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macsorcery

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 19, 2020
949
2,387
or buyers remorse on the 256gb ssd? I haven't spec'd that low in a long time. I am a little worried. :D
 
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Mcckoe

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2013
170
352
Buyers remorse on the 256GB SSD doesn’t make sense. Just buy an M2.external USB-C enclosure and 1-2TB drive, still cheaper than the 200 dollar upgrade to the 512GB option(plus you can add a bigger drive later). 8GB should be enough for most people. If your going to be doing video editing, or use this as a server for remote functionality you might benefit from the 16GB. Else, 8GB should be fine for at least the next 5-6 years(gaming excluded).
 

glenthompson

macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
2,924
797
Virginia
I went from a 16gb MBP to an 8gb Air. I used to run Parallels on the MBP and the 16 was necessary. Don’t run Windows anymore and the 8 is plenty for my needs. Disk space is a totally different issue as I don’t like hanging additional drives off a laptop. Only drives plugged into my Air are backups. My current disk needs are 300-400gb. I bought my Air used and it only had 128gb on it. Upgraded it to 1tb so I wouldn’t have to worry about disk space. 512 would have been ok but the price difference wasn’t that much for the replacement drive from OWC ($100).
 
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Macrumorsss

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2018
64
18
I have been having mixed feelings as i went with 8gb ram and 256 ssd but here is what keeps me happy with it. 1.) this is the first m1 chip based mac i know better things are coming i see this as an investment to learn what this new tech is all about so i refuse to overspend and 2.) im getting great performance so far and i think having a smaller ssd will help that in the long the
 

ElliotReidMD

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
13
9
UK
No regrets. If the 16Gb version had been quickly available I may have bought that, it would have taken till at least mid-December to get the 16Gb version, but nothing so far has made me regret it. As for the larger SSD, I might be from Southern England but both my parents were Northerners and they taught me to be tight with money so there is no way I'd pay Apple's costs for something I can upgrade myself cheaper.
 

1240766

Cancelled
Nov 2, 2020
264
373
I have the 8gb 512gb, now I am waiting to get the 16gb / 512gb. I feel it is worth the extra $.
 

FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2015
612
393
Manhattan Beach, CA
I used the 12 inch base 256, 8gb for 4 years and never needed more ram due to it never crossing 50% pressure. I only used 100gb of SSD at most and use cloud storage. I have a 2TB TB3 drive for things like video edits for my 16 inch but I also haven't needed more than the 16gb ram for the 16. I used to have the Mac mini with 32gb ram and it never crossed 25gb ram with a 4k edit and all sort of other stuff running so I didn't feel more than 32gb ram was worth it. If you intend to run heavy stuff right now and need fast results, go for 16 ram. if you are speculating that in the future you may need this, than it may not be worth it. it really depends on your convenience of use. ive moved to the mentality of buying things when you actually need them or youll regret it in the near future. So glad I didn't buy he top end 16 incher 6 months ago. I got the M1 base Air after seeing several test reviews. if I find out that I really need the power, im going to go with convenience and get the 32 inch iMac M1X as it will probably be out. its not like im crazy about doing media work on a little screen. I am curious about peoples experience using the base Air with a 4k monitor and pushing FCP working with raw 4k files. if that works for 10 minute videos, not sure why most would need another Mac. ill run that test soon on a 4k 32 inch monitor as I have until jan 8 to return the Air
 

Zazoh

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2009
1,471
1,054
San Antonio, Texas
No complaints on Base. Memory pressure graph in Activity Monitor hasn't passed lower 1/3. (2gb) this is while using two Intel apps and a handful of others simultaneously for corporate job (Zoom, VM Ware Horizon, Photos, etc.) Snappy machine and I store in cloud.
 
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Amplelink

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2012
852
300
For those of you who say you can just add external storage, isn’t that pain for a laptop which is supposed to be a mobile-oriented device? If I were to need more space, it’d almost certainly be for my Photos library. But if I put that on an external drive, I’d need to remember to plug it in all the time. Am I missing something here or is external storage not really a universal panacea here?
 

dasjati

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2020
85
145
For those of you who say you can just add external storage, isn’t that pain for a laptop which is supposed to be a mobile-oriented device? If I were to need more space, it’d almost certainly be for my Photos library. But if I put that on an external drive, I’d need to remember to plug it in all the time. Am I missing something here or is external storage not really a universal panacea here?

I have a MBP 15 with just 256 GB and I regret that I didn’t get at least 512. Of course you can use external storage. I use a NAS as an archive and an external drive when I am working on larger video projects. I don’t like it at all. I would love to just have everything on my main drive.

It depends on your workflow and needs. It saves money. But as you said: It is definitely not a good solution for everyone. I will get 512 GB or 1 TB with the next one.
 

