Do I absolutely need 8GB RAM for my uses?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Viantef, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Viantef macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I need a computer now and can't wait for the shipping. Here are things I'll be running. Would 4GB run fine?

    Xcode 5




    I'll probably buy a MacBook Pro Retina 15" in December. Quick question, can I transfer my Xcode project from a Mac to a different Mac and have everything work seamlessly?

  2. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2009
    Irvine, CA
    Yes to the transfer question. You need to transfer your private key though. You can look that up. I don't know about the memory. I run xcode 5, skype, safari, iTunes, and iOS simulator all at the same time with plenty of memory left on 4 gb.
  3. mattdo93 macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2010
    That's it? Even 2GB will do.

    Lol jk. 4GB is fine dude!
  4. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Xcode could do with more ram than 4GB.

    You could RUN all that with 2GB, but buying a new machine with 4 GB today is like buying a Ferrari and running space-saver tyres on it. You're cippling a whole heap of other decent hardware in terms of performance by doing that.

    If you migrate your stuff with time machine it will work seamlessly. I did this to migrate from my Mac Mini to my MBP just fine.
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Probably. Of all listed, FireFox maybe the one that can reach that 4GB limit.
  6. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Do you absolutely need 8GB?


    Should you get 8GB?

    If you can afford it. No one has ever complained about having too much RAM.
  7. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    and I might add that your resale value in a few years will be better with 8GB when the rest of the world will run on 16GB+
  8. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    Why do people ask questions like this? :confused:

    No, you do not absolutely need 8GB Ram for any uses.
  9. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    Does 4GB option still exist? I thought that in 2013 the default RAM volume is equal to 8GB :confused:
  10. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Mar 28, 2011
    A quick trip to the Apple site wold have told you that you thought wrong.
  11. silverf1re macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    What kind of developer doesn't have a good grasp on memory usage?
  12. cedwhatev macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
    You don't need 8GB, but you'll be glad you did. :D
  13. Psychj0e macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    No you didn't, stop attention seeking now.
  14. kanselmo macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2010
    Standard 4 GB would be fine. Obviously more is always better but it's easier to find sales in places like MicroCenter with the more common model. You're buying a new laptop later this year so you could save the money to upgrade that machine's ram.

    I have a 2012 MacBook Air 13" with 4 GB. I use it for travel and for tracking audio for my band in Logic. The computer isn't sweating with 30 audio tracks and about as many plugins going. Firefox works great and Pixelmator does too (though my Pixelmator use is simple so I'm not pushing it hard for that).
  15. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    When I was in college, my 1GB of DDR1 was already badarse. DDR2 came out and everyone went insane.

    Before that I went through school using a 166mhz Pentium MMX, all the way up to senior year.

    Tell me more about how 4GB DDR3 isn't good enough for you. :p
  16. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    MBA memory is soldered so once it spec'ed you will not have a chance to upgrade it along the way assuming that you will stick it out with it. Go for 8GB, you will regret later if you don't.
  17. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    no it isn't. you're on the Macbook Air forum, remember? It's not a Ferrari, it's a work horse. I would agree with you if we were talking about the Pro.

    If you're buying an Air, you are looking for where portability and power converge and for most people the 4 gigs is plenty.

    A better car/tyre analogy for this case would be to claim that upgrading is like putting racing tyres on your 4cyl accord. If you're doing work that really requires 8 gigs maybe the pro is the better machine for you?

    that being said it's a pretty cheap upgrade, especially if you're a student, and i'd put the money there before upgrading the chip. And in light of the fact that it's "permanent" i think you have to ask yourself what you're more likely to regret - not getting it or getting it?
  18. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    8 GB doesn't take up any more space (i.e, it does not compromise your portability requirement). It costs maybe 10% on top of the price of 4 GB (or roughly the same as a tank of fuel on my car) and will double the effective usable life of the machine (CPUs have been plenty good enough for non-specialist uses for about 5 years plus now, storage is upgradable - RAM will be the limiting factor).

    It's a no brainer decision.

    I've used both an air and a pro. There's little wrong with a maxxed out air.
  19. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i think you missed my point. i'm not saying it would add space or weight or that there's anything "wrong with the maxed out air"

    i'm saying that the purpose of the Air is not the same as that of the Pro and I think claiming it doubles the effective usable life of your machine is hyperbole.

    just because "CPUs have been plenty good for the past 5 years" doesn't mean that they won't be the limiting factor in machines in the next 5 years. But that also wasn't my point - as i said, i would certainly upgrade the ram before the chip but i stand by the claim that 4 gigs of RAM is going to be fine for the vast majority of people looking to buy the Air.

    The biggest upgrade for most people is going to be the SSD. For those coming from spinning drives, that alone is going to blow people away. I recently upgraded my old 2009 2.4ghz laptop to 8 gigs and a SSD. I barely noticed the ram, but the drive is unbelievable.

    But, as you say - for less than $100 it's certainly not going to break the bank and will help with resale down the road. I just don't think it's essential nor is it a "no brainer."
  20. ttran88 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    Some Apple stores will have some BTO options in stock. I know mine had a few with 8 GB ram. Call and ask. No shipping needed ;)
  21. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Not as much as you may think.

    I've been doing it since 1992 (ordering double the "normal" amount of RAM in my machines), and towards the end of the machine's life (i.e., 3+ years old) it is typically outperforming other people's machines (who didn't go for more memory) by 3-5x as it isn't constantly paging to disk.

    More ram has ALWAYS been way better value than going for the slightly higher locked CPU. Going up a CPU speed grade won't win you 3x performance after 5 years. The RAM will.
  22. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    again, i am not arguing with you over which is the bette upgrade between ram and cpu. i am arguing whether or not you need either in this particular case.

    there are a whole host of factors that will affect a machine's end of life performance and i suspect most of them have little to do with total amount of RAM in most cases. available RAM might be an issue - but that's user error related.

    How many of those machines could have been brought back to life with a new battery, new hard drive or hell even just a good old fashioned wipe and fresh OS install?

    Like I said, the SSD alone on my aging macbook brought it right back to current. it boots up in less than 30 seconds and every program loads with only 1 bounce of the icon. it's like a brand new machine. Now for $300 or so that is a bigger decision than whether or not to put 80-100 worth of ram into a new or old machine. It's like putting a new Tranny in a 20 year old car...the upgrade might cost more than the unit is worth.

    but for me it was worth every penny - ymmv.

    but i really don't believe RAM upgrade is as essential as you are making it out to be and the "it's only a few bucks more" type attitude is a dangerous one in today's economy. Not a judgement, I know i'm as guilty of it as the next man but i am hesitant to advise people to spend more money when they might not need to.
  23. Viantef thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013

    I just started learning C, and now I'd like to move into Objective - C/iOS Dev, hence I have to get a Mac. As far as I'm concerned and my experience, development is a memory hog but I hear Xcode isn't that great of handling ram usage efficiently.
  24. ttran88 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    Just do it... its only 90 bucks over 3+ years of you owning the machine. What if one day you need it?
  25. silverf1re macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    My sincerest internet apologies.

    i dont know anything about xcode however I use Visual Studio with 4 GB dedicated to the VM.

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