First Time Mac Buyer

JayJamesWaller

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 6, 2011
134
51
Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
Hey fellow Forumers,

I realise how tedious a 'Which MacBook shall I get' thread can be to some of you, but I genuinely want an honest opinion as this will be my first ever Mac of any sort. The question here is whether I should go ahead and get the £640 Refubrished model 2011 MacBook Air 11" with 2GB of RAM or a brand new 2012 11" version with 4GB of RAM which I've been able to find for £760 on Amazon.

I currently own an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4S (upgrading to the next generation in two weeks time) and only ever use my desktop computer for occassional iTunes, Firefox, GIMP and Word Processing. However I will be selling my iPad in order to upgrade to whichever MacBook Air I get as it will be better for once I move out and no longer have a PC to transfer music to my iPhone as I tend to get CD's rather than use iTunes.

Being what I guess you would call a 'light' user I was wondering whether the 4GB of RAM is worth the £120 extra as I'm not exactly an expert and don't know whether 2GB of RAM is sufficient for my usage. I'd just like some opinions I guess to help base my decision.

Cheers guys, :)
 

ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
4,096
266
* ** *
Given that you can't upgrade RAM later in MBA go for more RAM. It will reduce swapping once you use GIMP with bigger images or have several web pages open while listen to iTunes.

While 2GB might be enough right now your usage will increase as will the need for newer software. So RAM as max as possible., in your case 4GB.
 

WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
Given that you can't upgrade RAM later in MBA go for more RAM. It will reduce swapping once you use GIMP with bigger images or have several web pages open while listen to iTunes.

While 2GB might be enough right now your usage will increase as will the need for newer software. So RAM as max as possible., in your case 4GB.
+1

Definitely get the 4GB. Even better, get the 8GB if you can afford it.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
192
How does one search in Amazon wo it giving you the hundreds hits of other craps? There is no Advanced Search?
 

JayJamesWaller

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 6, 2011
134
51
Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
Thanks for the replies guys, I think I'm going to go for the 4GB RAM version. Just wondering though what would be the real benefit of going to 8GB with what I'm doing? I'm on a budget but if it's really worth ordering from Apple and spending another £170 then I'll look into it.
 

MaulRx

Suspended
Aug 27, 2012
578
632
You will be more than pleased with the 4GB of RAM on your new Macbook Air. In some ways my new base 11" Air seems faster than my quad-core iMac with 12GB of RAM. Considering making the Air my only machine and trading in my iMac towards a Thunderbolt display.
 

dh2005

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2010
907
0
Thanks for the replies guys, I think I'm going to go for the 4GB RAM version. Just wondering though what would be the real benefit of going to 8GB with what I'm doing? I'm on a budget but if it's really worth ordering from Apple and spending another £170 then I'll look into it.
I don't know whether you're in Higher Education (whether as a student or a teacher/lecturer), but the Apple academic discount is extremely handsome for laptops.

I mention this purely in case the matter has relevance for you.
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
465
Since the price difference is not too significant I feel like this is a "better safe than sorry" sort of case, where it would be smarter for you to go for the 4GB model and not regret having too little memory in the future - and this way you get a nice brand new computer as well. It sounds like the better option to me.
 

fleawannabe

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2011
163
0
Since you are getting the MBA I would definitely get the 8GB. You never know what you might need in a few years.
 

m00min

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2012
418
89
I'd you're comparing a 2gb 2011 to a 4gb 2012 the extra cash will be buying more than just a RAM increase. The 2012 has a newer architecture so you should see a speed increase too.
 

.Pete.

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2012
12
0
Definitely go for 4GB - I have a 4GB Air for work, but I would guess my usage falls into the same ´light´ category as yourself - bit of iTunes, word, excel, preview and mail are usually all that I have running - at the time of writing I currently have 1.68GB going free, so 2GB would start causing you trouble pretty swiftly!