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How important is 8G ram?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by email68, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Choice for me is i5 - 4G - 128SD refurb for $929.

    Or i5 - 8G - 64SD new for $1099.

    The idea is that I can never upgrade the ram, but I could the SSD.

    Still its a big price difference just to get the 8 and lose the double SSD.
  2. macrumors 68020


    All depends on your amount of use. How many programs do you like to have open at once?
  3. macrumors G5


    I would take the 8GB because that is something that you will never upgrade. That factor is the one that makes my decision.
  4. macrumors regular

    Its a machine to take with us on vacation. So some iMovie stuff, iPhoto. Mostly web surfing and email.

    I plan to have a mac mini as soon as they update them for my regular machine.
  5. tiwizard, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012

    macrumors regular

    If you're planning on using iMovie and iPhoto, storage space will disappear pretty quick... I'd rather have the 128 GB SSD than the RAM if you want to store any photos on your computer.

    Or, alternatively, you could get an external drive.
  6. macrumors G5


    Get a big external drive via USB3, and that will suffice. That way you will never be bound by storage space. But RAM is critical when doing large photos or movies.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Better go the 8GB of RAM route and then get an external HDD
  8. macrumors regular

    The macbook air wasn't really designed for high editing it was designed purely just looking up things checking email syncing iPhone,iPod and any other apple device if you are looking to editing photos and videos then my best advice would be to use a macbook pro with 16Gb of ram you would need alot of ram for cloning retouching with adobe elements at the end of the day if you aren't doing editing of any kind then i should of thought a macbook air would fit the bill just nicely
  9. macrumors 603


    I would say get the 8GB RAM one. I believe buying one w/ 4GB is too little in this day & age when you can't upgrade it. Especially if you want to work w/ videos and editing.

    You can also buy a USB drive of 64GB for pretty cheap nowadays ~$35 Sandisk on Amazon for your extra needs and less weight than an external hard drive and won't get damaged like a mechanical external hard drive.
  10. macrumors 68000


    There are so many alternatives to the smaller internal storage issue, as others have said, go with more RAM (always!) and get an external drive or use cloud services like DropBox or SugarSync.

    My iMac's 1TB HDD died last year, and I replaced it with a 64GB SSD as I had lots of external drives around here (where I have moved all my data). I've not missed the internal storage at all, which is great for my MBA about to arrive (meaning the centralised data is accessible to that machine easily) - you can easily deal without lots of internal storage, but it's much more difficult to deal with not having enough RAM.
  11. macrumors 601

    If you have a desktop at home, most likely that's where u store most of your stuff, so a big local storage probably isn't necessary.

    For vacation use, I don't see a big diff between 4 and 8 ram, I assume u won't be holed up in your hotel room doing heavy video editing.

    However, is this your first AIR? lots of people have commented once they hooked on the Air's portability they end up using it more and when and if that happens u wish it has more ram.

    Your call.
  12. macrumors 68000

    I would be more restricted by 64GB than 4GB
  13. macrumors G4

    Why not get a reburb 2012? My guess is we will see some 8/128 combinations soon.
  14. macrumors 6502

    +1 to 8 GB of RAM, and
    +1 to waiting for a refurb 2012 so you can expand with USB 3.0 disk in the future.
  15. macrumors regular

    Thats the problem. There are no 8g 2012 refurbs now. Only one thats an i7 for $1399.

    Have you guys seen 8g refurbs very often? I've only been looking for two days.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Honestly, at this point I wouldn't go with either. Upgrade from 4 to 8 gigs on my iMac made huge difference, but at the same time 64 gigs is pretty bare bones. With photos and home movies even 128 can get a bit smallish. Remember that you're stuck with your choice for quite some time. Spending 1 000 USD for something that barely does the job at the moment really doesn't seem the wise choice. I'd try to save up or think about the traditional Macbook Pro 13.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    In that case you won't notice any difference between 2GB and 8GB of RAM. Save your money and don't bother with 8GB if you're not going to use it (which by your description you will never come close)

    And ignore the people here that clearly haven't read your requirements before spouting out the standard line of "get the most RAM you can because its what you need" which is becoming a bit cliche and boring.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Well I base my opinion on my personal experience. On macs RAM makes a difference even on small daily tasks.
  19. macrumors 6502

    I'm perfectly happy with 4 GB of RAM. The limitation is that I don't run VMWare Fusion unless absolutely necessary... which is pretty much never. But I have it with a copy of MS Office 11 just in case I get a file I can't read.

    The SSD is very fast, so it's very practical to open ten apps at once and let it page if necessary; you barely notice it. I don't see how you can live with 64 GB of storage; I have 256 GB and wish for more.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    How can it if small tasks don't use all the RAM, it won't make any difference?! If you understand how your RAM works you'd realise that statement is wrong i'm afraid.
  21. Mike in Kansas, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    So the Air is designed mainly for CONSUMPTION of content, not CREATION of content?? Where have I heard that before?

    I can assure you, the 2102 MBA runs circles around my 2008 iMac 2.8GHz with 6GB of RAM - it's clearly made for CREATION of content. It runs Aperture, iMovie, CS5, etc. without a hitch. You might want to look at some of the 2012 MBA benchmarks compared to the 2010 and 2011 MBPs.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Christ, can we get through just one day without this question being asked AGAIN?
  23. macrumors G4

    The 2012s just started showing up as refurbished models a few days ago. If you aren't in a hurry, I'd give it time. The 2012s have much faster SSDs, so even with the 4GB version you'll notice that page-outs are faster on the 2012s. For web surfing, e-mail, and Office-type tasks, 4GB is plenty. Where the RAM would come in handy is iMovie, as well as running virtual machines if you do that. 64GB will be used up very quickly with movies. Remember that the actual capacity is about 59GB, and that OS X and the standard application set take up about 12GB of that itself.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    1) Not upgradable
    2) Helps you run more programs at once
    3) HD4000 chip gets a boost

    Overall... totally worth the upgrade. Would not get 8GB of memory only if you use your notebook for simple web surfing and opening / writing documents. It's a really cheap upgrade compare to the benefits it comes with... I personally would get it no matter what :)
  25. macrumors regular

    Thanks guys.

    I decided on the MacAir 2012 4g refurb with 128SD. $929. I just sold my 2008 Macbook for $700. This made it just a couple hundred for the upgrade.

    I'll get a beefy MacMini after they refresh them. The MacAir will be just a goof around machine for web, email, and writing. I'll use the cloud to sync things up.

    Of course, I'll keep watching the refurb store for the next 14 days :p

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