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sstern1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2004
76
0
I'm still rocking the Blackbook from 2006, looking to upgrade to a MBA 13", either 2011 or 2012. I only have about 40GB free on my current computer, which has 160GB HDD, so I'm thinking the 128 isn't going to be enough for me given what I've read on this board.

I'm not a power user and only really use it for web, e-mail, powerpoint, etc. BH Photo has a 2011 MBA with 256GB and 2GB RAM on sale with free applecare for $949... that's pretty cheap considering the 2012 version is 1599, but has 4 GB ram.

Since I think I need 256GB, not 128, is the 2GB vs. 4GB going to be a huge difference? Is there any reason whatsoever I should get the 2012 vs. 2011 if all I'm using it for is basic functions and travel computing?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,465
833
Since I think I need 256GB, not 128, is the 2GB vs. 4GB going to be a huge difference? Is there any reason whatsoever I should get the 2012 vs. 2011 if all I'm using it for is basic functions and travel computing?
It may not make a significant difference for you, if at all. Some will say to get more RAM, since you can't upgrade it later and you don't know if your needs will change in the future. Also, having more RAM may increase resale value, should you decide to sell at some point in the future.

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
 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
16,090
4,885
If you plan on keeping it for a few years, I'd suggesting getting the 4GB option, as 64-bit programs will want more RAM in the future.
 
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sstern1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2004
76
0
definitely planning to keep it as long as possible.

I have heard there is 100GB remaining on a fresh-out-of-the-box 128GB MBA. After MS Office and about 30GB of music and pictures, any idea how much would be left? Is it worth it to look at the 128?

This will be my only machine.
 
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NMF

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2011
884
21
I would not consider the 2gb for one second. Lion already uses a decent amount of memory and Mountain Lion will use even more. 4gb is the absolute minimum.

As for the hard drive it depends on how you want to use it. I have a USB 3.0 drive that I keep my iTunes library, photos and movies on. I still went with the 256gb SSD because I wanted to have a decent bootcamp partition.
 
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sstern1

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2004
76
0
OK, so I've decided to go with 4GB. Now the question is 2012 v. 2011 and 128 v. 256. I'll troll around some other threads, but if anyone else has any advice, I will appreciate it.
 
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Shasta McNasty

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2010
672
6
Southern Cali
I think the deal you are referring to is also the 2010 MacBook air. I was considering getting it. I'm a basic user, email, web, office and iTunes so I figure the 2gb ram would be fine another year or two easily. That 256gb ssd is what is enticing me.
 
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wenyong88

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2012
4
0
If you don't need Applecare, you can consider this one, it's open box but pretty much a brand new machine. Note that it only has 90 days warranty from Apple, so you might need to consider buying Applecare.

http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-Notebook-Computers/product~dpno~8882572~pdp.gjajbeg

OK, so I've decided to go with 4GB. Now the question is 2012 v. 2011 and 128 v. 256. I'll troll around some other threads, but if anyone else has any advice, I will appreciate it.
 
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dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2005
1,562
112
Also, having more RAM may increase resale value, should you decide to sell at some point in the future.
It doesn't help resale. You'd think it would. But looking at eBay selling prices, folks are sometimes paying more for base models than fully upgraded models of the same machine. Its unbelievable to watch. 2010 base was $999, ultimate $1399, yet the base one has sold as high as $700 while the ultimate most recent sale was $635. Go figure. I assume that don't understand what they're buying.
 
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stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
1,215
3
Although I'm generally an advocate of saving money vs needlessly spending on upgrades that won't be utilized, I think getting 4gb of RAM would be optimal in this case. Unfortunately I guess there's no cost effective way to do it with the MBA
 
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Shasta McNasty

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2010
672
6
Southern Cali
I also think it's a good deal because you figure with a little work you could sell the extra AppleCare for $175ish and the program (parallels or bento) it comes with and you'll have a brand new air with one year warranty for roughly $730 give or take $10-20. Apple still sells the refurbs of this model for over $1000 in the refurb store also.
 
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