RAM is ridiculous!

lost4nao

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
7
0
Everything on this year's Macbook Air is appealing, the new processors, SSD's, backlit keyboard, etc..... except for the RAM. Not only does the base 11" model have a measly 2GB ram( I've seen two hundred dollar netbooks with the same amount), the absolute maximum is 4GB.

1. A 2GB RAM upgrade should not cost 100 dollars, when it can be bought for about 15 bucks on newegg.
2. There shouldn't be an arbitrary limit on the memory...if someone's paying 1700 for this machine, I'm sure they wouldnt mind paying more for 8GB RAM.
3. All of the above would be fine if Apple did the same thing as most other notebooks, allow the user to upgrade RAM...now this is claimed to be a limitation of the Air, since the RAM is soldered on, but it also just adds salt to the wound :/

I'm aware of Apple's method of leaving out certain features, to make either next year's model or their other notebooks (MBP) more appealing, but this is rather ridiculous.

My personal question is, is 4GB RAM enough? I currently have a desktop with 8GB, and my last desktop had 512MB, so I'm not sure what 4GB is like. I plan on buying the 13" 1299 model, and I want it to last me for the next 4-5 years (college).
Also, is 128GB enough, especially if I plan on also running Windows 7 on the Air? I plan on making it my primary(only) computer.

If you read this far, thanks :)
 

Beaverman3001

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2010
530
27
1. Good luck paying new egg 15$ for ram and having them solder it for you.

2. This isn't a MacBook Pro, it isn't intended to do pro level types of work, which is typically what would require 8GB+ of ram.

Not every product is made to fit every need, if it bothers you get a MacBook Pro, problem solved. 4GB is plenty for the vast majority of users needs.
 
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revelated

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2010
993
1
Depends on use case. But quite frankly, 4GB of RAM is fine for 89% of users. Paging to a SSD is close enough to actual RAM that the normal user won't really care much. Now if you're trying to do Final Cut or other RAM-intensive processes, you need to look elsewhere....say a Pro that can go to 8GB of RAM.
 
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thunderbunny

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2010
616
0
Cheshire, UK
-2Gb RAM does me fine on my 13 MBA, but then I'd never dream of using it for anything intensive - have an iMac downstairs for that. Also consider lack of ports, dvd etc on this portable device

- Wouldn't go with 128Gb if you are wanting to install many applications, Windows 7 and Windows applications. I have never had any intention of putting dual windows on mine and was adamant on going 256Gb.
 
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Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
There are compromises you have to make when buying an ultraportable like MBA. People pay the $100 so there isn't a problem. In fact, it is similar to Apple's other upgrade prices so this time Apple doesn't even rip you off (they could charge a lot more and people would still pay, since it's not upgradeable).

I have 4GB on my MBA and each time I look at Activity Monitor, I'm using less than 2GB. Unless you do something very RAM intensive, 4GB is plenty, especially with an SSD as a swap disk.
 
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acurafan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
615
0
you're lucky job didn't take away 1GB and put it back in next year's model! lol.
 
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srf4real

macrumors 68040
Jul 25, 2006
3,000
26
paradise beach FL
I skimmed to the end. But yeah, ram is cheap and any new Mac should have 4GB standard if you ask me. It's enough.. but won't be in three years. 2GB is only enough for web browsing and mail.
 
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Beaverman3001

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2010
530
27
I skimmed to the end. But yeah, ram is cheap and any new Mac should have 4GB standard if you ask me. It's enough.. but won't be in three years. 2GB is only enough for web browsing and mail.
Uh, I could pull out a old pentium 4 system with 256 or 512mb of ram and browse the web and check email just fine.
 
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sponginraider

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2011
7
0
4gb of ram is plenty. The only reason you would need more would be for video editing and programming. The even still, I have been able to get by with the air for light editing. If you need more power, and get the MacBook pro
 
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bmat

macrumors 6502
Nov 24, 2004
450
2
East Coast, USA
I have 4GB in my late-2010 11.6. Right now, having upgraded to Lion, I have Word open, iTunes open, Mail open, 5 tabs open in Safari, and Citrix connected and open, and there is still over 2 GB of RAM free according to iStat. I think 4GB is enough, and for many users 2GB is enough.
 
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vty

macrumors member
May 8, 2010
57
0
I'd like 8GB for longevity, but with the SSD an i5 I think the MBA will feel snappy for a long while.

The 2GB is stupid, imo, though.
 
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srf4real

macrumors 68040
Jul 25, 2006
3,000
26
paradise beach FL
Uh, I could pull out a old pentium 4 system with 256 or 512mb of ram and browse the web and check email just fine.
Not with Safari 5.1 and Mail. In a perfect world, I only see beach balls when I'm at teh beach. :cool:

My parents only need 2Gb ram. They are both retired.
 
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trondah

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2008
344
0
Let me ask you OP, do you complain that water is expensive at hotels as well, when you can get it free in nature? Do you expect Apple to sell you upgrades to your computer without a profit? Do you think the material in a Louis Vitton purse is actually that expensive?
 
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lost4nao

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
7
0
1. Good luck paying new egg 15$ for ram and having them solder it for you.

