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Old Jun 11, 2012, 02:57 PM   #1
Jensen G
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4GB vs 8GB ram

I'm gonna be purchasing a new Macbook Air, and am trying to decide whether to get the 8GB ram upgrade. This would normally be a no-brainer if I were getting a laptop with a non-SSD hard drive, but because the Air has SSD, I am wondering if the performance improvements of the SSD would mean that paging won't be nearly as detrimental to performance with the Air.

Are there any folks here with the 2011 version of the Air who have experience on what memory paging is like on the Air/SSD vs a Mac with a regular platter-based HD?
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 02:58 PM   #2
maflynn
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Go with 8 since you cannot upgrade after the fact. Sooner or later you'll need more ram.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:02 PM   #3
Mjmar
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It's only 100 dollars, just do it.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:02 PM   #4
cnixon
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May be stupid but...

Will 8gb of RAM negatively effect battery life compared to 4gb?
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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I'll be getting one and 8GB for sure.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:04 PM   #6
And
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I'm buying right now and going for the 8gb. It makes sense, things are only going to need more and more memory...
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:07 PM   #7
robdrj45
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Will 128G Airs with 8G of RAM be available at the Apple retail stores or do you have to order one online? TIA
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:08 PM   #8
AlanShutko
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Paging on an SSD is a lot better than paging on a rotational drive. If you only dip a little bit into swap, you could probably stick with 4GB RAM for a while. However, by the time you get to as much in swap as you have RAM, things can slow down a lot, especially if you're doing a lot of other disk activity (time machine backups, syncing home dirs, etc). When I've got swap, time machine, and portable home directories all hitting the disk at the same time, my MBA slows to a crawl.

But remember, your RAM needs will increase over time. Newer versions of your OS or applications will likely need more RAM. I know I didn't need as much memory with Snow Leopard and Adobe CS5 as I do with Lion and CS6.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:19 PM   #9
Paul**
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Originally Posted by robdrj45 View Post
Will 128G Airs with 8G of RAM be available at the Apple retail stores or do you have to order one online? TIA
I logged on to ask the same question! I'm presuming you have to order online but am hoping otherwise.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:32 PM   #10
kwijbo
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Will 8gb of RAM negatively effect battery life compared to 4gb?
Tough to say conclusively. While they are using DDR3L now, which is lower voltage, it remains to be seen if the new Air has more NAND modules or higher capacity modules. And if they're higher capacity, are they more or less power efficient than the current ones?

All else equal, I'd guess the difference between 4gb and 8gb RAM would be negligible.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:37 PM   #11
jackiepie
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I have a 2011-mid Macbook air 13. 2GB gone when I turn on it. And then I open safari and open a few tab, only left, like 300MB. So, if I were you, 8GB is a must.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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Given how much it costs and its potential long-term benefit, an 8 GB upgrade is really one simple decision.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 04:15 PM   #13
robdrj45
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Given how much it costs and its potential long-term benefit, an 8 GB upgrade is really one simple decision.
I agree. Actually, it probably should have just been standard. If it was a $200 upgrade, I could see keeping it an option, but for $100 it's a no brainer. As you said, just for the long term benefit alone. Plus, one less configuration would make for easier retail store shopping.

Last edited by robdrj45; Jun 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 05:04 PM   #14
steve dave
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I need to buy from Best Buy so I don't have a choice. 8GB would be nice, though.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 01:32 PM   #15
pasourw
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Better order online

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Originally Posted by robdrj45 View Post
Will 128G Airs with 8G of RAM be available at the Apple retail stores or do you have to order one online? TIA
The only option at the Apple Retail Stores will be the base models themselves. For a MacBook Pro or iMac, you can have the RAM upgraded at the store itself. They won't have a computer with 8GB installed already, one of the Geniuses will take care of it. With the MacBook Air, the RAM is connected with the logic board so it can't be changed later.

