8GB vs 4GB on new Haswells?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
See title. Lately I've been off the loop about hardware requirements.

The fact that the RAM is soldered to the board in the Air makes me thing 8GB might be a good idea, but will it be noticeable in real world usage? (read: light gaming, no professional graphic work)

edit: also going to do some Windows virtualization and/or emulation.


macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2010
Miami, FL
def go with 8 if you're gonna be using Bootcamp with light gaming
No gaming for me but I might still stick with the base model.. We'll see. If you've been following previous threads, I mentioned that I recently purchase an iPad 4 (still under my 15 days) and I picked up the MBA yesterday to test out BUT I haven't opened it. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to keep the iPad or the MBA.. decisions, decisions.


macrumors member
May 18, 2013
8gb will allow you to load up tons of applications if that's your preferred working method. Plus if you want to run a OSX and Win8 at the same time, you can.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
If you run any virtual machines, the more RAM you have, the better. I have 8GB on my Air and iMac and I can easily max that out encoding a movie, running a few OS X apps, and having my Win 7 VM up.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
Elk Grove, CA
Compressed Memory in OS 10.9 should help reduce RAM requirements, but if you use a VM a lot, then I could only recommend 8GB. I've been on 4GB for 3 years now and have never felt the need for more :)


macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2013
man, after reading all these responses, I'm starting to regret the 4GB:confused:
8GB is for VMs and video editing, things like that. But it is definitely not required for more simple uses, like email and internet.


macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2007
depends.. won't 8GB in Bootcamp result in higher FPS?
The general consensus is that there is no benefit to anything more than 4gb of RAM, and that's coming from the hardcore PC gaming community who stress over every frame per second, so I decided not to bother.

Someone mentioned that the Turbo BTO option results in a 100Mhz higher clockspeed on your HD 5000, not sure if that's true but would actually improve your gaming a tad, although you could quite easily overclock by 300-400Mhz on the standard edition anyway (in Windows ofc). We're talking 1-5fps difference here really, iGPUs don't benefit much from overclocking.


macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2010
is 8GB really that crucial? I was told yesterday that the base model will suffice.
And you were told rightly so: the 4GB model will suffice. For now.

But soon enough you will regret not getting 8GB. Here is the story:
- For years the amount of available memory has been the single most often pointed out bottleneck (if you are low on that resource). Increasing memory is the most economical way of improving the performance of your machine. As you cannot add more memory on MBAs yourself, you should cough up for as much as you can afford when buying MBA.
- Doubling your memory from 4GB to 8GB makes your machine more future-proof both in case of releases of newer versions of current software, as well as updates to OS. Also, it slows down its depreciation in value, making it more sought after on the market, whenever you will want to sell it.
- If you want some "light" gaming - play Solitaire. Most modern games are slow and difficult to play on the Air, despite decent hardware in it. Apart from few noble examples of good programmingship, games are not really flying on Airs. I use X-Plane flight simulator and it is not as fast as you woud expect from average Win game.