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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:58 AM   #26
myrtlebee
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YES it is enough. How do I know this? I have been using a machine with 2GB for 6 months and I do more than your wife. I don't have any issues with spinning balls or crashes, and I run the latest version of Mountain Lion as smooth as butter. Mine is a 2011 1.6 GHz i5, 2GB RAM, 11-inch Air, refurbed from Apple. It seems you've already made up your mind, and that's a shame, because for your wife's uses, you could get away with something as simple as an iPad (without the Flash games of course), which has much less RAM. Either way, good luck- I wouldn't imagine you'd need it because anything you buy will be sufficient for her needs, and then some.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 12:06 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by myrtlebee View Post
YES it is enough. How do I know this? I have been using a machine with 2GB for 6 months and I do more than your wife. I don't have any issues with spinning balls or crashes, and I run the latest version of Mountain Lion as smooth as butter. Mine is a 2011 1.6 GHz i5, 2GB RAM, 11-inch Air, refurbed from Apple. It seems you've already made up your mind, and that's a shame, because for your wife's uses, you could get away with something as simple as an iPad (without the Flash games of course), which has much less RAM. Either way, good luck- I wouldn't imagine you'd need it because anything you buy will be sufficient for her needs, and then some.
Thanks for the info.

Are there ever times that you wished you had more ram?
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 02:05 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Read post #5. Web browsing alone can place very little or very high demands on RAM.
Your web browsing is not typical, 30+ tabs!

2GB will be fine for normal use.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 03:37 PM   #29
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Thanks for the info.

Are there ever times that you wished you had more ram?
You're very welcome. No -- but then again, I don't use iMovie at all or iPhoto that often, or for any big projects. I would think if anything, those two applications would be the ones where the spinning ball would rear its ugly head due to lack of RAM. If you think she'd be heavily into either of those two applications -- it doesn't sound like it through your OP, but if she would-- I'd go with the 4GB to be safe. As for browsing and games, absolutely no problems here. I often browse with dozens of tabs open in Safari and I play games like Red Crucible 2 from the Mac App Store with no issues. To say 2GB would be detrimental to web browsing is a gross exaggeration.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:01 PM   #30
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There is a reason why apple has a 4GB minimum nowadays, get the 4GB version. Especially since it's not user upgradable.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:10 PM   #31
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Have a 11 mba with 2gb of ram and the same amount of storage space as my 4s works with no issue and i run parallels without lag among other things.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:18 PM   #32
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No, 2GB is not enough. Nowhere near enough today and certainly more problematic in another year. You will not be able to add more later on an Air.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:23 PM   #33
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No, 2GB is not enough. Nowhere near enough today and certainly more problematic in another year. You will not be able to add more later on an Air.
For those use is more than enough.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:19 PM   #34
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For those use is more than enough.
This is what I don't understand. Those of us who actually have 2GB are pleased, and those who don't take it upon themselves to refute our testimony? Also, how could anyone claim 2GB isn't sufficient for the wife in the OP who simply uses the web browser - an iPod touch would be sufficient for that!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:26 PM   #35
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It seems more and more apps, processes, and the like are using up more RAM. Even with just web browsing, music, and occassional video, my notebook uses 2GB RAM (assuming my iStat Nano process overviewer is correct).

I'm no professional, but I feel like 4GB RAM is the standard and minimum. More and more things are definitely taking advantage of the availability of RAM at least in the coming decade, even if they are basic tasks.

Like I said, I'm no professional. I'm just offering my personal thoughts as an average consumer.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:30 PM   #36
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Will it work? Yes.

Is it a bad idea going for 2gb of RAM in 2012? Yes.

Can it be upgraded, ever? No.

Will your machine's usable life be significantly extended by doubling the RAM? Yes.


Go for as much ram as you can afford. Given the cost of RAM these days, it makes zero sense to cripple your machine by cheaping out on RAM.

Most new machines these days will be selling with 8gb and 16gb (or more) is a cheap upgrade. As a result of this, expect software to start taking advantage of/requiring more ram in future.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:34 PM   #37
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Will it work? Yes.

Is it a bad idea going for 2gb of RAM in 2012? Yes.

Can it be upgraded, ever? No.

Will your machine's usable life be significantly extended by doubling the RAM? Yes.


Go for as much ram as you can afford. Given the cost of RAM these days, it makes zero sense to cripple your machine by cheaping out on RAM.

Most new machines these days will be selling with 8gb and 16gb is a cheap upgrade. As a result of this, expect software to start taking advantage of/requiring more ram in future.
You can have 16gb of ram but it will not matter if all you do is youtube,browsing and social networks.

