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Old Dec 9, 2012, 06:59 PM   #1
Jonny Craig
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4 GB vs 8 GB RAM, what would you do in this situation?

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
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:00 PM   #2
ECUpirate44
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If you have any doubts, upgrade to 8GB.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:09 PM   #3
inselstudent
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If there's anything you're gonna notice in the next couple of years it's the missing RAM. Personally, that's what I always maximize when I buy a new computer. And it holds true especially for the MBA whose RAM cannot be upgraded once purchased.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:11 PM   #4
B2FiNiTY
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go with the 8GB.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:21 PM   #5
Johnny Alien
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4GB will likely be fine for quite awhile. 2GB has been enough to get most people by for a long time and many are still having no issues with it right now. I honestly think you would be fine, however, if you have the cash and don't mind spending it there is no harm in getting more and future proofing it a little more. It was only earlier this year that 4GB was what everyone was saying to get in the MBA to keep it future proof.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:23 PM   #6
GimmeSlack12
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Absolutely get the 8GB. I didn't even read your post, that's how obvious of an answer this is.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:26 PM   #7
CoMoMacUser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Craig View Post
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.
That's why I went with 8 GB. I knew it was a wise move when, this fall, I doubled the RAM in my 2008 iMac to 4 GB and saw an enormous performance improvement. I wouldn't have that option with my 2012 MBA, so I chose to spend the money upfront.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:32 PM   #8
cedwhatev
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8GB. Just do it.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:35 PM   #9
Jonny Craig
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Yeah I think I'll just go with the 8 gb. It would suck to regret getting the 4 GB a year from now. Thanks
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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*rolls eyes* ANOTHER "how much RAM can we all argue about" thread
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 10:30 AM   #11
robdrj45
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At a hundred bucks, the 8G RAM is a worthwhile future-proofing upgrade. When I bought, it was an easy decision. That said, if buying the base Air is already stretching the budget, then skip the upgrade. It's not 100% necessary.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 10:33 AM   #12
MacLappy
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8GB, it's well worth it.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 10:49 AM   #13
ME Nick
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8 gb
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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Amen to the 8 GB crowd !

I wanted a machine with 8 GB first and then the 256 GB SSD next. After configuring a new one with the above specs, the price difference between a new 256 GB and a refurb 512 GB was like 100 or so dollars. So went with the refurb.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:39 PM   #15
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8GB because you have to either do it now or never.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 05:11 PM   #16
jrasero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Craig View Post
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 have a 2012 MBA 13" i7, 8GB, 256GB version and my twin has the 2012 MBA 13" i5, 4GB, 128GB version. Obviously mine is faster on paper but for day to day use I can't tell the difference.

2-3 years from now yes 4Gigs is going to get a little slow. I used to have the base 2010 MBA 11" and at the time 2GB was standard and at the time it ran fast. Fast forward to 2012. It still runs well but it stutters on streaming video and loads apps slower than I would like. So my answer is 4GB is fine but with time 4GB is going to show signs of being slow, plus most good computers whether PC or Mac come standard with 6-8GB Ram anyways
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:52 PM   #17
bryanmiss
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Believe or not , once u go for higher RAM, u would never roll back at all.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 12:38 AM   #18
Dr Charter
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I went with the 11 inch base model with 4G RAM and 64gb SSD because of the price. I only did this because I had already purchased a 2012 Mini. If it were my main machine, I would have gone with 8Gb, 256. That was the key distinction for me. For what I want the Air to do (word processing, web browsing, etc.), the base model will be good for years.

I might upgrade the storage later on with a pulled SSD from EBAY or the OWC model (although the threads on here have me second guessing that option). However, with Back to my Mac and iCloud, I don't even think I'll need to do that.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:51 AM   #19
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8 GB. Definitely.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:25 AM   #20
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I'm looking for new machine and very surprised how many good deal I'm finding locally but they all with 4gb config.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:35 AM   #21
Miat
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I got 4GB because they were on special at a reseller and it would have cost an extra $285 (Australian) to get the otherwise identical 8GB version from Apple.

That is waaay too much for an extra 4GB of RAM just to future proof a machine that is 1) only going to be used for basic browsing and watching videos, etc, and 2) which I plan to replace after Apple upgrade the screen quality of the Air, then I will get an 8GB version and hang onto it for longer, (probably be my Xmas 2013 present to myself ).

But if you want to be doing much more than basic stuff, or plan to hang onto it for 2-3 years, then get the 8GB. If the price difference for me had been the same as for you, I would have got the extra RAM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:28 AM   #22
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Sounds like you don't need a machine right away. If cost is major sticking point, you could configure "refurb.me" to let you know when an 8GB model becomes available. In my mind, the minimum will never be lower than 8GB.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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8!!!

I just traded out my 2011 w/4GB RAM for the 2012 with 8GB. Night and day better.

I never have to worry about open programs anymore.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:04 PM   #24
Johnny Alien
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Originally Posted by Salty Pirate View Post
8!!!

I just traded out my 2011 w/4GB RAM for the 2012 with 8GB. Night and day better.

I never have to worry about open programs anymore.
In this case there is more at play than the amount of ram. The ram itself is a faster speed ram, the ssd drive is way faster on the 2012 than the 2011 and the graphics processor is a major improvement as well. You would see a pretty big bump even with a 2012 with 4GB of ram.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:15 PM   #25
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We should make the topic of RAM topic a sticky....
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