MBA 11.6: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by KyleKlink, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. KyleKlink macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    I've read through a lot of posts about the new 11,6" MBA, and after visiting the Apple store to test drive the machine myself I've come to the conclusion that it would be a good fit for my needs. I need a laptop to use at work as a secondary computer for both personal uses (email, facebook, and for business uses (running tests on demo versions of the web-based software that I support for a living).

    My only concern about the 11,6" model is the RAM: is 2 GB enough? I know I know, it makes sense to upgrade the RAM because I cannot do so on my own later on. But with my light use, I'm not sure I even need the additional RAM. Again, my uses:

    1. Web browsing (95% of my use)
    2. Microsoft Word (typing papers for school when I should be working)
    3. Possibly some Microsoft Excel work once in a blue moon
    4. iTunes

    Given these uses, I think 2GB might be enough, and the $90 I'd spend on upgrading the RAM could go towards more pressing issues, like putting food on the table.

    Some thoughts? Experiences? Complaints about how pointless my question is?
  2. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Wait a month or whatever it takes to feed yourself AND get 4GB.

    Seriously. Lion will be out next year, and while it likely won't greatly increase the requirements, it will add more features that may be aided by more RAM.
  3. Shasta McNasty macrumors 6502a

    Shasta McNasty

    Jan 5, 2010
    Southern Cali
    I think you'll be more than fine. Most users here have to have the "best" even if they don't need it. For me, more than likely ill end up selling/trading the air that i have for whatever new one comes out. Its the way i am, so its not a big deal.
  4. abuleban macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Saudi Arabia
    4 gb RAM is well worth it!

    upgrades for the MBA are tricky if at all possible, so it's well worth it down the road:)
  5. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Currently OS X says Im using 2.94GB. I have Adium, Chrome and Activity monitor running, + OS X.

    4GB is minimum.
  6. crut macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2009
    Given that you can't upgrade afterwards and the rule is put as much ram in as possible, it'd be foolhardy to not go for the upgrade. If the difference of ram is the difference between food on the table, then I'd suggest that buying an MacBook air is perhaps the wrong form of investment. Buy a net book and bank many more meals.
  7. bdeitemeyer macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Look for a refurbished model from the Apple Store online, or find a reseller that's offering the 4GB model at a price comparable to the 2GB model that you're thinking of "settling" for. True, you probably could get away with the 2GB model for the usage you've described, but you can also probably find the 4GB model for the same price if you look around hard enough...thus getting the better model without sacrificing any food on the table.
  8. BruiserBear macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    If $90 is so important to you that it could mean the difference between eating a meal or not, I would suggest you not buy a computer at all right now.

    You do realize that your computer will tend to use the memory you have available, right? I've got an iMac that is a few years old now, and it's got 2gb of RAM. I've never once had the computer slow down or sputter because it didn't have enough RAM.

    That rule you're referring to was created by people who always want the "best" of anything, regardless of the practicality of it.
  9. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    All this tells us is that you don't know how to read used memory in Activity monitor. Hint : Add free+inactive together. Only memory in active use is Wired/Active.

    Right now with Chrome/Skype/MSN/X11/Terminal/Transmission, I have close to 3 GB Free/Inactive. A 2 GB Air would do fine running what I am running right now.
  10. KyleKlink thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    The need for food is not as dire as I may have made it sound. I was simply implying that I don't want to waste $90 on something I don't need when it could be used more efficiently somewhere else.
  11. vaderhater245 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Look at this way, that iPhone you have will cost you around $2000 over the next 2 years... $90 for a little reassurance and slight future proofing is nothing in comparison.
  12. jazziethomas macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Since you will only be needing it for a light use 2gb would be enough. But if you can afford to upgrade it would be much better.
  13. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    2gb will be enough, but down the line you might want to do more with your machine so 4g will be better. An investment now will make for a happ(ier) owner later.

    Also I expect 2gb models will be a hard sell when future revisions come around. That is if you aim to sell it in the future.
  14. Alvesang macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2010
    Seriously, save the buck and go with 2 GB. I wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly light user, I've already done some Photoshop editing with my 2 GB MBA and I haven't had any troubles whatsoever because of the RAM.

    And considering Lion: Who does really think that Apple would release an MBA base model in 2010 that couldn't handle the 2011 OS update that's been previewed at the same keynote the MBA was announced at?

    For your kind of planned use 2 GB of RAM are more than just fine.
  15. Retops macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2008
    My 11 inch MBA just became two months old and has seen lots of service running office applications, web surfing, running financial programs, and serving as a presentation platform for my teaching. The 2 GB has been perfect for me; never had the slightest problem.
  16. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
    If you plan on using it for those purposes you should be fine with 2gb even when lion comes out. Apple would not introduce a product that is suppose to lead Macs into lion then have it not work with the new os. Apple thinks through the evolution of their products pretty well.

Share This Page