Query regarding storage space & ram

hassan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2014
3
0
Hello guys. i am planning to buy 13'' version of macbook air.will be getting the basic version with 128GB space and 4 gigs of ram. it will be my first mac. have been a windows user for 10+ years. so i need help from u guys regarding ram and the storage space. i will be using lots of microsoft word on MBA so will be installing windows 8 on it. i know mac has its own alternatives for office but i need office and no alternative will work for me. so my question is that will 128 gigs space and 4 gigs of ram be enough for both windows 8 and mac osx to run smoothly??

i am not into any coding or heavy editing. wont be downloading too many movies or songs on it too. hardly a movie or 2 per month. 256 gigs version is too expensive for me. however i can get those transcend jet drive lite sd cards for expansion. do u guys recommend those in case 128 gigs is not enough if i want to install windows 8 on it too? thanks in advance.
 

Dweez

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2011
1,248
10
Down by the river
Are you planning on dual booting the mac or running windows under virtualization? If the latter I'd think that 128 may be sufficient, but for the slight bump in cost ($200?) the 256 gig option may be worth looking at.

The reason I ask is that in my experience, a virtualized windows environment can remain quite a bit smaller than a bootable install. You can allocate 50 gig to the VM and it'll grow as needed, plus you can perform maintenance via virtualization to shrink the overall VM size from time to time.

$0.02 worth, and best of luck.
 

hassan8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2014
3
0
Are you planning on dual booting the mac or running windows under virtualization? If the latter I'd think that 128 may be sufficient, but for the slight bump in cost ($200?) the 256 gig option may be worth looking at.

The reason I ask is that in my experience, a virtualized windows environment can remain quite a bit smaller than a bootable install. You can allocate 50 gig to the VM and it'll grow as needed, plus you can perform maintenance via virtualization to shrink the overall VM size from time to time.

$0.02 worth, and best of luck.
thanks alot for the reply. will just be using windows 8 for microsoft office as i need the latest 2013 version of office which mac os does not have. for the rest of the tasks i will use mac osx. thing is that its not 200$ extra in my country. apple is not officially available so i will have to pay around 1400$ for 256 gigs version. i can get those jet drive lite sd cards if needed.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
thanks alot for the reply. will just be using windows 8 for microsoft office as i need the latest 2013 version of office which mac os does not have. for the rest of the tasks i will use mac osx. thing is that its not 200$ extra in my country. apple is not officially available so i will have to pay around 1400$ for 256 gigs version. i can get those jet drive lite sd cards if needed.
I would also recommend installing Win8 in a virtual machine. If you are just using Word and not doing anything complicated like running video games, then a virtual machine for Windows should work fine. And as the previous poster mentioned, you can also configure a hard drive file to expand as necessary, so you don't have to limit yourself to 64GB per operating system as you might if you were dual booting (that would be tight).

I hadn't read about the Jet Drive cards. They look interesting. I guess they are supposed to be closer to SSD speeds than SD card speeds. You might be able to use one of those for your virtual hard drive for your virtual Windows machine. (If you need to free up some space.)
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
I'd be slightly concerned with the 4GB Ram limit running a VM. That's only 2 GB per OS. Expect allot of swapping if you go for the base model and also expect to need to regularly restart your machine and kill apps you aren't using to improve RAM allocation.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
I'd be slightly concerned with the 4GB Ram limit running a VM. That's only 2 GB per OS. Expect allot of swapping if you go for the base model and also expect to need to regularly restart your machine and kill apps you aren't using to improve RAM allocation.
I have a Windows 8 computer with 2GB of RAM and use it as an HTPC and it works fine for simple tasks. I'm sure it would be fine for Word.

Until recently I was also using a 2010 MBA with 2GB RAM and that worked fine too, I could run a lot of stuff before getting into a "memory pressure" situation.

My guess is that the base configuration of 4GB would be enough for this light VM use.
 

joshlalonde

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2014
422
0
Canada
I'd be slightly concerned with the 4GB Ram limit running a VM. That's only 2 GB per OS. Expect allot of swapping if you go for the base model and also expect to need to regularly restart your machine and kill apps you aren't using to improve RAM allocation.
Nawh, it's actually not that bad.

I run Windows 8 in Virtual Box on my MacBook Air (2014) 13" 256/i5/4. Memory pressure stays in the green even with Safari and a few other apps open in OS X.

So he'll be fine. If you want proof, I'll provide it.

