Is 4GB enough for 64-bit Lion? For which workload it isnt?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by tinkori, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. tinkori macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2011
    #1
    I have been on the fence with respect to buying a MBA due to its fixed 4GB RAM option. With a 64 bit OS, there is a higher memory requirement for each app etc. Hence wondering for what workloads will 4GB not be enough?

    Running VMs ... for sure

    Video editing .... maybe

    Batch photo editing ... maybe if they are RAW pics

    SW dev ... ?
     
  2. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

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    #2
    I don't think you will run into any problems with 4GB on a MBA.
     
  3. CoolMe macrumors member

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    #3
    I've just recently upgraded to 8GB Ram... and I love it! Things are just that more snappier!

    My Macbook Pro came with stock 4GB, but crucial are doing a great deal on an 8GB Kit! :)

    If you've got the spare cash... Go for it!
     
  4. adztaylor macrumors 68000

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    Preston, UK
    #4
    The OP wants to buy an MBA so they can't upgrade to 8GB RAM.

    It depends what you want to do OP, but it will be enough for most needs.
     
  5. DMVillain macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I have a 2010 11'" MBA with 4GB RAM

    I use ArcGIS and SimCity 4 through vmWare and it works fine
     
  6. Nuckinfuts macrumors 6502

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    #6
    If you're asking this about software dev, I assume you're a new developer with small or web based projects, which take little to no RAM to compile

    I used to compile Linux kernels on an Atom netbook with 2GB RAM and it wasn't slow because of the RAM.
     
  7. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #7
    Where did you come up with that?
     
  8. Nuckinfuts macrumors 6502

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    #8
    it's true but negligible, If I run my app that moves two integers into memory to prepare to do 2 + 3, in 32bit mode, these integers are 4 bytes each, in 64bit mode these integers are 8 bytes each.

    The benefit of being able to address 64-bit addressable space outweighs doubling the size of integers, pointers, and other datatypes
     
  9. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #9
    I guess I should have worded that differently. The point I was trying to make was that the additional RAM needed was not enough to be noticeable.
     
  10. tinkori thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 8, 2011
    #10
    I think there is some bloat for sure due to bigger ints and pointers. Didnt know how to quantify the bloat.

    Was trying to choose between a 13" MBP vs MBA and I just ordered a MBP due to a 8GB + SSD self upgrade .... hence I am thinking if I should go ahead with the MBP or just return it without opening (or refusing delivery) and go for the MBA.

    Will be running a linux vm (or maybe 2), some dev tools like xcode/eclipse, browser tabs and maybe some apps like acroread .... Thats it!

    Thanks for all the replies
     
  11. Nuckinfuts macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Stick with the MBP for VM's, I love mine
     
  12. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #12
    I run several different virtual machines on my 2011 11" MacBook Air Ultimate without any issues.
     
  13. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oregon
    #13
    4GB will be enough for all of these. I've got a 2.5 year old MacBook with 4GB and I do all of the above, even doing video capture of CAD software running in a Windows 7 VM. iMovie, Aperture, Photoshop CS5, all work for at least my files.

    However if you want to follow the new Lion paradigm of letting the system close your apps, you may want more. On my 8GB iMac I often find a dozen apps running and 5GB of RAM in use.

    As usual YMMV. At least the upgrade is pretty cheap these days.
     
  14. Nuckinfuts macrumors 6502

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    #14
    It depends on what you're running in said virtual machine
     
  15. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #15
    A valid point.
     

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