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

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rehabdirector, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. rehabdirector macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    #1
    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!
     
  2. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #2
    I would never buy a computer with only 4gb. Since you are getting the updated model with 8gb seems you are not just paying $250 more for the extra 4gb. Buy the $999 if you can afford it. It's a no brainier.
     
  3. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #3
    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.
     
  4. Howard2k macrumors 6502a

    Howard2k

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    Mar 10, 2016
    #4
    I had a 4GB Air for a few days but returned it because it wasn't enough. Certainly go for the 8GB.
     
  5. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #5
    Good move. Unless money is an issue you should not be buying a 4gb ram computer in 2016.
     
  6. rehabdirector thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2009
    #6
    Thank you! Going for the newer model. I appreciate your feedback!
     
  7. kingdf, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016

    kingdf macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #8
    4gb vs 8gb makes zero difference for the usage you are describing.

    Even 2gb would do.
     
  9. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

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    May 16, 2015
    #9
    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.
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    Look at the activity monitor to see what's slowing it down.
     
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #11
    Let me guess. You use Chrome? ;)
     
  12. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 3, 2010
    #12
    Yes. Absolutely get it with 8gb.
     
  13. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

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    May 16, 2015
    #13
    The system is in such a state that opening activity monitor is impossible.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2016 ---
    No, I use Safari quite often. And I use iTunes a lot. Others like Atom and GitHub.
     
  14. rehabdirector thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2009
    #14
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2016 ---
    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.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    Sounds like 4gb ram is obviously not the reason ...
     
  16. kohlson macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #16
    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.
     
  17. dj23andMe macrumors member

    dj23andMe

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    Seattle, WA
    #17
    8GB ram is Apple's new minimum spec on 13" Air and Macbook (4GB is yesterday's specs)
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    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 ...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 30, 2016 ---
    We have a rmbp (8gb), a mba (4gb) and mac mini (16gb) at home.

    For the OPs usage the mba performs best.
     
  19. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
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    PA, USA
    #19
    Yosemite and El Capitan are heavy pigs. 4GB is not enough with these pigs.
     
  20. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #20
    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.
     
  21. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    #21
    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.
     
  22. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #22
    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.
     
  23. cincygolfgrrl, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016

    cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    Apr 2, 2012
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    #23
    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.
     
  24. KiwiAdventure macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #24
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 30, 2016 ---
    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.
     
  25. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #25
    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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