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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:52 PM   #26
wolfpuppies3
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8GB

That was easy.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:01 PM   #27
CoMoMacUser
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We should make the topic of RAM topic a sticky....
Agreed.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:02 PM   #28
mattopotamus
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with your usage I doubt you will see a difference between having 4gb and 8gb in the next 3 years. Actually, I am almost certain you will not. Yes it can "future proof" your machine, but how long do you keep you mac's for? I personally upgrade every "tick", so base models always make sense and never fail.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:21 PM   #29
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8 GB ram will "future proof" in two ways, you'll be able to enjoy it longer as upgrades to OS requires such AND your machine will be worth more when your ready to trade up....vs the 4 GB might not be very desirable at that time.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:27 PM   #30
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I got the 4GB model. I do web browsing, iTunes, iPhone backups, some iPhoto, etc. Pretty low level stuff. For me, it's awesome. My old MBP was 2GB of slow ass RAM, so this 4GB 1600 feels like it's flying.

I anticipate trading mine in a couple years from now. I used the same MBP from 2006 to just a few weeks ago, and I don't want to do that again.

With that said, you could go for the 8GB, as it is worth the $100. I would have gone with it if the Apple store had a model configured that way, and I didn't want to wait to order one online.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:30 PM   #31
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I upgraded my MacBook Pro from 4GB to 8GB last month, and it is very noticeable once you get Firefox and VirtualBox running. I wish I had done it a year ago.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 05:35 PM   #32
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I ordered a refurb MBA that I will be getting next week. Will have 4GB. Am I happy that I got the 4GB version over the 2GB version? Yes. Do I wish this model came with 8 GB? Sure. But I won't lose sleep over it. I plan on using it for 12-15 months and upgrading at that point. But for $100, I think the 8GB is a worthwhile upgrade. I am just waiting for my MBA to get me to Haswell and hopefully an IPS screen. But I would definitely order it with the max RAM possible. Especially since you can't upgrade it yourself. If you could upgrade the RAM later, then you could always do the buy and wait approach to see if you need more RAM or for the prices to drop. You don't have that luxury with the MBA.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:07 PM   #33
yourtoys7
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can you take it to apple store to do upgrade for $100.? or it has to be purchased from NEW...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:11 PM   #34
WillFisher
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The second you doubt about RAM, go for the higher of the two.
The worst thing that happens is that you won't use it.
The best thing is its more future proofed and can run more at a time.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:27 PM   #35
tillsbury
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I'm not at all convinced that the 8Gb is necessary on an Air. If you want the machine more powerful and need 8Gb, you should seriously be looking at a MBP I would have thought. The idea of the MBA is it's a cheap and cheerful tiny machine, not a powerhouse. Just sayin'. Obviously 8Gb would be better, but then so would a more powerful computer...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:37 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by yourtoys7 View Post
can you take it to apple store to do upgrade for $100.? or it has to be purchased from NEW...
You can't upgrade RAM after you purchase it. The RAM is soldered to the motherboard.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:17 PM   #37
krravi
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I'm not at all convinced that the 8Gb is necessary on an Air. If you want the machine more powerful and need 8Gb, you should seriously be looking at a MBP I would have thought. The idea of the MBA is it's a cheap and cheerful tiny machine, not a powerhouse. Just sayin'. Obviously 8Gb would be better, but then so would a more powerful computer...
Not sure where you got the cheap...part.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:49 PM   #38
SWPROX
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Originally Posted by tillsbury View Post
I'm not at all convinced that the 8Gb is necessary on an Air. If you want the machine more powerful and need 8Gb, you should seriously be looking at a MBP I would have thought. The idea of the MBA is it's a cheap and cheerful tiny machine, not a powerhouse. Just sayin'. Obviously 8Gb would be better, but then so would a more powerful computer...
Cheap . And no,I will say 8GB is good,when I work in Aperture,I have seen RAM usage go to about 6GB active (along with Safari and iTunes running). Moreover,cMBP 13" aint much more powerful than MBA,gap has narrowed.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 09:21 PM   #39
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I would not buy any computer in 2012 with only 4GB of soldered RAM that could never be upgraded. That's the epitome of "planned obsolescence." Pony up for the 8GB or don't buy. 4GB is worthless because OS X takes half of that to run decency, and will use as much as you give it.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 09:46 PM   #40
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I would not buy any computer in 2012 with only 4GB of soldered RAM that could never be upgraded. That's the epitome of "planned obsolescence." Pony up for the 8GB or don't buy. 4GB is worthless because OS X takes half of that to run decency, and will use as much as you give it.
If someone has the money than I would say upgrade for future proofing however I disagree with most of this. 2GB is the minimum requirement but OS X does not use all 2GB to run. 4GB with the fast SSD is a pretty speedy machine that will be workable for quite a few years.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:02 PM   #41
noteple
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Go big or go home.

