2011 Macbook Air with 2gb ram ok for $400?

everlong24

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
7
0
I've been offered one locally, but I'm concerned about the ram. I'll be using it for browsing and streaming videos.
 

everlong24

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
7
0
Mavericks I believe.

He said he didn't like Yosemite. I'm on an i3-4130 with 4gb ram right now on windows 8.1, and I'm perfectly happy with it so hopefully it can be comparable.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
For machines limited to 2 GB of RAM I recommend either Snow Leopard or Mavericks/Yosemite. Snow Leopard's RAM footprint is much smaller than newer versions, and Mavericks and Yosemite introduced a lot of RAM management technology like Memory Pressure.
 

kelon111

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2013
303
4
I've been offered one locally, but I'm concerned about the ram. I'll be using it for browsing and streaming videos.
I wouldn't buy it but if you pretend that it's the year 2005 , that 2 GB of RAM will get you far.

Don't open too many tabs in Firefox , Safari , etc. and don't try to do too much multitasking.
 
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Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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If you treat it like an iPad browsing in Safari then you'll be fine.
Don't open too many tabs in Firefox , Safari , etc. and don't try to do too much multitasking.
This is not necessary.
You can open as many tabs as you like.


I've been offered one locally, but I'm concerned about the ram. I'll be using it for browsing and streaming videos.
No worries.
It will easily do those tasks and much more.
 

Dsching

Suspended
Sep 11, 2014
103
79
The 2011 Macbook Air still works like a charm.
Those who say different don't know what they are talking about.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,734
158
I will take it to another level. I started using my 2010 11.6 Air more recently. 1.4 C2D and 2GB of RAM.

I do think it was a bit silly of Apple as I paid $200 extra that year to get 128GB of storage. If you paid for the non-entry model, they could have thrown in 4GB total.

However, it's a nice little machine. I've been leaving it turned on most of the day this past week so it can do some housekeeping, and it has made it get faster.

For a lot of things like opening Safari, working with office documents, etc. it still feels faster than many people's hard drive machines. Plus, with a 11.6 inch screen, how many Apps will you open at once?

The 2011 machine is MUCH faster. I was going to upgrade way back in 2011, but I wanted to keep the 920M at the time.

It's a beautiful machine, using it more again, it has me considering upgrading this Spring, but at the same time, the 2GB hurts resale value quite a bit despite it working quite well.


Oh, I run Yosemite too.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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The 2011 machine is MUCH faster. I was going to upgrade way back in 2011, but I wanted to keep the 920M at the time.

It's a beautiful machine, using it more again, it has me considering upgrading this Spring, but at the same time, the 2GB hurts resale value quite a bit despite it working quite well.
The OP wants to buy, not sell.
I know that the 2011 2gb still handles everything you throw at it just fine.
The people spreading nonsense like that you have to "close tabs" have no clue.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,734
158
The OP wants to buy, not sell.
I know that the 2011 2gb still handles everything you throw at it just fine.
The people spreading nonsense like that you have to "close tabs" have no clue.
I certainly agree regrading not needing to close tabs. I've purposely stayed on my 2010 air with 2GB of RAM and purposely kept opening tabs and additional applications. It is fine for these uses. A 2011 would only be leagues better.

I apologize for mentioning the resale value. I only mention it, as it is important to some people here. As mine functions fine I go back in 2010, I really only regret Apple not having a stock 4GB machine because of resale value.

Of course, this benefits those buying tremendously! A 2011 machine with a better price due to 2GB can be attractive.

I have about 10 things open right now including a second desktop with 2GB.

I think the 2011 machine could work well for the OP too. I suppose one could always develop new requirements out of a machine and could have used more RAM then, but I'm doing these same tasks as the OP right now with a less powerful machine on the 2GB of RAM.
 
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kelon111

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2013
303
4
The OP wants to buy, not sell.
I know that the 2011 2gb still handles everything you throw at it just fine.
The people spreading nonsense like that you have to "close tabs" have no clue.
Well , it depends on the content of the page. If I'm not mistaken , having a bunch of pages with Flash content does slow down a computer with little RAM quite a bit.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,354
8,709
Prescott Valley, AZ
I've been offered one locally, but I'm concerned about the ram. I'll be using it for browsing and streaming videos.
2011 MBA, 2GB RAM, $400? Not a good deal IMO.

Last Summer I bought a brand new 2014 MBA 4GB RAM for $650 @ Best Buy (before additional incentives/deals... out the door for a total of $450 taxes included)
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,734
158
2011 MBA, 2GB RAM, $400? Not a good deal IMO.

Last Summer I bought a brand new 2014 MBA 4GB RAM for $650 @ Best Buy (before additional incentives/deals... out the door for a total of $450 taxes included)
Wow. That is a terrific deal. I will keep an eye out for that happening again.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,471
24,219
I've been offered one locally, but I'm concerned about the ram. I'll be using it for browsing and streaming videos.
2GB RAM just isn't enough. Sure, the SSD will compensate for the RAM bottleneck (when it's writing to the SSD as virtual memory), but 2GB RAM just isn't enough to ensure any sort of system longevity.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
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24,219
Nonsense.
With a comment like that, I suspect you're one of those really dangerous computer users who knows just a little bit, but bashes around on the Internet, stating hogwash like that and giving people poor advice.

Because of your arrogance, and ignorance, people run the risk of purchasing machines that will be counterproductive to their needs. OS X sings on more RAM. And 2GB RAM is a massive bottleneck in 2015 - never mind in a few years' time.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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With a comment like that, I suspect you're one of those really dangerous computer users who knows just a little bit, but bashes around on the Internet, stating hogwash like that and giving people poor advice.

