How much memory is 4 GB of RAM?

BaseballGuy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 13, 2012
28
0
I'm making my final decision tomorrow regarding a laptop for college. I'm going to get a business degree of some sort and I am deciding between a 13" Air or Pro. I understand that if I get the Air the memory can't be upgraded unless I do a BTO. If I get the Pro I can always upgrade down the line. The only reason I'm debating the Pro is because I would use the ODD. Besides school work I would use my laptop for casual work. This includes the internet, iTunes, a database for my baseball blog and other things. Please don't respond with the "why do you need the "pro model"" nonsense. Thanks! Oh, and ideally I'd like this to last 5 years or so.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,836
4,282
"Between the Hedges"
I'm not sure I understand your actual question :eek:

I use the MBA and for the occasional need I use the external drive
I haven't had any issues with it and only need it every once in a while

I love the portability of my MBA
 

ljx718

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2008
428
2
I'm making my final decision tomorrow regarding a laptop for college. I'm going to get a business degree of some sort and I am deciding between a 13" Air or Pro. I understand that if I get the Air the memory can't be upgraded unless I do a BTO. If I get the Pro I can always upgrade down the line. The only reason I'm debating the Pro is because I would use the ODD. Besides school work I would use my laptop for casual work. This includes the internet, iTunes, a database for my baseball blog and other things. Please don't respond with the "why do you need the "pro model"" nonsense. Thanks! Oh, and ideally I'd like this to last 5 years or so.
its 4096 megabytes
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,836
4,282
"Between the Hedges"
4 GB should be fine for you, but it's highly doubtful a Macbook Air will last 5 years.
I don't know why you would say that

Are you saying it won't hold up and will stop working?
Doubtful

It will do everything it does right now
And it will be able to do many things that haven't come up yet
5 years will reach its useful limits as far as upgrades to newer OS and such
But I still have my 2007 MBP and could use it just fine if I needed to
 

BaseballGuy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 13, 2012
28
0
I'm not sure I understand your actual question :eek:

I use the MBA and for the occasional need I use the external drive
I haven't had any issues with it and only need it every once in a while

I love the portability of my MBA
I'm not exactly great with computers when it comes to memory, so forgive me but based on my needs do you think 4 GB of RAM would be fine? I don't really see my needs changing the next 4-5 years.
 

kemo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
735
110
ProtonVPN
For the stuff you mentioned I'd get latest MBA with 4 gigs of memory, it would be enough. Not saying it will last for 5 years but 8 gigs is not necessary and 2 gigs is not enough these days for most of the users..
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,836
4,282
"Between the Hedges"
I'm not exactly great with computers when it comes to memory, so forgive me but based on my needs do you think 4 GB of RAM would be fine? I don't really see my needs changing the next 4-5 years.
The best way to "future proof" your MBA is to add the additional RAM
I wish I had the 8GB in my MBA now, but it wasn't available for mine

I think the 4GB will be fine for now, but if it were me and I was planning on 4-5 years, I would get the 8GB
Your needs may not change much, but the software requirements might
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,095
2,057
Oregon
The only reason I'm debating the Pro is because I would use the ODD.
If you would use the optical drive, get the Pro. If you find you don't use the optical drive, you could always take it out and install an SSD in the empty bay. You'll end up with a more capable computer, faster processor, upgradeable memory and the tradeoff would be slightly more weight and thickness.

As for RAM, 4GB is plenty for right now but I have a feeling in 2-3 years, you'll want more. The ability to upgrade is a big deal for me.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,871
1,492
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
I like it. It separates the wheat from the chaff.
I personally don't like it. A good computer knowledge makes you understand there is always a difference between mega in computer and SI terms. Also, there is a difference between bytes and bits. People just need to educate themselves instead of having the system modified to their laziness.

Thats just an opinion btw for those who wish to engage in flames. Feel free to disagree.
 

LeeM

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2012
603
0
as far as ram goes always get the most you can from your options. thats the way i look at it anyway. i was in your position and got the pro so i could go for 8 or 16gb and had the odd to put an hdd next to my ssd
 

east85

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,343
494
Don't lock yourself into 4GB of RAM in 2012. 8GB should be a minimum when thinking about future-proofing a laptop these days.
 

plucky duck

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2012
576
107
With SSD replacing HDD, even if pagefile where to exist I doubt I'll notice it much. With current software and my usage habits, 4GB is enough. I am happy enough with existing OS that if future OS ram requirements were to bump up to 8GB I'll still be happy staying where I am right now. As long as you are happy with what you have right now and am content with staying with existing configuration 4-5yrs down the road there shouldn't be a problem. Future OS and software will require more ram, question is how bad you want it and how intolerable are you of your existing config.

Performance degradation is a reality in any existing laptop with SSD as their primary drive, regardless of how much ram they have in their system. Lack of ram may not be the root cause of your system slowing down.

Final Cut takes up chunks and chunks of ram. On my iMac it's eaten up to 16GB of all available memory. I will have it installed on my Air and see how it performs given the lack of ram. But that's not the intended use of the Air, recognize it's limitations and you'll be happy with what you can do with it, and not neg on what it's not made to do. Ensure you have the right tools for the job.