Not too many folks regretted having a larger machine.
More than a few regretted one that is too small and cannot be expanded.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:15 AM   #42
iMacC2D
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I have a MacBook Air, Mid 2012 with 8GB memory / 512GB solid state drive. At the moment the system is using about 3GB of memory, all active / wired (so none inactive, all of the 3GB is being currently utilised). Open applications are Safari, Mail & iTunes, not to mention the Finder plus the system services in the background. I could easily push it up to 4GB if I were to open Pages, Notes, Reminders and so on - all common productivity applications.

I didn't know it when I purchased the machine, but I will be using this computer for study next year. In hindsight, and monitoring the system resources, I am thrilled that I opted to configure the system with 8GB of memory when I had the chance. The 512GB SSD, not as much as I'm not using anywhere near the maximum capacity, but I managed to bump to the 512GB version for the cost of a 256GB, so I don't have any regrets there. It always helps to have room to move.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:32 AM   #43
go ipad
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8 GB, of course.

Also B&H includes free software, when I checked last time. More is better in this case
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 09:47 AM   #44
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I wonder how much hard earned cash has been wasted in just this thread alone from people ordering more RAM than they will ever use....
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:33 PM   #45
Miat
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Originally Posted by Beanoir View Post
I wonder how much hard earned cash has been wasted in just this thread alone from people ordering more RAM than they will ever use....
Exactly. I would be surprised if the average Air user noticed any difference, apart from not being able to have 37 apps running at once.

Worst RAM problem I have run into is RAM hog browsers (Safari and Firefox, in my case), and simple quit and re-open of them fixes that. No other program I run uses much RAM.

No way I could have justified the extra $285 it would have cost me for the 8GB version. That is almost the exact price for the extended AppleCare warranty on an Air, which is a kind of future proofing.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:16 PM   #46
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I wonder how much hard earned cash has been wasted in just this thread alone from people ordering more RAM than they will ever use....
The very second you jump the 4GB barrier, you know the increased initial investment was worth it. I regularly managed to break 5-6GB on my existing machine, which was a pretty good indication that 4GB was not about to cut it.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:51 PM   #47
robdrj45
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As I type this my Air is using 1.96GB of RAM. I have Safari (one page open), Mail and Activity Monitor running. Future software updates may have this basic level of use requiring 2.5GB or more...that doesn't leave a whole lot in reserve. I'm glad I upgraded the memory.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:09 PM   #48
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Worst RAM problem I have run into is RAM hog browsers (Safari and Firefox, in my case), and simple quit and re-open of them fixes that. No other program I run uses much RAM.
To me, this says why it's worth getting 8gb now. I don't particularly want to have to quit and reopen a web browser due to lack of RAM. A MBA is a considered purchase for most, and I would be irked in that situation.

I upgraded my desktop from 4 to 8 recently. It made a big difference, for a low %cost of the initial outlay. You can't do that on a MBA - you're stuck with your original decision. You need to be able to predict your future usage as well as future requirements well to feel comfortable with 4gb.

I really do wonder if Apple made 8gb available to buy off the shelf rather than have to wait for a fortnight, how many people would have gone with 4gb.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:20 PM   #49
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I'm trying to decide here, it's kind of driving me crazy

The 4 GB MBA from Best buy will probably cost me around $1170 after taxes if I use my reward points.

If I get the 8 GB RAM model from an online store like B&H it will come out to $1299 flat since they don't charge shipping or tax

So it's a $130 differential

Basically what I do:

-Web browsing with an average of 4 tabs open at a time, streaming NBA games
-Movies and Music (itunes, VLC, etc)
-PDFs, powerpoint, word processing
-Minor video editing occassionally

Basically I am pretty sure 4 GB would be fine for this. My concern is that 2-3 years down the road when software and OS requirements start to increase the 4 GB will struggle to keep up. I have a short fuse for laggy computers so it makes me worry. What would you do in this situation? Is it likely that the 4 GB will indeed cause me issues within the next few years? The laptop I'm using right now has 4 GB of RAM and I got this thing in 2009 so the thought of using a 4 GB RAM laptop in 2015-2016 kind of turns me off
I got the 4GB one for my wife. She uses Facebook and uploads photos. No way she would ever use more. But if your like myself that multitask more, then you could use the 8GB. Maybe not today, but 2 years from now who knows. Personally I feel 8GB is the NORM, while 4 is econo and 16-32 is power house users. If your not sure, get 8GB... MBA isnt the easiest contraption to open up and install more in.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:24 PM   #50
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MBA isnt the easiest contraption to open up and install more in.
You can't upgrade the RAM. No matter how you open it up. It is soldered to motherboard. What it comes with is what it will have.
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