Macbook Air with 4 GB RAM?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macnoviz, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Macnoviz macrumors 65816

    Macnoviz

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Roeselare, Belgium
    #1
    My girlfriend is looking to buy a new laptop, and thinking of buying an Air. There's currently a promotion going on at a local electronics store with a 20% discount, which is huge for Apple products, but there's a catch: they can't be built to order. That means it would be the stock 4 GB version, in either 128 GB or 256 GB.

    Our question is: will 4 GB be enough for the next 2-3 years, considering the laptop will be mainly used for chrome, mail, IM, and watching movies with VLC?


    Also:
    We're thinking of getting the 128 GB version, since the SSD (unlike the RAM) is upgradeable. Does anyone have experience with upgrading the SSD in a 2014 MB Air?
     
  2. charlyham macrumors regular

    charlyham

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #2
    4gb will be good enough

    I have a 2013 air 13" with 4gb ram and 128gb storage and the ram is more than sufficient for the usage you reported. If you can afford the larger 256gb storage, go for it now. You probably won't save any money by upgrading it yourself. I don't even know if there is storage upgrade larger than 256gb from third parties like OWC. I also use a Nifty Minidrive with a Samsung EVO sdxc 64gb that works nicely for additional storage for the Air. I got both for under $100 on Amazon. I was hoping to be able to use it for Bootcamp/Win7 but it is not bootable so I just use it for extra data storage. I think Nifty has a new 128gb Minidrive for the Air that doesn't need and sdxc card.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    For that use case it's fine

    It's fine for those uses, to be honest if you just need srorage for files videos and music a transcend nifty drive or similar in your SD card slot gives you an easy way to expand storage..
     
  4. charlyham, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    charlyham macrumors regular

    charlyham

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #4
    4gb will be good enough

    I have a 2013 air 13" with 4gb ram and 128gb storage and the ram is more than sufficient for the usage you reported. If you can afford the larger 256gb storage, go for it now. You probably won't save any money by upgrading it yourself. I don't even know if there is storage upgrade larger than 256gb from third parties like OWC. I also use a Nifty Minidrive with a Samsung EVO sdxc 64gb that works nicely for additional storage for the Air. I got both for under $100 on Amazon. I was hoping to be able to use it for Bootcamp/Win7 but it is not bootable so I just use it for extra data storage. I think Nifty has a new 128gb Minidrive for the Air that doesn't need and sdxc card.
     
  5. xylitol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Just remember that you're not supposed to fill up the SSD, so 256GB would be a better choice

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6489/playing-with-op

    (75% is well on the safe side)
     
  6. Pootan macrumors member

    Pootan

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    #6
    on my baseline 11" i5/4/128 is a work machine, I keep Xcode, visual studio, unity, office, parallels with 40gb win7 vm, dropbox sync, and several projects and tutorial videos and tons of documentation/screenshots and still have over 40gb to spare.

    But if I intended to keep music or movies on it too (instead of streaming), I would definitely go higher than 128.
     
  7. iolinux333 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #7
    Are you sure it's not bootable? I boot off an old USB thumb drive running an ancient copy of Ubuntu all the time.
     
  8. SD-B macrumors 6502

    SD-B

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    #8

    Thanks. I was wondering the same as the OP as I figured the lower one would be fine with all the external drives many of us have now a days but what you said there just convinced me to buy the upgrade version. If you only have 40 gigs left and don't even have movie files, MP3s or other audio format files, movies, and so ohm thats too close for comfort and i see why that extra space is needed.

    To be honest, coming from 500 gig hard drives, thank you for that explanation. I believe if i get the AIR i now know i would have to get the larger file size......thanks again ;)
     
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    For that type of usage it should be good enough for the next 2-3 years. No need to over analyze.
     
  10. alfmil, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016

    alfmil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #10
    I got a similar deal in October 2012. Picked up a mid 2012 MBA 4gb/256 despite my worries about RAM. Here it is 2 years later and running just as fine as the day it was new. Never had any issues. I don't boot camp or Windows anything.
     

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