2012, 05:56 PM   #1
Maui19
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More RAM or bigger SSD?

I'm thinking about getting a new MBA and I have to decide about configuration.

Basically, I could go with 8GB RAM and 128 GB SSD, or 4GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. I would use it for mostly Internet/Email/Video with occasional use as a travel version of my business CPU, which means Dreamweaver, Photoshop and InDesign.

I can certainly make 128GB of storage work, but 256GB would be nice but I really want to avoid the spinning beach ball.

Thoughts?
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 06:59 PM   #2
WesCole
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The Air has a really fast SSD, so you won't notice page outs nearly as badly as with a HDD when you run low on RAM. That said, you can always get USB3/Thunderbolt external hard drives if you need extra space...you can't upgrade the RAM.

If it were me, I would save up and get the 256/8 configuration. But, if that isn't an option, I would go with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 07:35 PM   #3
fleawannabe
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I would do the RAM now and upgrade the SSD later.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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Obviously, both would be preferable, but if you have to choose between RAM or HD space, I would choose to go with RAM, because it is soldered onto the logic board of the MBA, and there ain't no changing that later.

The HD, or rather, the SSD can be swapped out at a later time, thanks to the OWC upgrades, so that isn't as big a deal. You can always also just hook up an external drive in the meantime, and give yourself the extra room you need/want.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blesscheese View Post
Obviously, both would be preferable, but if you have to choose between RAM or HD space, I would choose to go with RAM, because it is soldered onto the logic board of the MBA, and there ain't no changing that later.

The HD, or rather, the SSD can be swapped out at a later time, thanks to the OWC upgrades, so that isn't as big a deal. You can always also just hook up an external drive in the meantime, and give yourself the extra room you need/want.
This. This is the voice of reason...
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 12:55 PM   #6
comatose81
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RAM is cheaper and can't be upgraded later. That was my choice for my 11". I wish I had just splurged and gotten the larger HD as well, but even if I had to go back I'd still pick RAM.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 01:03 PM   #7
MacSignal
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More RAM. You will be locked in to whatever you order for as long as you have the computer. There are other options for adding storage later.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 01:26 PM   #8
Attackofthemac
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My MBA 11" arrived yesterday, and it is CTO 8gb ram / 64gb ssd

Unfortunately, where I am located, I pay 12% tax, so that is a sizable premium on top of the MBA itself.

Being on a somewhat limited budget, it was a no brainer to do the 8gb over upgrading the SSD, as my uses are mobile word processing and very minor editing.

The issue with running out of ram / page-out is not a major issue with the fast SSD as others have mentioned, however since the ram is not upgradable, this was a priority to max out.

Ideally get one of those flush SD card readers, and use that as storage to minimize writes on the SSD (paranoid but it is not a bad idea).
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 01:26 PM   #9
mrsir2009
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RAM is def the first priority, as you cannot upgrade it later. If 128GB isn't enough you can always upgrade it later, or improve your storage with a SD Card.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 02:19 PM   #10
orangezorki
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RAM is def the first priority, as you cannot upgrade it later. If 128GB isn't enough you can always upgrade it later, or improve your storage with a SD Card.
Sadly though, that is only an option with the 13".
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 07:13 PM   #11
Lindberg
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Most people do not need 8 gb of ram on a MBA, but almost everyone needs more that than 120 gb of hard drive.

I would definitely upgrade the hard drive!
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 08:27 PM   #12
jmcguckin
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I'm with everyone on the "upgrade your RAM" side. of the two, only the SSD can be upgraded down the road, and if you plan on keeping your MBA for a decent amount of time, that 8GB will gradually lose its overkill factor as OS's and apps become more resource-intensive. just adding in my 2.
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Old Oct 30, 2012, 09:54 PM   #13
mrsir2009
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Sadly though, that is only an option with the 13".
Yeah - Although with the 11" you could get one of those mini as USB sticks. Not quite as good, considering the MBA only has two, but it's better than nothing I guess.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcguckin View Post
I'm with everyone on the "upgrade your RAM" side. of the two, only the SSD can be upgraded down the road, and if you plan on keeping your MBA for a decent amount of time, that 8GB will gradually lose its overkill factor as OS's and apps become more resource-intensive. just adding in my 2.
8GB of RAM is actually becoming pretty standard these days. Not overkill at all, really.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:26 PM   #14
jrasero
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defiantly get the 8GB ram. Both options you can't upgrade after market but hard drive wise you have the cloud, external, flash drives, or even SD cards
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 11:15 PM   #15
mrsir2009
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defiantly get the 8GB ram. Both options you can't upgrade after market but hard drive wise you have the cloud, external, flash drives, or even SD cards
You can replace the SSD after-market
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:34 AM   #16
TheRichboy247
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As most people said, go for the RAM. I got my MBA on sale so I couldn't upgrade. (Oh well.) The RAM will futureproof your machine because 8GB's of RAM will become a standard in a few years.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:45 AM   #17
Lukewarmwinner
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Definitely 8gb ram!..
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