Should I try and return my new Macbook Air 13" 4GB ram for an 8GB one?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by felixen, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. felixen macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    I got my Air a week ago and it's great. I haven't had any bad/slow experiences with it so far, but I am still wondering if I should have gone with the 8GB one to make it more future proof as well as not risking suddenly getting something I cannot run smoothly enough.

    I don't really do any coding or video editing on it, so in general I don't think I do much memory intensive stuff. But I'm still not a fan of delays, not being able to run videos in full HD and such.. So I am considering if I should try and see if Apple will take it back for an 8GB one.. What do you guys think?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It sounds like if you don't get the 8GB, you'll keep thinking you should have. If you can afford it, go ahead and get the 8GB. That will put your mind at ease and you'll be prepared for possible increases in your needs in the future.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    You have 14 days from the date of purchase to return it. More RAM certainly wouldn't hurt and at $100 it isn't unreasonably priced, but note that 4GB ought to be enough for what you are using it for. The delays in running HD videos may be more a function of the HD 4000 graphics than RAM, though if you run a lot of programs in the background, RAM can help. GGJStudios is probably right. If you don't get the upgrade, you'll probably wish later that you did. Apple's decision to limit future upgrades is probably a smart move for them.
  4. Kungshi macrumors member

    May 11, 2011
    I agree. The seed for 8gb ram is already planted in your head. Don't fight it. Just get what you really want!
  5. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    Currently, 4gb is enough for excellent performance under light to moderate use. You can take a look at activity monitor to get a feel for what memory and swap space you may currently be using to verify your current needs.

    But each version of OSX seems to require more RAM as do new versions of many pieces of software. So one thing for sure is that your memory needs will go up over time. If you are only keeping your MBA for a year or so I wouldn't worry. If you plan on keeping for two years you should consider the 8gb version. And if you plan on keeping it for 3 or more years I'd definitely get the 8gb.

    Good luck in your decision!
  6. icyfire macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    download the app "free memory" from the app store. It will show current ram usage in the toolbar. If you see your ram going real low during your normal usage, then it might be worth it to get the 8gb.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need to download an app for that. Activity Monitor will show you memory usage. Also, there's more to the picture than free memory.

    To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
  8. trondah macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    Yes, just do it. The waiting will seem like forever, but when you get it you'll be like "yessss finally 8gb now i can sleep again" :)
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Do it. It would bug the crap out of me to wonder what could've been... :cool:
  10. felixen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    haha yeah its almost too tempting. I think I will give them a call tomorrow and find out how long it would take. I didn't consider new OS's taking up more RAM, and mountain lion is right around the corner I guess.. :D
  11. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    I just finished building a wand stand last night for my 2 Harry Potter wands out of acrylic (yes I'm a nerd). It's the best looking wand display I've ever seen (the ones on the internet don't even compare). However, I realized that I spaced the wands too far apart. I couldn't sleep last night because of it. Now I have to re-do it.

    I was taught at a young age that if you don't like something, change it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting you made a wrong choice and backpedaling. That goes for anything; remaking a dispay you spent 2 hours on, or exchanging a Macbook Air you feel uncertain about.
  12. grame macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    I faced the same dilemma - then bit the bullet and arranged for the return and ordered the 8gb version. I also returned the Applecare extra 2 year telephone support as I hadn't realised online education purchases come with a 3 year warranty as standard. This in itself almost cancelled out the cost of the extra 4gb so it was a bit of a no-brainer. I know in a year or two I'll be glad I did it.
  13. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    If you can easily afford it, definitely! Unless you upgrade your laptop every year :)
  14. DribbleCastle macrumors regular


    Apr 17, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    What?! where are you buying your Mac that it comes with AppleCare standard?
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    In the UK, if you buy online with an Education Discount.

    Guide to UK education discounts
  16. TyroneShoes2, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    Here's a different take on how much computer to buy

    There is a thing as too much futureproofing. I learned this the hard way, and originally thought you could not futureproof too much. I was wrong. I got a 12.1" aluminum PB in 2003, opting for all of the available bells and whistles. My intent was to get more than 3 years out of it. Cut to August, 2011: the PB is still running fine, running fast, a little worse for wear but physically just fine, and that made it hard to justify replacing it.

    The real trick is to try to predict when all of the great attributes of the hardware you buy will become long in the tooth all at the same time, because at that point you have a practical reason to upgrade. A corresponding strategy is to wait until a significant hardware or speed advance comes along, and if a new OS comes along at the same time, all the better.

    So when the 2011 MBA came out along with Lion, I got one right away. But the PB is still running fine 9 years later. What it could not do is run anything beyond Leopard (also a still-viable OS), which meant I could not access the app store which meant I could not upgrade iWork or iLife, or much of anything else, period. That brick wall became my line in the sand for an upgrade, not obsolescence of the hardware or the OS, both of which are otherwise still lightyears ahead of most laptops out there running whatever (other than Macs, of course).

    Had I not bought all of the bells and whistles in 2003, I would have had a PB in 2011 that was actually more ripe for replacement. It would have worked nearly as good for the 8 years that it was my primary computer and would have cost me less, and even though the coming of the iPad also took some of the sting out of having an older laptop, the bottom line is I would have been better off having not bought top of the line (for that form factor) in 2003.

    So when I got the MBA, I took that lesson to heart; I went 128, not 256, and i5, not i7, hoping that in 3 or 4 or more years it will be to a level of obsolescence that is significant enough to be replaced by with whatever the state of computing is at that time, rather than still highly competitive. IOW, I did not buy the computer I thought I would need years down the road, I bought the computer that was just right for what I need today and will need for the next few years, and not beyond that.

    Cramming all of the futureproofing that is available into the model you buy today can actually end up not being all that strategically sound.

    Having 8 GB instead of 4 really doesn't mean very much today, especially when your VM page file is on a super-fast SSD anyway. When it will make a difference is 3 or 4 years down the road, when OS 11.2 and whatever software you are running by then will finally begin to require it. At that point the money (and its interest) that you saved today by not going big can then be put toward a replacement for your ancient 2012 MBA.
  17. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    OMG :eek: you are like the future me. I have a PB that works fine but it is only 7 years old! Are you saying I could get another 2 years out of it?? Oh my, this is getting crazy. I WANT A NEW MAC!!!!
  18. kodeman53, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    According to Kendo in this pointless thread, you're simply scared. :rolleyes:
  19. felixen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    So many good points in here. Gaming wise I have been considering using OnLive on it. Will the RAMs matter much when OnLive is a streaming service?
  20. MacLappy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2011
    Gaming should benefit from the extra ram, more so as 8GB of ram also increases the amount of VRam allocation from 384mb to 512 mb. This is for gaming in general, can't say specifically from gaming on a streaming service. Hope that helps. :)
  21. tfannon macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    yes, definitely get more ram

    I went from the 2011 w/4gb to the 2012 w/8gb and I am able to run a VM with comfort knowing I am not sacrificing my native app's performance while trying out new OS's on a virtual machine ( i run parallels ).

    The comment about the page-file being fast because its on an SSD is not technically sound. The act of paging itself is very expensive and an SSD is nowhere near as fast as RAM.

    Also, with 64 bit computing now ubiquitous, you will see more developers using more RAM in there applications simply because they can. With a 32 bit OS, the previous limit a single process could access was 2gb.

    So, yes, just do it. You won't regret it.

Share This Page