8GB vs 4GB on new Haswells?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by pickaxe, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #1
    See title. Lately I've been off the loop about hardware requirements.

    The fact that the RAM is soldered to the board in the Air makes me thing 8GB might be a good idea, but will it be noticeable in real world usage? (read: light gaming, no professional graphic work)

    edit: also going to do some Windows virtualization and/or emulation.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #2
    Also have a question. Is 8 gb is necessary for occasionally Parallels?
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #3
    Get the 8GB.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #4
    is 8GB really that crucial? I was told yesterday that the base model will suffice.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #5
    The virtualization may hog up some memory. I would do the 8GB honestly.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #6
    I'm out of luck cause BB only carries the base model. Oh well.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #7
    Same here, I was bummed about that. Apple Store does carry the ultimate model with I7 and 512 SSD but its at 1849$.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    nyc
    #8
    def go with 8 if you're gonna be using Bootcamp with light gaming
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #9
    Windows virtualization eats up memory, so..
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #10
    No gaming for me but I might still stick with the base model.. We'll see. If you've been following previous threads, I mentioned that I recently purchase an iPad 4 (still under my 15 days) and I picked up the MBA yesterday to test out BUT I haven't opened it. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to keep the iPad or the MBA.. decisions, decisions.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    RightMACatU

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #11
    A basic Windows VM needs at least 2MB of RAM. Do the math from there
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    #12
    8gb will allow you to load up tons of applications if that's your preferred working method. Plus if you want to run a OSX and Win8 at the same time, you can.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    If you run any virtual machines, the more RAM you have, the better. I have 8GB on my Air and iMac and I can easily max that out encoding a movie, running a few OS X apps, and having my Win 7 VM up.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #14
    Wish one near me had one! I'm still waiting on mine to ship :(
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle.Wa
    #15
    Compressed Memory in OS 10.9 should help reduce RAM requirements, but if you use a VM a lot, then I could only recommend 8GB. I've been on 4GB for 3 years now and have never felt the need for more :)
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #16
    Call and confirm cause BB had stock yesterday in my area (Miami)
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    In the heart of Europe
    #17
    Definitely 8GB. If you want to virtualize a second OS, even more so. Those 100$(?) are better spent in that way then let's say doubling the SSD capacity.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #18
    man, after reading all these responses, I'm starting to regret the 4GB:confused:
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #19
    8GB is for VMs and video editing, things like that. But it is definitely not required for more simple uses, like email and internet.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Europe
    #20
    there is also no benefit to 8gb over 4gb in gaming for this machine, none at all.
     
  21. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #21
    That would depend on the game in question. Some games do benefit from having more than 4GB.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    nyc
    #22
    depends.. won't 8GB in Bootcamp result in higher FPS?
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Europe
    #23
    The general consensus is that there is no benefit to anything more than 4gb of RAM, and that's coming from the hardcore PC gaming community who stress over every frame per second, so I decided not to bother.

    Someone mentioned that the Turbo BTO option results in a 100Mhz higher clockspeed on your HD 5000, not sure if that's true but would actually improve your gaming a tad, although you could quite easily overclock by 300-400Mhz on the standard edition anyway (in Windows ofc). We're talking 1-5fps difference here really, iGPUs don't benefit much from overclocking.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #24
    When you say basic, do you mean Windows 3.1? ;)
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #25
    And you were told rightly so: the 4GB model will suffice. For now.

    But soon enough you will regret not getting 8GB. Here is the story:
    - For years the amount of available memory has been the single most often pointed out bottleneck (if you are low on that resource). Increasing memory is the most economical way of improving the performance of your machine. As you cannot add more memory on MBAs yourself, you should cough up for as much as you can afford when buying MBA.
    - Doubling your memory from 4GB to 8GB makes your machine more future-proof both in case of releases of newer versions of current software, as well as updates to OS. Also, it slows down its depreciation in value, making it more sought after on the market, whenever you will want to sell it.
    - If you want some "light" gaming - play Solitaire. Most modern games are slow and difficult to play on the Air, despite decent hardware in it. Apart from few noble examples of good programmingship, games are not really flying on Airs. I use X-Plane flight simulator and it is not as fast as you woud expect from average Win game.
     

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