Question MBA 13" 4GB or 8GB Ram

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Wicked1, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    Not doing anything intense, excepts some minor gaming, and maybe encoding a movie here and there, is the 8GB worth it?

    I was looking on Apple's Refurb site and the 13" 2.0 cpu, with 512 and 8GB is close to $2000

    I was thinking of the 13" with 4GB and 256 for $1200

    Will there be a difference? I currently have a 2011 Base Mini with 8GB, but it was because I can do the Ram upgrade. I usually keep my machines for 3 years, so I figure by then the norm will be 8GB.

    Just looking for opinions on those who have 4 and 8 GB
  2. macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2012
    The 8GB model has access to slightly more VRAM, which may make a difference in your gaming (?). I have the 4GB model and I spend a lot of time coding, browsing, occasional Diablo 3, without any trouble. My next one will be 8GB, just cause.
  3. macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Denmark, Aarhus
    No one has documented an in-game difference of 4 gb v 8 gb gb ram...
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Zeke D

    Nov 18, 2011
    I have 4GB/128GB and run several games just fine.
  5. macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2012
    4GB RAM = 380MB vRAM

    8GB RAM = 512MB vRAM

    35% more vRAM is not a "slight" improvement.

    For 100 dollars, it seems like a no brainer.
  6. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    The sticker shock is due to the 512. Everything else being equal going 4 to 8 is only $100 bux.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2012
    As an FYI: I'm glad I went with 8GB where I dedicate a full 4GB to my Win7 VMWare Fusion image. I tried 2GB but 4GB is much better.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    My last Air had 4gb ram and didn't notice any lack of extra ram. Although I just ordered one with 8, just in case.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    Depends on what you want to do with the machine. But to future proof the machine, get the 8GB, it's not that expensive.
  10. macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Then what explains all the threads asking this question? :confused:
  11. macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2012
    If you're planning on futureproofing your machine, go for the 8GB's of RAM. I got 4GB because I got mine at a retail store while they were doing a special. I also have an iMac if I need extra power.
  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2012
    Do you see how messed up the world is?

  13. macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    If you can upgrade for $100, I'd strongly suggest getting the 8 GB of RAM. However if you're looking at returns and this is not an option, you may want to take your usage into account. It doesn't sound like you'd *need* it though.
  14. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
  15. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2009
    I ordered the 8gb instead of the ssd upgrade.
  16. macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    $2000 is a pretty expensive machine to only use for three years. Why so short? You know these machines can last longer than that, right? (Usually 5-6 years.)

    Otherwise, a MacBook Air with 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM is the way to go. In general, in a computer where the RAM is un-upgradable, especially a Mac where most new versions of OS X up the RAM requirement incrementally, the more RAM you can stuff in there, the longer your machine will last.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    i built a video game system this summer with 32gb of ram, just specifically to play games. then i later learned that none of the games on the market uses more then 2gb of ram. some of them i literally have to modified to use 4gb, but that's it. and i only play one game at a time though i got about 10 games installed in my system.

    though, the extra ram does make my system faster.
  18. macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I have a similar experience to open box 2011 13" MBP for $806.40 and a open box 2012 13" MBA 4Gb/128SSD for $1070.10.

    On the MBP I can slap in 8Gb of RAM that I have (from my 21" iMac) and using the MBP RAM both machines will then have 8Gb RAM for no additional cost, I can then put in the Crucial M4 512 SSD I got off Amazon for $349 shipped.

    The trade off's are that the MBA is 1.5 lbs lighter, USB3, a slightly better integrated GPU and a higher resolution screen but with the MBP I'll have 8Gb RAM, 512 internal SSD, a more powerful CPU (and to me the MBP feels sturdier than the 13" MBA) and it will only cost me $85.30 more than the MBA.

    With the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge CPU/GPU platforms being so close together performance wise = I think the MBP is the better choice for me to keep for the next few years until Broadwell hits the MBA line = then maybe the 11" MBA will have battery life close to what the larger models get now:eek:
  19. Agent-P, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012

    macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2009
    Since you said you plan to keep your computer for three years, I'd say go with the 8gb option. Since you can't upgrade it yourself, this is your only chance to increase it. It'll future proof it for newer versions of OSX and (as others have said) it'll give you more vRAM.

    I used to have 4gb RAM in my MBP and I used to run low on RAM because I work on multiple things at once. So when I got my MBA this summer, I opted for 8gb RAM.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Ugh is 8 gb really necessary? When I get my Air I don't want to have to wait a week to get it and then have to wait another week if for any reason I would need to exchange it. There is something particularly more enticing about instant gratification and going into the Apple store and making a slight ordeal of purchasing a new laptop right then and there and on the spot.

    Sure I multitask but I don't do anything really crazy. Plus I saw videos on YouTube of people streaming multiple videos while running programs in the background and everything worked fine at 4 gb.
  21. macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    Because so many people refuse to use the magic known as the search button.
  22. macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Denmark, Aarhus
    I think 8 gb is overkill unless you run Windows and OSX simultaneously or do heavy multi tasking. All that talk about future proofing is nonsens. No matter how many gb of ram you buy now you will stil be stocked with the same CPU and GPU and 4 gb or 8 gb ram is nowhere near as important in that picture.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Plus it's already painful enough that I'm spending $1200 on a laptop. Do I really want to spend a $100 more? Not really.
  24. macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wait an extra week to get an extra year or two of life out of the machine...seems like a pretty good deal to me.

    Also, ****ing awesome username by the way. That show is win.

    ...Until a version of OS X comes out that supports that generation of Mac but requires a minimum of 8GB...

    Not being able to run the latest version of OS X isn't a problem, but it's only a matter of time before you're two behind and at that point, you stop being able to receive updates to basic things like Safari and Adobe Flash Player. Being able to run the latest version of OS X forestalls that. Apple has been, with the exception of Mountain Lion, been doubling the minimum RAM requirement from 10.3 through 10.7. It's safe to say that, especially with Mountain Lion abandoning the 32-bit kernel, they wil up the RAM requirement again soon. So yeah, future proofing, it's a real consideration.

    Yes, it's an overpriced computer, and yes, it's a pricey RAM upgrade. If you want it to last you a year or two longer, quit whining and just get the upgrade.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Thanks and yeah guess I'll have to.

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