Macbook Air questions...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Carrotty, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #1
    I am planning to get my first ever apple laptop, and i have decided to go for the macbook air 13inch, i5~~ I read that it would be best for me to upgrade to the 8gb ram. However, i went to the store nearby and the employee told me that they cannot change the 4gb ram to the 8gb ram for the 128gb 13inch. I know i can configure it this way if i order my MBA online but there're 2 stores nearby so i'd prefer going down and getting it myself.

    Also, i am intending to use this MBA as my primary computer and i want it to last me for at least 4 years, so should i get the 256gb SSD instead? Is it worth the money considering how i know that i wouldn't need that much space now but i'm worried that my needs might grow and we can't upgrade the SSD for the 2012 MBA in future just yet, can we?

    Finally...if i were to get the 256gb SSD, can the employee in the store actually help me upgrade to the 8gb ram? If he can't, then will getting the 4gb ram affect me after a couple of years? Or should i just order online instead?

    Sorry if i wrote too much, but i hope you guys can read this and help me, a future macbook air user... i will mainly be doing work, chatting, music, movies, running some apps at times but i don't game or run heavy-duty apps much if that helps. :)
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    I would just order online. Get exactly what you want and not worry about what they have in the stores. Upgrading the RAM to 8GB is a good idea.

    As far as the SSD is concerned, you know better than us how much storage you will need. There is always external drives that you could use. You can upgrade the SSD youself, but it won't be cheap.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #3
    I agree with the previous poster, order online. That's what I did to get the specs I wanted. I would especially go for 8 gb ram if you're planning to keep it for four years. I also maxed out on the specs because I want to keep mine for a while.
     
  4. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #4
    The RAM is soldered on, so if you want 8GB, you need to order it that way upfront. Some of the stores have 8GB models in stock, though they may be higher end models with the i7 and/or larger SSDs.

    The SSD is removable, but there aren't any third party solutions yet. Other World Computing (OWC) made a module for the 2010 and 2011 Airs, but they don't fit the 2012. Also note that only an authorized service center can open the bottom case without invalidating the warranty.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #5
    i have 4gb and will never even come close to using it all. On these forums you will see people say "8 gb is future proofing".....if you only do average task, 4gb will easily carry you for the next 3-4 years
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    That's hard to say. Depends on what you use the laptop for. When it's only $100 more dollars and the fact that you can't do it yourself in the future, it only makes sense to do it right away.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #7
    In what significant way will the 8gb ram make a difference? Sorry if this is a dumb question but i'm quite a newbie, but if i'm not wrong the higher ram makes the computer remain fast loading times and such in the long run? Anything else?

    Buying online is kinda difficult for me now because i'm not in my home country and won't be back until a month or so.. i'll die waiting for an entire month :(
    is it a bad idea if, the stores doesn't have the 8gb ram and i just go for the 4gb? I'm seriously in a dilemma, as i don't want to make this choice now and regret this decision in a couple of years time when the macbook air starts underperforming...
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #8
    You mentioned movies. Is that watching movies or editing and making movies?

    RAM will depend on what you will be doing on the computer. More RAM intensive programs will obviously work better with more, but if you are a very casual user, than you could get away with 4.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #9
    Watching. I mostly stream movies online and download some too. Apart from that, mainly music, work (writing essays). Even if i use iMovies etc to edit movies, it would be only for fun.

    What are some examples of RAM intensive programs? Apart from movie editing that is?
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #10
    If I were considering a machine that I wanted to keep for 4 years, I might look a bit more closely at a MBP than a MBA. At least the memory and storage is easily and readily upgradable in the PRO with commodity parts.

    If you want an AIR, consider the highest spec you can afford now. That means 8gb for sure, and likely i7 and 256gb. CPU and memory are not upgradable at all in the Air and 4 years is a long time these days for a computer. Technically the SSD is user upgradable (not by Apple) so you might be able to upgrade in a year or two using something like an OWC SSD. But Apple's been changing their SSD format pretty frequently so their may be no third party's making SSD's for 2012 models a few years from now. And Apple will only put an SSD in that was the original size.

    Good luck in your choice.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    MN
    #11
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #12
    Photoshop, running windows in a virtual environment, any 3d programs. But from what it sounds like, you should be good with just 4GB
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #13
    @jimboutilier thanks for the advice, but i think i'd still prefer the portability of the air, and i should be getting the 256gb SSD which would be more than enough for me.

