Is 2GB of RAM enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Bez59, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Derbyshire, England
    #1
    Hi, I am planning on getting a MacBook Air for my wife for christmas and i'm not sure if 2gb of ram will be enough or if i should get one with 4gb.

    She will only be using it for web browsing and playing games like family farm and dragon city on facebook.

    Will 2gb be enough?

    If i got one with 2gb and it wasn't enough can i upgrade it or is it not replaceable?

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    No, you can't add RAM after purchase. 2GB may be enough, but it's borderline. I'd generally recommend a minimum of 4GB.
     
  3. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    I assume you mean refurbished ones or ones off non-Apple sites, since the new ones all come with 4GB minumum.

    2GB of RAM is barely enough now. I assume you expect the computer to last a while, and 2GB of RAM will be woefully too little very soon.

    That said, it'll work fine today for her needs and uses today... but no guarantees about next summer, for example.

    ----------

    On a related note:

    If those are truly her only uses, I strongly recommend considering one of the new Chromebooks (the $199 one is cheap, has lots of storage and outputs, but is a bit noisy with the fan, and the $249 one is really quite nice but very limited on storage... but it uses an SSD instead of a spinning hard disk, and that's a big plus).

    They only really work when on WiFi (unless you're looking at stored media files... there aren't really any true apps on them), but... hey, $199 or $249 is a very good price, and even though they only come with 2GB, they're cheap enough that you could buy 4-5 of them over a few years for the price of the lowest-end MBA.

    I have the $249 one, and it really is a very MacBook Air-like experience - 80% or more of the MBA for much less money. I also have the real MBA, which I prefer overall because I develop and use apps, but the Chromebook is a very nice option for those who mainly surf/play Flash games (yes, it plays Flash).
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #4
    Really??! i'd say given what the OP reckons it will be used for that 2GB is plenty...

    Some people need to get off their RAM trip.
     
  5. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    There is no "RAM trip". As I said, 2GB may be enough, but it depends on the user's browsing and other computing habits. It certainly isn't enough for me, as I frequently have 30+ tabs open simultaneously on sites with multimedia content. While 2GB may work fine for you, it may or may not be enough for the OP.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #6
    The requirements were laid out in the first post.

    2GB WILL be enough. Move on.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    bushido

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #7
    arent flash games on facebook especially ram hogs?

    i remember when i was playing farmville back in the day, my ram almost filled up the 4GB and things started to get really sluggish (got 8 GB now) and all mba come with 4GB now anyway unless u want to buy a refurbished one
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #8
    Thats probably some plugin doing that that hadn't been updated or the like. A flash game on facebook on its own merit would not require 4GB of RAM, in fact nowhere even close to that.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    glsillygili

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    no please get the 120gb ssd 4gb ram model 2gb is way to slow
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    spork183

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #10
    Good mercy. Needs change. A computer that is fixed at 2gb, with no ability to upgrade, is marginal at best for running 10.8 and if, heaven forbid, it needs an upgrade in (dare I say it...) RAM, he is SOL.


    Some people need to get off their Judgemental trip. Maybe he likes slow and early obsolete. Maybe he likes spinning wheels. Maybe he hates his wife and wants her to have a stinking Mac experience. In that case, 2gb will be sufficient and he can rest assured he didn't succumb to the pressure of those on a "RAM trip". :rolleyes:
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #11
    I'm assuming you want to get the one from the refurbished store for $749

    Personally I think spending that much money on such lousy specs just to have something that looks nice and will be used to browse the web is a bit ridiculous, but you might as well just spend the extra $80 and get the model with a 128 GB SSD and 4 GB RAM and you won't have be restricted to using it as only a web browsing machine in the future
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Derbyshire, England
    #12
    Thanks for the replies.

    I will be getting one of the refurbs or a second hand one.

    I didn't think 2gb would be enough but my wife was trying to save money as she is putting the rest towards it.

    I will get one with 4gb or maybe a MacBook Pro and get an SSD for it.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    #13
    NO.Not NEARLY enough. Unless you run Windows 98. Then, yes, it is enough.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    spork183

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #14
    My daughter has a 13in Macbook Pro. My wife has a 13in macbook air. The difference in weight is substantial. The air is very nice for moving around, casual browsing, email, etc. My wife loves hers (4gb ram, btw ;) ). The extra weight doesn't look like much, but it matters. Good Luck!
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #15
    My Air only has 2GB and works fine with OSX 10.8.2! It isn't marginal at all. Check out reviews of the 2010 revision which came with 2GB as standard. It will be fine for what she uses it for :)
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #16
    No.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #17
    Yes!
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    spork183

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #18
    disclaimer: Not trying to be controversial or antagonistic.

    Do you worry that the next OS will require more? (I hate that Apple makes the ram a static element on these, and on the RetinaMBP, the new 21iMac, etc.)

    If you are running multiple programs, do you get any slowdowns? I'm just curious what the limit is before resource need begins to outstrip available ram.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #19
    No.

    The question was "Is two gigs of RAM Enough?". My answer Is No. I would "NEVER" suggest that someone run a machine today with less than 8 gigs. Thats right 8 gigs. Why you ask? Because code will always be dependent on Hardware evolution and at the current rate a 2 gig machine will not be able to keep up. I think I'm giving "BEz 59" some pretty good advice considering it's for his Wife. Gotta keep the boss happy you know!
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Nukemkb

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #20
    Is 2GB of RAM enough

    No.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #21
  22. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    And yet not enough information about browsing habits or specific normal workload was given to make a definite determination.
    That's only your assumption, as the OP didn't give enough information to make a definite determination.
    I'll move when and where I like, but thanks for asking. :rolleyes:
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    #23
    That would be annoying if it was a major change to the OS but if it was just SL to L or L to ML then I wouldn't worry. This Air shipped with Snow Leopard and I would be quite happy still using that. It's not like the previous OS's suddenly stop working when they introduce a new one! My girlfriends PC is still running Windows XP and she sees no reason to change. Women tend to have more important things to worry about!! :)

    I tend not to run too many programs but the only time I notice the spinning wheel is sometimes when editing photos in Aperture.

    It might feel a bit sluggish if you were used to a much higher spec machine but the SSD makes it feel lightning fast compared to anything I have used before.

    ----------

    Yes it was

    "She will only be using it for web browsing and playing games like family farm and dragon city on facebook."

    What more do you need to know?
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #24
    If you install Linux e.g.: Ubuntu, 2Gb RAM is sufficient, it depends on OS, Linux is the most efficient OS I know.
     
  25. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    Read post #5. Web browsing alone can place very little or very high demands on RAM.
     

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