Is 2gb enough RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Kyllle, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Kyllle, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011

    Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    I am coming from windows, where I have 4gb of ram, and even when I am only using google chrome (sometimes I have like 12 tabs open though) and itunes, my Ram usage is usually 60% or higher.

    I have heard that osx is more efficient with using RAM, so even though I currently always use more than 2gb, do you think it would be enough to smoothly run a few light programs, say ms office, itunes, and chrome, at once?

    I don't think I've ever maxed out my ram, as I usually use like 2-3gb on my current machine, so I'm not really sure what happens when there's not enough RAM. I'm guessing it just gets a whole lot slower.

    Also, is there a reasonable chance of 4gb ram coming standard with the new MBAs? I think that would be the only thing I want more than a backlit keyboard for the refresh :p

    Normally, I wouldn't worry about the $100 upgrade for 4gb (even though it is a bit overpriced), however it's the tax that makes it so much more expensive. Since Amazon doesn't sell MBAs with 4gb ram, I'd have to custom order it from Apple, and it would look something like this:

    $1300 base price
    $100 for ram upgrade
    8.25% sales tax

    Total: $1515

    Through Amazon, it's $1260 for the 2gb with free shipping and no tax.

    So I'd basically have to spend over $250 just for 2gb more RAM. Is it worth it?

    Btw, I'm talking about the 128gb 13"

    Oh and this will be my only computer. So it's not like I can just hop over to my Mac pro if I ever need to do something more ram-intensive.
  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    2gb is fine for browsing + itunes, you may want 4 for the future though. it's worth the upgrade because it's not upgradable unless you get it upfront.
  3. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    get it with 4gb, someday you'll want to sell that thing.
  4. Kyllle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    I know, that's what has me worried. I mean I don't plan on doing anything that requires much power, as I'm only in high school so my main use is Facebook and writing papers.

    I'll probably end up getting another computer before college anyways, so I'm not worried about taking it to college.

    The only reason I'm worried is because with my Windows 7 computer, I use more than 2gb of ram just from browsing and itunes. I'm just having a hard time justifying the $250 upgrade for 4gb ram.
  5. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    perhaps you could ask amazon to custom order one for you? idk how that works...

    but in any case i suggest you get the 4gb ram because when i had my mba with 2gb, before i upgraded to 4gb (returned, bought new one) i noticed my ram was filling up quickly.
  6. ratsg macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2010
    2Gb is only enough if that is where your systems ram maxes out.
  7. trims macrumors regular

    May 11, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
  8. trims macrumors regular

    May 11, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
    Even have 4GB RAM in my old Tecra.

    $1260 and only 2GB RAM? Poor.
  9. Kyllle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    thanks for everyone's help!

    I guess I will just hope Apple includes 4gb in the update, otherwise I'll probably have to go with the 13" mbp.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to include 4 gigs standard in a $1300+ laptop, especially now that the series 9 has it.
  10. Scarrus macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    Go with 4 GB of Ram, or even better wayt for the new systems and if they allow it even get 8 GB. I know what Ißm saying, Ißm a heavy surfer and as soon as you start having like 12 Tabs open in Safari, more than 2GB gets filled up. Also consider that your Windows Pc probably used discrete Graphics which uses separate Ram for the Graphics Card. On a MBA, the main Ram is shared with the Video Card so about 256 - 384 Mb will be gone from the start.
    I have 8 Gb in my MBP and it feels just right as I always put the computer to sleep.
    Let me give you some numbers:
    Safari open with about 12 Pages, 3 of which are Flash Videos, Pages opened with a document, Mail opened and some Instant Messenging App and Ißm at about 3 Gb of Ram usage. Now if I plug in my iPhone and open iTunes and iPhoto, Ißm at 4 Gb. All nice, now letßs do some video editing in iMovie - system usage at about 6 Gb
  11. glen e, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011

    glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    Jesus....12tabs, 3 flash...yeah I guess so

