4GB ram compromise

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lonewolf604, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. lonewolf604 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    My mom and I were splitting the cost of the 13inch MBA. I wanted to follow the advice of the people here and configure it to the 8gb ram online.

    But she doesn't want to use her credit card online because of previous experiences (someone, somehow, got a hold of her number).

    Should 4gb of ram suffice? The heaviest things I will do are using garageband and playing Valve games (half life 2, left 4 dead etc).
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    What does amount of RAM have to do with unwillingness to use a credit card online?

    4 GB should be fine...
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm sure you'd be able to buy 8GB MacBook Airs in physical stores.
  4. lonewolf604 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    At the price of 256gigs and core i7
  5. nikot macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2010
    Any upgrades to these machines are being made in the factory and shipped out atm according to someone I spoke to at apple today. I bought a 13" 256 base, and have decided to order an i7, 256gb, 8gb ram online. Waiting for it to arrive on the 18th to return this one.

    If you are multitasking and doing things like photoshop, coda, have it hooked up to a 1080p screen, play music, etc, I would find the 8gb would serve you well. I was importing/editing photos in Aperture while listening to spotify and only about 700mb of ram was left.

    This MBA is replacing a gaming rig and 2010 i5 mbp. If you are getting the 256 go the extra mile and get the i7 and upgraded RAM as well. If you are only able to get the 128 because of its price point, I would hold back and save the cash.
  6. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2008
    Oxford, England
    Don' forget if you get the 4Gb model the the system only makes 384 Mb RAM available for the Intel 4000 HD GPU, with 8GB it makes 512Gb available, which realty helps if you're interest in any gaming
  7. jmfel1926 macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    I just bought the AIR yesterday. i was one step of buying the 4gb model when they called and said they had the 8gb. i was thinkin "what i will do the 8gb, i am a moderate user" . I opened the air for the first time yesterday and i did some browsing with 4-5 tabs, dropbox , skype video call and a pdf file open, and i checked my ram usage. there were 3.6 gigs used ! i was glad i took the 8gb of ram. i don't know if the system would slow down with 4gb but i know that i am more confident now to do whatever i want.
  8. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Question is, you guys mentioning your moderate workload and ~700MB RAM free, if it's really that the air will have to resort to HDD swap when those last megabytes run out or if a lot of the used RAM actually is cached information that it can throw away if needed.

    I come from a windows background while thinking this, though.

    I'd still say go 8GB for "future proofing", peace of mind, and for productivity application use (heck, if you don't do stuff like that now, you might start!).
  9. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    Really? I run 10+ programs and have always more than 1 GB free. This includes: Safari, Skype, iTunes, Sparrow, Dropbox, iA Writer, Marked, Pages and some more. I love how everyone thinks they need 8GB RAM just because it's the maximum they can order now. Most people don't, period.

    What most people don't understand, if your RAM is full, that's a good thing, because it's not wasted. The only problem would be large page outs.
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Your inactive + free is your effective available RAM. You need to watch your page outs to determine whether you really need more RAM.
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If you intend to keep the machine for awhile (which is my guess since you are splitting the cost), the $100 RAM update is probably a good idea. A credit card is far more dangerous in the hands of a restaurant or store employee than on Apple's website, though there is always the risk of a data breach. Credit card companies are pretty good about dealing with it, though.

    Can you order the 8GB model from the store? I haven't ordered a BTO in store as they have always had the ones I wanted in stock (though I did get the i7 and 256GB options).
  12. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    You really have to take the advice here with a grain of salt, because it tends to be 'just max out on upgrades' with no regard of the buyer's actual needs. The upgrades may not be that expensive, but it can still be good money poured down the drain if you don't end up maximizing that added horsepower.

    For instance, I have a friend with went with the basic 2gb/64ssd MBA last July and it is still serving him very well. :)
  13. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Because ordering online is the only way to get the base 13" MBA with 8GB RAM.
  14. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    The reason for these differences is b.c if you have the extra RAM lion will utilize it. If you don't it won't. So if you have 8 gb vs 4 gb and are doing the exact same thing, one computer may say you are using 5 gb while the other might say 2.5
  15. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Northwest Indiana
    FIrst off. I have the 4 GB 2011 Macbook Air and it's been great. I currently don't have a major need for more, and I also am able to run a Windows 7 VM with 1.3 gb of ram dedicated to it. Many people mistake free memory for being your only available memory. Inactive can also be free'd up. Currently I have 3 tabs open in safari, one which is playing Big Brother. I have itunes, Aperture, and Mail all opened with 300 MB free and 1.5 gb inactive.

    Now I do get a new laptop every year to two years so I don't mind the 4 GB

    If you plan on keeping it for a long time. You should try to get the 8 however, what about getting a Visa gift card.
  16. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    If you go into an apple store you can definitely get a gift card and then purchase online.

    Other options but that's first I've thought of.
  17. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2008
    Oxford, England
    BTW if wishing to play any games on your MBA, be aware that with only 4Gb RAM only 384Mb RAM can be allocated for graphics, whereas 512Mb RAM is allocated if you have 8Gb - this could make a difference for some games...
  18. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    As other people have said, buy Visa or Apple gift cards for your desired amount. Then make your purchase with them - no credit card numbers necessary.
  19. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    This is probably one of the worst ideas ever. The bonuses and benefits you would normally get using a credit card are virtually wiped out.
  20. madat42 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    But then, he'd be able to get the laptop config he wants, right?
  21. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    Sure but thats a bad way to do it.


    1. Order the configuration you want online and buy it all with your credit card.

    2. Make mom write you a big check (half the amount).

    3. Mom doesn't have to worry about her CC info getting stolen. You get the computer you wanted. And you get the credit card points, etc. Everybody wins.
  22. lonewolf604 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    The problem is my Visa is a student Visa, it only goes up to $500 dollars.
  23. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    call them and request an increase!
  24. Atemporal macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2012
    Ask your dad? Though I'm surprised your card has such a low credit line. I have a student Visa card as well, but it goes up to $5k.
  25. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I say just get gift card and be done with it. No need to make things more complicated than it needs to be.

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