More RAM or bigger SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Maui19, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    I'm thinking about getting a new MBA and I have to decide about configuration.

    Basically, I could go with 8GB RAM and 128 GB SSD, or 4GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. I would use it for mostly Internet/Email/Video with occasional use as a travel version of my business CPU, which means Dreamweaver, Photoshop and InDesign.

    I can certainly make 128GB of storage work, but 256GB would be nice but I really want to avoid the spinning beach ball.

  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    The Air has a really fast SSD, so you won't notice page outs nearly as badly as with a HDD when you run low on RAM. That said, you can always get USB3/Thunderbolt external hard drives if you need extra can't upgrade the RAM.

    If it were me, I would save up and get the 256/8 configuration. But, if that isn't an option, I would go with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
  3. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
    I would do the RAM now and upgrade the SSD later.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    Obviously, both would be preferable, but if you have to choose between RAM or HD space, I would choose to go with RAM, because it is soldered onto the logic board of the MBA, and there ain't no changing that later.

    The HD, or rather, the SSD can be swapped out at a later time, thanks to the OWC upgrades, so that isn't as big a deal. You can always also just hook up an external drive in the meantime, and give yourself the extra room you need/want.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    This. This is the voice of reason...
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    RAM is cheaper and can't be upgraded later. That was my choice for my 11". I wish I had just splurged and gotten the larger HD as well, but even if I had to go back I'd still pick RAM.
  7. macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    More RAM. You will be locked in to whatever you order for as long as you have the computer. There are other options for adding storage later.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2010
    My MBA 11" arrived yesterday, and it is CTO 8gb ram / 64gb ssd

    Unfortunately, where I am located, I pay 12% tax, so that is a sizable premium on top of the MBA itself.

    Being on a somewhat limited budget, it was a no brainer to do the 8gb over upgrading the SSD, as my uses are mobile word processing and very minor editing.

    The issue with running out of ram / page-out is not a major issue with the fast SSD as others have mentioned, however since the ram is not upgradable, this was a priority to max out.

    Ideally get one of those flush SD card readers, and use that as storage to minimize writes on the SSD (paranoid but it is not a bad idea).
  9. macrumors 604

    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    RAM is def the first priority, as you cannot upgrade it later. If 128GB isn't enough you can always upgrade it later, or improve your storage with a SD Card.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Sadly though, that is only an option with the 13".
  11. macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Denmark, Aarhus
    Most people do not need 8 gb of ram on a MBA, but almost everyone needs more that than 120 gb of hard drive.

    I would definitely upgrade the hard drive!
  12. macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2008
    Akron, OH
    I'm with everyone on the "upgrade your RAM" side. of the two, only the SSD can be upgraded down the road, and if you plan on keeping your MBA for a decent amount of time, that 8GB will gradually lose its overkill factor as OS's and apps become more resource-intensive. just adding in my 2¢.
  13. macrumors 604

    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah - Although with the 11" you could get one of those mini as USB sticks. Not quite as good, considering the MBA only has two, but it's better than nothing I guess.


    8GB of RAM is actually becoming pretty standard these days. Not overkill at all, really.
  14. macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    defiantly get the 8GB ram. Both options you can't upgrade after market but hard drive wise you have the cloud, external, flash drives, or even SD cards
  15. macrumors 604

    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    You can replace the SSD after-market :)
  16. macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2012
    As most people said, go for the RAM. I got my MBA on sale so I couldn't upgrade. (Oh well.) The RAM will futureproof your machine because 8GB's of RAM will become a standard in a few years.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012

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