RAM upgrade or Hard drive

gusruck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2006
13
3
Hey guys,

I am in need of a portable computer mostly to be used for Office suite work, internet occasional movies. I have a 2011 iMac that I use as my main machine, but needed something to travel with.

I ended up buying the new Dell XPS 13, and while it is a great machine I hate how Windows 8.1 works (I have been strictly apple since about 2006). I am going to return the Dell and pick up an Apple.

As its not my main computer I am looking to keep it below $1k. Deciding to pull trigger now (ensure the 11" is still there return if it is) Two options would be refurb 2014 11" with 256gb hd or new with 8gb ram and 128gb hard drive.

Any thoughts?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Hey guys,

I am in need of a portable computer mostly to be used for Office suite work, internet occasional movies. I have a 2011 iMac that I use as my main machine, but needed something to travel with.

I ended up buying the new Dell XPS 13, and while it is a great machine I hate how Windows 8.1 works (I have been strictly apple since about 2006). I am going to return the Dell and pick up an Apple.

As its not my main computer I am looking to keep it below $1k. Deciding to pull trigger now (ensure the 11" is still there return if it is) Two options would be refurb 2014 11" with 256gb hd or new with 8gb ram and 128gb hard drive.

Any thoughts?
You would probably be happy with the base model but if you have to choose between the upgrades, get the one with the bigger drive. The RAM will just increase performance in rare cases, whereas a bigger drive will actually expand the functionality of the laptop (i.e., you can store more stuff on it, obviously).
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I would be sure that you are comfortable with an 11" Air since you are coming from the XPS 13". Either way you can't go wrong with Apple Refurbished and you save a lot of money.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
I do not see that you need either upgrade.
Just get a base model on offer somewhere.
 

gusruck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2006
13
3
Thank you for all the posts guys. Will stick with the 4gb and possibly the larger hard drive. Excited to see what Apple will update to come February 24th.

One thing I do love about the Dell is the screen. Will be hard to give that up, but Windows just doesn't cut it anymore.
 

Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,059
1,079
Upgrade the ram, you can always use a memory stick for space. Ram you cannot do anything about.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Upgrade the ram, you can always use a memory stick for space. Ram you cannot do anything about.
Oh lord. Using an SD card or USB drive to expand storage space is kind of terrible. There are problems with the drive unmounting and with it preventing the computer from going into certain sleep modes and thus draining the battery. Plus the flash memory in SD cards and small USB drives is painfully slow and not very reliable. Plus it uses up one of your slots/ports and doesn't look great and can get caught on things.

For most people, there is no advantage to having 8GB RAM vs. 4GB. True, you can't upgrade the RAM later but what difference does that make if you wouldn't benefit from extra RAM now or later?
 

Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,059
1,079
Sleep mode works fine for me. There are jet drives also that eliminate things sticking out. You can always remove the drive safely and put it in your bag. I rather have 8 gb ram.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Sleep mode works fine for me. There are jet drives also that eliminate things sticking out. You can always remove the drive safely and put it in your bag. I rather have 8 gb ram.
There are many people who use memory cards and complain that their computes don't sleep correctly. Can your laptop "sleep" for several weeks or only a few days?
 

Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,059
1,079
There are many people who use memory cards and complain that their computes don't sleep correctly. Can your laptop "sleep" for several weeks or only a few days?
I use mine everyday, you can also unplug it at anytime. Why would you buy a laptop to use once every few weeks?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
I use mine everyday, you can also unplug it at anytime. Why would you buy a laptop to use once every few weeks?
Because it's nice to have a laptop when you travel, which might "only" be every few weeks?

Generally I'm able to plug in my laptop but there have been many times when I was traveling and keeping it plugged in was inconvenient or impossible. For those times, I was grateful for the MBA's 30-day standby time (when it can sleep/hibernate correctly and doesn't have stuff plugged into it).
 

gusruck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2006
13
3
So I ended up buying a refurbished 11" 2014 air with 8gb ram and 128ssd. Also bought a 128gb usb 3.0 thumb drive. I figure I can keep my movies/music/pics on that and still have plenty of room on the hard drive.

I am interested to see what/if Apple announces anything on the 24th. If something great I will be in 14 day return period if not got what I was looking for. .

Now to pack up and return my Dell xps 13. Great hardware just not a fan of windows. Would love to see the updated air have specs like that or better
 

tmarks11

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2010
509
32
So I ended up buying a refurbished 11" 2014 air with 8gb ram and 128ssd.
Good choice. I bought 8GB with my MBA11, and would do so again.

The RAM is soldered in, and can never be upgraded, but you can buy aftermarket SSD to replace the existing ones (which I did with my wife's 2011 MBA after it started slowing down to a crawl). Unfortunately when I bought her machine, I did not realize RAM was not upgradable, so bought it with the base 2GB.

I am interested to see what/if Apple announces anything on the 24th. If something great I will be in 14 day return period if not got what I was looking for.
I think that rumor is dead. If there was an event on Tuesday, I think invitations would have already gone out by now. I guess we get six more weeks of no new MBAs.
 

gusruck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2006
13
3
I think that rumor is dead. If there was an event on Tuesday, I think invitations would have already gone out by now. I guess we get six more weeks of no new MBAs.[/QUOTE]


I think the rumor was minor spec update, not major update. In which case would be done without invitations
 

gpspad

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2014
587
19
Even just for traveling 128gb seem so small. I have a 500gb and the 256gb mark came up so quick. Id say 256gb minimum even for travel.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Even just for traveling 128gb seem so small. I have a 500gb and the 256gb mark came up so quick. Id say 256gb minimum even for travel.
What do you keep on your computer??

I have a 128GB drive and only use about half of it and I'm perfectly happy with using my computer for travel.