Would you upgrade to 8GB of RAM in my situation?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kincarpenter, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    The 13" MBA will be my secondary computer for note taking in class, general web browsing, travel use, and some light front end web development, including photoshop/fireworks/dreamweaver.

    Option 1:I have a coupon to get $100 off at Best Buy, and I can get them to price match to the edu price, so the total would be right around $1000 including tax (base 13" model).

    Option 2: BTO the same thru Apple but get 8gb of ram, for a total including taxes of about $1210.

    Normally the 8gb upgrade would be a no brainer for me, but at ~20% of the cost of the computer given my relatively light use, I'm a bit hesitant (but still obviously conflicted)!

    Given my use, and that I want to keep it for ~2 years, what would you do in my situation?

    Thanks guys!
  2. macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    As you mention light use at the moment you can never predict what is around the corner. I would advise you get 8GB upgrade as it will give you added flexibility which has more pros than cons.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    Exactly. And you can never upgrade it later.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    No. I have never ever needed more than 4 gigs of memory. Happily been there for years, and there is nothing in the pipeline that would require more...

    However, I have experienced 128G not to be enough and carrying around extra drives has never been a good answer for me. Especially if you use something like Parallels.

    For me, I5/4/256G has been a perfect machine for my use.

    Get the 8, if you have the real need to spend 200 dollars. Me? no.
  5. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Detroit, Michigan
    If you plan on keeping it for more than 2 years - for the long term - I'd get the 8GB of RAM. That way it will have much more and be able to run more and different apps with different RAM needs.

    But if you plan on keeping it less than 2 years and getting something else, stick with the lower RAM amount to save money.
  6. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    The right thing to do is to refuse to buy laptops with soldered RAM.

    I think a lot of the blame for the PC slump falls on Intel itself.
  7. macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England

    I was all prepared to just write 'Yes.' and not read your post, but since it is your secondary computer it's not as big a deal.

    HOWEVER. How long or how often would you be away from your main machine and use it for photoshop etc? If it can be a fair amount of time, or an often amount of time. I'd spend the extra money now.

    If the above is true and you want it for more than 2-3 years I'd definitely say yes.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    Thanks for everyone's thoughts.
    Good point Tann that I should consider how frequently and how long I'll need to use photoshop. It'll likely not be every day, but on the other hand I could probably eke out an extra year of life from it if I go with the 8.

    Based on your thoughts I'm leaning toward the 8gb due to the length of time I'll have it for.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2010
    NW Indiana
    Where are you getting the $100 off coupon???

  10. macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2005

    What does Intel have to do with soldered ram?
  11. macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm not even going to read your post and the answer is still yes.
  12. macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    I'm actually in a very similar situation. On Friday I ordered a Haswell BTO MacBook Air from Apple with 8 GB of RAM and it came to about $1230.

    About an hour later I saw an Ivy Bridge model (4 GB) at Best Buy for $950. With the $100 off and reward zone coupon it came out to $900 with tax so I went ahead and bought it. It was too late to cancel the BTO from Apple, so I'm trying to decide if I want to keep this Ivy Bridge 4GB model, or return it once the BTO arrives on Monday or Tuesday. I'm leaning toward saving the extra money (~$330) and keeping the 4 GB model because I'll probably want to upgrade in a couple of years anyway.
  13. Swampus, Jun 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013

    macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2013
    Keep in mind that the extra ram will likely mean a greater resale value later. 4gb might be adequate for now, but look at the difference in resale price between older 2gb and 4gb models today. I'd expect about the same difference between 4gb and 8gb used models tomorrow. I'm not saying that you'll recover the entire $330, but it's reasonable to assume that you'll recover between $150 and $200 and, in the meantime, you can enjoy the benefit of having twice as much memory.
  14. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    They are the ones pushing for "ultrabooks".

    In Apple's case, it's their own fault. They started it.
  15. macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Which does not require soldered ram. Again, Intel has nothing to do with it.
  16. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    I know the ultrabook definition is a bit loose, but the idea in everyone's mind is MBA competitors, that's how Intel went for it.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2009
    8G is probably overkill, but I personally would say yes IF you can afford it. Better speed, ability to dual boot Windows and have it run extremely well with 8GB, better resale value later if you decide to upgrade.
  18. macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I'd say no.

    It's only going to be your secondary computer, and I know people who run Photoshop and Illustrator on their 2008 MBAs with 2GB RAM. It's not ideal, but they get by.

    Save the $200 (which isn't a small amount of money) and either put it away for something like your next upgrade or buy some accessories.

    If your keeping it for 2 years, 4GB should be enough to get you buy as a secondary machine.
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    If you are a student with a .edu email address, you can sign up for BB's student rewards program: They currently have a $100 off macbooks right now thru July 20th I believe.


    How is the BTO getting to you that fast? Friday to a Monday/Tuesday? But that aside, that is exactly the sort of situation I'm in. $330 is not insignificant, but in your case I would actually return the 2012 and pick up the base Haswell - $100 is worth it for the battery alone, plus gpu, ssd speed, and the fact that resale will be better in a few years being that it is one year newer. Then decide between the 2013 4gb or the BTO. :D


    I agree, I think the resale will be a bit better with the 8gb. My only holdup is that I can either afford the 8gb or the SSD upgrade, not both... so in a few years 128gb might be even paltrier than it is today... so I'm kinda hoping for an OWC upgrade in a year.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2007
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2012
    It's really very simple. If you can afford it easily enough, then sure get it. What harm can it do other than make you stay at home one night rather than go and get drunk.
    If money is an issue for you at your current stage in life (ie need to spend the money on food rather than titty bars) then get the 4gb. I doubt you would lose much 'snap' but sometimes it's just nice to have 8gb, 'just in case...'
    A MBA is more a fun purchase than a necessity purchase for many. Either way, you can't lose.

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