Need more memory

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jLinux, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. jLinux macrumors newbie


    Sep 4, 2015
    Hey guys, so Im the proud owner of a new (well, refurbished) MacBook Air, and while I love it, I should have thought forward and gotten one with 8GB of memory, instead of the 4GB.

    I do a lot of web development, programming, and Linux related stuff, so im running into memory issues, is there anything I can do? I was told that there may be some application out there that lets me use some HDD space for RAM, anyone got one they can recommend?

    Thank you
  2. 0d085d macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2015
    RAM is soldered in on the Macbook Air, so there's no way to expand it once it's been built.

    When your system runs out of physical memory, it runs over in to the hard disk (which is why completely filling your hard disk can result in slowness). It does this automatically and there isn't anything you can add that won't be slower than this setup.

    In a nutshell, you're stuck with the RAM you've got, and your Mac will work around the limitation itself.
  3. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    ^^^^What you say is true except, the OP has an SSD not an HDD. So even though it's no match for on board RAM, it is in fact faster than an HDD.

  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    How do you know that you are having low memory problems?
  5. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009

    If there's swapins/swapouts, then there's low memory.
  6. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    How recent since you bought it? any chance of a return or swap for a different model?
    Maybe the MacBook Pro even. Or see what you can get for this one. Have to agree 4GB even with PCIe-SSD (and those are only 2x and not the faster/better 4x interface).
  7. bebo macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2005
    Either sell it and get one with more ram, or deal with the low ram.

    I purchased my 2013 MBA 13" figuring that soon there would be an after market SSD (had read OWC blog about them announcing one). 2 years later, still waiting.

    Having managed with a PNY flash storage 128 gb SD card, but always thought I'd be able to upgrade it .

    On same note, also thought this laptop would have gone to my wife and I'd be in a new macbook pro! LOL
  8. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    That's a horrible way of assertaining this.

    Just monitor the memory graph instead.
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    That's ridiculous. Recent versions of OS X will preemptively swap out memory that is rarely (or never) used. This makes the system faster. It doesn't indicate a problem.
  10. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    I thought I would regret getting a 4GB Macbook Air 11 (early 2015).... but honestly I haven't even noticed it. I have an 8GB Mac Mini (late 2014) and .... between the two I don't notice any memory problems. And yes, I can have xcode up, Chrome with 20+ tabs, Office, Kindle, and other apps running and still be in "green" memory on the Air. I've only been in the yellow a few times.

    That alone made me not give a second thought to an 8GB Air. Now..... when I upgrade next .... I'll probably shell out more $ for more ram if I can afford it. I was tight on $ when I got my Air 11 so 8GB of ram really wasn't an option but I don't regret it at all and am having no problems with memory.

    Edit: I misread the OP's question. Sorry. Please ignore. I've done stuff like that on Android phones before but not on Macbooks.
  11. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    Recent versions of OS X have implemented advanced memory compression (starting with Mavericks). The whole point of this is to minimize the use of swap (virtual memory -> on disk). Swapping to disk is inefficient. You want swap space for 'emergency' situations where the OS needs to allocate memory for an application asap and it can't free up physical memory. But if this is happening often, then you're low on memory for your environment.

    Yes, I'll admit that swapping out inactive memory to disk is probably effective, particularly for a desktop/laptop environment. But even then, I don't ever notice Yosemite doing this for me. In a 10 hour work day, my Mac Mini with 16GB RAM never swaps, even with idle applications.

    Thus, the amount of swap in/out events is a good barometer for physical memory constraints on a user's computer.
  12. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    As the owner of a 2009 MBA with *2GB* of RAM, running Mavericks, I can tell you (by running either top in the terminal, or Activity Monitor) that the number of swap-in's/swap-out's is a pretty good indicator of how my memory is doing, overall performance, and how much spinning beach ball o' death I'll be getting.

    The programs that are more recent (perhaps optimized? for the newer OS) don't seem to have as much as a problem, but yeah, I'll definitely be getting the 8GB (or larger, if available) MBA when I go shopping next...

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