To those wondering if they need 8GB on the new Air

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
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I just got a base model 13" air and was thinking about going with 8gb but as it was special order from Apple and I had a bunch of gift cards from best buy I decided against it. I do a lot of parallels work on my computer (nothing taxing just an office management software always open on an external display). Tested it out today, gave 1gb of ram and 2 cores to parallels which worked just fine, then opened IE and chrome in parallels, plus safari, chrome, garageband, iPhoto, photoshop CS4, word, and excel to get to the point where the ram was paging out constantly. I noticed basically no slow down by doing this, mission control was still smooth, the verge in safari was as smooth as it ever is, basically everything worked just as if I did not have that much open. Not sure if it is the faster SSD helping or what but even though I would feel better having 8gb just in case it seems as though 4gb will work just fine for the average user even if they are using a virtual machine
 

HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2010
1,706
391
Miami, FL
I just got a base model 13" air and was thinking about going with 8gb but as it was special order from Apple and I had a bunch of gift cards from best buy I decided against it. I do a lot of parallels work on my computer (nothing taxing just an office management software always open on an external display). Tested it out today, gave 1gb of ram and 2 cores to parallels which worked just fine, then opened IE and chrome in parallels, plus safari, chrome, garageband, iPhoto, photoshop CS4, word, and excel to get to the point where the ram was paging out constantly. I noticed basically no slow down by doing this, mission control was still smooth, the verge in safari was as smooth as it ever is, basically everything worked just as if I did not have that much open. Not sure if it is the faster SSD helping or what but even though I would feel better having 8gb just in case it seems as though 4gb will work just fine for the average user even if they are using a virtual machine
Good stuff newdeal.
 

Zac10

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2012
20
0
I am in the same boat as you were. I have been told to spend the extra $100 and get the 8 gb. But i have a bunch of bestbuy giftcard and i work there so it means i get crazy discount on their protection which i think is still better then apple care. Right now i have a 3 years old Sony i3 with 4gb ram.
I do photoshop once in a while but mostly its internet browsing with tons of tabs open simultaneously and i watch movies on my laptop alot . Thats the most i will be doing
 

mattferg

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2013
378
16
I just got a base model 13" air and was thinking about going with 8gb but as it was special order from Apple and I had a bunch of gift cards from best buy I decided against it. I do a lot of parallels work on my computer (nothing taxing just an office management software always open on an external display). Tested it out today, gave 1gb of ram and 2 cores to parallels which worked just fine, then opened IE and chrome in parallels, plus safari, chrome, garageband, iPhoto, photoshop CS4, word, and excel to get to the point where the ram was paging out constantly. I noticed basically no slow down by doing this, mission control was still smooth, the verge in safari was as smooth as it ever is, basically everything worked just as if I did not have that much open. Not sure if it is the faster SSD helping or what but even though I would feel better having 8gb just in case it seems as though 4gb will work just fine for the average user even if they are using a virtual machine
Weird, as mine just uses 3.2gb just running Chrome.
 

MeatRocket

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2013
142
0
In the Sandbox
This is great news! Unfortunately, I can't get out of the mindset of running Windows with just 4GB RAM - "I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain! If I push it any harder the whole thing will blow!"
I'll still get 8GB, "just in case". :p
 

altuixde

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2011
47
0
Is the RAM upgradeable after purchase? Apple says that it's not, but it may be possible. If it really isn't upgradeable, then I'd want 8 GB of RAM because, even if 4 GB is enough now, it won't necessarily be enough four years in the future.
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
2,361
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Is the RAM upgradeable after purchase? Apple says that it's not, but it may be possible. If it really isn't upgradeable, then I'd want 8 GB of RAM because, even if 4 GB is enough now, it won't necessarily be enough four years in the future.
No it isnt without swapping logic boards. I am returning my air anyway and got a retina 15" pro off ebay
 

falconeight

Guest
Apr 6, 2010
1,866
1
When you add 8gb of ram, bigger ssd, and the I7 you are in retina pro territory. I think the only ones that make sense are base models with 256 or 128 ssd's.
 
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thelookingglass

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2005
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When you add 8gb of ram, bigger ssd, and the I7 you are in retina pro territory. I think the only ones that make sense are base models with 256 or 128 ssd's.
I disagree for two reasons: battery life and weight. Some people want that sort of computer in a package under 3 lbs with 12 hours of battery life. We'll see what Haswell can do for the rMBP, but I doubt we'll see 12 hours. Maybe I'll be wrong.
 

musika

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2010
1,284
448
New York
I disagree for two reasons: battery life and weight. Some people want that sort of computer in a package under 3 lbs with 12 hours of battery life. We'll see what Haswell can do for the rMBP, but I doubt we'll see 12 hours. Maybe I'll be wrong.
Which MacBook Air config do you have?

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Thank you Sir, what are you going to do now?
I'm using the i7 right now. I've ordered a base 256GB model. It'll be coming early next week. When that comes, I return one of them, and it'll most likely be the i7 that I return.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,418
2,296
Sydney, Australia
With the insane speeds of the pci-e SSD's pageouts will not effect system performance as much as a platter HDD but with that said Memory is MUCH faster then 800Mb/s.
 

Doc Shultz

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2013
22
13
Corvallis
I disagree for two reasons: battery life and weight. Some people want that sort of computer in a package under 3 lbs with 12 hours of battery life. We'll see what Haswell can do for the rMBP, but I doubt we'll see 12 hours. Maybe I'll be wrong.
I agree. For me the screen wasn't a big deal, and it is guaranteed to draw less power than the Retina. Now, maybe between the Haswell chip and Mavericks, that will be a moot point (meaning the battery life will be 12+ hours on both machines), but regardless the form factor of the MBA fit my life (in college) a lot more. Plus, I wanted to play a few games on it, seeing as I wont be able to afford another computer for a very long time, so the maxed specs felt like the better way to go.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
With the insane speeds of the pci-e SSD's pageouts will not effect system performance as much as a platter HDD but with that said Memory is MUCH faster then 800Mb/s.
My concern is wear on the SSD. Each page-in is a write to the SSD, which has a limited lifespan on writes, while RAM doesn't.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,418
2,296
Sydney, Australia
My concern is wear on the SSD. Each page-in is a write to the SSD, which has a limited lifespan on writes, while RAM doesn't.
Yes that is the other reason to make sure you have sufficient ram. Even though my 2011 13" MBA with 4gb of ram runs perfectly Im replacing it with the 2013 13" MBA with 8GB of ram because it so cheap to upgrade, i will stick with the i5 as i don't need an i7 for surfing the web and answering emails.
 

curtoise

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2010
529
13
Which MacBook Air config do you have?

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I'm using the i7 right now. I've ordered a base 256GB model. It'll be coming early next week. When that comes, I return one of them, and it'll most likely be the i7 that I return.
Any issues with the i7? I'm returning mine tomorrow.