MBA with only 2gb RAM- how good is it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nik911sc, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. nik911sc macrumors member

    nik911sc

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #1
    I have been waiting patiently to buy an Air but the specs just appear to be too light on. I admit its to be a portable unit mostly for email and documents etc but I feel that at 2gb RAM just wont cut it for OS X and have been holding out for a 4gb model.

    In the meanwhile I thought I would ask those with an Air if they have found the RAM limitation slows them down and if it is a major issue in particular since Snow Leopard was released.

    I am on my Mac Pro now with nothing major running and it already has 3gb used.
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    No problems here on our rev. A running SL.

    Almost zero pageouts over 5 days use. Running Pages, Mail, Safari, Word X (yep, Office X), iChat and iTunes. (136154(0) pageins, 42(0) pageouts)

    When you see "used" that usually includes RAM in the inactive state. That's available RAM for the previous or new app. It's the ratio of pageins vs pageouts you want to look at for physical RAM requirements.
     
  3. NikFinn macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #3
    Oddly enough, I was wondering the same thing. (double weird, my name's Nik too.)
     
  4. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #4
    is it actually being used or is it wired/active?
     
  5. adamjackson macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #5
    Yeah those are two different things.

    Here's my current usage on my MacBook Pro w/ 4Gbs of ram. i'm running a ton of apps too.

    http://grab.by/76v


    The MBA I have is great! I used it daily and it's an awesome computer for most things.
     
  6. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #6
    Only when I am running three screens of flash, or one flash screen running on the 24 inch external monitor do I experience slowness. NOt sure if it is a ram issue or the 1.86 ghz, but everything else, my rev b with ssd works well.
     
  7. nik911sc thread starter macrumors member

    nik911sc

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #7
    LoL and I have a Nikon too - d1x
     
  8. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #8
    I have a Rev A and haven't had any real issues with memory, even when running Adobe CS3.
     
  9. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #9
    I used a RevA MBA 1.6/2/80 traveling on business for about a year. For mainstream business apps (running 10-20 apps at a time) 2gb ram was just fine. It should not be an issue for any of the thing you mentioned. But if you run virtual machines or memory intensive multimedia apps like photo and video editors you may want to hold out for 4gb.

    I did an experiment on a MB once with 1gb, 2gb, 3gb, 4gb. I found 1gb ran fine but did not feel snappy. 2gb offered a considerable performance improvement and things really felt fast. 3gb offered a very slight performance improvement but I found I did not reach into the 3gb range much except when running VM's. 4gb seemed to have no noticeable performance increase but I got a fair bump in battery life.

    I ended up going back to a MB 2.4/4/320 as the MBA just did not have the storage capacity I needed and running VM's was possible but not optimal. When Apple releases a MBA 2.x/4/256 I will be heading back that way though.
     
  10. financeguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    #10
    What about when running VMware Fusion with Windows? Any limitations there?
     
  11. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #11
    If you wanna run 10 VMs at once, yes. Otherwise, one or two won't have too much limitations. I have Vista SP2 Business x64 running constantly in the background. I have 1GB ram dedicated to it and it doesn't slow down my OSX side at all.
     
  12. musicpenguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #12
    Wow - my original Macbook Pro that I got three years ago maxes out at 2GB! - The machine is still a great machine but I have been able to run VMs on it without a problem.
     
  13. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #13
    I'm running 2GB on my unibody MBP and it handles everything fine. Unless you are doing very demanding work its fine.
     
  14. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #14
    Yeah I think my slowdown that I posted earlier has more to do with my slower processor than anything compared to the ram. I think having the 2.16 (i think that is the speed) would improve performance but ah well.
     

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