    @AppleSticker54 thanks too, i might just do that if the other store i haven't been to does not have the 8gb in stock.

    @basesloaded190 i'm somehow convinced by you that i can live with the 4gb since i don't do any of those things you mentioned and i don't play computer games (but of course why not get the 8gb when it's a now-or-never thing right?)

    Anyway a big thanks to all of you guys, but i'll not jump the gun. I'll just keep watch and make a decision i think is best for me, and my money. Once again, thanks! :)
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #14
    Decision time...

    Okay so it's decision time.. I am planning to go for a macbook to last me 3-4years. So should i get the air or pro? I like the air but might be able to go for the 13inch 4gb ram, i5, and 256gb SSD only. Would this be likely to keep me going for 3-4years? My needs and what i'm going to do are stated in the above posts.

    Also, because this computer has to last me for a long time, i started considering the macbook pro 13 inch, i5. However, i might be unable to get the 8gb for this too and should i keep the 500gb HDD or upgrade? I was thinking that i should use the 500gb HDD and 4gb ram first, since after 2 years or so, i could upgrade to the 8gb ram and might be able to change to SDD as i heard that prices might drop. So what do you guys think?

    Macbook air 13inch with 4gb (the guy at the store said i could have it for 5% off if i took the display set, which looks pretty new and since it was released on june 11, it should have been there for like, just 2 weeks?), or macbook pro 13inch, 4gb ram too, and 500gb HDD (but upgradeable in future)?

    Also, i was wondering if i got the 8gb ram macbook air 256gb, would it be able to last me for around 4 years as a primary computer? And the most worrying thing for me is just having to use it for around 5 or 7-8 hours (at max) for assignments (usually just writing stuff) for 4-5days continuously during certain periods of school year. Would it really cause the air, which is pretty thin and flimsy in a way (though i think it's sexy), to kind of overheat or like 'wear out' much quicker? Would i be better off with the pro if that's the case? once again just scroll up, and you should be able to see what i would use my laptop for, :)

    Thanks.
     
  15. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    For your uses, 4GB will likely be fine. RAM intensive applications include photo editing, as well as running virtual machines (e.g. Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows).
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    #16
    I have a similar experience too. I also plan to stick to my MBA 2012 13 inch for 4-5 years. Although I wont need 256 GB, I got the high end model with 8GB ram because I wont have to worry about memory space. Yes, get the 8GB ram as programs tend to use more memory. Dont bother with the CPU upgrade if you dont want to pay for it( benchmark only shows 5% improvement in CPU upgrade). improvement is more significant with ram upgrade. good luck.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #17
    it's $90 more, not $100.

    It makes no sense not to upgrade to 8GB even if you don't need it right now.
    256GB SSD is a different story and depends on your computer usage. Any way, in worst case scenario, you can buy a SSD drive (or USB3 drive) and connect it via USB.

    You'll need more than 128GB only if you are going to store pictures/movies in your MBA.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #18
    Thanks, i think i should be going for the macbook air i5, 8gb ram, 256gb. The only question is whether it will run fine for 4-5 years, but i believe it can, right?
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    #19
    yes you can, as long as you dont pour anything onto the keyboard accidentally lol. macbooks have great build quality.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #20
    Don't worry, you'll buy a new one in 2-3 years.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #21
    Alright, it looks like i'm going to go for the macbook air then, thanks to you, and to everyone else for their help!

    ----------

    hah yeah, especially when a newer, better model gets released. The temptation is hard to resist but i'll try.. :)
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #22
    While the device has to perform your current tasks, since you want to keep it for 3-4 years, you need to anticipate how you will use the device in the future. If you can't, it is wise to get as much computing power you can afford.

    This is particularly true for all the posts by college students whose use patterns will change upon graduation. It is also critical with the MBA since neither memory nor disk space (SSD) is upgradeable, by the consumer nor the retail store.
     
  23. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #23
    You can read through this to find out what adding extra RAM does

    Upgrade RAM, CPU, SSD - is it worth it?
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1293809
     
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #24
    Alright i have decided to get the 256gb SSD and 8gb ram. i'll order it online when i get back to my home country. I think i can wait.. thanks!

    ----------

    Nice thread, thanks, i've decided to go for 256gb SSD, i5, 8gb ram macbook air 13inch.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #25

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