Because of your arrogance, and ignorance, people run the risk of purchasing machines that will be counterproductive to their needs. OS X sings on more RAM. And 2GB RAM is a massive bottleneck in 2015 - never mind in a few years' time.
It's a used macbook, not a major future investment.
For browsing and word editing (and even much more) however it will still last several years and in the end RAM will not be the bottleneck.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,471
24,219
It's a used macbook, not a major future investment.
For browsing and word editing however it will still last several years and in the end RAM will not be the bottleneck.
On a system with soldered RAM that you can't upgrade later, that's immediately a problem. Systems page with 2GB RAM when just using Safari so I think it's fair to say that could be considered a bottleneck.

And yes it's a used MacBook, but it's still a lot of money - and if you're sinking that sort of cash, I don't know anybody who would recommend 2GB. That's the absolute minimum Apple recommend just to run the OS.

In my experience, 4GB RAM is an acceptable minimum for general use.

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For browsing and word editing (and even much more)
Definitely not much more. Not even a 'little more'. I simply can't comprehend how you think 2GB RAM is suitable for OS X. Acceptable with an SSD? I'll give you that. It will run, but it won't be the smoothest experience.

But try to simultaneously run 6+ tabs in Safari with 2GB RAM, or even touch an Adobe application/DAW, you're going on a one-way trip to Lag City.
 

joshlalonde

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2014
422
0
Canada
I have to agree with Meister, saying that it's not suitable because it only has 2GB of RAM is complete nonsense.

It may be that 2GB of RAM is not favorable for modern computers, but do you honestly think that when the '11 MBA came out, it was completely slow and unusable as you portray it to be?

It's still an Apple computer you know...

It was good then, and it's still usable now.
Also, you forgetting that he DOESNT have Yosemite installed. Meaning, the RAM requirements are not 2GB minimum, but whatever RAM requirements are on the OS he's running. I suspect it runs Snow Leopard, but I'm not a long-time Apple user.
 
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Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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But try to simultaneously run 6+ tabs in Safari with 2GB RAM, or even touch an Adobe application/DAW, you're going on a one-way trip to Lag City.
I did. No lag.
Please post photo / video prove that a macbook air 2011 with 2gb RAM lags with a 10 or whatever Safari tabs open!
And yes, you can run Photoshop, too.

Let me start with a little video of a mba 2010, multitasking itunes, ibooks, safari, notepad, maps, open office, calendar, mail and contacts

 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,471
24,219
I have to agree with Meister, saying that it's not suitable because it only has 2GB of RAM is complete nonsense.

It may be that 2GB of RAM is not favorable for modern computers, but do you honestly think that when the '11 MBA came out, it was completely slow and unusable as you portray it to be?

It's still an Apple computer you know...

It was good then, and it's still usable now.
Also, you forgetting that he DOESNT have Yosemite installed. Meaning, the RAM requirements are not 2GB minimum, but whatever RAM requirements are on the OS he's running. I suspect it runs Snow Leopard, but I'm not a long-time Apple user.
The 2012 13" MacBook Pro is one such example. Nearly 3-year old hardware at 2015 prices, and runs like a bag of poop due to 4GB RAM & 5400rpm drive. You're right, it is still an Apple computer. That doesn't really mean much. Neither does the year it was purchased.

I fear what may happen on this thread is an argument about how 2GB RAM is or isn't suitable. All I can say is in my experience of doing tech support in this field for 3-4 years for a large number of Macs, RAM has been a huge issue since OS X Lion. Lion was terrible for paging and iMacs/MacBooks with anything less than 4GB RAM were crippled the moment you did any sort of task. Naturally, that's more due to Lion's shoddy RAM usage than an argument against 2GB RAM. Mavericks and Yosemite are, thankfully, much better with RAM.

What I will also need to say is that RAM works differently on OS X than it does with Windows. On Windows, whenever you open an application, it'll page to the hard-drive (virtual memory) and to the RAM simultaneously. On OS X, because it's a UNIX system, it'll write everything to the RAM, and will continue to do so until it runs out of RAM. Once it's ran out of RAM, it'll page to the hard-drive. It won't do that before.

That's why you get a massive benefit from 4GB-8GB RAM upgrade on OS X, but you don't see that much of a difference if you were to do the same upgrade on Windows.

I don't mean to be rude but people suggesting to buy a Mac with 2GB RAM is really, really poor advice.
 

Meister

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The 2012 13" MacBook Pro is one such example. Nearly 3-year old hardware at 2015 prices, and runs like a bag of poop due to 4GB RAM & 5400rpm drive. You're right, it is still an Apple computer. That doesn't really mean much. Neither does the year it was purchased.

I fear what may happen on this thread is an argument about how 2GB RAM is or isn't suitable. All I can say is in my experience of doing tech support in this field for 3-4 years for a large number of Macs, RAM has been a huge issue since OS X Lion. Lion was terrible for paging and iMacs/MacBooks with anything less than 4GB RAM were crippled the moment you did any sort of task. Naturally, that's more due to Lion's shoddy RAM usage than an argument against 2GB RAM. Mavericks and Yosemite are, thankfully, much better with RAM.

What I will also need to say is that RAM works differently on OS X than it does with Windows. On Windows, whenever you open an application, it'll page to the hard-drive (virtual memory) and to the RAM simultaneously. On OS X, because it's a UNIX system, it'll write everything to the RAM, and will continue to do so until it runs out of RAM. Once it's ran out of RAM, it'll page to the hard-drive. It won't do that before.

That's why you get a massive benefit from 4GB-8GB RAM upgrade on OS X, but you don't see that much of a difference if you were to do the same upgrade on Windows.

I don't mean to be rude but people suggesting to buy a Mac with 2GB RAM is really, really poor advice.
Still no video / screenshot prove of your claims.