Macbook Air 11" 2 GB HELP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by crotalus99, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. crotalus99 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    My wife bought me a Macbook Air 11" 2Gb 64Gb for Christmas.

    I was just wondering if going from 2Gb to 4Gb really makes that much of a difference? This is not my primary computer and will only be used when traveling for work, etc.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Especially, I would love to hear from people who have used both.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Depends what you use it for. 2GB is sufficient, especially for secondary computer. I have 4GB in my 13" but I very rarely use more than 2GB. I would just keep it unless you do virtualization or something else RAM intensive
  3. rpang macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    So Cal...
    I have 2GB model and I havent yet used the full 2GB. I use netstat toolbar so I know how much RAM is used. Even with PS CS5 running, with only 3-5 large pics open, memory usage according to the bar stays at half.

    However, with multiple flash sites open on Safari, memory usage gets close to the max. BUT, Flash 10.2 beta brought that down significantly.
  4. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    The computer I have to use at work only has 1GB of RAM and Windows. I multitask on it and the only issues I have is when the network gets bogged down. 2GB is plenty or you really need a different computer altogether.
  5. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    For $100 I think the extra 4GB is worth it since you can't upgrade it later.

    2GB should work though for light multitasking. If you do have to hit the page outs, at least there is an SSD.

    If it's really a portable only, look something up on google, confirm a hotel room or flight, edit a pic and up on Facebook, etc.

    In the store though, the only options are the 11 inch with 2GB and 64GB, 2GB and 128GB and 4GB, 128GB and 1.6GHz.

    To get the 4GB I had to get the bigger SSD and the CPU upgrade, which I was ok with, but it moved the price into real laptop territory. ($1400 v. $1000).
  6. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    If it is for portable only and just for those tasks - get a netbook for ~$200 :D
  7. shootingrubber macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
  8. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Go with the 4GB RAM if that is an option. One can always use more RAM :D You won't regret it in the future...
  9. uchosen macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    If you are saying your wife already bought the 2GB version, then you can't upgrade to 4GB. It's not upgradeable.
  10. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I think he was asking if he should return/rebuy the upgraded model.
  11. crotalus99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    Primarily routine stuff, word processor, web, etc.

    When I opened it my wife told me to make sure it was the one I wanted to save a restocking fee. I have opened it, but just wondering if I need the 4GB and if it is worth the hassle of going to the mall on Sunday the day after Christmas.

    Thanks for all the comments.
  12. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    How long do you plan on keeping the machine? If your answer is 2+ years, it's probably wise to upgrade to 4 GB. Especially if the extra price is negligible for you guys. If you're sly with Apple, they may wave the restocking fee for a Christmas gift.
  13. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010

    Its fine with 2 gb. There will be not noticeable speed increase with the apps you use.

    Your wife did well. Congrats....
  14. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    Very nice Christmas gift. If it were me, I would most defiantly upgrade to the 4gig of ram and larger hard drive, and yet larger processor. I had bought the 11" from Best buy, used it for a week and hated it, then bought the ultimate from Apple. It's just enough to see a difference. Still not as fast as the 13" ultimate, which I had to have as well. So if you can afford it now, do the upgrade. Also, you will be very surprised how fast you can eat up 64 gig of memory, so I would encourage you to get the bigger drive as well. Also will be better if you ever decide to sell it. Enjoy your new toy!
  15. mcdonaldtosh macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2010
    Basemodels always own the biggest resale value, so if you're a machinehopper, go for the base. 2GB is great for my use, which is the usually websurf, chitchat, torrents, dictionary, word processing, Photoshop CS5, Fontexplorer Pro, iTunes and Mail at the same time.

    If you're into photography or movies, you're better off with a Mac Mini hooked to a HD flatscreen (entertainment) or a Mac Pro with 27" Cinema display (professional).
  16. size100 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I'd say you will be staying below 2gb or ram all the time. So is it worth it to upgrade to 4? Probably not.
  17. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I am using 2.38 right now with itunes, mail, ical, iphoto and chrome open.
  18. fswmacguy macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2009
    At first I was wary about getting only 2GB having been used to the 5GB on my desktop, but it's been absolutely fine. I just keep an eye on the RAM usage pie chart in my menu bar. Not a problem what so ever, and I can't see $100 justifying anything more than a workaround for an arguably minuscule setback.
  19. size100 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    which one is using all that memory? can you give us a breakdown
  20. intervenient macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    I'm also interested in his breakdown. I did a similar test running doing this all at once:

    Cruising these forums on Safari
    Running Mail and iCal
    Streaming a preview of a Simpsons clip in iTunes
    Doing musical typing in Garageband
    Streaming a clip on Hulu
    Having Photobooth running

    ...and still have 269 MBs available on my 2GB machine.
  21. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    Honestly, I was scared about only 2GB of RAM. However, I got a special and it saved me $300-$400 over going with a BTO direct from Apple.

    I have the 128GB standard model with 2GB of RAM.

    I couldn't be happier.

    The quickest machine I have regular use on is Mac with 2.53 GHZ processor and 4GB of RAM.

    However, for my day to day tasks, the Air actually "feels," faster with its 1.4 GHZ Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM. The solid state really helps the "feel."

    Now, I know someone doing professional graphics work may need more RAM and whatnot. However, for me, the computer feels quicker than much faster machines due to the solid state memory. I'm honestly shocked by it. I thought it would really seem sluggish.

    This little 11-inch guy, I never thought I'd say it, actually could be the main computer for some people out there.
  22. size100 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I'm without a mac till the 5th. But I just loaded up a bunch of chrome browsers, a bunch of intense websites (ign,cnn,si,espn,multiple youtube high-res,one for AIM, hulu), itunes playing music, a stand alone program for AIM, a word file in open office, and a few high resolution pictures. Still didn't hit 2gb or a slowdown when switching between things and i'd notice because my HD is slow. When I do run into sh-t on this computer is when I have to alt-tab in some games. But this is a rarely used computer and when it is it's 'everyday' use.
  23. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Oct 8, 2007
    The more your wife gave you a present it is already priceless.. Don't hurt her feelings.. 2GB is enough..
  24. size100 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I agree. On an 11.6" for web and word processing he will be well under a gig most of the time. The worst that can happen is he experiences some slow down once and a while, unless there is some primary program that he uses that is a hog than he will rarely or never run into that situation.
  25. Andrmgic macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2007
    2GB will be fine.

    I multitask doing a lot of different things on my macbook air.. nothing too memory intensive.. I have Colloquy, Adium, Steam, iTunes and Safari open and I have around 280MB free and 357 inactive while connected to a 23" 1080p monitor.

    This machine runs great with 2GB.. and I'd bet most memory intensive applications are cpu intensive as well for the most part.. and with the baseline 1.4ghz core 2, you're probably not going to be wanting to do that kind of stuff as much anyway.

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