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Is it worth $250 more to get 8GB vs 4GB?

rehabdirector

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2009
4
3
i am taking the leap and buying a MacBook. I have an iMac, but now want a portable Mac other than the iPad. I am trying decide between two. One is a 13 inch 4GB for $750 (5th gen). The other is a 13 inch 8GB newest model for $999. Is it worth spending another $250 for the newer model with more RAM? I am mainly using it for Internet browsing, streaming Netflix or MLB, iPhoto, etc.

Thank you for your advice!
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,279
4,105
Get the newer model only if CPU and GPU are also newer. Plus your main usage is Internet browsing so 4GB has lower importance on you.
However, based on how many tabs you will open at the same window, the memory usage may vary quite a bit. So I recommend you to choose 8GB for better future proof.
 
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kingdf

Cancelled
Feb 18, 2014
125
35
United States
I was in the same situation a year ago and went with the 4GB - and that was coming from an 8GB/256GB rMPB. The 4GB is perfect for the majority of users out there. I've had mine for exactly a year now and it's still as fast as when I first got it. For ur uses, you'd just be paying $250 extra for no reason. That $250 could be saved for maybe an upgrade in a few years. I wouldn't pay $1000 for an Air at this point. I got mine for $850 after taxes 4GB/256GB last year and it's been flawless. Save ur money and get the 4GB.
 
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Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,279
4,105
4gb vs 8gb makes zero difference for the usage you are describing.

Even 2gb would do.
I don't think 4GB and 8GB makes zero difference even for just Internet browsing.
My MacBook Air has only 4GB RAM and at 10.11.5 beta, after a while not using it, system becomes extremely slow.
Don't know if it is related to just 4GB of RAM but my PC, which has 8GB of RAM, is more usable in a long run.
 
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Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,308
I don't think 4GB and 8GB makes zero difference even for just Internet browsing.
My MacBook Air has only 4GB RAM and at 10.11.5 beta, after a while not using it, system becomes extremely slow.
Don't know if it is related to just 4GB of RAM but my PC, which has 8GB of RAM, is more usable in a long run.
Look at the activity monitor to see what's slowing it down.
 
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MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,909
951
Manchester, UK
I don't think 4GB and 8GB makes zero difference even for just Internet browsing.
My MacBook Air has only 4GB RAM and at 10.11.5 beta, after a while not using it, system becomes extremely slow.
Don't know if it is related to just 4GB of RAM but my PC, which has 8GB of RAM, is more usable in a long run.

Let me guess. You use Chrome? ;)
 
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merkinmuffley

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2010
615
581
i am taking the leap and buying a MacBook. I have an iMac, but now want a portable Mac other than the iPad. I am trying decide between two. One is a 13 inch 4GB for $750 (5th gen). The other is a 13 inch 8GB newest model for $999. Is it worth spending another $250 for the newer model with more RAM? I am mainly using it for Internet browsing, streaming Netflix or MLB, iPhoto, etc.

Thank you for your advice!

Yes. Absolutely get it with 8gb.
 
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rehabdirector

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2009
4
3
Yes. Absolutely get it with 8gb.[/QUOTE
[doublepost=1461947715][/doublepost]Oops sorry for that last blank post. :)
After some more research I ended up getting the MacBook Pro with Retina display 8gb and 256 hard drive. It was $300 off at Best Buy. Haven't opened it yet. The only drawback is that it's heavier than the air but hopefully I'll be happy with it.
 
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kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,421
723
My daughter has a 2011 13-inch MBA with 4GB, running El Cap. I asked her a couple of months ago, before we replaced the battery (1000+ cycles) if this was too slow, and she said it was still fine. Web/Google Apps/Netflix. Me personally, I would get the 8GB. But it works for her.
 
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Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,308
8GB ram is Apple's new minimum spec on 13" Air and Macbook (4GB is yesterday's specs)
Not really.

The mba is an expensive luxury laptop.

In that priceclass you expect 8gb ram.

But that does not mean that everything less is obsolete.

I still use my ipad mini with 512mb ram for office apps and to surf the web ...
[doublepost=1462021407][/doublepost]
My daughter has a 2011 13-inch MBA with 4GB, running El Cap. I asked her a couple of months ago, before we replaced the battery (1000+ cycles) if this was too slow, and she said it was still fine. Web/Google Apps/Netflix. Me personally, I would get the 8GB. But it works for her.
We have a rmbp (8gb), a mba (4gb) and mac mini (16gb) at home.

For the OPs usage the mba performs best.
 
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617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
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In these situations I just by the best that I can afford. If my power needs increases a year from now I'm covered and don't need to upgrade.
 
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cincygolfgrrl

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
346
227
Somewhere In Time
Yosemite and El Capitan are heavy pigs. 4GB is not enough with these pigs.

Really? I didn't know that. How could I, my i5, 4MB RAM MBA ran Yosemite, and now El Cap just perfectly. It ran Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks perfectly, too. Do you have actual data, or is your statement opinionated crap? Readers want to know.
 
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Fancuku

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2015
1,013
2,597
PA, USA
Yes you can watch youtube videos with 4GB RAM. It doesn't change the fact that Yosemite and El Capitan are pigs. I know because I had Airs and older MBPs with 4GB RAM. It wasn't pretty.
 
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cincygolfgrrl

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
346
227
Somewhere In Time
Yes you can watch youtube videos with 4GB RAM. It doesn't change the fact that Yosemite and El Capitan are pigs. I know because I had Airs and older MBPs with 4GB RAM. It wasn't pretty.

I'm old, I don't watch much youtube, but I do process RAW image batches using Lightroom while writing in BBEdit, running browser instances, and quite possibly Twitter if something has my interest. Some of these are low-level tasks, others aren't. The installed RAM you call a pig has never caused me an issue.

No matter the OS and Software installed on the Hardware, there are ways to make processes drag, but those are extremes that most users will never encounter. I'm sorry your computers did not live up to your expectations. Go watch some youtube, maybe you'll feel better.
 
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KiwiAdventure

Suspended
Dec 7, 2010
607
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New Zealand
I don't know what some of you are going on about my air has the latest El Capitan as well all other Apple programs. I run parallels/XP and have many Apple apps open together. I have a time capsule and iCloud always on. My 2013 4gig, 256 13" Air runs 100% as well its battery. The only time I would upgrade would be for a better screen and lighter Air as well if someone paid good dollars to buy my Air.

I did try a MacBook and that got bogged down real quick at the Apple Store so no I would not buy a MacBook. I haven't tried the latest MacBook but it would have to a lot faster than my air.
[doublepost=1462080288][/doublepost]
Yes you can watch youtube videos with 4GB RAM. It doesn't change the fact that Yosemite and El Capitan are pigs. I know because I had Airs and older MBPs with 4GB RAM. It wasn't pretty.

If your owned a Macbook Pro 13" 4 gig 2009 then yes it was slow to start only as it run El Capitan 100%. I just sold my 2009.
 
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David58117

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2013
1,235
517
It is such a waste to get the 8GB with your use...especially on an Air.

The airs are already on the way out, if you're expecting to recoup the money in a few years with a sale - that's not going to happen.

You're also not going to notice a difference - so there is absolutely no point in throwing $250 more at it than you have to.
 
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