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4 GB ENOUGH you Power Users Out there

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by chefwong, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    I've been hemming and hawing at this for awhile now.

    For all you Power Users out there - is the 4GB good enough for you as a daily workhorse.

    Been looking for a lighter alternative to my MBP 8GB loaded...

    I run multiple windows, VMWARE, etc.
    The 8GB DOES make a difference in workflow for me.

    I also run into situations where I do need to hardwire via RJ45.
    So making sure than USB-ethernet is always on me is another *added thing* I need to make sure I have on me at any given time.
  2. macrumors Core


    Sounds like the MBA isn't for you, as is typical for "power users."
  3. macrumors 68020


    No. Aperture alone takes about 3 jee bees at times. The SSD helps.

    I am still in my return window and hemming and hawing.

    I like the screen better than the MBP13 but the MBP with 8gb was REALLY snappy with multiple windows.

    And, as you mentioned, more port selection, like FW and ethernet. Stick an SSD in the MBP and zoom/zoom :D .

    But the semi-matte screen and light weight is so nice lol. I could live with 6gb and everything else the same.
  4. macrumors regular

    That's right about the 13' MBP. I bought that about 4 months ago and returned it after the 2nd day. I could not get past the screen resolution.

    I've yet to research the debate on the ~screen quality~ on MBA vs. MBP, but if only they offered a 13" MBP with a hi res screen..

    I digress as I've always had some variant of a Sony 11" over the years on my stash as they make ultra portables and high res screens. Build quality, Customer Service, Warranty - bottom of the barrell....it's not my daily, but I do use it for certain occasions .
  5. macrumors 6502

    4GB is rough sometimes. I run a few different VMs, so 4GB is definitely restricting in that department. It is doable but just annoying. Lack of RJ45 jack can also be a tad annoying, and lack of serial port (though that prob doesn't matter to most people). It is what it is, still a great machine, just not a work horse.
  6. macrumors member

    Is getting by enough?

    I have the luxury of having both a 2011 11" Ultimate and 2011 27" iMac Ultimate bar 8GB RAM so I can put up with my VM's etc not performing great on my MBA.

    To be perfectly honest if I only had the MBA as only one machine and had external monitors I could get by but it wouldn't be the greatest experience.

    So overall if I had to get by with one machine or needed much more power while on the move I'd look at a 13" or 15" MBP with SSD.

    But being able to write this post now so comfortably while in bed makes me happy with the 11" MBA.
  7. macrumors 604


    It depends what you are using. I can use my Macbook Air as a 3D modeling/sculpting/video game creation machine when I travel. I can run ZBrush, Maya, Photoshop, Corel Painter and Unity 3D just fine on it hooked to an external. That being said I'm using Maya for videogame graphics not for high end 3D renders when I'm using my Macbook Pro. It actually renders fine for higher quality stuff but it is is obviously much slower to do so.

    I haven't attempted any real After Effects work on it because honestly that program needs at least 8 gigs of ram to work with. I've seen it snarf as high as 22 gigs on my main machine. The Macbook air also runs Aperture and Lightroom surprisingly well. I've also used Logic Express on it without any issue.

    So it all depends what you are using it for. I needed a lightweight computer for traveling to complement my tower. Both machines are in my signature and I was really surprised the way the Macbook Air holds its own. Its a lot more powerful than people give it credit for.

    Also VMWare works fine on it as well. I only usually have one other VM open on it though.
  8. macrumors regular

    The Ultimate is just the fully rigged MBA right --- I bought one as a gift xmas 2010. The Ultimate is not a 8GB equipped MBA is it....
  9. macrumors 65816


    No, 4gb max (soldered in) for all airs. There's nothing you can do about it.:(
  10. macrumors newbie

    Someone should make a petition for an 8gb option for the air. I would buy it.
  11. macrumors 68000


    It tends to be enough in most cases, unless you do some extreme rendering but than don't buy a mba
  12. macrumors regular

    I appreciate it's not the same, but we were running iMacs with 4GB, using Parallels and Windows 7 Professional. I got constant complaints about slowness until we upgraded them to 12GB. Since then the feedback has been that they run smooth as silk.
  13. Guest


    If you consider yourself a "power user", which quite honestly is about the lamest thing I've ever heard, you should consider a desktop computer like an iMac or Mac Pro.
  14. macrumors demi-god