The good news is, you can have the computer shipped to your house or shipped to the Apple Store of your choice for Personal Pickup.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 01:38 PM   #16
palpatine
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Originally Posted by robdrj45 View Post
I agree. Actually, it probably should have just been standard. If it was a $200 upgrade, I could see keeping it an option, but for $100 it's a no brainer. As you said, just for the long term benefit alone. Plus, one less configuration would make for easier retail store shopping.
100 dollars is 10% of the price (base MBA). If you plan to sell it again in 11 months, you will be better off keeping closer to the base model price in order to minimize your losses. People tend not to pay as much extra for upgrades as you put into it. And, if you are mainly using the Internet, email, Pages, etc., then the 8GB will not give you much back. I'll probably be able to sell mine at a 10%-20% loss. I've been doing this for the last few years, and it has worked pretty well.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 01:44 PM   #17
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Will 8gb of RAM negatively effect battery life compared to 4gb?
No. Not that you would notice anyway.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 01:48 PM   #18
dukebound85
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keep in mind, the more ram you have, the larger the sleep image file is (size of your physical ram). Thus if space is an issue, more ram exacerbates it even more so
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 02:03 PM   #19
dona83
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Even if you only have say 2GB used?
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 02:06 PM   #20
dukebound85
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Originally Posted by dona83 View Post
Even if you only have say 2GB used?
If you were asking me in response to my post, I believe so.

Here is further explanation from a quick search
http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/
http://macsmarticles.blogspot.com/20...abytes-of.html
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 03:31 PM   #21
dona83
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Originally Posted by dukebound85 View Post
If you were asking me in response to my post, I believe so.

Here is further explanation from a quick search
http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/
http://macsmarticles.blogspot.com/20...abytes-of.html
Lol I was considering quoting you. Thanks.

I wonder then, if a sleep file is 4GB and the read speed is 250-500 MB/sec, how do the Airs manage to wake up in less than two seconds?
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 11:39 PM   #22
solsen
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Have to buy from Best Buy too...

...due to financing options. I'm student and best buy has a new way of dealing with apple's education pricing this month as a promotion. If you go to bestbuy.com/studentdeals enter any .edu email address and they will email you a one-time use only code that will give you $100 off the price of any MacBook Pro or Air. In the case of the air, this is a better deal than Apple offers for students ($50 off) although apple also gives a $100 app store card, which best buy wouldnt match.

Anyway, I bought the 11inch MBA w/128GB and 4GB RAM for $999.

It pains me to think I will suffer in 6 months like I used to years ago when I didn't buy enough RAM. I'm replacing an early 2011 15" MBP 2.0 ghz quad core i7 w/ 500 hdd and 8gb ram. Mainly, I'm a writer. But occasionally I do edit a 10 minute film in final cut pro or compose music with logic and ugh... Not looking forward to the slow crawl.

However, I really like what reviewers are saying about the quality of life- user experience of the 11" MBA. I read, critique, and write all the time and need to make it to classes in different buildings. The 15 MBP with an optical drive is too big, oxy, fragile, and kind of embarrassing set up next to the guy who just prints out his PDFs and uses real books.

Sorry for rambling - what I'm saying is that since I have to buy from best buy, I have decided to replace m powerful machine with this newer tiny machine for $999 because I think it's a good deal and will make my student experience better despite only 4gb of ram and losing 372 Gb of hd space. But I am also a bit scared.

However, I also have a new iPad, which makes me wonder if I shouldn't just return the Air, which I haven't even opened yet. Was planning to sell the MBP on eBay while I can still get some real cash for it - also has two years left of transferrable AppleCare.
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 12:00 AM   #23
s15119
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More RAM is almost always better. Go 8
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 06:26 AM   #24
chanyitian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensen G View Post
I'm gonna be purchasing a new Macbook Air, and am trying to decide whether to get the 8GB ram upgrade. This would normally be a no-brainer if I were getting a laptop with a non-SSD hard drive, but because the Air has SSD, I am wondering if the performance improvements of the SSD would mean that paging won't be nearly as detrimental to performance with the Air.

Are there any folks here with the 2011 version of the Air who have experience on what memory paging is like on the Air/SSD vs a Mac with a regular platter-based HD?
I am not sure if 4GB will be enough. I asked a similar question on this forum too: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...9#post15087189 Good luck! (I went with the 8GB ram with no CPU upgrade, purchased the macbook air today
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 06:35 AM   #25
mattpreston11
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Got 4GB in my 2012 and its been fine so far.

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