A question for 4GB Air Owners

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Osarkon, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #1
    Hi all.

    I've read all the 4 vs 8gb debate threads to death, but none have the answer I'm looking for.

    Basically, I'm looking for feedback from people who own the 4GB version as to how smooth does the laptop run.

    My last macbook was the very first intel core duo which I maxed out the ram to 2GB and it ran like a dream on Snow Leopard.

    So to those of you who have the base model, is there much lag etc in daily usage? I don't mind waiting a bit longer for applications to load, I just can't stand lag in the UI when navigating around.

    Note that there are plenty of 4 vs 8 threads already on the forum, I'd like to try and avoid that debate this time, hopefully the answers will give a more 'real world' feel for how the amount of ram influences performance.
     
  2. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #2
    There's no lag. I'm not sure why you thought there'd be.
     
  3. Osarkon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #3
    I wasn't sure either way - so many people seem to suggest that 4gb isn't enough to do anything with, so based on that I wasn't sure whether the machine wouldn't be very responsive.

    I've played with one in a store but obviously those machines have nothing installed on them really and don't give a real world scenario.
     
  4. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #4
    just curious....How would having additional software installed introduce lag?

    I have 8 gigs of memory, using Safari with 7 tabs open and show 6.3 gigs memory in use.

    If memory is over committed, it will swap to the SSD, which is a lot faster than a hard drive.
     
  5. Dave245 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #5
    I think when people speak of the 8GB upgrade, it's to say about future proofing, for example having 4GB would probably be good for now but in the future your needs may evolve and you may want higher specs. That's the way i look at it, i'm considering getting a Macbook Air, and if i do i would upgrade to the 8GB simply to future proof that little bit more.
     
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #6
    I have 4 gigs of memory, using Safari with 7 tabs open with Flash running on two sites, and 3.2 gigs of RAM are being used. That is an arbitrary indicator of usage, because Apple dedicates about 80% of RAM to tasks even if you aren't running anything.

    I just gave my 2GB MBA running Mavericks to a family member, and it was still running smooth as butter. 4GB should last typical consumers for the next 4-5 years. As long as you aren't running VMs or Photoshop on a daily basis, just get 4GB. The upgrade is not worth it for 90% of people.

    Matt

    ----------

    Future proofing RAM is one of the least useful upgrades. Unless you plan on becoming a professional photographer in the next 4 years, future proofing is not doing you anything.
     
  7. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #7
    OP: Beware of people who post opinions disguised as facts, e.g., 'The upgrade is not worth it for 90% of people.' and/or insult people who disagree with the choices they made.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #8
    The Mavericks UI lags less on the newest mba with 4gb than any other macbook.

    Your thread is the classic 4gb vs 8gb. And you havent told anyone what you will be running on your mba.
     
  9. Dave245 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #9
    Things do change over time, someone might want to only use it for writing essays in Pages or Word, but then a year later they might want to do some light editing. I have always gone with the thought that it's better to have more RAM and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it. That's just my personal opinion.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    I can say for some, its very smooth and for others, not so much. You ask an open ended question that will get all sorts of answers. Basically there is no right or wrong answers to the 4GB vs. 8GB debate. You get the configuration that best fits your needs and what you think you need in the future. Peace of mind (thanks to the soldered memory) counts for something too - at least for some people.

    The bottom line is you're complaining about the plethora of 4gb vs. 8gb to an extent but that's what this thread does.

    I think depending on your needs 4gb is fine, though I believe 8gb is a better solution for now and particularly for the future, but then that's just my opinion.
     
  11. Osarkon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #11
    Purely because I didn't feel my usage was pertinent to the question and to try and avoid it turning into the usual thread.

    My usage is extremely light - based on my usage 4GB is ample, but that's not what I'm asking here.
     
  12. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #12
    Particularly important with an MBA since you can't add RAM after purchase.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    Just tell us your usage already!
     
  14. Osarkon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #14
    I don't feel it's relevant but hey ho.

    Light browsing, video watching, spreadsheets and email.

    I'm sure we can all agree 4GB is more than enough for this?

    Unfortunately it looks like this thread is following in the way of the rest - all I've asked is for feedback from owners as to how responsive the machine is in general usage navigating the operating system.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    But yet it is pertinent, how can we have a discussion of whether 4GB is sufficient if usage is not detailed. That is if you only use Safari, and the email app, 4GB is fine.

    If you're using photoshop, LightRoom and VMware, well then you're going to have issues with 4GB. How you use the computer goes hand in hand in determining which configuration best fits your needs.

    Other people's selection has little bearing on your choice because their needs may be different so asking an open ended question on whether 4gb is fine for some isn't all that helpful or accurate.
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #16
    For your usage (while running your mentioned apps) the OS runs smooth as butter. No worries.
     
  17. Dave245 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #17
    Yea that's what I thought, I prefer to keep computers for 3-5 years and having more RAM will aid with this as needs evolve. I currently use a 2011 MacBook Pro and the only reason I have thought about getting a MacBook Air is because of the portability and the 12 hours battery life, which would be very good for university. My 2011 MacBook Pro still works great and it' has 8GB Ram.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    But their feedback is based on their needs, as I stated. If someone bought an MBA just for email, well their feedback is going to be positive, conversely a photoshop user will state otherwise.

    While I understand you wish to avoid dragging this thread down to the typical 4gb vs. 8gb argument there's no avoiding it, just because details are needed to help discern the best configuration.
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #19
    Of course its relevant. If you multitask heavy apps the OSs UI can get laggy. Like maflynn wrote ...
     
  20. Osarkon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #20
    Thanks Meister. That really was all I was after!

    Are you running a 4gb machine out of interest?

    I can see you're a massive believer in 4Gb being enough in most cases. :)
     
  21. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #21
    My girfriend has the mba 4gb/256gb 2013.
    I only believe in 4gb for those who do what you do and from my expereince those are most people.

    I have a mini with 4gb. The hdd in the mini makes everthing less responsive and when I multitask Ps, Lr and Preview the 4gb get pushed to the limits and bad lag occours. With the ssd in the air this doesnt happen, but for regular multimedia multitasking 8gb/16gb is definitly recommended.
     
  22. Osarkon thread starter macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #22
    That's fantastic, exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. :)
     
  23. Dave245 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #23
    Do you think 256gb is enough for a university student? Storage is one of the things I've been contemplating with the MacBook Air, I'm undecided between either the 256GB or the 512GB.
     
  24. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #24
    I don't believe there's a standard definition for 'university student'. :D

    How much space are you using on your other computers?
     
  25. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #25
    What are you using the macbook for? Apps? Files?
    In general 256gb is plenty as long as you dont do a lot of media work.

    I have 256gb on my rmbp and I have a 2tb external for my photo libary.
    Withou the photo libary the 256gb is enough.
    Itunes files (movies, music) I keep on my mini.
     

Share This Page