Edit: I did make a post about this already: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1785493/
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
Nawh, it's actually not that bad.

I run Windows 8 in Virtual Box on my MacBook Air (2014) 13" 256/i5/4. Memory pressure stays in the green even with Safari and a few other apps open in OS X.

So he'll be fine. If you want proof, I'll provide it.

Edit: I did make a post about this already: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1785493/
I have a Windows 8 computer with 2GB of RAM and use it as an HTPC and it works fine for simple tasks. I'm sure it would be fine for Word.

Until recently I was also using a 2010 MBA with 2GB RAM and that worked fine too, I could run a lot of stuff before getting into a "memory pressure" situation.

My guess is that the base configuration of 4GB would be enough for this light VM use.
Great news! Glad to hear 4GB won't bottleneck VM performance. I don't use VM's myself but certainly run into memory pressure issues when running Aperture on my 1.86 Ghz/4GB MBA. Cheers,
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
Hello guys. i am planning to buy 13'' version of macbook air.will be getting the basic version with 128GB space and 4 gigs of ram. it will be my first mac. have been a windows user for 10+ years. so i need help from u guys regarding ram and the storage space. i will be using lots of microsoft word on MBA so will be installing windows 8 on it. i know mac has its own alternatives for office but i need office and no alternative will work for me. so my question is that will 128 gigs space and 4 gigs of ram be enough for both windows 8 and mac osx to run smoothly??

i am not into any coding or heavy editing. wont be downloading too many movies or songs on it too. hardly a movie or 2 per month. 256 gigs version is too expensive for me. however i can get those transcend jet drive lite sd cards for expansion. do u guys recommend those in case 128 gigs is not enough if i want to install windows 8 on it too? thanks in advance.
Just by the way, Microsoft announced a while ago that they were going to update Office for Mac by the end of this year. Having Windows can be useful, but if it is only for Office, you may want to consider holding out for a new Office for Mac, as it may be released around Yosemite. Putting Windows on your MBA could set you back as much as $300, and dual booting can be a hassle. If you just want to have it, go ahead, but if you get used to your mac, Windows will most likely only be a novelty after a while.

Matt
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
... Putting Windows on your MBA could set you back as much as $300, and dual booting can be a hassle. If you just want to have it, go ahead, but if you get used to your mac, Windows will most likely only be a novelty after a while.

Matt
I would use VirtualBox (free) so the only cost of using Windows would be getting a copy of Win8 ($110 on Amazon) and it sounds like the OP probably already has a copy of Word if he uses it all the time.
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
I would use VirtualBox (free) so the only cost of using Windows would be getting a copy of Win8 ($110 on Amazon) and it sounds like the OP probably already has a copy of Word if he uses it all the time.
I was referring to the potential cost of 256GB of storage and Windows 8, since Windows itself takes up a solid chunk of storage.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
I was referring to the potential cost of 256GB of storage and Windows 8, since Windows itself takes up a solid chunk of storage.
Yes, already discussed above. VirtualBox will allow the OP to have a virtual hard drive file that expands as necessary. Windows 8 is kind of a bloated mess but a clean install plus Word should be < 30GB, I expect. So I would expect it to fit nicely on the base model 128GB SSD. And if not, there are expansion options via newfangled SD cards that sound like they perform much better than "regular" SD flash cards.
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
Yes, already discussed above. VirtualBox will allow the OP to have a virtual hard drive file that expands as necessary. Windows 8 is kind of a bloated mess but a clean install plus Word should be < 30GB, I expect. So I would expect it to fit nicely on the base model 128GB SSD. And if not, there are expansion options via newfangled SD cards that sound like they perform much better than "regular" SD flash cards.
Yeah, that is why I said potential cost. He could certainly manage with the baseline model if that was all he planned on installing, but if that was all he planned on installing it would probably be a good idea to just install Office on OS X. Just personal opinion, as Office does have a slightly different UI on Mac.
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
Dual booting is a piece of cake, simply holding down a key at boot time. With that said, put windows into a VM and call it a day.
I have two computers dual booting on OS X and Windows 8.1. It can be a pain if you have work that you want to share between your systems. It is much easier to use a VM, and the one of the only reasons to consider Bootcamp is if you are a power user.
 

kage207

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
961
8
Hello guys. i am planning to buy 13'' version of macbook air.will be getting the basic version with 128GB space and 4 gigs of ram. it will be my first mac. have been a windows user for 10+ years. so i need help from u guys regarding ram and the storage space. i will be using lots of microsoft word on MBA so will be installing windows 8 on it. i know mac has its own alternatives for office but i need office and no alternative will work for me. so my question is that will 128 gigs space and 4 gigs of ram be enough for both windows 8 and mac osx to run smoothly??

