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helloapple1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 20, 2020
433
286
I typically just use my device for office work and basic media consumption.

I’m currently using a base M1 MBA.

Should I get the base model or upgrade the RAM or Storage?

Anyone happy with the base model?
 

helloapple1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 20, 2020
433
286
Your current M1 MBA should be more than adequate for the use you describe. What's the driver for upgrading to the 15in? Just a bigger screen? Is so, base config should be adequate for the use you describe.
Thank you for your reply. Honestly I only am upgrading for a bigger screen. I find the 13in very cramped. I guess I’ll go with the base 15.

Planning to sell the 13.
 

helloapple1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 20, 2020
433
286
I have a base M2 Air

It handles office, databeses, coding, photo editing, video editing like a champ. Youtube and netflix are not particularly difficult for anything from 2015 onwards to to
Thank you for sharing this. It makes me comfortable going with the base model. Have you had any issues?
 

Allen_Wentz

Suspended
Dec 3, 2016
2,898
3,161
USA
I typically just use my device for office work and basic media consumption.

I’m currently using a base M1 MBA.

Should I get the base model or upgrade the RAM or Storage?

Anyone happy with the base model?
Get the max 24 GB RAM for sure. Mass storage should be about 2x your needs to idealize SSD operation. SSD can be added externally but RAM cannot.

RAM needs have always increased constantly, and Apple's offering of 96 GB in the MBPs gives us an idea where Apple expects RAM demands to go over the life cycle of a new box. 24 GB of RAM is not some huge amount; I put 4x that in my M2 MBP.

Many folks will be "happy with the base model" today, but we configure a new box for the life cycle of the box, not for today. Apple's Mac OS will allow base model RAM to function, but at some point it will likely be sub-optimal. Spending $1k on a computer and intentionally configuring it to be sub-optimal in the future makes no sense to me unless one plans a really short life cycle for some reason.
 
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Jessemtz25

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2011
184
42
Colorado
This thread is making me feel better about possibly trading in my 2020 MBP for a new MBA. My use is really simple basic use these days anyway. Right now ill get a decent price for my MBP traded in.
 

BenGoren

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2021
481
1,349
Honestly?

Today’s M1 Macs put gosh-darned supercomputers of not all that long ago to shame. Unless you’re actually already doing something such that you’re wanting more computer, the only considerations you should have should be form factor. Do you like the size of the display? Will the computer fit in your backpack? How about the color? That sort of thing.

And that covers, within rounding, 99 44/100 % of Mac owners.

(Yes, yes. Half of those who post to this forum are simultaneously rendering and editing the next Disney IMAX movie while recording the soundtrack live and also, at the same time, running dozens of full global climate models at atomic precision. And they really do need the upgraded specs. But, for all us mere mortals … save your pennies for some other Apple gear.)

TL/DR: If you have to ask, the answer is, “No, you’re just fine with the base model.”

b&
 

AlixSPQR

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2020
1,033
5,387
Sweden
People only recommend base models because they have one and want to feel comfortable with their choice. In reality, Apple's meager RAM isn't enough through the product's lifetime, as already mentioned. We've seen that with MBA's in the past, when they had as little as 4 GB of RAM, shared with the GPU. I would never buy a base model as for now.
 

Geert76

macrumors 68000
Feb 28, 2014
1,820
3,594
the Netherlands
People only recommend base models because they have one and want to feel comfortable with their choice. In reality, Apple's meager RAM isn't enough through the product's lifetime, as already mentioned. We've seen that with MBA's in the past, when they had as little as 4 GB of RAM, shared with the GPU. I would never buy a base model as for now.
MBA's from the past (before M1) are completly different to nowadays MBA's (M1 and newer).

For the average consumer a base M1 or newer base model is perfectly fine and more.
 

jongriff

macrumors regular
May 28, 2003
192
128
Lawford, UK
People only recommend base models because they have one and want to feel comfortable with their choice. In reality, Apple's meager RAM isn't enough through the product's lifetime, as already mentioned. We've seen that with MBA's in the past, when they had as little as 4 GB of RAM, shared with the GPU. I would never buy a base model as for now.
The counter argument to this is that because second hand residuals are so good, should you find 8GB RAM a problem in a few years you can just get yourself whatever is new at the time and only spend a few $100 more than the RAM upgrade would have originally cost you.

Most people do not need more than a base spec M-Series Mac.
 
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unrigestered

Suspended
Jun 17, 2022
879
840
People only recommend base models because they have one and want to feel comfortable with their choice. In reality, Apple's meager RAM isn't enough through the product's lifetime, as already mentioned. We've seen that with MBA's in the past, when they had as little as 4 GB of RAM, shared with the GPU. I would never buy a base model as for now.
and people recommend upgrades because they did so too, often completely unnecessarily, making them feel better that they have overpaid for things they don't even need.
it can go both ways.

yes, the basic models constraints are on the tighter side, but still completely fine for most daily duty office /YT / web browsing / personal photo editing stuff.
if you need more, you'll know it if you are regularly doing some more demanding stuff
 

Isamilis

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2012
2,117
1,020
I always go with higher storage just because I don't want to spend all that money just to constantly have to monitor my disk usage.

But realistically, a base MBA is more than adequate.
Second this. Also, SSD speed in M2 base model is lower than M1 base model - though it’s not significant in daily usage.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,202
11,989
I typically just use my device for office work and basic media consumption.

I’m currently using a base M1 MBA.

Should I get the base model or upgrade the RAM or Storage?

Anyone happy with the base model?
I think this depends not on your usage today, but on how long you plan to keep the machine usable in the future. Over time, macOS gets more demanding with each release, and so does most software. Today's "perfectly adequate" or even "nice and fast" has a way of turning into "dragging" and "slowing down" a few years down the road. It's happened to me over and over with Macs and other devices over the years, and every single time I've found myself in a situation where I would *gladly* pay the couple hundred bucks it would have cost me to get more RAM or more storage space when I first got the device.

At a minimum, I'd say upgrade to 16GB of RAM just to keep things running smoothly later.
 

Coreymac84

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2020
268
638
I would never get the base MBA because of the minuscule RAM. The 8GB is terrible...it might be okay today but it won't be long term. The amount of RAM Safari sucks with multiple tabs alone... no thanks. I have a M1 Pro MBP 16" and the 13" M2 MBA so I had the luxury of not being torn between one or the other. Personally if it's base model 15" MBA or MBP I'm getting the 14" MBP. I got my wife the 14" and it's still quite portable and worth it for what you are gaining for the cost difference. If portability is what you care most about then this is negligible and portability over everything = get the 13" MBA. The 15" MBA simply isn't that portable.


  • 15-inch MacBook Air: 0.45in x 13.40in x 9.35in, 3.3lbs; 1.15cm x 34.04cm x 23.76cm, 1.51kg
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro: 0.61in x 12.31in x 8.71in, 3.5lbs; 1.55cm x 31.26cm x 22.12cm, 1.60kg
 

IG88

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2016
1,109
1,637
I typically just use my device for office work and basic media consumption.

I’m currently using a base M1 MBA.

Should I get the base model or upgrade the RAM or Storage?

Anyone happy with the base model?
If you are happy with a base M1 (minus the screen size), why would this be a question?
 
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