Who here chose 8gb or 4gb of ram? if so, do you max it out?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Urimagination, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Urimagination macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #1
    Hey guys,

    Just moved from windows pc/laptop's for the past 10-15 years to a macbook air.

    Manged to grab a nice refurb with 4gb of ram.

    I use to (out of habit) always upgrade to 8gb ram when using windows.

    After using it for the past day, i loaded up a bunch of Safari tabs, Crome tabs, Spofity, and iTunes.

    I couldn't get the ram into the yellow (which is good)

    Just curious as to what other users have to say etc :)
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    4GB works fine, depending on your use.

    You do know that you can't upgrade the existing RAM?

    However, I usually recommend buying an Air with 8GB. Maybe you will have the opportunity to trade out to a MBAir with more RAM. All modern systems really work more smoothly for me with more than 4GB.
     
  3. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #3
    Unless your doing intense photo editing ect, 4 gig is just fine! Also the upcoming El Capitan run's even better then Yosemite on present day hardware,so you should be okay for years to come.
     
  4. Urimagination thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #4
    Yeah i know i cant upgrade the ram.

    Would have grabbed a refurb with 8GB, but had not seen any in Australia for a while on the website.

    Plus if i were to get the Macbook air in the shop, with 8GB of ram, and 256SSD. It will cost $1839 AUD

    I already saved $700 bucks so far.

    Do you guys think 4GB of ram will be enough for the following:

    Netflix
    Hulu
    NBA league pass
    Microsoft Office
    Spotify
    iTunes
    Sarafi browsing

    I wont be doing any video editing (maybe ill convert some movie formats to use on a iphone or something, cant see myself needing to)

    I also don't own or plan to buy any photo editing software. Im a point and shoot, generic overlay iphone photographer lol
     
  5. Urimagination thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #6
    Thanks, just had a read. Seems im fine, and just paranoid.

    Will give the laptop a proper use over this weekend :)
     
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Aug 28, 2012
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    Between the coasts
    #7
    Also, bear in mind that Mac OS uses RAM compression. As a rule of thumb, 4 GB of physical RAM performs more like 6 GB. And if this is your first machine with SSD, consider that even if you do have to page out to disk upon occasion, it won't be nearly the speed hit it is with a mechanical HDD.
     
  7. Urimagination thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 23, 2015
    #8

    Oh ok. Im not really sure what page out is.
     
  8. Urimagination thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #9
    Ok so at the moment I'm finally getting a chance to use my new toy.

    I have Spotify open, Sarafi with 4 tabs open, and Activity Monitor.

    I also have a second screen plugged in. So that one is running as a second monitor at 1920x1080 while I'm using my laptop screen.

    Surely the air should be fine?

    I have noticed a couple write outs on the disc? not sure what this is? ram is still in the green.

    Sorry for a possible noob questions, just want to make sure everything is fine before i can't take it back
     
  9. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #10
    I have a 2013 11" MBA with 8GB. I do experience page outs from time to time, but I'm doing CC work in InDesign, Audition and Photoshop. Otherwise, I think I would have been content with 4GB. Since I maxed out the SSD, it made sense to max out the RAM as well.
     
  10. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Aug 28, 2012
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    Between the coasts
    #11
    Page-out is what happens when you need more RAM than you have. It's when hard disk is used to substitute for (faster) RAM.
     
  11. asoksevil macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #12
    Absolutely.

    I have been using 4 GB since 2010 and I have no problem doing all the above plus even some light photo/video edition and casual gaming.
     
  12. Urimagination thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 23, 2015
    #13
    Where do i see this page outs?

    I looked in the activity monitor and can only see write out? did they re name it?
     
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #14
    Terminology comes and goes, and I've been using somewhat sloppily... In Yosemite's Activity Monitor, look at Memory > Swap Used. That refers specifically to the practice of using hard drive to substitute for RAM. Low numbers are good, and when they are good, the Memory Pressure graph will also be showing green. (Open Activity Monitor Help, read "View Memory Usage" and at the end of the View Memory Usage article, you'll find a link for "Determine if your Mac could use more RAM" - it does a much better job of it than I can.

    You're probably looking at Activity Monitor > Disk Reads in/Writes out (and the other read/write) refer to anything that's written to/read from disk. If there was zero disk activity, there would be no point having a disk at all. ;-)
     
  14. mlody macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #15
    You laptop will be swapping memory to virtual like crazy with only 4gb of ram - that is for sure. Even when you only use Safari. This most likely won't be noticeable on a macbook air since you have very fast storage, but if you had a spinning disk, I would say 4GB isn't enough to even use the stock Apple software.

    Take a look at this link and review the Memory section, then open all your application and see what is happening. If all shows green you are fine, if you see yellow from the get go, or worse red, then you will know that 4GB is not for you.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464
     
  15. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #16
    So this is a screenshot I took earlier - my base model rMBP with 4 gigs of RAM. You can clearly see Safari running with 7 tabs open. And a few other apps. Memory pressure still in green, everything working the way it should.
    task.png
     
  16. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
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    #17
    You should be fine, and even if you sometime need more RAM, as ApfelKuchen pointed, having an SSD should take the pain out of it.
     
  17. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    Nonsense.
     
  18. mlody macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Well, this is exactly how I would label your response!
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #20
    Claiming that 4gb is not enough to run the stock apps is complete nonsense.

    Claiming that it will swaplike crazy from safari is also nonsense.
     
  20. mlody macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #21
    Open 20-25 tabs in safari, and several other applications and use the system for several days (sleep mode) and see how the system works out

    I have 27 imac that came with only 4gb memory and has 1tb spindle drive. Just after few days of usage this system would crawl unless i rebooted it. On 3-4 day my kernel-tasks service alone would consume 1-1.5gb of memory. Since then i added additional 8gb ram for the total of 12gb and the expirience is much more present - at least safari does not hang when i try to go between all my tabs - i usually have 40+ tabs open, much more if i research something.


    4gb ram paired with spindle is a horrible expience and that is the point i was making. It is muh more bearable if you have SSD or pci-e flash base storage as paging is day and night faster compared to regular hdd.

    In this time and age, recommending 4gb is as recommending 500gb 5400rpm drive to anyone - not good. Yes things will work but at what cost.
     
  21. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

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    Sep 20, 2015
  22. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    OP bought a laptop with 4gb of RAM and it's flying through the paces. No use recommending 8 when 4 is sufficient. After 10-15 years of Windows, a MBA is a good place to start. By the time he gets up to speed with OS X and *if* he gets to the point of needing more power, he's better off selling the MBA and buying something more powerful then.
     
  23. meme1255 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Czech Republic
    #24
    I'd not buy any Mac with less than 8 GB anymore.
     
  24. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #25
    I'd recommend 8gb. My g/f has a MBA with 4gb of RAM and watching her use iMovie and Quicktime makes me cringe. I feel 8gb should be the standard for on all new Mac's.
     

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