2.0GHz i7 or 8GB RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Spoonz, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Spoonz macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
    Eagerly awaiting the store to be back online, and as soon as it was live I went to look at the spec bumps on the Air - Retina MBP is just too expensive and I don't need it. Anyway, for £100 more I can get an i7 or for £60 I can get 8GB of RAM but I can't really afford both. Which is the more worthwhile? I'm not going to be using it for anything intensive either CPU wise or RAM wise to be honest, basically just going to be used for day to day stuff, a bit of Photoshop and web design. Any thoughts on which I should bump up?
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    RAM will probably make more of a difference, though personally I'm going to get both.
  4. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    The extra RAM will be really noticeable if you start to fill up 4 GB; the extra CPU speed wont really be noticeable at all under any situation. It will speed up things like video encoding slightly, but not significantly.

    Get the RAM.
  5. jackiepie macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
  6. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Incorrect statement. 'under any situation'? Hardly.

    BTW, I agree, getting the additional RAM is the right decision for most people, but not everyone.
  7. jgbr, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    jgbr macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Ive noticed abit of bashing the i7 option.

    The 2011 MBA i7 option in most reviews got barely any hotter unless you left it doing encoding for hours and had zero impact on battery life. Various benchmarks showed somewhere in the region up to 25% faster.

    I suspect most will upgrade ram and leave cpu but for anyone getting i7 and keeping 4gb ram that is silly. The i7 performs better with more ram.

    (Intel confirms that i5 and i7 have same 14W stock power usage at either speed unless you speed step)
  8. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    The upgrade on the 2011 MBA from an i5 to an i7 gave a POTENTIAL increase of 10% CPU speed. That does not mean the CPU was 10% faster; you could only really see it in extreme CPU intensive activities. I suspect that the 2012 will be roughly the same principle.

    The CPU upgrade really isnt that great.
  9. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    There have been reports of up to 25% faster under some circumstances.

    Since I have no idea how others use their MBAs, I have no idea whether a 10% improvement would be worthwhile to them. There are several videos on Youtube of people doing video encoding that took 5 hours on the MBA2011 and a 10% reduction would save them almost an hour.

    Suffice it to say, a blanket statement that the faster CPU 'would be hardly noticeable under any situation' is simply incorrect.
  10. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    Ok, yes, fine; pedantry is the winner here. If you read the OP, you will see;

    "I'm not going to be using it for anything intensive either CPU wise"

    By saying that it wont be noticeable under any situation I meant in relation to the OPs use. If you really want to drag this out then yes, you are correct that it is possible to see an increase in CPU speed under SOME circumstances, none of which the OP will encounter so it is redundant.
  11. Idiotpathic macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Hey, I'm new here and have been wondering the same question Spoonz had. A friend of mine recently told me that since the Air has an SSD, having more RAM is essentially redundant and that it would be better to upgrade the processor over the RAM. Thoughts?
  12. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    If possible, upgrade both. If not, upgrade the RAM. A SSD and RAM serve two different functions.
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The i5 to i7 upgrade is a bigger deal on the 11" than the 13". That was the case last year and is still the case this year. The 1.8GHz i5 has a 200MHz faster turbo boost and more "step up" options than the 1.7GHz i5.
  14. Lindberg macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Denmark, Aarhus
    If you are not doing any video editing and not running windows, how will you notice the upgrade in RAM from 4 og 8 gigs?

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