i am not into any coding or heavy editing. wont be downloading too many movies or songs on it too. hardly a movie or 2 per month. 256 gigs version is too expensive for me. however i can get those transcend jet drive lite sd cards for expansion. do u guys recommend those in case 128 gigs is not enough if i want to install windows 8 on it too? thanks in advance.
Why can't you buy MS Office for Mac to avoid virtualization / bootcamp? Also if anything, max out your RAM and your storage based on your budget, it'll increase re-sale value.

If anything upgrade SSD over RAM in your case.

----------

I have two computers dual booting on OS X and Windows 8.1. It can be a pain if you have work that you want to share between your systems. It is much easier to use a VM, and the one of the only reasons to consider Bootcamp is if you are a power user.
I'm a power user, I get away with VM. There's no need for bootcamp unless you are gaming really.
 
Last edited:

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
Sorry, increase re-sale value.
As someone who has bought 3 MacBooks, a Mac Mini, an iMac, and 4 iPhones used (via Craigslist) and who has sold a similar number of devices, I can say with some confidence that you do NOT get any money back from upgrades.

People who are buying used devices are doing so basically because they want something for not very much money, and that translates to base model.

All a buyer has to do is say "I'm not even going to USE that extra memory" and the seller will immediately cave and just sell the device for a base-model market price since nobody else wants to buy it for more. I've done this a bunch of times myself and people have done it to me.

I don't know how much personal experience you've had with the used Apple market but advising somebody to get an upgrade partially because of resale value, well, I find that extremely questionable.
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,366
538
Houston, Texas
As someone who has bought 3 MacBooks, a Mac Mini, an iMac, and 4 iPhones used (via Craigslist) and who has sold a similar number of devices, I can say with some confidence that you do NOT get any money back from upgrades.

People who are buying used devices are doing so basically because they want something for not very much money, and that translates to base model.

All a buyer has to do is say "I'm not even going to USE that extra memory" and the seller will immediately cave and just sell the device for a base-model market price since nobody else wants to buy it for more. I've done this a bunch of times myself and people have done it to me.

I don't know how much personal experience you've had with the used Apple market but advising somebody to get an upgrade partially because of resale value, well, I find that extremely questionable.
This is 100 percent accurate. Unless one needs upgraded specs at time of purchase, they are largely a waste of money come resale time.
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
As someone who has bought 3 MacBooks, a Mac Mini, an iMac, and 4 iPhones used (via Craigslist) and who has sold a similar number of devices, I can say with some confidence that you do NOT get any money back from upgrades.

People who are buying used devices are doing so basically because they want something for not very much money, and that translates to base model.

All a buyer has to do is say "I'm not even going to USE that extra memory" and the seller will immediately cave and just sell the device for a base-model market price since nobody else wants to buy it for more. I've done this a bunch of times myself and people have done it to me.

I don't know how much personal experience you've had with the used Apple market but advising somebody to get an upgrade partially because of resale value, well, I find that extremely questionable.
But this is ignoring those potential buyers that chose not to even bid/email/call about a device that was lacking the desired specs.
 

kage207

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
961
8
As someone who has bought 3 MacBooks, a Mac Mini, an iMac, and 4 iPhones used (via Craigslist) and who has sold a similar number of devices, I can say with some confidence that you do NOT get any money back from upgrades.

People who are buying used devices are doing so basically because they want something for not very much money, and that translates to base model.

All a buyer has to do is say "I'm not even going to USE that extra memory" and the seller will immediately cave and just sell the device for a base-model market price since nobody else wants to buy it for more. I've done this a bunch of times myself and people have done it to me.

I don't know how much personal experience you've had with the used Apple market but advising somebody to get an upgrade partially because of resale value, well, I find that extremely questionable.
I always get a good deal on mine. I sold my previous MacBook $130 over the average resale value on eBay. I had upgraded the RAM and HDD in the computers years before and included the original RAM and HDD in the sale.

I also sold my iPhone 3GS 32GB $60 over the average resale value of the iPhone 3GS 16GB. I also try to keep all my products as in mint of condition and I not all the things that are possible wrong.

I also provide a 3 month warranty with all mine say I'll refund if it is not accidental but I have to get my device back to check it out first. I also provide support if they have any questions.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.