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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:56 AM   #26
TheRealDamager
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Get the 8GB. I ran parallels daily with Win 7 with 4GB or ram, and it works just fine for simple usage (Outlook, Office), but the extra RAM can only help.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:35 AM   #27
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Thanks for all the feedback. I really wouldn't be doing more than running safari and iTunes in OSX in tandem with excel on the VM.

My big dilemma is that best buy is offering the MBA at $100 off, while on the apple store it is full price plus the RAM upgrade making it a $200 difference. Even with the education discounts, it only saves about $60 making it a $140 difference. The other dilemma is I can pick up the one at best buy when I need it vs. the BTO option at apple and waiting a few extra days.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:42 AM   #28
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I think long term the extra memory is well worth the increased cost and a few days of waiting.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:11 PM   #29
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There will be people who say they run xyz with 1 GB RAM and then there are people who will say nothing less than 8 GB is wise.

So what do you pick? Pick the highest so when that awkward situation comes where you need more RAM because of some xyz you are running in Windows, its there.

I would say anything with VM's 8 GB is the norm. Allocate 4 GB to the VM so that your Mac programs are also zippy and are not starving while the VM is running.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:28 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by jonfarr View Post
I am planning on getting a MBA 13" and was wondering if 4GB of RAM is enough for basic usage and parallels desktop? I mainly surf the web, listen to music and email from my laptop. I also use parallels desktop while on the road to Remote into our company server. Would i be best off to upgrade to the 8GB of Ram or will 4GB work with Parallels running windows 7 minimally?
It'll be tight, but you can do it. It did that pretty much same thing for a year.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:36 PM   #31
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My 2012 macbook air has 8 gb of ram and i set 4gb for osx and 4 for windows and it works a treat. I even play some torchlight 2 in the virtual machine with no slowdowns.

I really recommend you go for the 8gb.


lately I realized I only use windows 7 maybe a few times a month so im considering installing windows 7 on a thunderbolt drive i can just disconnect from my laptop when im not using. That to me is the best compromise in terms of space.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:10 PM   #32
groovyone789
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I run Parallels with Windows 8 on my 2011 MBA 13" i7 4GB/256GB. Works fine. Sometimes its a little slow booting up but that's about it.

I generally keep Outlook, Word, iTunes, Safari, Messages, and Preview open on the OSX side. Then I use Windows 8 to run a charting program, SAS Editor, or Excel.

RAM gets basically used 100% but it works and I don't have issues with large Excel files or SAS running.

Biggest thing would be making sure you've got enough HD space. Windows 8 with all the programs uses close to 42GB.

Last edited by groovyone789; Jan 23, 2013 at 03:12 PM. Reason: added
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:10 PM   #33
donuttakedonuts
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B&H photo usually has pretty decent prices on the MBA - basically pays for the ram upgrade. 99% of the time it's better to not give apple any money for their ram and upgrade it yourself (i.e. apple wants $100 for 4 more Gb, when 8gb ram is ~$50 on the open market) but the air isnt upgradable. If you can afford it, go 8gb absolutely - 4gb will hurt resale value and performance down the road.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 11:03 AM   #34
WMuntean
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Originally Posted by groovyone789 View Post
I run Parallels with Windows 8 on my 2011 MBA 13" i7 4GB/256GB. Works fine. Sometimes its a little slow booting up but that's about it.

I generally keep Outlook, Word, iTunes, Safari, Messages, and Preview open on the OSX side. Then I use Windows 8 to run a charting program, SAS Editor, or Excel.

RAM gets basically used 100% but it works and I don't have issues with large Excel files or SAS running.

Biggest thing would be making sure you've got enough HD space. Windows 8 with all the programs uses close to 42GB.
FWIW:

I run the same apps, except that I run on Windows 7 (didn't think that SAS was 100% compatible with Win 8) on a 2010 13" MBA with 2GB ram. I've never had any _major_ issuesójust some minor annoyances with the fan blazing and some lag when waking from sleep.

That said, the MBA is not my main laptop and it's getting upgraded when the 2013 comes out.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:44 PM   #35
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I ended up taking advantage of the Best Buy sale and got a 13" Air w/ 256GB SSD. Pretty pumped on that price point and it works great. Plenty fast and it does everything I need it to.

It also is not my main computer. I am getting a 21" iMac w/ 16GB of Ram and the fusion drive. These 2 machines replaced my 15" retina that I just sold. Loved the retina, but for the cost and the worry of it being my only computer and the cost of repair if damaged, I decided to get rid of it and got these 2 computers for less than the price of the retina.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:59 PM   #36
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I ended up taking advantage of the Best Buy sale and got a 13" Air w/ 256GB SSD. Pretty pumped on that price point and it works great. Plenty fast and it does everything I need it to.

It also is not my main computer. I am getting a 21" iMac w/ 16GB of Ram and the fusion drive. These 2 machines replaced my 15" retina that I just sold. Loved the retina, but for the cost and the worry of it being my only computer and the cost of repair if damaged, I decided to get rid of it and got these 2 computers for less than the price of the retina.

Thanks for all the advice.
So you're sticking with the 4GB RAM since BB did not offer the 8GB upgrade?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:21 PM   #37
Drharrington
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I've found virtual box to be much cleaner and less taxing on RAM resources.

----------

But I'd get the 8 GB
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:16 PM   #38
jonfarr
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So you're sticking with the 4GB RAM since BB did not offer the 8GB upgrade?
Yes, and it is just fine.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 05:41 PM   #39
Beanoir
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4GB is plenty for what you need, plenty. Don't fall for the RAM upgrade trick like so may others do....if you don't need it don't by it.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 05:56 PM   #40
designs216
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It's gonna be tight. I gave Parallels 4GB and it just crawled. I might get you by but I believe it will be a frustrating experience.
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