MacBook Air 11" vs 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lightuser333, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. lightuser333 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    #1
    So I want to get a macbook air and I know that... I just don't know whether to get the 11" with 8gb of ram or 13" with 4 gb of ram. I can't get the 13" 8gb of ram due to money(Don't ask...). I will use the the laptop to do homework search web, and play games such as cod4, and minecraft.(I know that it is better to get more ram for games...) So which MBA should I get?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Blackstick macrumors 6502

    Blackstick

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #2
    Get the most RAM you can afford, it can NEVER be upgraded because it's soldered to the system board. 8 is a definite pick over the 4. I quite like the 11", and if you have younger eyes it's a wonderful machine, especially if you have an external monitor to use at home.

    Also check refurbished Macs, you can save quite a bit that route and not lose much performance. They're every bit as good as a new one and carry identical warranties should they need it. Refurb.me is a great site to find one you want.
     
  3. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #3
    Check out wether you like the 11" or 13" screen better.
    I'd personally go with the 13". With your use you will see no difference between 4 and 8gb ram.
     
  4. lightuser333 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    #4
    Ok, Thanks! I think I am going to go with the 11" 8 gb of ram!:)
     
  5. Carlos840 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    #5
    I just got the base 11", with 4gb of ram, and the only way i can get the memory pressure orange and to start swapping to disc is to open every single application on the computer!

    This includes everything, pages, numbers, keynote, google earth, skype, bittorent, garageband, safari and firefox, both with 5 windows containing 3 tabs each, meteoearth, VLC playing a movie, and all the stock apps, mail calandar, etc.

    In regular use, which for me is calendar, itunes, firefox with a few pages/tabs and skype i have 2gb of ram used. 1gb for apps, 500mb of wired memory, and 500gb of file cache.
    It sometimes goes up to 3gb of used memory, but that is usually with 1gb or more of file cache, which gets dumped if the memory is needed.


    Before this computer i had a habit of upgrading everything (i have a fully upgraded 27" imac) but i have come to realise that it is easy to overestimate your needs!
     
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #6
    Indeed. So many people on this forum are quick to suggest an upgrade because they don't like the idea of memory not being upgradeable later. But they overlook the fact that for the vast majority of users, 4GB is going to be way more than enough.
     
  7. cycledance Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    #7
    it affects vram. so get 8gb ram.
     
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #8
    So your reason for getting 8GB is because it's more than 4GB. Why not get a MBP with 16GB then? 16 is more than 8.

    But wait, you can get a Mac Pro with 64GB. Maybe we should forget this laptop nonsense and just get maxed out Mac Pros. Right?
     
  9. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #9
    Everyone has different priorities and thought processes for making their decisions. That's one of the benefits of a forum like this. We post what we think is the proper/best choice and give supporting reasons, and that helps those who follow to see which reasoning best lines up with their own thoughts.

    My reasons for choosing a 4GB / 128GB MBA 11" won't be universally applicable but for those who think similarly to me, my opinion will be helpful.
     
  10. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #10
    Sure. But "it affects vram" is not a reason to get more memory. What did the OP say to indicate that he might require more VRAM than 4GB would offer?
     
  11. cycledance Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    #11
    the vram benefit is reason enough for me.
     
  12. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #12
    Can you give us more information? According to "About this Mac" on my 4GB MBA, it says my graphics "card" has 1.5GB of RAM.

    I assume this amount is dynamically allocated because I can't imagine 1.5GB of RAM being wasted on video when I'm doing "regular desktop" stuff. But I also assume that means the video memory can expand to 1.5GB as necessary.

    And that means it has more dedicated memory than most dedicated video cards you can buy for $100-$150.

    So I guess my question is, how much does video memory increase when you get 8GB of RAM vs. 4GB, and what are you doing that having that much more video memory makes a difference to you, and how much difference does it make in terms of percentage or FPS or whatever?
     
  13. cycledance Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    #13
    it wont use 1.5gb if it's not available. it's shared. it's dynamic. this also differs a lil bit on all integrated gpus. obviously more vram allows u to have the same fps with higher settings. this differs from game to game and even moment to moment. obviously u'd have more left and stuff would run smoother if u went with 8gb so what's the mystery? no need to answer that. vram is also nice to have for external displays.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    i don't know about games, but the other stuff he mentioned will not run smoother.
     
  15. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #15
    So in other words, you don't know how much extra video memory you get if you buy the 8GB upgrade (if any), you don't have any benchmark numbers or even just personal experience to compare the two models, but you DO have a hunch that 8GB is absolutely essential and makes everything much better. Great.
     
  16. cycledance Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    #16
    i think you are stuck with 4gb and for that reason you say 4gb is all you need.

    ram isn't just used for app memory. also for file caching. and on integrated gpus for vram. the more you have the better.

    no one should buy a computer at the end of 2014 with 4gb ram.
     
  17. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #17
    Right now I have 9 tabs open in Chrome and I'm running a bunch of other software like XCode and Photoshop.

    I just checked Activity Monitor and it's showing my memory pressure as extremely green. The graph is reading about 30%.

    So, you can decide. Is 4GB enough for me because Activity Monitor says so and my computer is running great, or am I just making stuff up because I'm bitter because I didn't go with the 8GB option?
     
  18. cycledance Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    #18
    >_>

    and you think that´s ok?
     
  19. Navdakilla macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    I have the 11" 4gb model. Love it. Ya it's a little small. But a perfect portable device, I have a iMac at home which I think I might sell and get a monitor/keyboard/mouse, and just plug it in when I get home
     
  20. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #20
  21. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #21
    I just couldn't resist taking your bait. I have a 4GB model. Just bought it in fact. It is MORE than enough ram for my usage for the next 5 years.

    Web, word processing, movie watching, social media, casual photo editing, that kind of thing will never need 4 let alone 8 GB of ram. You saying everyone needs 8GB in 2014 is not only ignorant, it has been proven wrong many times on this forum. The 4GB model will be more than enough for the OP. Absolutely no need to recommend 8GB based on their usage.
     
  22. cycledance Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    #22
    i rest my case.
     
  23. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #23
    Before deciding on the model you should probably go to the store and check out both Air's side by side before making a decision. I owned a 13" Air a few years ago and now I own the 11" and to be honest the 13" feels gigantic in comparison. It's up to you to decide. My 11" is my main machine and I don't have an external monitor and I love it. It's also extremely portable and goes all over the place with me.
     
  24. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #24
    You completely skipped over my entire point. I CHOSE not to get an 8GB model. Wasn't necessary for me, isn't for the OP.
     
  25. cr2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #25
    Old Windows days...

    I used to have a 16gb maxed out windows work laptop. I don't know why it needed so much memory and used to swap. All I used to use was some (Non MS) word processing and (Not Outlook) e-mail client from the big blue.

    Had a bunch of telnet sessions going on but that is it. But for my one of the home 2nd gen 4 year old mac air with 4gb RAM, Which I still use all the time
    never has a problem. I don't ever reboot that mac and has a bunch of stuff going on.

    Linux / Mac do handle the memory very well. Yes it is always nice to upgrade to 8 but you can always sell the laptop at a decent price after a couple of years and get high memory laptop.

    11 inch might be too small if it is the only laptop for you.

    Hope it helps.
     

Share This Page