Buy UK MBA 8GB for £930 or settle for USA MBA 4GB for £500?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RedTomato, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #1
    Very torn here between getting a UK MBA 8GB for £930 or a USA MBA 4GB for £500.

    Am I crazy to pass up the saving? I'm currently using a 2009 white Macbook with 4GB, and it constantly pinballs and I have to be careful of memory usage (I run flashblock, adblock etc)

    I was planning to buy a 2014 MBA with 8GB ram and 128gb SSD later this summer. I may be able to get the UK edu discount, so it will be £800 (inc free 3 year Applecare) which is about $1,350 in US dollars.

    A lot of money for me and I'm not fully sure if I can stretch to it. (Without the edu discount, the MBA 8GB is £930 ($1500))

    However, a USA friend may come over to see me this summer. She's offered to bring over a MBA for me. With the Best Buy student discount currently on up till July 12th, she can get a MBA 4GB for $800 or £500.

    That's nearly half the price of the UK model, but with 4GB of RAM instead of 8GB. Can I manage with 4GB?

    Can you advise if you think I'm in danger of spending £500 to just have the same memory problems as I do with my current 2009 white Macbook?

    My usage is mainly research and planning, with several dozen website tabs open, evernote, reminders, ical, MS office, Google Docs, lightweight video editing, iPhotos, organising and co-ordinating groups through Facebook and so on. My 4GB whitebook can't manage to do all this at the same time. I'm sure a new MBA with 8GB would be fine, but can it do it on 4GB?
     
  2. wordsworth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Location:
    UK
  3. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #3
    Best Buy don't sell the 8GB models. Apple only builds them on request.
     
  4. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I'm using a 2006 MacBook Pro with 3GB of usable RAM and do not experience lots of beachballing.
    I installed an SSD some time ago.
    You could try doing the same to your MacBook and saving a few hundred quid?
     
  5. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #5
    I keep thinking about that. A SSD would be around £100. But battery life is getting shorter, and I carry it around a lot so I have to carry the charger too and look for outlets whereever I am. So the lighter MBA with long battery life is looking very persuasive.

    I could get maybe £200 for the old Macbook with 4GB ram and 500GB hdd to put towards the air, so if I go for the USA model, it's only around another £150 over and above what I would pay for a SSD. That's not much for a pretty huge upgrade in computing.
     
  6. drlunanerd macrumors 65816

    drlunanerd

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    A 128GB SSD is more like £50-60 these days, and you can pick up replacement batteries too, but I like your maths ;)

    Sounds like you've got your heart set on a new Mac. If you've got a buyer for your old one and need to keep your outlay down then I'd say take advantage of the US deal (assuming this is for a 13" MBA?). 4GB will be fine - SSD's are much faster for page file access.

    Bear in mind you won't get 3 years of free AppleCare though?
     
  7. wordsworth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    What do you do on your laptop? I have a WhiteBook too and it has never had its memory upgraded from the stock 2GB. I will eventually bump it up to 4GB but I"m happy enough with the general performance even now, five years later. (That's really good value for money in my book, or should that be Book?) I do lots of text editing. I don't play games or watch much footage on YouTube and the like. No number crunching or video editing. There's the 'usual' Amazon and eBay stuff and basic iTunes library-to-iPod' activity – I get lots of free CDs and insufficient time to hear them. That's it really.

    A new stick of memory and maybe an SSD after that, later, and we'll see where it goes from there. I like Snow Leopard and it has proven VERY reliable so far. I know it's not supported now but I still think my computer use is such that I can use my seemingly now 'vintage' MacBook reasonably safely for another year or two, if not longer.

    While I inevitably drool over the new Mac models – yes, I'd quite happily take delivery of a Mac Pro – I am happy to make my digital tools work until they don't work sufficiently well for me any more. I imagine I will buy something nice and new and shiny in the next couple of years.
     
  8. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #8
    I personally couldn't live with 4GB of RAM. Even with today's fast SSD, nothing beats RAM.

