Is 2 gb of ram enough?

adamj575

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2011
288
3
Tennessee
Thinking of picking a used 11 inch mb air...prolly try to get one on the bay for $500 or so...most likely looking at a 2010 base model for that price...is the 2 gb of ram enough for mountain lion and a few apps running?...it won't be my main machine but it just sounds low...I would mainly use safari, iTunes and iPhoto ( which I don't see any way 2gb would run iPhoto)....if you have this model lemme know how we'll it holds up today....thanks!
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2011
1,006
156
Arizona
I have 2GB in my original air... It's a total dog. facebook tanks it completely. java and flash also wreck it.
 

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,501
156
Melbourne, Australia
4GB is pretty standard today - If you get 2GB you will not be able to upgrade, and therefore will be stuck with those 2GB if they're not enough, or if it becomes not enough in the future.
 

halledise

macrumors 65816
Thinking of picking a used 11 inch mb air...prolly try to get one on the bay for $500 or so...most likely looking at a 2010 base model for that price...is the 2 gb of ram enough for mountain lion and a few apps running?...it won't be my main machine but it just sounds low...I would mainly use safari, iTunes and iPhoto ( which I don't see any way 2gb would run iPhoto)....if you have this model lemme know how we'll it holds up today....thanks!
it was enough once - barely, but no - not these days
 

flyguy206

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2008
583
0
This question will be different for everyone. A lot of people on this site are use to having the latest Mac so to them it is unusable but to you it might be perfectly fine.
 

fleawannabe

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2011
163
0
Thinking of picking a used 11 inch mb air...prolly try to get one on the bay for $500 or so...most likely looking at a 2010 base model for that price...is the 2 gb of ram enough for mountain lion and a few apps running?...it won't be my main machine but it just sounds low...I would mainly use safari, iTunes and iPhoto ( which I don't see any way 2gb would run iPhoto)....if you have this model lemme know how we'll it holds up today....thanks!
I would really look for 4GB, I have 8GB but most of the time I have 5GB free.
 

solsearchin

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2012
95
0
I have 2gb, the system isn't sluggish at all, I've actually had 3 Mac airs with 2 gb ram and none have been sluggish so that's false. With 2gb you can run safari and a few small apps. Page in/outs will most likely occur... Mountain lion manages ram better than lion but not by much. I personally installed ram optimizers and just watched my ram usage and free up some when needed. It is a bit of a hassle, if your on a budget and would only be using safari, small apps, streaming YouTube you would be ok. If you can save a little more for 4gb ram, you'll have less limitations and can do twice as much on it.
 

Blackberryroid

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2012
588
0
/private/var/vm/
2 GB will be horrible even for just Safari. I would feel sorry for you if you have 2 GB.

2 GB if you're just planning on typing with TextEdit all day,
4 GB should be enough for Safari,
6 GB for Keynote, Pages and Numbers.
8 GB for Gamers, Photoshop, Indesign, Aperture, Lightroom and rare AE projects
10 GB for very short (3 minute) Final Cut Pro X projects,
12 GB for rare 12 minute FCPX projects, and a bit more common AE projects
14 GB for insane Photoshopping (500 layers on 4096x2000 at 300 DPI), and common 12 minute FCPX Projects,
16 GB for frequent AE projects, 20 minute FCPX Projects,
32 GB for 10 Motion projects rendering while 30 minute FCPX is rendering and an AE project,
64 GB for 50 minute FCPX project with few effects,
128 GB for 50 minute FCPX projects with a lot of effects,
256 GB for 1.5 hours of FCPX projects with few effects,
512 GB if you're making a harry potter film.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2011
11,775
9,382
Singapore
2 GB will be horrible even for just Safari. I would feel sorry for you if you have 2 GB.

