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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:26 PM   #1
hthomas
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Upgrading a MacBook Air

So I want to upgrade my Air from 4GB to 8GB and get a SSD for it. I know it is different than doing these upgrades to a Macbook Pro. Can someone tell me exactly what needs to be done or if it can be done? I do have a friend who works on computers for a living, would it be best to just get the parts and have him take care of it for me?
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hthomas View Post
So I want to upgrade my Air from 4GB to 8GB and get a SSD for it. I know it is different than doing these upgrades to a Macbook Pro. Can someone tell me exactly what needs to be done or if it can be done? I do have a friend who works on computers for a living, would it be best to just get the parts and have him take care of it for me?

it already has an ssd in it and i dont believe the ram is user replaceable.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 05:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hthomas View Post
So I want to upgrade my Air from 4GB to 8GB and get a SSD for it. I know it is different than doing these upgrades to a Macbook Pro. Can someone tell me exactly what needs to be done or if it can be done? I do have a friend who works on computers for a living, would it be best to just get the parts and have him take care of it for me?
you cannot upgrade the ram on MBA's. What MBA do you have. Are you finding that your needing more ram or something?
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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I am getting one. I was looking at the MBP 13in but I have decided to go with the Air. I did not no it had an SSD already in it.

The apple site says the RAM can go from 4gb to 8gb. Can I not do that?

Since it already has an SSD, I could just use a flash drive or external hard drive correct?
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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The RAM is soldered to the Logic Board. It cannot be upgraded. If you absolutely must have 8GB you need to order a custom configuration from Apple or buy from a retailer like B&H that carries these configurations.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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The RAM is soldered to the Logic Board. It cannot be upgraded. If you absolutely must have 8GB you need to order a custom configuration from Apple or buy from a retailer like B&H that carries these configurations.

Alright thanks for the info. There is no doubt that I can use a external dvd drive/burner with this correct?

Do I need the 8gb of RAM? I am not doing anything massive. I just watch tv, movies, internet, downloading, work, and travel.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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Alright thanks for the info. There is no doubt that I can use a external dvd drive/burner with this correct?

Do I need the 8gb of RAM? I am not doing anything massive. I just watch tv, movies, internet, downloading, work, and travel.
Yes you can use an external DVD drive. You may not need 8GB of Ram now, but since it isn't user upgradable if you think there is any chance you might want it before you want to be replacing it with a new computer go with the 8GB now instead of wishing you'd gotten 8GB a year or two from now.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 07:33 PM   #8
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Yes you can use an external DVD drive. You may not need 8GB of Ram now, but since it isn't user upgradable if you think there is any chance you might want it before you want to be replacing it with a new computer go with the 8GB now instead of wishing you'd gotten 8GB a year or two from now.

I just realized. my 09 macbook that I use now, is 2gb. ive used this for 3 years. Never had a problem with the 2gb and only have used 80gb on my hard drive.

I would say the 4GB of Ram and 128GB of Storage(with an external hard drive if needed) would be plenty.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 07:35 PM   #9
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I agree with MrKramer. You certainly don't need 8gb based on what you're doing, but if you can afford it why not future proof yourself.

If you can't afford it, don't fret. You will not notice if the system tops out on ram, as it will just page out to the SSD.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 07:30 AM   #10
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4GB should be plenty for what you describe. I have a 2011 MBA and 4GB was the max available then. I use mine with high powered professional programs like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, VectorWorks, Photoshop, FileMaker Pro and others. Have never had a problem with running these in 4GB RAM.

That being said, if I was buying an MBA today I would get 8GB. But I think it would just be a waste of money for somebody who only watches movies, sends e-mail and surfs the web.

The SSD is another matter. Buy as much as you can afford, it can fill up quickly.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 11:02 AM   #11
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Upgrade SSD

Quote:
Originally Posted by hthomas View Post
I am getting one. I was looking at the MBP 13in but I have decided to go with the Air. I did not no it had an SSD already in it.

The apple site says the RAM can go from 4gb to 8gb. Can I not do that?

Since it already has an SSD, I could just use a flash drive or external hard drive correct?
You can get a larger SSD for it though. OWC sells a kit that installs the original SSD card in an external enclosure.

I would order the 8gb/64 model and increase the SSD later
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 03:42 PM   #12
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You can get a larger SSD for it though. OWC sells a kit that installs the original SSD card in an external enclosure.

I would order the 8gb/64 model and increase the SSD later
Is the kit hard to install?

I am gonna go with the 4gbRAM/128gb storage. Just perfect for my needs and money.

Im confident that if I am only doing internet work,movies,tv,downloading, basic stuff. no editing, photoshop etc. The air will be perfect for me. I like the idea of having a better resolution because I am quality nut. I travel a lot so it should be perfect!

Thanks for all the info!
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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You can get a larger SSD for it though. OWC sells a kit that installs the original SSD card in an external enclosure.