    I just purchased a 2013 rMBP 2.0GHz quad Core i7, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for $1,699 (£1014 got charged to my credit card - bought in Delaware so no sales tax). Yes it was a refurb, but it was £685 cheaper than the UK model or £450 than a refurb over here.

    The last three Macs I've bought were from the US purely because of the price. I love Apple products, but they are so over priced in the UK. I haven't had any problems with taking them to Apple stores if I've had troubles (battery after a while).

    Have you considered a refurb? http://store.apple.com/us/product/G...nch-macbook-air-17ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i7

    Personally, if you can afford it, get the higher spec. It will be worth it rather than just settling for less.
     
  9. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
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    #9
    As I said above, a lot of research and group co-ordination, meaning I have many apps open at the same time. I'm getting a lot of beachballing now with 4GB, even with careful use of flashblock etc.

    I'd be perfectly happy with a refurb, but 2013 base model 13'' Airs with 8GB don't seem to be turning up in the US refurb store.
     
  10. wordsworth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Oops! When I revisited your original post I should have looked at it more carefully. Apologies for my tedious question and good luck with your decision.
     
  11. iLightspeed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    #11
    There is a company called B&H that stock the 8GB RAM version. They are reputable. Google them! You can buy online. Their store is in New York but if you live somewhere else apparently you don't need to pay Sales Tax either. I'm not American so I don't know if that's true or not.
     
  12. addictive macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #12
    Buy new or upgrade internals

    I'm in a similar situation to you. I am a macbook aluminium (2008) owner and it has been a wonderful machine. I am tempted to upgrade my model once the broadwell processors are released.

    However, over the years I have made various upgrades to my machine. I have installed 4GB or RAM at first and a few years ago upgraded that further to 8GB RAM. I also installed a 256GB SSD from Crucial back when that size hard drive cost a fair bit of money - the SSDs have come way down in price now.

    My Macbook despite being almost six years old works great because of the upgraded internals I've got - included buying a replacement battery from Apple which is about £120.

    I guess it comes down to do you want a new model of computer or can you make do with what you've got but upgrade the RAM/replacement battery/add a SSD.

    If money really is an issue for you I'd suggest you go for the upgrades rather than a new model but only you will know what is the best option for you.
     
  13. Hansana, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014

    Hansana macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    #13
    Buy UK MBA 8GB for £930 or settle for USA MBA 4GB for £500?

    I would go with the 8Gb just to make it more future proof you know since you can add more later. 4gigs might be enough for your current workflow but in the future it might not. When I got my MBPR I went with 8gb and 256ssd just so I can use it for the next 4 or so years without a hassle.
     
  14. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #14
    This. Have your friend buy it from B&H then bring it over to the UK:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...r_dual_core_i5_1_4g_8gb_128ssd_5000_13_3.html
    Get the 8GB model for $1,079, with no taxes.
     
  15. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #15
    If I was going to pay the B&H prices, I'd rather buy direct from the US Apple store - easier to get warranty repairs in the UK apple stores that way ...

    Hmm. Still no base 13" 8GB model in the US refurb store. They do however have a very nice 2013 MBA i7 8GB 256GB for $1,189 (£700) which is pressing all my hot buttons ... Decisions decisions.

    My friend is flying over 30th July so I have to decide within a week or two. That i7 MBA might vanish from the refurb store any time ...
     
  16. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #16
    Update:

    I've decided 4GB is too limiting as I'm already beachballing with 4GB as it is, and a SSD would be a mere band aid.

    Someone in these forums has offered me a 2013 MBA i5 8gb 256gb for $900 (£540) and at that price it matches all my needs - both RAM + disk space, plus it has 3 months warranty left. Very tempted.

    Still tempted by the refurb store i7 at $1200 as I do a fair bit of video work, but I think for the short-form video work I do, any speed-up won't be detectible or worth the $300 extra. I'll still have to wait ages for the videos to upload.

    There's someone selling an just-to-be-out-of-warranty i7 here at $1200 so I've politely pointed out the lack of warranty to him and made him an offer of $1000. I can justify the $100 extra over the i5 ... but I don't think he'll take it.
     

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