Need Advice: Upgrade RAM on 13 inch MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mulderxcoltrane, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. mulderxcoltrane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    1st post here; love you, love your show. ;)

    I'm going to be buying my first MBA soon and am wondering whether or not I should spend the extra $ to upgrade from 4 to 8GB RAM.

    I'll primarily be using it for normal computing tasks (web surfing, word processing) as well as watching movies via an external disc drive and occasionally doing medium-level photo and video editing. No gaming, no major video editing.

    Advice?
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    It's the only upgrade on the air and rmbp you should always do!
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    The ram is soldered into the logic board meaning you can only do it at purchase time. I'd say upgrade to the max ram now and you'll not be disappointed later.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    This topic has really been beaten to death here already - just read back a page or two in this forum. But here's my personal experience. I had a 2011 MBA with 4gb (the max they offered in 2011) and never felt constrained in the least. And I do a lot more than the things you describe - I use Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, FileMaker Pro, VectorWorks, etc.

    Recently upgraded to a 2013 MBA and I got 8gb just because I could. ;) It's a faster machine than the 2011 already, but really I don't notice much if any difference for your kinds of tasks.

    I absolutely agree that it makes sense "just in case" you later decide that you need it. If you can afford 8gb you should definitely get it. But I would not expect to see any real world difference, and the word is that Apple's new operating system will use RAM even more efficiently.
     
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    Please don't think I'm being unkind or snarky, but you'll get the answers you seek a lot sooner by doing a search within this forum. Personally, I had to learn the hard way a time or two that I rarely had a question or problem that hasn't been discussed to death on this board at least a dozen times before.

    That said, the upgrade is worth the money if you can afford it, but not vital or completely necessary if you can't.
     
  6. mulderxcoltrane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    #7
    The inherent problem in message board threads is: if a thread gets off topic, then I'm filtering through unnecessary information instead getting direct answers to my questions.

    All I want is others' thoughts on my question/issue without all of the fluff in between.

    If threads stayed on topic, that's a different story. ;)
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
  8. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a

    Sandman1969

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #9
    For non-future-upgradeable memory options, Get the most you can afford.
     
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #10
    4GB should handle those tasks just fine. You could even add some gaming if you wanted to. It also depends on how long you plan on keeping the computer and if you always have to have the latest software. If you get a new computer in 3 years, 4GB will still feel fast enough (Just ask the people still rocking 2010 & 2011 Airs). If you keep it for 4-5+ years, you might start to feel it towards the end of life.

    Personally, I went with 4GB, and I hope to upgrade mine after 3 years or so. I have some page outs (when the computer has to write to the SSD to free up some memory), but I certainly can't pinpoint any specific times when it happens.

    Whether you should spend the extra money is a different matter. Given your usage, I don't think the extra RAM will be noticeable for at least a few years, at which time, you might be considering replacing the machine anyway. The question becomes, what other opportunities are you foregoing with the money?
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Depending on how intensive is the work you do?

    I paid a lot to upgrade the RAM on my ThinkPad X1 Carbon (also soldered RAM) to 8GB, but I find due to the work that I do on it (mostly productivity), I never use more than 4GB of RAM (or need the i7 processor). The thing I thought I needed more RAM for was doing some models, but turns out that was fine with 4GB of RAM. A friend of mine has the same machine with 4GB of RAM and he does photo editing via Photoshop and Lightroom; all seems time.

    However on my MacBook Air, all the intensive media processing I do, 8GB is usually not enough, but that's as high as it goes. For the really heavy stuff I defer work to my MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM (or if I'm back home my still a powerhouse desktop)
     
  11. Tinknock71 macrumors 6502

    Tinknock71

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Westland Michigan
    #12
    Just get the 8gig of ram now then you say later " I wished I would have got the 8gig instead of 4gig" little price to pay now when you cant install later.
     
  12. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    if I got my 2011 air with 2gb of ram it would be very slow today. Yet I upgraded it to 4 and its very usable. Get the 8gb. 8gb is not that much I really wish I had it.
     
  13. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a

    Sandman1969

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #14
    Pretty reasonable upgrade now as well compared to back in the day. Definitely get the 8GB now. Also, check the refurb site if you need to save some $$
     
  14. mulderxcoltrane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    #15
    Got a fully loaded refurb the second it came up:
    8GB RAM, i7 processor, 512GB SSD.
     

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