MacBook Air 13" 4GB vs 8GB

g33k

macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2015
75
27
Hey , I'm returning my Surface Pro 4 because of poor battery life and the stupidity of Windows. I own a 2014 Mac mini that is specced out and is connected to two monitors, and it is a really nice computer and setup. I usually use it for processor intensive tasks. However, for school I need to take notes and do research when i'm away from my desk. I want to get a MacBook Air because of it being affordable, portable, OS X, and most importantly long battery life. I know I want the 13" Air but should I get 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM? It is a $90 upgrade for students like me. I don't intend to use the notebook connected to displays ever, which 8GB's of RAM would be very useful upon doing so. I do intend to use it for heavy web browsing, Evernote, word processing, and everything a student would do. Thanks
 

charlyham

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2012
158
28
Hey , I'm returning my Surface Pro 4 because of poor battery life and the stupidity of Windows. I own a 2014 Mac mini that is specced out and is connected to two monitors, and it is a really nice computer and setup. I usually use it for processor intensive tasks. However, for school I need to take notes and do research when i'm away from my desk. I want to get a MacBook Air because of it being affordable, portable, OS X, and most importantly long battery life. I know I want the 13" Air but should I get 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM? It is a $90 upgrade for students like me. I don't intend to use the notebook connected to displays ever, which 8GB's of RAM would be very useful upon doing so. I do intend to use it for heavy web browsing, Evernote, word processing, and everything a student would do. Thanks
From your description of your intended usage, the 4gb ram would be sufficient. There are a lot of people here that will suggest you get the 8gb to "Future Proof" but I am not one that follows that train of thought. I would more likely use the money to get more storage or put it towards AppleCare.
 

Hirakata

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
298
356
Burbank, CA
Hey , I'm returning my Surface Pro 4 because of poor battery life and the stupidity of Windows. I own a 2014 Mac mini that is specced out and is connected to two monitors, and it is a really nice computer and setup. I usually use it for processor intensive tasks. However, for school I need to take notes and do research when i'm away from my desk. I want to get a MacBook Air because of it being affordable, portable, OS X, and most importantly long battery life. I know I want the 13" Air but should I get 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM? It is a $90 upgrade for students like me. I don't intend to use the notebook connected to displays ever, which 8GB's of RAM would be very useful upon doing so. I do intend to use it for heavy web browsing, Evernote, word processing, and everything a student would do. Thanks
I've had two MBAs. An 11" with 8GB and now a 13" with 4GB. The 8GB for my workflow was much better, and my next MBA (or MB) will have 8GB. If you can afford the $90, then I say go for it.
 
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navaira

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,777
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
I bought the 8GB version because I intend to use it for a few years. I don't know what the requirements of OS X 10.13 will be, but my bet is that it will not require LESS memory than Cappy does.
 
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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,542
1,965
I have a heavily modified cMP with 48GB of RAM. That Machine does my heavy lifting. My 2012 11" MBA has 4GB of RAM. For the operations the OP spells out, 4GB is plenty.

Loi
 
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macbook_21

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2015
168
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In yo' bizness
If you have the budget for it, definitely get the extra ram. I have a 2008 macbook and 2 gigs of RAM was inadequate. 6 gigs is far better. Actually, when using chrome, it is such a memory hog, I would prefer even more ram than that. Apparently, chrome splits up each tab into it's own processes, so that if a single tab/website crashes, the others remain up and running.
 
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Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,807
392
If you can afford higher RAM, get it - it will really improve the resale value, at the very least. It's not an end all, but the very fact you're asking sort of answers the question. :)
 
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doitdada

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Oct 14, 2013
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If you can afford higher RAM, get it - it will really improve the resale value, at the very least. It's not an end all, but the very fact you're asking sort of answers the question. :)
It will not boost your resale value as the Craiglists callers I usually get whenever I sell my macs are interested in just owning a Mac, and not in the specs. They are either cheap or totally ignorant to the history of computing.

Doubling the memory gives your personal computer an extra life, in other words, you can use it a little bit longer by just adding 90 bucks.
 
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Melrose

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Dec 12, 2007
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Not the resale value as the Craiglists callers I usually get whenever I sell my macs are interested in just owning a Mac, and not in the specs. It's more of giving your personal computer an extra life, in other words, you can use it a little bit longer by just adding 90 bucks.
Ah, well, I've never sold anything on CL. But I see your point about longevity - I keep my computers longer than most people, too. :)
 

cerberusss

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
869
325
The Netherlands
If you have a very nice desktop machine, then I wouldn't spend the $90.

Perhaps better think about how you're going to protect that MBA. Perhaps a good Speck case plus a sturdy sleeve. And do you currently back up your Mac Mini? Perhaps time to get an external drive for Time Machine.
 

jimmirehman

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
439
177
Hey , I'm returning my Surface Pro 4 because of poor battery life and the stupidity of Windows. I own a 2014 Mac mini that is specced out and is connected to two monitors, and it is a really nice computer and setup. I usually use it for processor intensive tasks. However, for school I need to take notes and do research when i'm away from my desk. I want to get a MacBook Air because of it being affordable, portable, OS X, and most importantly long battery life. I know I want the 13" Air but should I get 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM? It is a $90 upgrade for students like me. I don't intend to use the notebook connected to displays ever, which 8GB's of RAM would be very useful upon doing so. I do intend to use it for heavy web browsing, Evernote, word processing, and everything a student would do. Thanks

My 2010 11" macbook air that i bought brand new with 4GB / 128GB SSD is still chuggin along. I want to replace it with the newest model but i cant find a reason to do so.
 

chloepaige009

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2016
4
1
Hey , I'm returning my Surface Pro 4 because of poor battery life and the stupidity of Windows. I own a 2014 Mac mini that is specced out and is connected to two monitors, and it is a really nice computer and setup. I usually use it for processor intensive tasks. However, for school I need to take notes and do research when i'm away from my desk. I want to get a MacBook Air because of it being affordable, portable, OS X, and most importantly long battery life. I know I want the 13" Air but should I get 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM? It is a $90 upgrade for students like me. I don't intend to use the notebook connected to displays ever, which 8GB's of RAM would be very useful upon doing so. I do intend to use it for heavy web browsing, Evernote, word processing, and everything a student would do. Thanks
Hey , I'm returning my Surface Pro 4 because of poor battery life and the stupidity of Windows. I own a 2014 Mac mini that is specced out and is connected to two monitors, and it is a really nice computer and setup. I usually use it for processor intensive tasks. However, for school I need to take notes and do research when i'm away from my desk. I want to get a MacBook Air because of it being affordable, portable, OS X, and most importantly long battery life. I know I want the 13" Air but should I get 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM? It is a $90 upgrade for students like me. I don't intend to use the notebook connected to displays ever, which 8GB's of RAM would be very useful upon doing so. I do intend to use it for heavy web browsing, Evernote, word processing, and everything a student would do. Thanks
I believe the 4G is enough for you.
 
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navaira

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
There are three sorts of advice OP is going to get.
"4GB is good enough [because I have 4GB]"
"8GB is a must [because I have 8GB]"
"Nonono you must buy a maxed out MBP because anything else is just useless [because everybody is rich and if you can't spend $2500 on a computer you shouldn't buy Apple".

I'd say toss a coin. ;)
 
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blut haus

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2015
168
168
My attitude is if you have to ask, you probably don't need more. My 2015 MBA is my primary computer, 4GB of RAM works just fine for me. My iMac does the heavy lifting and has 16GB. Like others have said, though, it can't hurt to get 8GB, it's better to have more if you can swing the extra cost. Though you'll find folks around here on MR love to demean you for not getting top spec'd machines....