2 GB if you're just planning on typing with TextEdit all day,
4 GB should be enough for Safari,
6 GB for Keynote, Pages and Numbers.
8 GB for Gamers, Photoshop, Indesign, Aperture, Lightroom and rare AE projects
10 GB for very short (3 minute) Final Cut Pro X projects,
12 GB for rare 12 minute FCPX projects, and a bit more common AE projects
14 GB for insane Photoshopping (500 layers on 4096x2000 at 300 DPI), and common 12 minute FCPX Projects,
16 GB for frequent AE projects, 20 minute FCPX Projects,
32 GB for 10 Motion projects rendering while 30 minute FCPX is rendering and an AE project,
64 GB for 50 minute FCPX project with few effects,
128 GB for 50 minute FCPX projects with a lot of effects,
256 GB for 1.5 hours of FCPX projects with few effects,
512 GB if you're making a harry potter film.
Oh, will you just shut up?

The OP is clearly not going to do any of those stuffs which require 8gb of ram or more on your list (and even then, I am certain those are gross overestimates). My friend has a 2011 air (2gb ram), and it more than suffices for his daily tasks. It even handles mountain lion very well. That just goes to show how well apple's software integrates with their hardware line.

To the OP, my answer would be a "yes" but with caveats, in that for just some more cash, you get a substantially better device.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,329
44
Colorado
Thinking of picking a used 11 inch mb air...prolly try to get one on the bay for $500 or so...most likely looking at a 2010 base model for that price...is the 2 gb of ram enough for mountain lion and a few apps running?...it won't be my main machine but it just sounds low...I would mainly use safari, iTunes and iPhoto ( which I don't see any way 2gb would run iPhoto)....if you have this model lemme know how we'll it holds up today....thanks!
It comes down to your tolerance for cost vs. longevity. My wife's 2010 MBA only has 2GB of ram/64GB SSD. She does safari, itunes, iphoto and MS Office (Word and PPT). Though it may not run the latest 3d games blazingly, it certainly is NOT sluggish for her uses. She also does lots of Facebook gaming w/o issue.

I expect to get at least another 2years of use out of the machine based on its current performance for the mentioned uses. If that helps any.
 

robvas

macrumors 68030
Mar 29, 2009
2,801
372
USA
I do all kinds of stuff with my 2GB i5 Air - I'd like 4GB but it's fine. I also have a 4GB 13" Air.

I had the 2GB C2D Air and this one is much faster, but the old one was still pretty usable. But I'm not sure I would buy a C2D these days - maybe a maxed out model if it was cheap, but the i5 is a big upgrade - and a 2011 isn't much more than a 2010. I sold my C2D 1.4GHz for $500 and bought the i5 1.6GHz for $575
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
789
19
I would at least get a 2011 model but 2gb of ram is fine. My friend has a 2010 base MBA and it works for her.
 

Retops

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2008
187
84
Oklahoma
On the off chance you want a serious reply....

I am writing this on a 2010 MBA 11 with 2GB of RAM. It is the machine I use for college teaching so heavy use of Office, Tinderbox, Scrivener, OmniFocus, etc. No IPhoto, but tons of web research, etc. I use it for writing, preparing lectures, and showing Powerpoints in class.

It works great. It is not as fast as my MBP with 16GB of RAM, but it is actually quite snappy for the things I do. Other than IPhoto, about which i know nothing, it sounds like it would work for you.
 

colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
890
539
I do all kinds of stuff with my 2GB i5 Air - I'd like 4GB but it's fine. I also have a 4GB 13" Air.

I had the 2GB C2D Air and this one is much faster, but the old one was still pretty usable. But I'm not sure I would buy a C2D these days - maybe a maxed out model if it was cheap, but the i5 is a big upgrade - and a 2011 isn't much more than a 2010. I sold my C2D 1.4GHz for $500 and bought the i5 1.6GHz for $575
I have a 2GB Rev. C (which means C2D) and it runs things just fine. As one poster also does, I run a memory management app that frees RAM when I get to less than 300MB, but that's pretty rare.