4GB enough for my usage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bgro, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. bgro macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 6, 2010
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    South Florida
    #1
    Hi All,

    Having a tough time regarding an upcoming Macbook Air/Retina Macbook Pro purchase.

    Best Buy has the 2014 Air 4GB RAM/256GB SSD Model for $899.99 less 10% movers coupon = $810 + tax. I would be 100% sold on this model/price if it wasn't for the 4GB RAM.

    My usage for the laptop will basically be doing light photo editing with the Photos app, personal spreadsheet work (although some spreadsheets are pretty large in size) in Excel, and one track at a time recording in Garageband. Also doing email and web browsing.

    Planning on keeping this model 3-5 years and don't really see my usage changing much. Not trying to start another 4 vs 8GB debate, I would like to hear from people who have the same usage and have 4GB of RAM if possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bubulol macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2013
    #2
    i got 4 gb because of thigh budget ;)
    Otherwise i rather upgrade RAM because its solded into motherboard and cheapest option in comparison of CPU and SSD
     
  3. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 6, 2010
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    South Florida
    #3
    Yeah me too. Unfortunately I need to buy from Best Buy as I have coupons and gift cards and they only offer 4GB on the Airs but I do agree that I'd rather upgrade RAM if given a choice because it's not upgradeable. But with the sale going on, upgrading to a machine with the same sized SSD will cost me a minimum of $400 extra (assuming i purchase the 2014 8GB RAM 256 GB SSD Macbook Pro with Retina screen). This is a pretty big premium to pay in my opinion which is why I'm trying to evaluate if 4GB will be enough for me.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  4. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #4
    For the purposes you have described I believe that 4GB will be quite sufficient. I use my 4GB/128G 2014 11" MBA for a variety of tasks including graphics editing with Pixelmator, complex page layouts with Pages '09, spreadsheets, and running Windows apps that are wrapped in WINEskin. No problems whatsoever.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    We've got a late 2010 MBA with 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD running Yosemite that does everything you want to do (but GarageBand which takes too much drive space).

    There is no question that a new Air with 4GB RAM would be sufficient.
     
  6. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thanks for the response. This is encouraging. Do you have all these programs open at once (or at least some of them)? Or can you only have a 2-3 programs open at a time? I'm pretty sure I'd always have Email, Messages, Safari (1-4 tabs), and either Photos, Excel, or Garageband open at all times.

    ----------

    So you are able to multitask with 2GB?
     
  7. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #7
    Generally I'll have Pages, Chrome, a Windows app wrapped in WINEskin, Simplemind mind mapper, and Pixelmator open all at the same time.
     
  8. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Thanks very much. This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the hoopla when searching the 4GB vs. 8GB threads. Was really making me think that 4GB wasn't enough. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on the Air, the price is just too good to pass on and I'm really trying to get something that matches my needs, not just spend a ton of $ to get an overspecced machine (for my usage).
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    Of course you can multitask with 2gb memory. Why would you think you cannot?
     
  10. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I guess I meant multitask using the programs I use. And multitask efficiently. I think after reading all the threads that debated how much RAM to get, I was a little brainwashed to be honest lol.
     
  11. bubulol, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    bubulol macrumors 6502

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    #11
    it would be fine, 8 GB toward pro softwares and virtualization
    If you dont use of any of them, go for 4GB
    That's the standard, i am happy with my MBA 2013 with 4 GB/128 GB
    I see no difference between my former MBA which was the same year model but with 8 GB at that time ;)
    Honestly even in near future, i wont expect OSX using more RAM than currently
    Because we all know most of sold Macbook Air , come with 4 GB
    MBA its cool machine, way better than new Macbook in my opinion, i got mine for about 550 bucks (used condition but it looks like new)
     
  12. AWgamer macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2010
    #12
    4GB has been enough for me for a long time. That's what was in my high end gaming desktop in 2009 and it ran everything.
     
  13. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #13
    Sure. Most people don't really multitask -- only one application is truly in use at a time and the rest are sleeping in the background (the exception being if you are listening to music or viewing videos while doing something else). If the RAM runs out, the program is swapped to disk and with an SSD this is really fast.

    Consider the iPhone or iPad -- generally 1GB or less of RAM, people have lots of apps yet never close them. You can do the same thing on a Mac.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    While your post is genreally true, iOS does not support real multitasking.
    IPhones and Macs cannot be exactly compared like that.

    With the recent massive price increase of macbooks in europe, the mba ram and cpu upgrades are more and more worth considering. It all depends on the overall usage scenario and price difference. For the OPs usage 4gb are fine.
     
  15. Pootan macrumors member

    Pootan

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    Oct 28, 2014
    #15
    You'll run out of screen space before you run out of ram from multitasking. 4gb will be more than enough for what you need.
     
  16. AWgamer macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2010
    #16
    I've been a PC enthusiast for a lot of years and I remember people paying 5-6k for PCs with 2GB ram...4GB was the standard "high end" for a long time. Recently the new thing became 8, 12, 16 and 32GB which I have no experience with but question how necessary it all is. Same with Quad core processors. just IMO.
     
  17. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    Jul 1, 2004
    #17
    I have the base 11" model (2013) and I've done some pretty intensive work on it including 3D modeling, rendering, CAD work and Photoshop. When I do that kind of work, I try to manage the programs on my own, so I'm usually only running 1-2 programs at a time. But I haven't had any issues with it.
     
  18. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #18
    I can multitask with 512 MB on OS X Tiger :cool:
     
  19. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    This is what I was thinking also. Most of the time if I'm using GarageBand or Logic, I'm not really doing anything else on my computer so I wouldn't really have any programs open. I think i'm pulling the trigger on the 4GB Air. Worst case scenario I'll give it to my wife in a year or two and upgrade to something more powerful :cool:
     
  20. bubulol macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2013
    #20
    You could sell it and save +100$
    Because there are some demands about second hand Apple laptop
    Having 8 GB doesnt mean you could sell it in future with the benefit of +100$
     
  21. Strangerjames macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #21
    I currently have a 2010 MBP with 8gb RAM and am running 10.6.8 (update errors every time I try to update OS)

    All the memory is used up and it gets super slow when I have like 30+ tabs open (chrome), iTunes, Word, skype, and a few other programs.

    Is this just because my laptop is old as hell?

    I'm buying an Air today and don't know if I should get the 8gb vs the 4gb.
     
  22. PLamarine macrumors 6502

    PLamarine

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Central MA
    #22
    8gb
     
  23. Strangerjames macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #23
    Will the same amount of RAM be used up with the newer OS?

    A lot of the tabs typically contain videos... of adult nature.
     
  24. redheeler, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #24
    Your problem probably has a lot to do with Chrome being a hog on your old hardware. Safari on a new MBA with Yosemite and an SSD will make a huge difference even if the RAM count is the same (I assume you meant 4 GB instead of 8). Memory compression will help to keep the RAM from overflowing after it fills, and even if virtual memory is required it will be on a fast SSD.

    However, an upgrade to 8 GB wouldn't be a bad idea if you typically have that many tabs/programs open.
     
  25. bgro thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    South Florida
    #25
    Just got back from Best Buy with the Air. I have a 30 day return policy so really going to try and put this thing through the ringer for a few days and make sure it has enough RAM. thanks for all the replies/help.
     

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