2. This isn't a MacBook Pro, it isn't intended to do pro level types of work, which is typically what would require 8GB+ of ram.

Not every product is made to fit every need, if it bothers you get a MacBook Pro, problem solved. 4GB is plenty for the vast majority of users needs.
Fair enough, the Apple premium and the soldering aspect are somewhat valid excuses for the 100 upgrade.

I am aware that it isn't a Pro, I'm just saying that in 2011, 8GB RAM is not something exclusive to highend machines... it's fairly common in sub 700 dollar laptops actually.

You're buying the wrong brand if you're complaining about Apple's price points.
Actually, the Macbook Air is a pretty well priced machine. Granted there are aren't many available competitors, (Samsung 9 and Sony Z come to mind), they are actually more expensive. Considering that the processors and SSD's are quite expensive, and then the high quality body/keyboard/screen, it's priced relatively well.

I have 4GB in my late-2010 11.6. Right now, having upgraded to Lion, I have Word open, iTunes open, Mail open, 5 tabs open in Safari, and Citrix connected and open, and there is still over 2 GB of RAM free according to iStat. I think 4GB is enough, and for many users 2GB is enough.
Thanks, this was a very helpful post. I agree, I think 4GB will be fine. I wish an 8GB option was available for future-proofing, but as this MBA model has everything else I want, Imma go for it.
I just opened up a bunch of applications and tabs on my desktop, and only 2.5GB RAM was used, so I think I'll be fine.

Let me ask you OP, do you complain that water is expensive at hotels as well, when you can get it free in nature? Do you expect Apple to sell you upgrades to your computer without a profit? Do you think the material in a Louis Vitton purse is actually that expensive?
Aright, this is the 3rd post telling me that I should be ready to get price gouged/not buy Apple.

1. That hotel analogy is pretty bad, but I understand what you mean. I have already conceded that the upgrade price is understandable, if not reasonable.
2. However, my main issue was the max RAM, which using your analogy would be the hotel rationing my water...
3. Are you seriously telling me that charging 50 dollars, hell even giving 4GB RAM standard with the base MBA would not still be extremely profitable for Apple? Apple does this, simply because they CAN.


I've went ahead and ordered the 1,299 model, hopefully it was a wise purchase :eek:
 
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ender21

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2010
291
33
Southern Cal
Uh, I could pull out a old pentium 4 system with 256 or 512mb of ram and browse the web and check email just fine.
You just argued against your own first post, then. 4GB isn't "plenty." It's too much! Not only is 4GB *more* than enough for the vast majority of everyone's needs, so is 2! So why not make a case for a 1GB notebook? After all, it's still good enough for the majority, right? In fact, so is a Core2Duo. ;)
 
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AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
for those arguing RAM usage I just launched every app on my MBP (at once) and at the end of all the lag I was using just over 2gb.
 
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adamtj11

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2011
408
17
Belfast
I think people are being a little too harsh here, I've ordered the base model 11", i don't need the space and I tried a 2010 2gb one today opened everything i would ever want to do and had 500mb left and that was an extreme situation. Had a FPS game, Garageband, Xcode and iTunes all open and ran better than the 2010 MBP I had until yesterday. I have a Mac Mini anyway hopefully to cover mass storage and Ram(4gb) intensive stuff. i5 totally owns the Core 2 Duo anyway aswell.
 
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reputationZed

macrumors 65816
Interesting that you rant on about why Apple should offer more RAM, yet neglect to mention a single reason why you need more than 4GB. If you are more impressed by specs than you are with actual performance you will never be happy with Apple.
 
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Ivangf2

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2011
36
3
I've got a MBA late 2010 with 2GB RAM, and it's running Lion Smoothly. So It a personal decision.

I only use Safari, iTunes, Mail, Adium, iWork and Sometimes iMovie and iPhoto :apple:
 
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FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
for those arguing RAM usage I just launched every app on my MBP (at once) and at the end of all the lag I was using just over 2gb.
You must not use Aperture 3 then ;)

But, regarding the OP's question, the 4 will work just fine on the Air. What you WILL run into is running out of HDD space. You should seriously think about getting a pair of matched externals. Partition one into two (say 250 GB each), one half is for all your future media (pics, music, vids, archived stuff you don't use much), use the other half for the Air's Time Machine backups - backup daily. The second drive is then a copy of the first for when it fails. I cannot stress this strategy enough.

Other than that, I wish the Air had come out when I was in frickin' college. I lugged around a crappy black and white powerbook. Then again, I had no media and barely even used email.
 
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AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Jun 21, 2011
2,410
42
You must not use Aperture 3 then ;)

But, regarding the OP's question, the 4 will work just fine on the Air. What you WILL run into is running out of HDD space. You should seriously think about getting a pair of matched externals. Partition one into two (say 250 GB each), one half is for all your future media (pics, music, vids, archived stuff you don't use much), use the other half for the Air's Time Machine backups - backup daily. The second drive is then a copy of the first for when it fails. I cannot stress this strategy enough.

Other than that, I wish the Air had come out when I was in frickin' college. I lugged around a crappy black and white powerbook. Then again, I had no media and barely even used email.
No I am not I don't use any of the more advanced software.
 
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