DaMax85

macrumors member
May 19, 2011
88
34
I used the 12 inch base 256, 8gb for 4 years and never needed more ram due to it never crossing 50% pressure. I only used 100gb of SSD at most and use cloud storage. I have a 2TB TB3 drive for things like video edits for my 16 inch but I also haven't needed more than the 16gb ram for the 16. I used to have the Mac mini with 32gb ram and it never crossed 25gb ram with a 4k edit and all sort of other stuff running so I didn't feel more than 32gb ram was worth it. If you intend to run heavy stuff right now and need fast results, go for 16 ram. if you are speculating that in the future you may need this, than it may not be worth it. it really depends on your convenience of use. ive moved to the mentality of buying things when you actually need them or youll regret it in the near future. So glad I didn't buy he top end 16 incher 6 months ago. I got the M1 base Air after seeing several test reviews. if I find out that I really need the power, im going to go with convenience and get the 32 inch iMac M1X as it will probably be out. its not like im crazy about doing media work on a little screen. I am curious about peoples experience using the base Air with a 4k monitor and pushing FCP working with raw 4k files. if that works for 10 minute videos, not sure why most would need another Mac. ill run that test soon on a 4k 32 inch monitor as I have until jan 8 to return the Air
Have you received your MacBook Air yet? If so, have you tested FCP? I have a VERY similar use case as you and I am wondering if I will be ok with the Air base or if I should upgrade my storage and ram (My 12" has only used about 100 GBs...but I am constantly purging stuff). Been on a 2016 12" MacBook with 8gb/256gb of ram for four years. It's been my only machine. I use FCP for short form content.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
16,570
16,526
Singapore
or buyers remorse on the 256gb ssd? I haven't spec'd that low in a long time. I am a little worried. :D
256gb of storage should more than suffice for me, based on my previous MBA and my iOS devices (all have been 256).

I do pretty light stuff on my laptop, so 8 gb should suffice for me. I went with the entry level model, and I suppose that if it ever does become insufficient for me down the road, I should be able to sell it for a decent price and upgrade to the M3 Or M4 model or whatever it will be called then,
 

FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2015
612
393
Manhattan Beach, CA
Have you received your MacBook Air yet? If so, have you tested FCP? I have a VERY similar use case as you and I am wondering if I will be ok with the Air base or if I should upgrade my storage and ram (My 12" has only used about 100 GBs...but I am constantly purging stuff). Been on a 2016 12" MacBook with 8gb/256gb of ram for four years. It's been my only machine. I use FCP for short form content.
ill edit a video tomorrow to test how FCP performs while using a monitor. ill try to make a YouTube video about it but there are plenty of tests online showing 8gb is good for short form content. Like said before, I use iCloud so my desktop and documents get auto uploaded to cloud and I edit off a TB3 drive so most of the Mac space is used up by music and apps. im not trying to save space, it just happens this way but if you dont use cloud or external drives, I say buy larger SSD. Also I already know that ill eventually get a new iMac and most likely won't use the laptop as an editing device unless I have to.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2010
1,932
1,649
No regrets. If the 16Gb version had been quickly available I may have bought that, it would have taken till at least mid-December to get the 16Gb version, but nothing so far has made me regret it. As for the larger SSD, I might be from Southern England but both my parents were Northerners and they taught me to be tight with money so there is no way I'd pay Apple's costs for something I can upgrade myself cheaper.
With upgrade u mean external storage as the SSD is soldered?
 

Lucas Curious

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2020
366
520
Here is a test I made with an 8gb M1 Air connected to a 4k monitor vs the same setup with MacBook Pro 16 inch under load with FCP.
 
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Zen_Arcade

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2019
415
575
Given Apple's historical stinginess with RAM (and storage) I figured it was worth waiting for the 16 GB version, which is on order and shows an arrival date of Dec. 3-10.
 
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macsorcery

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 19, 2020
949
2,387
Given Apple's historical stinginess with RAM (and storage) I figured it was worth waiting for the 16 GB version, which is on order and shows an arrival date of Dec. 3-10.

I contemplated bumping up but the symetry of getting rid my macbook pro 2017 with the ridiculous keyboard for an almost even $$ swap to base macbook air, while waiting for a new 16" macbook pro seemed the way to go for me. my 2017 basically unsellable now so I was glad to get $820 for it in trade-in.
 

theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
6,443
5,889
Here is a test I made with an 8gb M1 Air connected to a 4k monitor vs the same setup with MacBook Pro 16 inch under load with FCP.

Kudos for actually showing the "Memory pressure" readout during the test. What that actually shows in this case, though, is that the test doesn't really "need" 16GB of RAM on either machine - but while the 8GB isn't running out of RAM yet it is right on the memory pressure borderline, whereas the 16GB still has plenty of headroom. Whatever is slowing the Intel machine down c.f. the M1, it isn't available RAM.

It would be interesting to confirm that by, say, creating an 8GB RAM disc on the Intel machine - just to "waste" half the RAM - and then see what that did to the memory pressure and whether it made the test take significantly longer.

I suspect that the big difference here is that the M1 GPU is optimised to the gills for video editing in FCP and/or is simply faster at moving data between SSD, RAM, CPU and GPU (which are all either on the CPU die or part of the SoC package, rather than hanging off on PCIe or long address/data busses).
 
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