13 Inch - Page ins / Page outs & 2Gb Memory

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by untype, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. untype macrumors newbie


    Feb 11, 2011
    Hi All,

    In December I purchased the 13 inch based 2010 Air. I have to say, I love it. I also ordered the 11 inch ultimate for my wife who tends to be more app happy than me (i.e. she won't close apps when she's not using them) :)

    Back to my 13 inch...I got the base model which I felt at the time was well priced but when I bought in the store, I didn't see the 4 Gb version offered (This is my first mac). That said, I started reading the MacRumors Forums to get tips on the Air and have now become paranoid that 2 Gb memory is not enough in light of the new OSX Snow Lion release which I read may be more mem hungry. I keep hearing people say "go for the upgrade to 4 Gb" and "2 Gb won't cut it", and as I'm past the return/upgrade window, I'm somewhat stuck.

    As it stands, I haven't seen any slowdowns or "beachballs" on the screen which I have heard signify memory being written to the hard drive as the memory is full. BUT... I started delving into the available literature online and got myself a memory monitoring app.

    So far, I have seen "Page Ins" in the hundreds of thousands (e.g. 250,000), and "Page Outs" in the low hundreds (max I have seen is 250) wit my typical usage. I don't use any hardcore apps like photoshop, but I do use ilife and microsoft office 2011. I just got "Sparrow" for Gmail which I'm totally hooked on so I'm thinking about killing Outlook.

    I'm really hoping Apple wouldn't release a slew of new macbook airs right before making them obsolete by releasing a memory hungry os??? Right??? Maybe the fact that the SSD is so fast creates a situation where even if the memory has to be written to disk, it's not going to exhibit an observable slowdown?

    So...long story short, I'm hoping someone can make sense of the ratio of page outs to page ins ESPECIALLY in light of the upcoming Lion release which I haven't heard much about (being a recent pc to mac convert).

    Do other 11/13 inch 2 gb mem owners see noticeable slowdowns and/or higher or lower page outs?

    More to the point, now that I'm stuck, would anyone recommend pulling a re-sale on ebay/craigslist and then repurchasing the 4gb memory BTO model?

    I happen to LOVE the machine, the screen is just right, the OS is fun, the trackpad is amazing, I'm actually able to use this as my sole computer and I will never go back to PC again.

    Of note: I've heard other people saying if you don't have 4 gb, you can't run windows in parallel or VM's. I really do not want to go back to Windows so I wanted to add that in my particular usage, I just need OSX. I guess that's a big factor in memory choice right?

    Thanks for reading and I hope someone can ease my mind about this or tell me to get the hell to ebay :)

  2. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    I can't address everything in your post, but I can address this. I've tried that exact thing with 2GB and 4GB machines, and from the experience I had, 4GB is an absolute NECESSITY to do this. I'm sure others who have tried it can relate.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    None of us knows what Lion will bring. Most likely it will run flawlessly with 2GB of RAM. Having an SSD definitely helps as they are much, much faster than HDs so in case you start paging out, you won't notice at least as noticeable lag as you would with an HD. FYI, I have base 13" with 4GB and I rarely use more than 2GB so I would not worry.

    Keep it. If/when you start to experience slowdowns, then start thinking about selling it and getting a new one.
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Meh, 2GB should be fine. I really doubt that Lion will be much more memory hungry than Snow Leopard, and that is perfectly fine with 2GB. If you notice a lot of beachballing, then I would consider an upgrade, but I don't think you'll have an issue
  5. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    Your low, low number of page outs says that it is not running out of memory much at all. If it is working for you, then it works for you. I have the 2009 13" Air that only came with 2GB, and I fully expect to be able to use it as my main laptop for probably another two years or more. I'm a developer, so I demand a good bit from my machines - an SSD makes all the difference.
  6. untype thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 11, 2011
    Thanks All

    I really appreciate you guys getting back to me about this. I guess it's all based on your own usage type and thinking back, I probably should have gotten the 4gb mem upgrade, but I'm glad to hear that the lower number of page outs that I get indicate my own usage level of memory being okay.
    Sometimes I get no page outs so I guess it's going to be fine and I will keep it. To best absolutely honest, I probably wouldn't have even noticed unless I was looking for a problem after reading other posts on the subject. I just didn't want to run into a brick wall later this summer when Lion comes out.

    As a mini review of my own experiences, I have to say that for someone who uses chrome with about 5 tabs open at a time, email, music, youtube, netflix, newsreader, dabbling in web design, kindle, music composition and minor photo work such as cropping and , I think that this is the best machine I have ever used and I will never go back to PC.

    The battery life it outstanding, the keyboard perfect for me (Mine is very quiet and I can work while the wife sleeps), it's a perfect weight for me next to my old notebook and it looks beautiful. The screen is the perfect size for me and the sound is loud enough to have as a background at a dinner party.

    I got this machine for 1099 before tax so I'm really happy. I hope everyone else who bought the air enjoys it as much as I do.

    Cheers and thanks for the info.
  7. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    My wife doesn't read the boards and her 11.6" air has 2gb of memory. She uses Aperture and I never hear a complaint out of her. Of course I had to have a 13" "Ultimate" and I just surf and email. hmmmmmm:)

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