Adding RAM After Purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mello1me, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Mello1me, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors member

    I bought my MBA 11'' base model at Best Buy (sigh), and I asked if I could ever upgrade the RAM from 2gb to 4gb in the future. They said yes they could with no problem, but I have read a few articles that say it is next to impossible to do that. Can Best Buy or Apple add 2gb of RAM to a MBA? Has anyone had any experience with this?


    UPDATE: Best Buy said sorry and they will let me return my 2gb MBA for a 4gb MBA
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Cant be done. Take it back for a refund.
  3. macrumors 6502

    No problem.

    You'll need the following.


    and a handfull of [​IMG]

    Good luck!!

    (On a serious note, get a refund).
  4. macrumors member

    I know that i cant do it myself, but can apple?
  5. macrumors 6502

    They could but they wont.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Never going to happen in a million years. It's next to physically impossible to add ram to these notebooks.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    OP, I would go and exchange for a 4 GB model as soon as possible. Since Best Buy misinformed you at the time of purchase, there should be no problem doing the exchange. Even if you don't need 4 GB now, you will have peace of mind that stuff you buy in the future will work on your new computer. Also, consider that Lion might/might not need more RAM to run smoothly when it drops next year. Good luck.
  8. macrumors newbie

    It's far from 'physically impossible'.

    It'll just require far more effort than is economically viable.
  9. macrumors member

    Thanks ill try to exchange it.
  10. macrumors regular


    I like the way in which they lied to you, clearly not knowing what they were talking about.
  11. macrumors regular

    Never seen so much crap talked about 2GB v 4GB. I have just bought the basic 11" model, and for what I use it for, along with probably 90% of the members on here, it could hardly work any faster.

    Granted I am not using Autocad 2011 or intensive Photoshop work, but you are talking about returning it for a 4GB model, and it sounds as if you are going to do that purely on reading some of the posts on here as opposed to having a problem with 2GB.

    I read continual posts that 4 will make so much difference compared to 2, but IT WILL NOT in normal usage. Neither will 1.6 compared to 1.4, but obviously a 128GB SSD as opposed to 64 will do if you need the extra storage.

    Work out what you are going to use it for, then start working out if you need upgrades which will cost you hundreds of dollars.

  12. macrumors 6502a


    If you can't afford the extra $100 you probably shouldn't be spending $1000+ on a macbook air.
  13. size100, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors regular

    I agree. Getting 4gb isn't needed for most users.

    Opening every standard application that comes with MBA along with safari with 6 or 7 intensive web pages(hulu,youtube videos) is about 2gb of ram. Not something most people will do on an 11.6" notebook.
  14. macrumors member


    hmm well i am having problem with programs loading. it is my primary/only computer. that i use for all of my work/play. thanks for the input.
  15. macrumors regular

    if you list the programs that you are having problems with loading, then the experienced users on here would be able to tell you whether it was a RAM shortage or something else.

    I am an experienced computer user from the days of my first Spectrum, but this is my first Mac. From what I can see it makes more use of available memory than my Windows computers, which run just about anything on 2GB with Win7.

  16. size100, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Windows 7 makes very good use of extra RAM. It will pre-fetch any program it thinks you may need and put it in ram. It will leave things in ram, like most operating systems. Most people will have all over their ram utilized on their windows7 computer, if not most if it. Even if they are at 8gb. One thing windows7 does do is turn of pre-fetching programs with an SSD, or at least used to, for a few reasons. win7 will run just about everything on 2gb, at least for normal daily useage, but, when you get to more ram every program you start will end up being read mostly from ram. Any recently used program will end up being read from ram. With a windows desktop and the prices of ddr3 people may as well just pile on the RAM.

    Half my ram right now in windows is 'standby' and 0-10mb free.

    For a laptop like the MBA people should be more concerned about the actual memory that is in-use.

    I'd like some screenshots of users activity monitors during their day-to-day tasks. (ram tab, sorted by mem usage)
  17. Mello1me, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors member

    is this what you are looking for?

    This is day to say...Scottrader Streaming quotes

    And even sometimes

    Attached Files:

  18. lucashungaro, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors member

    What is normal?

    I don't want to start a flame war, just note one thing: what's normal usage? It varies from person to person.

    2GB are enough to you and I believe that. To me, 4GB makes a lot of difference. It all depends on your daily (aka "normal") usage.

    Just as a reference, I'm a software developer. I write web sites and backends in Ruby and use Safari, Chrome, Vim/TextMate, MySQL (and other databases, sometimes concurrently) and a web server for local development. Add to this all the "trival" stuff I use (like Adium, Sparrow for GMail, Twitter for Mac, Dropbox, Droplr, Jumpcut, Caffeine, iTunes) and OS services like Spotlight indexing, and 4GB is a nice jump. I had a MacBook with 2GB until some time ago, it wasn't unusable of course, but it swapped all the time.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

    Update: here's my system memory stats:
  19. macrumors regular

    ya, but i was more looking for the full screen shot of the activity monitor window. You have low-ish page-outs, but that depends on the uptime.
  20. macrumors regular

    Appreciate that Luc, but you knew before you bought what your usage would be, and that the demands from that meant that 4GB would make a difference.

    I think that too many just go for the adage that 4 is automatically better, whereas if it is not required it will not be used. Understand the point of future proofing, but Windows 7 actually used memory more efficiently than XP or Vista, so I would hope that Apple would do the same.

    In actuality of course it does not affect me whatever configuration a buyer purchases but here in the UK the upgrade costs £80, so as the main point of a Forum is to discuss and pass on advice, it is worth making the point.

  21. macrumors regular

    "Even if they are at 8gb......"

    With the proviso that Win7 32bit will only use a max of 3.8GB memory.

  22. Mello1me, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors member

    Your right, you UK blokes always know whats best for us Yanks.
  23. macrumors member

    Yeah, that's the point. One can't say what amount of memory will be enough for other person based on one's own day to day usage.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Swapping sucks. Life's too short for swapping, even with an SSD (which makes it a bit less painful). You will swap with 2 GB unless all you do is check your email and browse the web.

    For anyone running a VM, 4 GB is the absolute minimum. For my usage, 6 GB is the minimum to be reasonably sure there will be no swapping (but obviously the MBA can't take that much).
  25. size100, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    macrumors regular

    For the people using 2gb or ram on their air they have not really been swapping. You can do a lot more than reading email without swapping. Saying all you can do is check your email and browse the web is very mis-leading. It will take a heck of a lot more before you hit 2gb. Open some programs and see how long it takes for the 'active' memory to get to 1.2gb.

    VM is another thing and a good reason for 4gb.

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