My first MacBook Air, I need help

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by atifjaved123, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2013
    Im planning on buying a macbook air 2012 in the following week. I know you cant upgrade the mac once you brought it so i want to buy the right one for me

    The problem is do i need 4gb ram or 8gb
    I will run parallel desktop to run window 7 ultimate or maybe window 8 (depends if i like it )

    What i will do in parallel is use ms word for my uni word and browse the web

    So will 4gb be enough and assign 2gb to parallels and 2gb to osx
  2. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Go with 8 and a 256gig SSD.

    Win8 is meant to run on a touchscreen.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    2 GB for a Windows VM might be enough, if MS Office is the only application you want to run in there.

    But as you have to purchase the VM software, unless you go with VirtualBox from Sun, and the Windows license (unless you get it for free from the university, in which case, you should also get MS Office for Mac for free or at a discounted price), why not use MS Office 2012, which is for Mac OS X?

    And if you can get 8 GB RAM and it is in your budget, take it.

    To learn more about Mac OS X: Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I have a mid-2012 MBA...I run Parallels for MS Office and a few other applications...I went with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD and am happy I did...if you can afford it go with the same configuration.

  5. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Am sensing from your Folks, Office for Mac not worth much. Really? Of course am light user and probly won't be pushing heavy features of Office.

    OP, as far as browsing goes, I find Safari just smooth to drive, not the best featured but smooth so that's my main browser. BUT there are Chrome Mac and Firefox Mac, so maybe you don't need Windows at all?
  6. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    What kind of stuff are you doing in Office? I get along with LibreOffice just fine.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    So basically you are getting a Mac so you can virtually run Windows?
  8. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I ran Windows 7 (even the 64-bit version) in a Parallels VM on a 4GB MacBook Air without a problem. That said, for the price difference the 8GB option is worthwhile since RAM is still faster than an SSD. If you will be using Windows a lot, I'd suggest going with the 8GB option. I'd go with Windows 7 since Windows 8 support is sketchy right now, and Windows 8 itself doesn't work very well without a touchscreen.

    As for browsing, unless you are attempting to access a site that requires ActiveX or Internet Explorer, I'd use Safari, Chrome, or Firefox on the Mac as much as possible, rather than opening up the VM.
  9. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    What's your swap file page-out number under this scenario?
  10. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I don't have that MacBook Air anymore, but it definitely did page out. I gave Windows 7 1 or 1.5GB if I recall correctly. I vaguely recall it would page out about 1GB after an hour or so of Quicken usage, particularly if I left Safari or Outlook running on the Mac side. With 8GB it rarely pages out at all if I give Windows 2GB to work with (although I've started giving it 3GB).
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2013
    well i need to run ms office 2013 which is not available for mac. i want the mac for mostly the hardware, thin light and solid.

    Im thinking about the 8gb model because im planning to use it for a while. e.g the 2010 models were 2gb ram 2012 is 4gb mainly cus of mountain lion. So to future proof my mac should i get 8 ?


    i cant afford to 256gb model
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    I'm running a ms office 2010 on the mbp atm. Have t seen what I'm missing quite yet from 2013. If your buying the air to be virtual windows and only like the size why not look into a ultrabook?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    Why? What features do you need?

    On the excel side of things I understand because there are plenty of regression tools and other plug ins not available for the mac version.
  14. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Only coz sum body says 70 gig for Windows partition alone. Apple say 25, so OK split it, 50 gig for Win partition alone.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    You would really be better off not buying a MBA if you plan to primarily run Windows through VM. That sounds like the biggest waste of money to me
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2013
    well the main reason i wanted the macbook air is for the hardware.
    light slim excellent keyboard and trackpad

    a decent ultrabook is around 650-999 while with my student discount i cant get a mac for £850 or even £800 for a used one
  17. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I won't judge you what to buy because after all purchases are not always vulcan-logic like.

    TRACKPAD - u want to find out whether it works JUST AS GOOD in Windows. It won't matter than you have the greatest hardware if the software is not fully implemented to support it. Unfortunately I have yet loaded Windows in my Air so I can't provide u a first-hand comment. Some people on the web says yes it does but this is such a subjective measurement.

    Of course that's just the initial investment. U need a Windows license if don't already have one, then Parallel is what usd$75(?)

    I ask once more: U can do browsing and MS word in Mac. What's the objection?
  18. macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012
    Just get the Air, try Office for OSX and you'll see if you need to switch to a virtual box. Browsing the web will be a better experience on the OSX, mainly because of the awesome and fluent gestures with the trackpad. The MBP will also hold its resale value better, especially the 8gb. Ultrabooks still depreciate faster. And I guess you also have a Windows student licence from MS Dreamspark via your uni.

    Check AVforums UK, there's a loaded MBA for sale ATM.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    If you need only office, why should install windows 7? If have the license, my suggestion is install windows xp. I did this using parallels desktop, and snappier compared to windows 7.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    I don't know if I agree with you guys. Office for Mac really isn't that great. I've been using it for several weeks now and I constantly get annoyed with it, whether it's the windows randomly resizing, non-OSX full screen mode, maximise doesn't fill up the screen or files stay open when I reopen the program. Any one have tutorials for Office for Mac to make me like it better?
  21. macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    Wow, several weeks?!

    The complaints you listed sound more like osx quirks than office ones (except the random part).

    Honestly it works just as well as the windows equivalent (with the exceptions of certain statistical plugins not existing for the mac version). I've been using it for years without issue.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    If you're only after the hardware, why not install windows through bootcamp (maybe leaving a very tiny OS X partition in case you want to play around with it)? Using Parallels or VMWare to run windows sounds like a huge waste of memory and resources when you could boot to windows directly.

    4 GB should work for simpler tasks (browsing, office and such), but the cost of going up to 8 GB is so small and gives so many advantages I would go with that anyway. It makes your computer lasts for a lot longer, as you tend to use more programs, get more memory-hungry OS updates, install more autostart software and such as time goes by.

    EDIT: I have been using Office for Mac for working quite a lot, and it's really not that bad. Works perfectly well, 100% compatible with the Windows version and seems to have all the functions I ever needed. Maybe there are some problems doing very complex Excel sheets or such that I don't know about - I haven't tried every button in there, but so far I find it perfectly usable. I'd go with OS X, but that's me.
  23. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    Office for mac is not 100% perfect in that I still have compatibility issues with windows versions and some minor other problems (like inability to convert documents consisting of landscape and portrait pages to pdf perfectly).

    It will suffice for basic usage (can't complain, picked mine up for $15 under the home usage plan) but if you want perfect compatibility, running office under parallels / vmware might be a better solution.

    4gb ram should suffice, in your case, I think you can safely go with the 4gb/128ssd air option.

    Though personally, you are just as well-served using pages or some other free version of office, then submitting your assignments as pdfs to avoid any conversion problems.

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