MBA 13" 4GB Owners - Are you disappointed with the RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by aircanman, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. aircanman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Trying to keep the costs down, do you have 4GB, are you happy? Does it slow up? Or is 8GB the way forward.
     
  2. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #2
    I'll let you know tonight. If all goes according to plan, I'll be getting an open box base 13" from Best Buy for $839. I'll load up the D3 starter edition and TF2 as soon as I can, and let you know how it feels.
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #3
    I'll tell you one thing, unless you do basic stuff and don't task your Mac with too many open apps, you will be fine. I have used 4GB RAM since 2008 on this machine and only since last year have I started to see it becoming just about enough for my needs.
     
  4. aircanman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I am talking iPhoto, occasional iMovie use, iTunes all the time, web browsing using chrome, occasional Pages and Photoshop Elements.

    I have been fine with my MBP 2011 for a while, but recently put another 4GB in it which did make a difference, not sure with the Air though because the HDD will not be as fully loaded as my MBP.
     
  5. plucky duck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #5
    I looked at it this way. If I used Time Machine and used my restoration USB stick with ML on it, and had to restore my computer to this exact image 5yrs down the road would I be disappointed with what I have? My answer is no. Given existing hardware and software configurations, the Air is already lightning fast. It's actually overkill for what I do with it, casual web browsing, checking email, and the one or two games that I really only play on it. The requirements of my games won't change, my needs won't change, and surely the specs of the computer won't change. If OSX down the road doesn't support my Air down the road or runs like crap, meh, I still have my ML.

    I mulled over it, and seriously I benefit more from doubling my storage from 128GB to 256GB than from doubling my ram 4GB to 8GB. If I need Parallel or VMWare then that'd be a different story. With bootcamp larger SSD was much more practical for me.
     
  6. Alameda macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #6
    The big memory hog is VMWare or the like. No doubt about it, running a second OS is a memory-killer, although it does work. The bigger problem with Windows on a MacBook is that it makes the fans run, reducing battery life, etc.

    If you do exceed 4 GB, the system will page into flash, which is still quite fast. But it takes a lot of open apps to do that.
     
  7. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a

    Pharmscott

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #7
    4gb MBA here and no issues. I don't transcode HD video and if you don't either, you'll be fine with 4gb. Recall how recently 2gb was the "standard" and things haven't changed that dramatically since then.
     
  8. urkel macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #8
    This is the problem with an un-upgradable computer. Many people wont realize they need more memory until they encounter a problem weeks/months after purchase and then what do you do. fortunately, 4GB is decent for most apps but still, it does stink to have no upgrade options post purchase.
     
  9. plucky duck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #9
    I had Handbrake loaded up with 7 encoding jobs, all the while I have 10 or so apps open, Safari with 10 browsers open with random pages some with flash videos playing. Checked Activity monitor, CPU was near maximum load, worked my way up to about 1GB page outs and all available ram used before I ended the test.

    Surprisingly enough, navigating around OSX UI was still very smooth, jumped between tabs in Safari just fine, browsing and scrolling didn't have any lag. My youtube video didn't skip. Didn't see any beach balls, other than when I loaded up FCPX.

    Not too shabby performance considering only 4GB of ram, I'm sure paging to SSD helped quite a bit. If it was a standard HD I don't think things would've gone as smooth as they did.
     
  10. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    #10
    I run 10+ programs for work with no problem, it never pages out. Apps I use are pretty "light": iA Writer, Numbers, Safari, Marked, Mail, Mou, Skype, iTunes, Dropbox, Skitch. So not everyone needs 8 GB, sure it's not wrong to have more RAM, but NOT EVERYONE needs it.
     
  11. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #11
    Absolutely correct!!

    I've never had any issues with 4GB at all running even more than that, also use Parallels and Adobe CS5 apps etc.
     
  12. JGRE, Aug 18, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012

    JGRE macrumors 6502a

    JGRE

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Dutch Mountains
    #12
    Installed 8GB last month and noticed a considerable speed improvement on programs using much memory like Aperture. The rest seems normal, but is probably biased with some bugs in OSX 10.8.0 which I also installed last month.

    ----------

    BTW 2X4GB costs only 50 euro's, not really an investment.......

    ----------

    Some here are talking about IPhoto, Skype, Numbers and more, notice that these 32bit apps that will not benefit from any GB above the 32bit-2GB limit. You will only experience improvements from 64bit apps.
     
  13. NeonBible macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #13
    I'm a web designer and have never had problems with 4 GB RAM. I use Photoshop, Espresso 2, Transmit, MAMP and many more developer applications, and Safari is always running with a numerous of tabs, so is iTunes, Spotify, Mail, Calendar (iCal) and Messages.
     
  14. bembol macrumors 65816

    bembol

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #14
    No, I had 4GB (maximum) on my Mid-2007 24" iMac and had no issues/complaints about the RAM. The Apps I use on my iMac is what I use on my Air.

    I only (wanted) to upgrade because it's cheap. My sister who uses her Mid-2010 27" i3 iMac like her iPad has 12GB. Adding 8GB cost me less than $50.
     
  15. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #15
    That one had a maximum of 6GB. my dad's previous was a mid 2007 24" iMac.
     
  16. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #16
    [​IMG]

    this is my activity monitor. i'm using google play to listen to music, downloading TF2 in steam, i have like 7 or 8 chrome windows open... haven't noticed a single bit of lag.
     
  17. JGRE macrumors 6502a

    JGRE

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Dutch Mountains
    #17
    Total 6GB swap in and out and no single bit of lag. I have 8GB and only 40mb of in and out swapping. You should try 8GB; you only know once you tried.
     
  18. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #18
    I haven't noticed a single stutter. I don't think the swapping in and out is really noticeable at all on the MBA. I know the 8gb is more, but I really don't think it's necessary.
     
  19. JGRE macrumors 6502a

    JGRE

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Dutch Mountains
    #19
    Right, your MBA has a SSD, my MBP has a hard disk which is much slower.
     
  20. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #20
    Ahh okay, yeah, I think the paging on the SSD isn't really noticeable. I did speed tests on the HD next to my dad's 2011 MBP, and app opening etc tests. My MBA beat him at everything except, for some reason, opening Safari. Safari was the only thing that took half a second longer for me :p
     
  21. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    With the speed of the new SSD, it won't be too noticeable if the Air has to page out every now and then. I got the 8GB just because it was a relatively cheap upgrade when I was buying it.
     
  22. shamash macrumors 6502a

    shamash

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Taichung, Taiwan
    #22
    *nod* If I was buying from Apple, I would have gotten the 8gb in a heartbeat. However, I got quite slick deal from Bestbuy, so I'm not really regretting anything.
     

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