Which MBA: More RAM or More Storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DNSamurai, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. DNSamurai, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014

    DNSamurai macrumors newbie

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    Nov 1, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm trying to decide between a 2014 MBA 13" with 8gb RAM and 256gb SSD or one with 4gb RAM and 512gb SSD.

    Option A would be $1239.

    Option B would be $1269.

    So price difference is negligible. My understanding is that the RAM is soldered, and thus not really upgradeable post purchase. Not sure about the SSDs.

    Primary use will be heavy web surfing, word processing, and photo editing. No gaming. Minimal video processing.

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #2
    Any discussion of this is going to be pointless until you tell us what you plan to do with the computer.

    Most people would be happy with the base model MBA, i.e., 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. But there are also a lot of people who will need more RAM or disk than that for their uses.
     
  3. DNSamurai thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 1, 2014
    #3
    Thanks! Added info above.
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Denmark
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    No upgrades required. Even a base model MBA is overkill for all of these tasks.
     
  6. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2014
    #6
    Will these be the only uses for the entire time you own the MBA?
     
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #7
    If his usage changes he can sell the MBA and buy a different one.
     
  8. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2014
    #10
    Instead of buying what you need the first time. :rolleyes:
     
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #11
    Huh? What he needs is the base model which is what I recommended.

    The argument that people should buy upgrades just because their usage might hypothetically change in the future is stupid and it has to stop. If you take the argument to its logical conclusion, we should all be buying fully up-specced Mac Pros for $10000 because who knows, we might need them later.
     
  10. DancyMunchkin, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    DancyMunchkin macrumors member

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    #12
    I stand corrected, anticipating future needs is stupid. People should only buy what they need now.

    OP: Memory is soldered and no one is making aftermarket SSDs, yet. Identify your current needs and ones you can reasonably anticipate for the time you expect to own the MBA and buy that configuration. Ignore motrek's hyperbole and deliberate mis-characteriztion of every else's advice but his.
     
  11. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #13
     
  12. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

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    #14
    More unhelpful hyperbole.
     
  13. auhagen macrumors regular

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    Denmark
    #15
    I'm not saying that he has to buy fully spec'ed, but you are just the type of customer Apple loves. Your need changes and you'll sell your product second hand, loose some money and buy a new machine.

    Some of us dont have time to change machines that often, or doesn't want to.
    For some people it's also involving using more money, and that can be a deal breaker in the long run, if you dont have that kind of economy to swap out, every time you needs changes.

    I't stupid to buy a fully spec'ed if you know your only gonna do web surfing and dont need anything stored at all. But If your editing video and photos, sooner or later you'll have a whole lot of data. I'f OP wants to store them internally not relying on external drives, or simply just dont wanna take more than the machine with him, when he's on the move, that's a factor I would think into the buying options.

    Instead of assuming, try to ask what kind of video editing he is doing. Ask what kind of photo editing he is doing and so on...
     
  14. Dsching Suspended

    Dsching

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    Sep 11, 2014
    #16
    Get the ssd. The whole point of a laptop is portability.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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  16. Carlos840 macrumors member

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    Nov 5, 2013
    #18
    Personaly after using both the 4gb and the 8gb version i would recommend the 8gb one.

    Only using very basic programs (iTunes, mail, Skype, Firefox) i go up to more than 4gb, once few windows with a few tabs are opened you quickly go in the 6 to 7gb of ram used.

    It worked on the 4gb version, but it cleared the file cache and started to compress ram content and swap very fast.
    With the 8gb ram version i have a lot more leeway before it happens.
     
  17. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #19
    So your mba was lagging with 4gb ram?
     
  18. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #20
    And handwaving about potential unexpected, unpredictable future needs IS helpful?

    The original poster already told us what he expected to do with the laptop. By definition in the future, since he doesn't own the laptop yet. I don't know what else you want him to say about his needs.

    ----------

    Important in Activity Monitor is that it shows green memory pressure, not how much memory it reports you're using.

    ----------

    Absolutely false. I used my 2010 base model MBA for 4 years before upgrading. At that point, it would not have mattered one iota if I had opted for an upgraded processor or upgraded storage on the 2010 in order to "futureproof" it ... it would have been like owning a faster horse to futureproof yourself vs. a modern automobile.

    So if I did opt for the upgrades to the 2010 model I would have been wasting my money. And I'd like to see other people not make that mistake either.
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #21
    More people should listen to you! :apple: is very smart when it comes to selling useless upgrades.
     
  20. DNSamurai thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 1, 2014
    #22
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I ended up buying one with 8gb Ram and 256gb HD.

    With education discount, and gift card from trading in an old iPhone 5, the total cost (including taxes) came out to $1161.12.
     
  21. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #23
    Enjoy :)
     
  22. auhagen macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #24
    Well we look at it with a different approach. I bought a 2010 MBP with 4gb ram and 320gb hdd. It was fine for a while, but ended up upgrading it with an ssd and was planning on ram but it died before that. My point is that if I bought a MBA where everything is soldered, except the ssd, it would be important to think a bit far ahead. I would have putted more ram in my machine before it died, if I didn't have my iMac to do my heavy work, because I often maxed out the ram. Hell I often max out the ram in my 4gb server.

    I'm not talking about the cpu at any point, just thinking about the ram and ssd, since they are being soldered to the board now.

    Your giving your perspective, I'm giving mine. None of them are false, what I'm trying to say, is that it depends on your needs now, and a bit down the road.

    You are lucky you have money to shell out and buy new hardware, I dont.
    The price in Denmark is just too massive for my budget.
     
  23. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #25
    Sure, of course.

    As long as you aren't saying "get the upgrades because your needs might change" ... that is not a productive insight.

    As for me having the cash to buy a new computer, I might have ended up spending less money ultimately, than if I had ever bought any upgrades.

    I bought the 2010 MBA for $1000 new. I bought the 2014 MBA for $850 new. I sold the 2010 MBA for $475.

    So that means I doubled my RAM, SSD, processor speed, and battery life for $375.

    If I had doubled my RAM and SSD back in 2010, it would have been $400 extra.

    So ultimately I ended up with a far superior new computer for $25 less than if I had purchased a bunch of upgrades in 2010.

    Only downside is that I didn't have the extra storage space for those 4 years, but I didn't really need it anyway, so doesn't matter. You might need it though, of course.
     

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