If you go for the basic air is really cheap and good value for the money in these case.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:51 PM   #38
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You can have 16gb of ram but it will not matter if all you do is youtube,browsing and social networks.
Today.

If you buy your machine with the intention of keeping it for 3-5 years, you need to take into account how much RAM applications will require leading up to that point, if you wish your machine to remain viable.

With older machines, you could upgrade by replacing the ram in the slots. With the air, you can't.

All I'm saying is that RAM is so cheap now that you can bet your house that developers will have new freedom to include features that were previously not possible, or change the optimization of their application (more caching vs less RAM use) due to RAM constraints.

If you've cheaped out on RAM, you'll be left behind.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 09:10 PM   #39
myrtlebee
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Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Today.

If you buy your machine with the intention of keeping it for 3-5 years, you need to take into account how much RAM applications will require leading up to that point, if you wish your machine to remain viable.

With older machines, you could upgrade by replacing the ram in the slots. With the air, you can't.

All I'm saying is that RAM is so cheap now that you can bet your house that developers will have new freedom to include features that were previously not possible, or change the optimization of their application (more caching vs less RAM use) due to RAM constraints.

If you've cheaped out on RAM, you'll be left behind.
What are these "applications" you keep mentioning? The OP clearly states that his wife wants to browse the web. 2GB will get her through 3-5 years of web browsing.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:01 PM   #40
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What are these "applications" you keep mentioning?
You did read the bit about 3-5 years time, yes?

Safari will quite happily chew 1gb of RAM doing things today. Facebook, as it grows and new social apps get bolted onto it, will start to consume more and more resources.

Increasing use of sandboxing will blow out RAM usage. Perhaps it will be some next-gen UI that will require the RAM in OS X 10.10?

Who knows. The point is, if you give developers a huge amount of RAM, they will consume it. Web apps are extremely bloated for what they do, due to the use of just-in-time compilation, heavy caching of data, etc.

But hey, if you want to save 50-100 bucks today and need to replace your machine 2 years earlier, go for it.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:00 AM   #41
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2 GB is not enough!

the base 2GB of RAM would not be enough because people seem to forget that the OS needs RAM(obviously). Well maybe not everybody, but certainly a few in here. I have a 2009, 20" iMac 2.66GHz C2D, 3TB HDD running OS X 10.7.5.

I am currently running the following apps:

1. Mail
2. iTunes(open and idle)
3. Safari(4 tabs: Netflix[not streaming], MacRumors, CNET, College website)
4. Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is saying that I have 6.06 GB of RAM free while 1 GB is active and the other 840MB of RAM being used are wired. That means that if I was running these very few apps on a MBA, then only having 2GB of RAM would not be sufficient. Go with the 4GB or do what you were thinking and get a MBP that's upgradeable to 8GB.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:03 AM   #42
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Ive run that same setup and also with parallels running yet the basic mba keeps going with no problem.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:17 AM   #43
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Why would you handicap a laptop that expensive with 2gb of ram? The OS alone uses up that much at times. Just don't do it.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:31 AM   #44
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I just don't understand why you would not spend the extra $80 to get 4 GB and a 128 GB SSD. How can $80 be a deal breaker on a $750 item? If it is you probably should be looking at something cheaper
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 03:41 PM   #45
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I just don't understand why people have this obsession with RAM...I bet half of the people who've posted in this thread couldn't even tell me what it [RAM] actually does (without Googling it).
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:04 PM   #46
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Even for just web browsing I would recommend 4gb as a minimum, especially in machines with no user replaceable ram. I would say 4GB for the MBA and 2GB (to start with) on a user upgradeable machine

It will run the OS well and (if supported) future OS upgrades better .
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:45 PM   #47
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My Air only has 2GB and works fine with OSX 10.8.2! It isn't marginal at all. Check out reviews of the 2010 revision which came with 2GB as standard. It will be fine for what she uses it for
Well, you must ONLY use Safari with ONE tab open.

I am currently listening to music, have 3 tabs open in safari, and when I open the Mac App store it shows that I'm using 2.72 GB of RAM.

Sure, 2Gb is enough, if you only check your e-mail or watch SD videos in Youtube.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:46 PM   #48
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I have been using a 2010 macbook air 2gb ram for the last 2yrs and while yes it doesn't choke on normal tasks I wish every day I had more! Comparing my mba to my friends mbp 2009 with 4gb I was surprised to see how much more fluid transitions and mission control were on his compared to mine. My advice is 4gb minimum!
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:50 AM   #49
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Problem is you can't upgrade RAM. So go for 4GB at least for future proof.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 03:09 AM   #50
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I wouldn't risk the likelihood of upsetting your wife with only 2GB of RAM or anything less than a 2012 machine. The payback could be infinitely worse than extra expense.

Don't cheap out on the missus.
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