MBA 2013 w/ 4GB Ram

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mrplt, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. mrplt, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    mrplt macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2013
    I'm planning to buy a Macbook Air 13". The base model which has 4gigs of RAM is $999 @ BB.
    I'm not familiar with the taxes in US, but for Iowa its tax is $60. (I'm not a US citizen, I'm an exchange student.) It makes $1060.

    The one which has 8gigs of RAM is only available at Apple, and its price is $1199, and tax is $71, so it makes $1270.

    Base version is $210 cheaper, should I pay that extra $270 to have 8gigs of RAM?

    I will sometimes use Windows 8.1 w/ Parallels (or maybe I'll use Bootcamp - not sure about it), I will use Windows for some Windows 8 apps (Foursquare, Shazam etc.) and programming (Visual Studio). While I'm using those programs probably an internet browser and iTunes at OS X will be open, too. I suppose I should give 2gigs to Windows and 2gigs to OS X (For parallels)

    Will 4GB be enough for me? With that $210
    I can buy some other things for me.

    Addition : Is there a difference between buying a Mac from BB and Apple?
  2. dirtnnasty macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2013
    I would recommend you the 8 gigs...

    I had the same thoughts and now I am on a rMBP 8/256
    So, as mentioned here and elsewhere many times, the storage and the ram is not upgradeable...
    I am not sure how is your "device relieve time"... In case you have no problems to renew your Notebook, you are fine with 4 gigs...

    4gigs are enough for many stuff but it can change in near future...


    In case your SSD becomes fully packed, you can buy a SD-card on the 13inch but no RAM... On the mentioned 11inch you can do nor
  3. dkred macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2011
    According to the numbers you provided, the price between the two models including Tax is $210.

    for normal use 4GB would be fine, and you can probably get a way with running a 2GB VM. But ultimately, for better performance I would recommend 8GB of RAM, just so you're less likely to need to quit any applications in order to feed the Virtual Machine(s).

    Now if you are a student at university, you should be able to get the student discount and (at least at my school) get it tax free.
  4. mrplt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2013
    I'm planning to buy it in this week or next. I'll buy a 13" MBA, and probably will use it for 2 or 3 years.

    Yes, I did a mistake there, it should be $210.
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    The 128GB is going to be a bigger limitation than the 4GB will be. If you plan on using Windows 7/8 alongside OS X you're going to wish you had the 256GB SSD.
  6. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    If money is tight then obviously go with the 4gb model. I would want 8gb if I was running Windows but if the money could be better spent elsewhere then you have to consider that. The extra ram is just for a nicer experience, not a necessity, at least from what you planning on running.
  7. dirtnnasty macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2013
    I would prefer to invest additional 200 bucks to have a complete and perfect MB that satisfies me day by day.
    With 8/256 your system is "perfect"...
    You can load and work without compromise...
  8. mrplt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2013
    Actually I have a PC for performance and gaming. MBA will be the portable one, so I don't wanna spend lots of money.

    It makes $1400 w/o the taxes w/ 8/256. Can't I use an SD card or an external HDD to store my data?

    I tested a MBA 2012 w/ i5 and 4gigs of RAM. Windows 8 was installed on it via Bootcamp. There was plenty of storage left. I didn't see a performance problem there but I couldn't test while both OSs were running.

    Thank you for all your help, but I think I have to continue w/ 4/128. Actually the test w/ 4/128 MBA relaxed me a bit.
    After all struggles with Windows, finally I will start to use OS X.

    Final question: If 4/128 is barely enough, what are the 2/64 MBA users doing? :confused:
  9. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
  10. dirtnnasty macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2013
    4gigs are enough for NOW... In 1 year maybe not anymore.
    The video is nice but working several hours in that way, your ram will be fuller than full and just compressing...
    but ok, make the short term decision and take the 4 gigs

    bootcamp and Win7 take about 20gigs of storage as a fresh installation...

    you can use SD-Cards and external Drives, of course...
  11. Lindsford macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2012

    Save the $210, you most likely won't notice it the majority of the time you're using the PC. If you're gonna spend $1200 keep an eye for a good Macbook Retina deal.
  12. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I have a 2011 cMBP with a Crucial 512Gb SSD and 8Gb of RAM...its totally overkill for what I use that laptop for and I just picked up a heck of a deal on a 2013 11.6" MBA base model for the added portability (with it being less than half the weight and slightly smaller form factor) and I'm very happy with it so far!

    On the MBP, I don't get any where near using more than 4G RAM on the MBP but had the excess memory avail from my wife's 2011 iMac 8Gb upgrade. I had purchased 2x4Gb sticks so when I got the MBP I put the 4 2Gb RAM sticks into the iMac for a total of 8Gb and used the 2x4Gb sticks in the MBP.

    The Crucial 512Gb SSD is also more than I'll ever need for internal storage on the MBP - all my other machines have 128Gb SSD's as their boot drives (desktops).

    My old 2009 whitebook has a 64Gb SSD and even that's manageable with the use of USB flash drives.

    If you get a 32Gb or 64Gb flash drive to supplement your 128Gb internal storage you should be fine with the SSD on the base model. If you find yourself needing more storage get a portable USB 3.0 external HDD for movies, etc...much cheaper than going with the 256Gb internal SSD that's very expensive to repair/replace if anything happens to it!

    Good luck with your decision!
  13. Chatran macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2013
    Nowadays with SSD, you wont notice when the OS is doing swapping. That's why 4GB seems fine.
  14. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    It might lighten the impact but an SSD is no substitute for RAM
  15. Chatran macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2013
    I'm not talking about substituting for RAM at all.

    I'm saying users won't notice swapping, unlike using the traditional HDD.
  16. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Agreed. With 700+ mb/sec reads & writes the performance impact of swapping is greatly reduced.

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