Is 4GB good enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Ironduke, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2006
    I have seen alot of refurbs going on ebay of the 2012 13" standard edition with 128SSD and 4GB of ram for 650UKP the apple retail is 999UKP

    I have 2 options buy a 13" air with 256GB SSD & 8GB ram for around 1250UKP

    or Get a refurb for 650 and spend another 650 ish on a mac mini Quad core to act as a server and machine for power apps.

    your thoughts
  2. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    IMO if you don't already have a desktop/server box, it's good to have one. If you routinely sync with iTunes, if you have an iTunes library to play stuff, if you have an ATV. A stationary box opens up for LAN (unlimited) storage; a DVR; directly playing web contents without going through the laptop which you want to keep for surfing and other ad-hoc stuff untethered.

    4 GB is more than good enough for all-around surfing and NOT running Windows.
  3. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    I use an air with 2gb of ram and couldn't be happier. Most of my uses are for productivity but I would think the 4gb air and mini would be better than just the air.
  4. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2012
    I sold my 4GB base model months ago, and the ram was very close to paging out and did page out quite a few times. I didn't do much on the computer at all either.

    I don't know why OSX uses so much ram, but it does. I'd suggest 8GB if you're going to keep it for a long while.

    I got the 8GB model recently, but only because it was on sale for $1,149 at a local retailer, instead of $1,299 from Apple.
  5. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Always buy the most RAM you can afford,cus it cannot be upgraded as it is soldered to the MB, and for $100, why not, you'll thank me latero:cool:
  6. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    Are u aware OSX doesn't automatically quit the applications when you close the last window, you have to explicitly tell it to quit, else it stays loaded?
  7. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Bel Air, CA
    My 2+ year old MBA with 2GB and C2D runs fine for my uses (email, web, videos, music). You didn't specify your needs for your computer, but 4GB should be enough for 95% of people.

    Go for the refurb + mini.
  8. macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    I too am debating a 4gb air. I usually open a lot of tabs at once on Chrome.

    I also like to output 1080p videos to my TV (sometimes while being online as well).

    Will I see noticeable lag doing these things?
  9. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2012
    No, really?

    And that doesn't give it any excuse to be paging out with a few tabs in Safari or Chrome (whichever I used at that time), Skype, Calendar, iTunes, and Finder open. I get away with much more than that with 4GB on my Windows desktop.
  10. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2012
    If I were you I would buy both. You get much more value out of it and you can use your air the way its meant to be. 4 gigs is plenty for the coming 5 years in terms of surfing and stuff.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012
    I've had my MB Air for almost 6 months and I couldn't be happier. I have the 1.8Ghz i5 with 4GB RAM and 256BGB HD. I would say that I am an average user who besides normal light usage, does some photo editing and as well a bit of video. I run an app called "FREE MEMORY" which not only monitors usage, it also allows a manual memory purge once in a while. That being said, I rarely run out of memory and my computer runs plenty fast.

    I'm happy I spend the money on the HD space instead of the RAM.

  12. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Bel Air, CA
  13. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    I have an MBA with 4GB of ram running ML and it's fine until I need to load Parallels, which unfortunately is pretty often. That and the 128GB drive is holding me back some. It's a 2010 model so I'm due for an upgrade but I'm waiting until Haswell hits before I upgrade. I'd say if you're doing things like surfing, office apps, watching videos (from any source), skype, and light gaming, 4GB should be enough. If you're doing much more than that, I'd go with 8GB.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    My 4GB MBA with photoshop, Dreamweaver, sketchbook, excel open still won't page out. At times i have 8+ tabs open in chrome i still don't page out.

    I am very curious to know what you aren't doing that is making the MBA page out :confused:

  15. akdj, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

    macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008

    This is a really wild load of complete BS!

    OSx will utilize the memory available for what is necessary both with open applications and caching reserve memory for recently closed apps. With the high speed SSD as well...even an occasional Page Out isn't noticeable to most

    Guaranteed the memory management of OSx is as good or better than any iteration of Windows 7 or earlier (I'm not at all familiar with Win 8). However, a few tabs on Safari (possibly 150-200mb), Chrome (150-250mb), Skype (maybe 500mb---very rare that high), Finder ( typically <50mb)--- and iTunes, pending library size anywhere from 300-1500mb of RAM. A grand total of 'maybe' 2GB active use RAM in your scenario posted WITH both browsers open (which you don't do, right?). With OSx, the more RAM available, the more it will use inactively or for caching purposes. If 4GB is what you have, it'll manage the memory appropriately. Today..and most likely for another couple years...4GB will be more than appropriate for casual computing.

    When you get into video and heavy, RAW Photo editing, RAM can be a great thing. Huge PDF files, spreadsheets and massive data libraries or audio collections ( in iTunes ) benefit from more RAM as well. The OP will be just fine with 4GB

    Not sure why some post this cockamamie BS, but keep your ears and eyes open. Four GB of RAM in the current state of OSx (Mountain Lion on a modern machine) as others have Also pointed out, is plenty!

  16. macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    if you were buying it from apple and wanted to know about upgrading ram the ram upgrade is only 100 usd from the baseline. so its a no brainer for an upgrade. what your seeing on ebay seems to be considerably cheaper then that.

    it doesnt seem to make sense to pay double the cost of the machine to upgrade the ram in your situation.
  17. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2006
    Managed to get an 8gb off ebay for 755 ukps

    Cheers guys
  18. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2012
    Had 2 MBA's that were 4GB, both exhibited same RAM usage and paged out very easily. I don't think you know what you're talking about, just sounds like you're trying to justify your 4GB RAM model.

    Do you think I like having to buy the 8GB model? Nope. It's just how it is, OSX handles ram awfully.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I have 2 MBAs (2011 13, 2012 11) both with 4GB RAM and a rMBP with 16GB. With the exception of VMWare on the MBP, the two MBAs can perform just fine for my uses (web/terminal/Xcode/Numbers/Skype/iMessage/BBEdit/Safari) without paging out.

    I use AdBlock and ClickFlash in Safari to block ads and flash junk, 4-10 tabs at a time.

    Definitely nothing wrong with the 4GB. Especially for the average user who won't be developing on it.

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