Ordered basic MB Air... now worried 4GB Ram won't be enough

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jena55, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    I ordered a 2012 MB Air and should be receiving it by the end of the week.
    I just ordered the basic i5 model with 4 GB ram. I currently have an iMac with 2GB RAM that runs Snow leopard. Although I do get page outs, the speed has never bothered me. Because of this, I stuck with the basic 4 GB RAM for my Macbook Air figuring it was double my iMac and should be fine. Now I am reading how Lion uses so much RAM etc etc and I am worried 4 GB is not enough and that I should have upgraded. Could someone please give me their honest opinion. If I don't need the RAM, I don't want to go through the hassle of sending the computer back etc. I consider myself a pretty basic user. I don't game or do photo/video editing or anything like that.

    This is what I use my computer for generally....
    web browsing
    online classes (which involves some streaming, but not a ton)
    microsoft office
    occasional remote connection to my work desktop for basic tasks

    Will I be okay with the 4 GB?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    I do all those things and more, and 4GB is more than enough. I haven't rebooted since buying my system, and it's currently reporting 2.5MB of page outs. Essentially zero.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    With Lion on my new 2012 MBA, I'm regularly crossing 4GB according to istat, with similar use to your list. I would however load (fully cached) quite a few HD youtube vids.

    Lion does seem to have more of a fondness for RAM. I can't imagine with your light use experiencing any significant problems though, especially as the SSD is even faster this time. I would however always recommend 8GB RAM at this stage if you can afford it.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    I use a lot more programs than you simultaneously and never cross 4GB, don't worry. A lot of people say it's good to have 8GB, but most of us just don't need it. The ones who say everybody should get 8GB RAM are running multiple VMs, Photoshop, InDesign and other heavy apps at the same time. They can always benefit from more RAM, but not the light and normal user. I consider myself somewhat normal, I run more than 10 apps, but none use a lot of RAM, so 4 GB is enough (for me).
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Thanks everyone. These responses make me feel better about my 4 GB purchase. I am back to thinking I should be just fine. :)
  6. macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2004
    Coquitlam, BC
    Lol I only have 2GB in my 2006 iMac, it still works great. It's such an old machine I don't really want to throw more money into it especially with the price of PC2-5300 memory nowadays, but I still love using it.
  7. macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2011
    Ditto. Never lags. You'll be fine.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    In the year 2012, buying a machine with only 4GB of RAM is borderline retarded.

    Even if you are not using many apps, the OS can use the extra RAM for disk caching.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2011
    Those blanket statements never apply to everybody. It's like all the people who say you can't get productive work done on an iPad. You can. But it depends on people's needs and work flows.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    Good job ignoring the more important sentence of my post :rolleyes:
  11. macrumors G3


    Jun 12, 2012
    you will be fine, but in 3 years that will be pushing it. Depends how long you want your laptop to last. The minimum for Mountain Lion is 2gb and i'm sure the next installment will be the same.
  12. macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    And what sentence would that be?

    The one where you used an insensitive and offensive slur, or the one where you stated the obvious, and in this case, not terribly relevant point, that more RAM is better?

    Sure, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of memory would be nice, but in actual performance, you may not notice any difference at all. In my case, I do a little bit more intensive work than the OP, and most of the time I have 0 Page Outs. The RAM is more than enough.
  13. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    What a lot of people don't know: When they say "Lion uses so much memory", it actually means "Lion doesn't waste the memory in your computer; if it is there, it will be used because leaving memory unused would be stupid". So you will see that Lion _uses_ all your memory when that is helpful, but it doesn't mean it is actually needed.

    Of course you might call Apple and ask them whether your order can still be changed. I would hope if it's not on the UPS truck yet it should be no problem.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    I am planning to get 4GB. Tell me, will that be enough if I have Mail, iTunes, iMessage/iChat, Safari, and 10 PDFs open at once? I will be in graduate school so I suspect I will be reading a lot of papers.
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2009
    I completely disagree with most responses in this thread. Primarily because:

    a) the bump to 8GB of RAM is relatively cheap at $100
    b) every program (including the OS) will consume as much memory as possible, in order to run as efficiently as possible (meaning, just because your current 4GB system isn't paging, doesn't mean it couldn't benefit from more RAM)
    c) 4GB is already considered the minimum, and you can't upgrade to 8GB later on
    d) next generation Operating Systems will likely consume less disk space, but more RAM
    e) why limit yourself to having x number of applications open and manually 'delegating' memory when you can pay 100 bucks and not worry about it?
    f) moore's law - your computer is obsolete _now_. RAM will be cheaper, manufactures of software will take advantage of this and write applications that consume more RAM because it makes developing complex applications easier (I do this all the time)

    Paying $100 for the extra 4GB of RAM is a no brainer. What works for you today probably won't work for you in 1 year or less, like it or not.
  16. macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2012
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
  18. macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    Even browsers are taking up a lot of memory with tabs open today and the system will swap at some point even if it doesn't necessarily need to. I had 4GB in my 2011, but went with 8GB on my 2012. Do keep in mind you can not upgrade later. With 8GB there is no swap used so far, everything is very snappy :)
  19. macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2012
    From reading your post I also think you will be fine as well, that being said if you open up a couple or several more apps with moderate memory usage you will begin to knock on the door of spinning beach balls. If you feel you might keep adding more opened apps in the future then I suggest you upgrade to a more comfortable 8 gig.
  20. macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
    I'm curious to see if 4GB is enough for me. I'm leaving a 2010 17in MBP which I upgraded to 8 on my own.

    The problem with ordering from Apple is that upgrades are more expensive due to sales tax. I got my MBA for 1494 from Amazon. It would be 1732 to upgrade the RAM and get it from Apple because sales tax in Texas is high. Add the i7 and you're looking at 1840. Those are expensive upgrades.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    Paying $100 for the extra 4GB of RAM is a no brainer. You never know what you might need it for. I'm sure it will also sell better in the future. 4gb is probably way below average in a couple of years from now.
  22. macrumors 604


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Yes, you will be ok.

    But you will always wonder how things could've been with 8GB... :p
  23. macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Everybody's saying that the 8GB ram upgrade is a no brainer because it only costs $100 and it's future proof - although that's debatable.

    Consider this: would you spend $100 for 4GB more RAM or 1TB external hard drive?
  24. macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Bangkok, Thailand
    If I can upgrade to 8GB later. - 4GB for now is ok.
    but that's not an options for macbook air.

    4GB is now a minimum.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2012
    On extra ram without a doubt.

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