RAM- 2gb or 4gb

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by thepogues, May 9, 2011.

  1. thepogues macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2011
    San Francisco
    I consider myself a light user. Web browsing with maybe 4-5 tabs, word, powerpoint, excel, like to stream video (hulu and mlb.tv), that's about it. Is 4gb of ram necesssary to comfortably run these types of tasks or will 2gb suffice?
  2. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    I just exchanged my 2gb model for the 4gb but I needed a bit more horsepower than you. I play WoW and the game would stutter a lot when there was little ram available, which was almost all the time. For the tasks you mentioned, 2gb is more than fine. The only thing I can say is that if you plan on doing all those at once, the processor might bog you down (i assume you are using the 1.4 ghz). Just watching hulu without any other processing intensive tasks gave my mba a tough time.
  3. thepogues thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2011
    San Francisco
    Thanks for the quick response. I just checked my computer performance on my current machine and it shows exactly that. If I run all those at the same time, the ram isnt a problem but the processor is running close to 100% (granted it is an intel pentium d from yesteryear). I expect the SB ULV will be much more efficient than my current processor, so I'm not too worried
  4. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Ah i thought you were speaking of current gen. Yes the sandybridge will be lightyears faster than C2D.

    Things to keep in mind however,

    1) sandybridge comes with integrated graphics and I dont think apple will put in a discrete graphics solution like the 320M. From what ive read, sandybridge is about 40% slower than 320M. Probably doesnt pertain to you since you dont do gaming but just a thought.

    2) OSX lion is coming out "soon". From what ive read 2gb is fine but my philosophy is that unless i see it, its not true.

    it is only $90 ore for 4gb. I think its worth the upgrade to be more "future proof"
  5. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    For now it will do, but if you are able to spend it, get 4Gb. I did to buy myself some future-proof assurance (if not that, then just for ease of mind)

    If you plan to have your MBA longer than a year or two, it will make your life much easier having 4Gb. There are upgrades to the SSD, but the memory can't be upgraded in any way, so you're stuck with that and 2Gb isn't that much these days, let alone in 3 or 4 years.
    Then again, if you plan to do just safari, mail and perhaps some MS office in the coming 4 or 5 years you're using the MBA, it will probably do well now and with the future OS-X Lion or MS office 2014. And quitting apps when you're not using them helps to keep memory available as well.
  6. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    Its only 40% or so slower in Windows. Mac OS has much better drivers, leaving it on par or better than the 320m.
  7. johnhalsted macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2010
  8. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    This. It's really not expensive to get the 4Gb, and you'll quite likely use it some day. Safari can easilly fill up most of your memory with a few tabs open. Run mail, IM client and maybe a Twitter client and you'll soon be swapping. Word, powerpoint and Excel do take some memory as well when they are all running at the same time.

    Also, with Lion coming up I guess the system will use a little more memory as well. I would strongly recommend 4Gb to anyone buying an Air now.
  9. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    More RAM is always better. Always.

    That said, 2GB would be fine for the uses you stated. However, since the RAM in the Air is not upgradable, it would be a good idea to get the 4GB upgrade if you can afford it. It's not like the MBP where you can easily add more later.
  10. Poisoned1 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    But, many people play the games using bootcamp to play using windows..

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