    Apparently you're not familiar with common computing terms, which would indicate that you're not a power user:
    You don't need an iMac or Mac Pro as a power user. MacBook Pros are plenty powerful enough for most uses.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Kind of depends on your interpretation of the term Power User. The title gets thrown around quite a bit without any real definition of what makes a person a power user. The term is often used as a means of justifying an investment in technology without giving any substantial reason for why that technology is required. If someone argues they need 8GB of RAM because they spend a good deal of time encoding HD video, I can see the merit of their argument. If someone tells me they need 8GB of RAM because their a Power User, my perception would be that they want 8GB of RAM, because they believe they need 8GB of RAM, but are clueless as to why they need 8GB of RAM.

    Here's another way of looking at it. I would consider someone who has mastered Unix commands and spends most of their day in terminal to be a Power User because they are taking advantage of functions in the OS that may not be easily implemented through a GUI environment. Yet a great deal of what this power user would be doing on a daily basis could probably be done with less than 2GB of RAM.

    A final argument is that if you do not understand how to monitor and manage system resources, and how to make a determination of your requirements from that information, than you are not a power user.

    It's a bit like saying I need to buy professional quality cookware because I'm a really, really good chef, rather than buying professional cookware because it holds heat more consistently or is more durable than the consumer grade stuff.
  16. Guest



    I'm familiar with the term. It's lame.

    and depending on what kind of MBP you have I suppose you could be a "power user". Though it's no less comical to hear people call themselves that.
  17. macrumors 65816

    A lame definition that fails to justify why you would need more than 4GB of RAM. I agree with Eric/ that most Power users bestow themselves with that title as a means of elevating their status, or computing needs, above that of most users, without providing any quantifiable evidence of an ...ability to use advanced features of programs which are beyond the abilities of "normal" users,
  18. Guest


    This. This. This. This.
  19. macrumors demi-god


    The term itself isn't lame. Whether any particular person uses the term accurately or not is another matter.
  20. macrumors Pentium


    Multiple windows of what ? I run multiple windows of Terminal.app or multiple windows in XCode or multiple MacVim windows. Heck, I could run all these windows for all 3 apps at the same time on something like 512 MB of RAM. ;)

    Kind of missing something here...

    Anyway, I find 4 GB is plenty for XCode, VirtualBox, Terminal, Chrome, multiple IM programs, iTunes and 1 or 2 Photoshop/Illustrator projects open. I don't even saturate the RAM with this stuff.
  21. Guest


    Using the term in general is lame.
  22. macrumors 6502

    I couldn't use it to replace my main workhorse (Mac Pro)
    But it is surprisingly good at tasks other, older mac laptops I had struggled with (Photoshop and Illustrator)

    If you are a serious power user it think you might be best sticking with a Pro
  23. macrumors 6502a


    In the 1970's the power users were the managers of departments with the most keypunchers doing data entry for the IBM mainframes.

    Words like that are useless unless given a specific context ... to me anyhow.
  24. macrumors 604


    I think the OP is referring to someone who uses their computer for a lot of heavy stuff as far as the term "power user" goes.

    I do understand what others are saying, some people use Photoshop and consider themselves a power user because of that (even though most machines handle photoshop fine), but in my mind when I hear "power user" I think of someone who does the same stuff I do. (I know I inadvertantly called myself a power user :p)

    Generally people who run these types of programs are power users, and not just one program, multiples.

    -Maya, 3Ds Max, SolidWorks, Cinema4D, Mari etc etc for 3D modeling
    -Realflow, Houdini, Lagoa, or something else for simulations.
    -Avid, Premier, Final Cut, After Effects, Nuke, Boujou, Motion, etc for video
    -Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter etc for design, photography
    -ZBrush, Sculptris, Mudbox for 3D sculpting.
    -Unity 3D, Unreal Engine, Hero Engine, etc for game building
    -VMWare for multiple virtual machines
    -Logic Studio for music


    The apps mentioned above are pretty CPU/GPU intensive thus requiring lots of computing power. Generally people who use these things are considered "power users".
  25. macrumors 65816

    I think if "power" was the main concern, then the Macbook Air shouldn't be considered at all. In fact, anything lower than a Macbook Pro 15" would not suffice.

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