4GB or 8GB MBA 13?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Urindanger, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Urindanger macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Should I go with 4GB or 8GB when I order my Macbook air 13-inch?
    I browsing the web (8-15 tabs open), watching HD video on youtube, use skype, got spotify on to listen to music, connecting the MacBook to my LCD TV as well and use it as a screen to.

    I need 8GB or it is not necessary? what do you all think?
  2. Spoonz macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
    The general consensus is that the 8GB upgrade is worth it. Its hardly that much more expensive when you're buying a laptop that's ~£1000/however many dollars. Futureproofing is a good thing to think about, especially when the RAM isn't upgradable once you've bought it.
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Since the memory is soldered onto the motherboard, go for 8GB as you won't be able to upgrade it after purchase.
  4. mitty macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    The only reason not to get the 8GB option is if you are really pinching pennies, or if you need the machine ASAP. For the tiny bit extra it costs and the few days wait, it's well worth it.
  5. lperso macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2007
    To Futureproof, 8GB.
    For now, 4GB is pretty good.
    Using now the new MBA13" 4GB running Chrome (10+ tabs), music streaming, skype, MS Powerpoint, MS Excel and eclipse. 72% memory in use. 0 page outs, 0KB swap. Perhaps Mountain Lion will eat a little bit more of it...
  6. TEasy macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I understand the future proofing, but I don't use any video editing/gaming programs whatsoever, and every once in a while I may do some semi-professional photo editing. I would mainly use it for word processing, web browsing (streaming video on Hulu and Netflix), and Skype. Would 4GB of memory be good for me?
  7. jgc macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2012
    You should be fine. I'm more or less in the same boat but I upgraded anyways. It's only $100 ($90 as a student) and you're already dropping at least $1200 on the device. If you choose to do more photo editing in the future or video editing, this gives you a better opportunity to do so. If you think you may want to try running VMs, you can do so as well. Not necessary but could potentially be useful.
  8. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    Will sell faster a few years from now, why I'm doing it.....
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    If I were buying one now (which I am not), I'd get the 8GB. Since these are not upgradeable, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    That being said, I've been using the 2011 MBA with 4GB of RAM with Parallels and Windows 7 in Bootcamp, and it runs fine. No beachballs, no slowdowns, it runs great. For what I am doing now I don't need 8GB.

    But I'd get it nevertheless. You can never have too much RAM. :D
  10. ayres macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2010
    maybe this falls on deaf ears, but i wanted to mention that the 8gb ram option cannot be purchased in apple stores. must be done online.

    i find that kinda strange that they do not stock an obvious upgrade like an 8gb ram option in the apple stores. i can understand an upgraded ssd option having to be done on the apple website, but the one ram upgrade (soldered, at that)!

    anyone else think that's short sighted? maybe if it were to become an overwhelming upgrade choice, they would make it available in stores.
  11. DribbleCastle macrumors regular


    Apr 17, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I totally agree, and I think you'll see some 8GB SKU's find their way into the store eventually. Probably in the next few weeks.
  12. jgc macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2012
    They may not have known it would be so popular. Kind of unlikely but who knows. Either way, adding some popular CTO options makes sense from a consumer's perspective but not having to stock them simplifies their supply chain. It probably saves them money by not having to stock those models and then customers known that for CTO (for the most part), order online.

    That being said, I think knowledgeable people on this forum are much more likely to get 8 gb than the average Joe. Lots of people who know about tech are getting the 4, and people who know less probably are as well. I would be surprised if the 8 gb:4 gb ratio was much higher on this forum than overall.
  13. raftr macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2007
    Not necessary in your case, but reasonable.
    Thanks to SSD, Air has no problem swapping RAM with virtual memory on the SSD. I use my 2011 Air for Photoshop, Lightroom, web browsing with many tabs open and always have at least 1GB RAM free.
  14. Halon X, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012

    Halon X macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    Malibu, CA
    Not true. It depends on each store.

    I purchased both mine (13" for home/wife, 11" for travel) with 8GB RAM at the Apple Store in Santa Monica, CA. Both have the upgraded 2.0 GHz processor and the 13" an upgraded 512GB SSD.

    I'm pretty sure most of the Los Angeles stores stock high end configs.
  15. Urindanger thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Still dont know if I should go with the 4gb or 8gb. Think I will buy the 8gb, it costs yet not so much!

    Is it worth to go with 8gb? What do you all say? :)
  16. latestmonkey macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2002
    My plan is the 8gb with the 128gb hard drive. It would piss me off to want to upgrade in the future and not be able to. I'm still waiting to see any reports of that configuration being available at retail stores since I don't want to order it online.
  17. misterquin macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    I currently have 4 and do completely fine. You're not doing a heavy workload so you'd be fine as well. Though it is relatively cheap to upgrade to 8gb. Remember: That ram is soldered on. No upgrades ever.

    But it's your decision. :cool:
  18. rygamble macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2012
    Doesn't look like that configuration (or any other BTOs besides Ultimates) is going to be available in stores until at least the 23rd.
  19. latestmonkey macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2002
    I can wait. I've waited this long. :D
  20. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    I advise to stay with 4GB unless you plan on this being your primary computer for longer than three years. Even if you do happen to consume over 4GB memory on occasion, the SSD based swap file won't have too much of an impact.

    For fun, I just opened the entirety of iWork and iLife on my current 4GB MacBook. This is in addition to everything else in my dock (Safari, iChat, App Store, iCal, iTunes, etc). Activity Monitor reports I still have 112MB free memory with a 100MB swap file.
  21. joekun macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2005
    Unfortunately The Grove didn't have them yesterday, or at least that's what they said when I bought mine.
  22. stooley macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    I purchased a fully loaded 13" MBA with 8 GB yesterday from the Apple Store in STL. Just have to check around. I did notice its not on display so had to specifically ask for it.

    OP, if you can afford the little extra, get 8gb. You can never have too much ram.
  23. Wilson1313 macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2008
    If think the upgrade to 8gb is a no-brainer, unless you don't have a gazillion windows open all the time and only use basic functions like web browsing, office, and email. While it can write the information to the SSD, it is not as efficient because of how they design a computer. And the computer is always going to have some memory free just incase it absolutely needs it immediately (before it can write to the SSD). So opening all those programs probably required it to write the the SSD (only reason I speculate is that on mine I've had FCX open with a full HD project and safari was open and using >1gb and I still had about 80mb free, yet FCX didn't have the timeline in the memory).
  24. mszpara macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I got the 8GB MBA 13"
    The upgrade from 4 to 8 was only $90 (student discount) since i'm already paying $1199 for it, it's really a no-brainer.

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