    I use office, firefox, a video or two and keynote... 2 g is all depends on your use.
  12. bigp9998 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    I would definitely future-proof your computer by getting 4GB. I personally think that 4GB will be standard in the 13" MBA after the refresh, but in case it isn't, you should buy it from MacMall instead. Right now you can get the $1399 MBA (w/ 4GB RAM) for $1318, not sure if they charge tax on top of that but either way it is much better than buying directly from :apple:.
  13. alflavor macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2010
    Whittlesey, UK
    I've been perfectly happy with my 2010 MBA with 2GB, however would max out on my next one!
  14. redshovel macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2007
  15. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I'd say DEFINITELY 2GB is too little. This is the bare minimum for Lion.
  16. trims macrumors regular

    May 11, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
    Just for us Limeys, is your sales tax a voluntary contribution? Or put another way, how do some retailers avoid it?

    Here in Europe Sales Tax runs at 20%, so any advice appreciated! ;)
  17. Kyllle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    It's not voluntary, haha. Everything you buy in a brick-and-mortar store has sales tax (with a few types of products excluded, such as some food and prescription medicine).

    It's different online, however. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but I think it's something like if the company ships the product from another state, you don't pay sales tax, but if they ship it from the state you're in, you do pay tax. I'm sure it's more complicated than that though. Some online stores don't charge tax, and Amazon is one of them.

    In the Apple store though, even online, you still pay tax.

    And for digital goods it gets even more complicated. For example, there is no sales tax on Amazon MP3s, but you do have to pay tax for Apple songs and apps, even for the exact same product.

    Edit: I just realized what I said about where the item is shipped from isn't true. My laptop was shipped from China and I still payed tax, haha. I'm really confused about how it works now...
  18. bigp9998 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Generally if you buy a product online from a store that does not have a physical presence in your state, you will not directly be charged sales tax (usually 5-7% depending on the state). Technically you are supposed to report the purchase when you fill out taxes at the end of the year, but most don't.
  19. Kyllle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    Hmm, I just checked MacMall and the only Airs they sell are the 2gb ones. Can you link me to where you found the 4gb?
  20. bigp9998 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Click through the link I posted above on AppleInsider, then click on the price for MacMall under the Air with 4GB. This is the direct link, but you get another couple percent off if you link through from Apple Insider.

    Edit: Looks like it gives you the best price even if you don't go through AI.
  21. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    I have the 2008 MacBook Air 2,1 with 2GB of RAM and it is okay, but really I wish I could upgrade the memory.

    If you can afford the upgrade I would do it. The MacBook Air is impossible to upgrade after purchase so I think it is best to max it out.

    I believe Apple will make 4GB standard on the 13" model with the next refresh, probably not the 11" though.
  22. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    It is quite a dilemma considering you can get it much cheaper via the Amazon route. But the $250 you save now will cost you more in the long run. Two years from now, 4GB will be the norm so I can't imagine anyone would want the 2GB model. Imagine getting $800 for a 4GB MacBook Air two years from now as opposed to $500 for a 2GB model.

    So basically you have to ask, eat the $250 now? Or eat more than $250 later down the road when you have to sell your MacBook Air for a highly reduced rate. At least with your first option, you can thoroughly enjoy a Mac with 4GB at your disposal starting today (or whenever you purchase it).
  23. Scarrus macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2011
    You mean 4Gb IS the norm now...

    In 2 Years 8Gb will be something like the bare minimum for decent computing, just like 4 Gb is now and 16Gb should last you for the next 4-5 years if you´re doing basic tasks
  24. Kyllle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    That's funny, I went to the Apple insider link and didn't find it the first time. Guess I just skipped over it :eek: Found it this time though

    Thank you!!! There's no tax! So it's only $58 more than Amazon, definitely worth it for the 4gb :D

    Well I'll still wait until the refresh, but if it doesn't come with 4gb standard, I'll check Macmall.

    Thanks again!
  25. rchawla80 macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    Trust me...

    Get 4GB atleast... If you run parallels or anything or Aperture, you will need it.

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