New Mac User - Air 13 128/256

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Raggs, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Raggs macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    London UK
    Hi all,

    I am soon to join the MAC gang and will be getting a macbook air soon as i am fed up with windows and my trusty Sony Vaio is dying!! I am still trying to make my mind up regarding what size hard drive to get as both are not big enough for my large movie/tv show and music collection...... but i have read about NAS drives and hence my question.

    1. I assume NAS drives work with MACs but i was wondering if anyone had any recommendations as to which type/brand to get as this will be my first move into NAS drives as am interested in keeping all music and movies on there etc for use to share in the house (on 2 laptops, xbox360, home cinema system etc) and when not at home i.e over the net...

    2. I am worried about the 4gb RAM limit which cannot be upgraded... I have read a number of posts about this and dont think this will be a major issue as not a heavy user but i know from windows 7 in my current laptop that 4gb can be sluggish at times!

    Any advice would be great more so as i am soon to part with my hard earned money and get my first MAC :)
  2. gri macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2004
    New York City, aka Big Apple
    1. Not sure what a NAS drive is so I leave that to others...

    2. Don't compare Mac OS to Windows. Windows seems always to eat more RAM than MacOs. Yes, more RAM is always good but it depends on your use. My prior MBA had only 2 gigs of RAM and it was limited. My MP as 12 and my mini has 8 but I don't eel a major diffeence in work on the road between them - but it all boils down to your needs. Heavy duty graphic rendering and you may run into problems, editing/writing/presentations shouldn't be a problem.
  3. kilonet macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
  4. KidPub macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009

    NAS boxes work just fine with OS/X. I have several here in the office; my favorite is the Buffalo Linkstation series. I use both the 1T and 2T LS-WXL boxes, configured as RAID 1 (mirroring) for 500G an 1T of mirrored network storage. There are also a couple of Seagate 1T GoFlex Home boxes, which are cheap these days, for casual storage. The mirrored Linkstations hold both work files and media and back up to each other once a day.

    One reason that the LS-WXLs are so useful is that they run a version of Linux and it's trivial to get to a command prompt via ssh. One of the boxes does automated rsync backups to and from a set of offsite servers that run my websites.

    If you plan on using any of the NAS devices for backing up your new Mac via Timemachine, you'll likely need to update the firmware on the NAS as Apple changed the protocol used for Timemachine remote connections in Lion. It isn't hard to do, most of the NAS devices have a button on their web-based admin page to check for and install an update.

    I wouldn't worry too much about RAM in the MBA. 4G is plenty, and there are very few programs that are written to access more than that. If for some reason RAM is tight with the combination of programs you are running you have the advantage of a fast SSD swap disk. I routinely run Adobe CS5.5 InDesign and Photoshop on my MBA with no problem.

    Good luck with your decision!

  5. ryan.apham macrumors member

    May 6, 2011
    I do not know the answer to the first part, mate. However, for the second one, I think I can step my feet in.

    Firstly, RAM is not a totally key determinant on the performance level of a laptop. Though you might have issues with 2 GB of RAM, but with 4 GB, it is a different story. Unless you are trying to host a server or something (which means you should not even consider buying a MacBook Air, head to MacPro), 4 GB of RAM is just neat.

    I do not know about your Windows laptop, but the causes of sluggishness might be the weak chip, graphics chip, issues with hard drive, files are fragmented and so on.

    If you are not a heavy user, aim yourself for a 128 GB model, then buy SD cards or external hard drives, which are cheap compared to SSDs.
  6. Raggs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    London UK
    Thanks Gents!

    As for the RAM, thanks for your advice! I am sure 4gb will be fine!

    As for the NAS drives, thanks KidPub for your advice i will definitely look into those. I just had a look at the buffalo NAS drives on Amazon and they have mixed reviews about them failing etc but i think they should be fine for what i want out of them. I had a look at the QNAP ones and they are more expensive but perhaps they are better..... Will look into it a bit more!

    Thanks again! :)
  7. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I use a Synology DS 1511+

    It's on sale at Amazon for only $817, plus the price of the drives, as it comes diskless so that one may choose what they want. I filled mine with all five drives since I have two decades of data. It is great as it works with both my Macs and PCs in my large home network.

    It would be nice to go to 8GB but Apple is slowly but surely taking away our ability to upgrade their computers. 4GB will get you by.
  8. KidPub macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Most welcome. Our Buffalo boxes run 24/7 without complaint; in the event a drive fails it can be quickly replaced without data loss (since there's a mirrored pair).


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