MBA with 16GB Ram Possible?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nicey, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. nicey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #1
    Hi Folks. I have been using my 15" Customized MBP happily since 2008. While El Capitan runs slowly (same was the experience with Yosemite before), Apple Care suggested me to upgrade my machine from 4GB to 6GB. While my machine has stopped working as is undergoing repair works (should cost me only 150+), am considering the below:

    - Is it wise to upgrade my current machine ram to 6GB? or
    - Go with a 13" MBA?

    I always wanted to buy a MBA if a 16GB ram configuration was offered, to future-proof my purchase (I have been using my MBP for Win experimentations as well, using Boot Camp (for work-related knowledge). Having purchased the Ms Office 2011 dirt-cheap under a scheme, i don't have the need to switch to Ms OS anymore (there were times where i took my MBP to work and didn't have any issue, excepting when i had to use Ms Project for making updates to the Project Plans though).

    I did consider rMBP (with its 16GB offering) but wanted something lighter, with longer battery life.

    Any views? Does any of you use your MBA for personal use (while experimenting new Win OS for office sake?)
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I have a 2008 15" MBP but no longer use it. I replaced it with a 13" MBA in 2011 and moved to an 11" MBA in 2013. The MBA is much, much, much faster than the old Core2 Duo MBP. CPU is more than twice as fast for most things, but you will see a much more dramatic improvement for tasks that take advantage of the burst mode on the new i-series processors. For example, ripping a DVD used to take me about 75 minutes on the old MBP. The 2013 MBA does it in 15 minutes. And of course, the SSD in the MBA makes a huge difference compared to the 5400 RPM drive in my MBP.

    The battery completely died in my 2008 MBA a couple years ago. That's when I completely gave up on it. Not interested in spending any money on such an old machine. Regardiing RAM, I have 8gb in my MBA and don't see the need for anymore. It runs software like Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, VectorWorks, FileMaker Pro, Photoshop, etc with no problem. And the SSD is so fast on the MBA, even if it does some swapping you probably won't notice.
     
  3. nicey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    Hi.

    Thank you for sharing. I just got back my MBP from repair (When i took it to the local repair center, they rejected to serve me stating that mine was a 'Vintage' model and they do not offer even paid analysis for the problem). Got it repaired from a small shop in the IT mall (he changed quite a few components in the motherboard to get it back to working, after nearly 2 weeks). As he charged me a meagre $150 for the repair {Apple repair store takes 180 for opening the case}, i added another 60 for changing the fans as well as 120 for a new battery.

    I need to see how things go, as the dealer has given me 90 days warranty for the motherboard and 6 months for the battery.

    I was mainly looking for the additional ram purely in lieu of the memory hungry WinOS that i do experiment on, time to time. I do not want to have/ own another laptop purely for my Win OS test purposes.

    I look forward to upgrading to an 13" MBA as soon as the custom ram offering matches my 16GB; pls don't tell me Apple will not offer this forever :()
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    Why not the 13" Retina MacBook Pro? The only advantage of the MacBook Air is better battery life and slightly less weight. With the rMBP you get:

    - Better display
    - New Force Touch Trackpad
    - Still 10 hours battery life compared to 12 hours
    - Better CPU
    - Better GPU
    - More ports, including HDMI
    - More RAM as standard
    - Quicker RAM (1866MHz compared to 1600MHz)
    - Quicker Flash storage
    - BTO RAM option of 16GB

    And it's not that much more expensive compared to the 13" MBA, really. Far more bang-for-your-buck IMO, especially if you're going to do lots of VMs and stuff like that. It's a much better choice for your needs.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    I used to run Windows XP on my 2008 MBP, both in Bootcamp or Parallels. Really, it was a terrible experience. I was never able to get some things working properly. And the MBP got really hot running Windows (that machine always ran hot anyway).

    Ended up getting a separate dedicated machine for Windows and have been much happier that way. I just don't want to pollute my Macs with Windows, it has enough issues on machines that were designed to run it originally. ;)
     
  6. Meister, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #6
    Apple care told you ********.
    You have to escalate it quite a lot to get somebody on the other end who somewhat knows what he is talking about.

    Stick in an ssd and all will be good.
     
  7. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #7
    two points:
    - a retina MBP 13", configurable with 16 Gb RAM, weights just 150 gr more than a MBA 13" and it actually has a slightly smaller footprint;
    - i think 16 Gb is overkill for your needs, even if you are looking for a future-proof solution.
     
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #8
    You didn't mention if you had an SSD in there or not. From your description ("slow") I'd guess you don't.

    Meister's suggestion is a good one. I recently acquired a mid-2007 MBP and put an SSD in. Even with 2GB of RAM it's quick on El Capitan. I've ordered the 6GB kit which will make things better but I'm not expecting that to improve it much.

    The SATA bus on these old MBPs (1.5 Gb/s) cuts the potential of an SSD down a bit for actions that involve opening and copying very large files but it's the access speed of the SSD that makes it shine.
     
  9. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #9
    I, too, agree with the SSD suggestion. Whether it's an older Mac or a Windows laptop, swapping out a traditional hard drive for an SSD makes the single biggest performance difference you can get for one.

    Mac users from the "old days" of before OS X or early versions of OS X are accustomed to the idea that adding RAM is a big performance boost. It used to be that was true. RAM was relatively inexpensive and any vintage Mac would run far better if you maxxed out the RAM in it, vs. some smaller configuration.

    At this point though? I think 8GB is plenty of RAM for most people on a portable computer. Sure, I think 16GB makes a lot of sense for the sake of "future proofing" things, and I agree Apple should sell the Macbook Air in 8GB or 16GB configurations -- and just dump the 4GB model. (At today's RAM prices, it makes little sense to bother with only 4GB in one, if you ask me?) But disk I/O is one of the biggest bottlenecks if you don't have an SSD.
     
  10. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Beachguy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    In my own experience, changing to SSD from HD is almost like doubling your RAM. By that, I mean the load at which the machine starts slowing is close to the same because it swaps so quickly. And the faster the SSD, the better the results.
     
  11. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #11
    True, but the 3GB/s interface on the OP's SATA will mean it won't be as quick, and the Core2Duos are about 1/2 the performance of an i3-3110M. still agree regarding SSD upgrade, but due to SATA bottleneck it's not necessary to purchase the latest higher performance SSD as you won't see the benefits.
     
  12. BittenApple macrumors 6502a

    BittenApple

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    Nov 29, 2008
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    Does interface speed really change iops?
     
  14. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #14
    I don't know of any test results for that but as I stated in my previous post the (SanDisk) SSD in my mid-2007 MBP has made it extremely quick.
     
  15. nicey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #15
    Thank you all for sharing your valuable insights. Which SSD should i replace my HDD with? I currently have an external SSD (256GB) to store all my data (Crucial m4 SSD 2.5 256GB SATA 6GBps). Would swapping it with the internal Hitachi 5600 rpm drive prove beneficial or should i look for an older SSD (in case the current SSD that I own doesn't fit in).
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #16
    Hdd drives will all perform equally slow.
     
  17. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #17
    It will fit.
     

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