I would order the 8gb/64 model and increase the SSD later
Yes but aren't their kits about the same amount or more than just upgrading the SSD through Apple?
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 11:17 PM   #14
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Yes but aren't their kits about the same amount or more than just upgrading the SSD through Apple?
Looking at the OWC website its seems to be close in price.

Apple don't support your SSD FW as well so maybe it's better off
paying the apple tax or buy a refurb. More often than not you will see a 8GB RAM MBA.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 04:50 AM   #15
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I just (last friday) upgraded my base 11" MBA 2012 SSD from 64GB to 120GB. Took about 10 mins total to perform the upgrade. Regarding RAM, I am a heavy user and 4GB serves me just fine.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 07:12 AM   #16
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I don't even see the option to get a 64GB 13" MBA at the Apple Store now. You can still get the 64GB 11" MBA, but the 128GB model is only $100 more. The 120GB OWC Auro Pro SSD costs $200. Doesn't make much sense to buy the 64 GB and upgrade yourself, although maybe you could close the gap by selling the 64GB SSD?

On the 13" model, the 256GB SSD costs $200 more than the 128GB model. The 240GB OWC SSD upgrade costs $330. Again, doesn't make much sense if you are buying new.

If you want a 512GB SSD, Apple charges $500 more than the 128GB model. The OWC 480GB SSD costs $680.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 07:17 AM   #17
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Alright thanks for the info. There is no doubt that I can use a external dvd drive/burner with this correct?

Do I need the 8gb of RAM? I am not doing anything massive. I just watch tv, movies, internet, downloading, work, and travel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hthomas View Post
Is the kit hard to install?

I am gonna go with the 4gbRAM/128gb storage. Just perfect for my needs and money.

Im confident that if I am only doing internet work,movies,tv,downloading, basic stuff. no editing, photoshop etc. The air will be perfect for me. I like the idea of having a better resolution because I am quality nut. I travel a lot so it should be perfect!

Thanks for all the info!
With newer apple portables becoming more and more complicated to upgrade, with the retina MBP's RAM and SSD being soldered (not replaceable at all) to the Logic board, your best bet is to just get what you want when you order the notebook.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 07:31 AM   #18
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with the retina MBP's RAM and SSD being soldered (not replaceable at all) to the Logic board,
The SSDs in the Retina MBPs are a separate board that can be replaced, just like the Air.

I think it will probably stay like that for the foreseeable future because that way they can swap your SSD to a new machine in the case of a warranty replacement.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:49 AM   #19
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The SSDs in the Retina MBPs are a separate board that can be replaced, just like the Air.

I think it will probably stay like that for the foreseeable future because that way they can swap your SSD to a new machine in the case of a warranty replacement.
Oops! My mistake sorry, I thought I'd read/seen somewhere that it was soldered on! (Note: Don't browse MR while drowsy)
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Old Mar 1, 2013, 07:09 AM   #20
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I don't even see the option to get a 64GB 13" MBA at the Apple Store now. You can still get the 64GB 11" MBA, but the 128GB model is only $100 more. The 120GB OWC Auro Pro SSD costs $200. Doesn't make much sense to buy the 64 GB and upgrade yourself, although maybe you could close the gap by selling the 64GB SSD?.
I got mine on the cheap from a buddy who was upgrading his 13". I was thinking of going the OWC route, but have read there is trouble getting them to fit.
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Old Mar 1, 2013, 09:20 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by hthomas View Post
So I want to upgrade my Air from 4GB to 8GB and get a SSD for it. I know it is different than doing these upgrades to a Macbook Pro. Can someone tell me exactly what needs to be done or if it can be done? I do have a friend who works on computers for a living, would it be best to just get the parts and have him take care of it for me?
The RAM may not be user upgraded. OWC sells the drive card but some folks have had trouble getting them to fit properly. To me the 8GB/256GB config is the sweet spot. If I were ordering today, I would bite the bullet and order that from Apple, which is probably just what they intended.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 07:28 PM   #22
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I got mine on the cheap from a buddy who was upgrading his 13". I was thinking of going the OWC route, but have read there is trouble getting them to fit.
I was going to go the OWC route but read about the issues. Ended up getting a samsung 256 gb at a cheaper price than the OWC. Boost in performance and in space, without spending $300+ and dealing with fit issues.
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Old Mar 5, 2013, 04:39 PM   #23
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Anticipating needs

I believe that it's best to anticipate one's needs before buying an MBA. I went from a MacPro with 4 TB of memory to an Air, which was to replace my MacPro.

A standard Air configuration was just not enough for me. I had to custom order the item (I was living in Spain at the time). I now use the Air with a large screen Apple display, an Apple wireless keyboard, and a wireless Magic Mouse. I really like the setup, which is a lot like having an iMac. Yet, I have the portability of the 13" MBA.

The configuration I ordered for the Air is:
Processor 2 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
SSD 499.52 GB (500 GB)

I've had the set up for about five months, and I really like it.

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