Buy 4gb ram MBA on sale for $950, or pay $1200 for 8gb ram model?

Jitster

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 11, 2013
2
0
Hi there - I'm in Canada and was thinking about ordering an MBA 13"/8gb ram/128gb SSD for $1200 online, but then the baseline model with 4gb went on sale for $950 today at Future Shop and Best Buy.

Is the 8gb upgrade really worth an extra $250 (26%) cost, or does the 4gb base model perform well enough?

I've got a young family and money is sometimes tight, so I'd like to save the money if possible, but I don't want something that will be performing poorly in a year or two. I would be using it mostly for Office, web browsing, Netflix, etc, but I also sometimes dabble in Garageband and light editing of photos and home video.

FYR, I'd be upgrading from a 2007 Macbook (3gb ram/128gb HD) that is starting to get a bit flaky lately.

Thanks!
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
763
261
Midwest US
If your young family will necessitate a substantial change in your usage patterns over the next several months (for example, more video editing) then I'd opt for the 8GB. Otherwise, I'd save the money.

I understand all the arguments against 4GB of RAM but in your specific case, you have to balance the investment of $250 against likely return.

I have an i7 MBA with 8GB of RAM ... but I have two small children and another on the way. Since I shoot a lot of photos and video, I can't imagine my usage patterns being undemanding enough that I'd not notice the drop to 4GB.
 

TheEnthusiast

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2013
146
3
Take a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6oaUJPZKNc

Remember, more RAM does not necessarily mean faster performance; RAM primarily helps with multitasking, contrary to the belief held by far too many people. There are lots of benchmarks that illustrate that the increase in ram from 4GB to 8GB, is insignificant for most users. Obviously, there are some programs and cases that benefit from more RAM, but again, the typical user will be fine.
 

robdrj45

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2012
63
0
USA
I don't think the extra RAM is worth $250 unless you absolutely need it. If it was a $100 difference (the difference when I ordered mine) then it would be worth it. If money is tight, the 4GB model is the easy choice.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,892
1,954
Canada
I have 4gb of ram and an i5, and a ton of apps open all the time without incident. For $250 I would get the 4gb.
 

Jitster

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 11, 2013
2
0
Thanks for the input everyone. I bought a 4gb 13" MBA during my lunch break - looking forward to putting it through the paces tonight.

I spent some time with one of the display models at the store, and it seemed pretty zippy even with lots of apps open and video streaming from the web at the same time. I think it will do the job for my needs, and I can sell it in a couple of years if my needs change.
 

lagisibuk

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2013
333
10
I'm not agree extra $250 just for 4GB extra ram.
i think $250 is similiar to : processor (i7) or storage level up (128 > 256) :D

for RAM i give example :

macbook A with 4GB ram and macbook B with 8GB ram
this macbook tested to handle 2GB file (transfer).
no winner both of them, all will have the same score.

macbook C with 4GB ram and macbook D with 8GB ram
this macbook tested to handle 5GB file (transfer).
ofcourse macbook D will win.

but, to handle many photo's, video ... with multitasking, 8GB ram is better.
 
Last edited:

Mackan

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,373
48
Watch out also for Apple. They have a tendency to do planned obsolescence, and maybe their OS X 2 years later require 8 GB of RAM to function properly.
 

TheEnthusiast

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2013
146
3
Watch out also for Apple. They have a tendency to do planned obsolescence, and maybe their OS X 2 years later require 8 GB of RAM to function properly.
Apple's OS would be in trouble if it required 8GB of RAM to function properly two years from now.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,099
221
I've got a young family and money is sometimes tight, so I'd like to save the money if possible, but I don't want something that will be performing poorly in a year or two. I would be using it mostly for Office, web browsing, Netflix, etc, but I also sometimes dabble in Garageband and light editing of photos and home video.
!
Substitute Garageband for 3D modeling in Sketchup, and add in some gaming and that pretty much sums up my situation as well. Got the base 11" model, and I couldn't be happier. It's constantly running and hardly ever swaps memory out.
 
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