Less usable space on 2013 Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Ztormie, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Ztormie macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009
    I recently bought a 128 GB 13¨ Air to replace my 2010 one, which had the same size SSD. When I got it I used the backup I had from the old Air and restored it on the new one, so they should be identical right? Nope, while there was about 55 GB free on the old one, the new one has about 12 gb less free space. The 2013 model has 8 gb RAM while the old one has 4 so there should only be a 4 gb difference? I've compared map-sizes and can not for the life of me understand where the other 8 or so Gb have ended up. Is there some new stuff on the 2013 models that take up a lot of space even though they run the same OS version and are using the same backup?
  2. cyber16 macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2013
    Having 4GB of ram vs 8GB has NO effect on the storage space of the SSD drive.
    They are different devices/chips altogether.
    What ver of osx was on your older air? as Lion &Mt. Lion added the recovery partition to the ssd drive, yet that is only about the size of a CD measured in MB
  3. Ztormie thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009
    It doesn't? I thought it stored the ram space on the ssd for quicker access when you open up the computer from sleep mode or something along those lines?

    10.8.5 on the old one, all the latest updates.
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Maybe try doing a fresh install using the recovery drive and then using migration assistant to transfer your just your apps from the old one.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The OS does create a sleep image on the SSD equal to the amount of memory, so that would account for some of what you see. Also, the Air uses a different build of OS X than the 2010 you had, so that may account for the difference.

    Honestly trying to track down a 4GB difference is hopeless. One may or may not have purged older cache files for example. I think you are fine and you should just go enjoy your new computer. :)
  6. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    You're right, it will create a file equal to the RAM for use with sleep (copies RAM contents to disk) so that will account for a 4GB difference. The other guy is incorrect.

    If you want to see this file, try this in terminal:

    ls -l /var/vm/sleepimage

    If you want to disable this feature so sleep mode does not write the RAM content do disk, and free up that space, you can do this:

    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

    The downside of that is if your battery runs out while in sleep mode, you will boot fresh next time it turns on.

    If you're tight on space and never let the computer sleep long enough to drain the battery, this might be a worthwhile option.
  7. Ztormie thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009
    I reinstalled it and moved the files via Migration Assisstant instead, that seems to have done the trick :) Thank you for all your suggesstions.
  8. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Ztormie, just wonder what your impressions of the 2013 vs the 2010 Air? I have a 2010 and thinking about upgrading to the 2013. Thanks.
  9. Ztormie thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009

    After using it for a day I'm a little torn to be honest. The double amount of ram clearly makes the biggest difference for me, you notice it right away and it's so great not to have so shut down safari all the time just because it eats ram. The haswell processor and faster ssd of course makes the Air quite a bit snappier, but I really don't tax it much with my use so I don't notice it as much as the ram. The background lit keyboard is nice, but really doesn't make much of a difference, I never really missed it on my 2010 . That's basically it for the pro's. The screen is on par with the old model, a bit more yellowish but that might be the glue and might get better after a while. The speakers are actually better on the old model, these new ones aren't exactly bad, but the old one has a much clearer sound which is quite surprising. The better battery was never a big deal for me, I was happy with the 7 hours on my old Air, but it doesn't exactly hurt to get a few more hous out of it, I just see it as more of a bonus than a real reason to upgrade.

    All in all, I think I'm going to keep it, mainly because of the extra ram. If you're looking at the base model with only 4gb I would advice you to think twice about it before upgrading, try it out in a store first if you can. I only really upgraded now because I didn't want to miss out on the 100 dollar iTunes gift card from the Back to School-campaign, otherwise I would have waited for the release of Mavericks to see how it would run on the 2010 model, I think I've read about Safari handling memory usage differently among other things. Hopefully it will be released soon so if you can hold out, wait for it and see how it affects your performance.

    Dont get me wrong, the 2013 Air really is a great computer, it just feels a little underwhelming when the exterior and the screen are exactly the same as they were three years ago. While it's still okay, the screen could really do with an upgrade, and hopefully it will get one sooner than later.
  10. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    If you use external storage you'll probably notice the USB3.0 upgrade too.

  11. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Thanks Ztormie, very good comments. Last weekend, I ordered a base 2013 with the Best Buy student deal, which came out to about $980. It is being shipped to a local BB store, and before I pick it up, I'm going to see if the Apple Store will price match, and let me add the 8MB ram option for $90. If Apple won't do the deal, I'll just pass on the 2013 base model, as it will cost me about $300-400 to upgrade after I sell the 2010. I'm still running Snow Leopard on the 2010 and have the Samsung screen (but Toshiba SSD).... it handles everything I throw at it, except when running VMware, it goes over the 4MB ram limit and starts paging out. So, like you say, it may be worth it to upgrade if I can get the 8MB version.

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