Will 4gb be enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by neekola27, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. neekola27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #1
    I'm wondering if 4gb will be enough for me..
    When returning the laptop I purchased last week I had the cashier put the balance on a gift card instead of back into my account. I'm kicking myself for it now..
    Now I have to buy something from best buy. They only have the 4gb option for the macbook air

    I tend to have 10 - 20 tabs open at a time. It's just the way I am
    In addition to those tabs I usually have music playing from either itunes or youtube- or a movie streaming from netflix.


    Will 4gbs be able to handle 10-20 tabs and streaming a movie or video?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    This should help: How much RAM do I need in my Mac?
     
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #3
    2GB will be enough.
     
  4. asoksevil macrumors 6502

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    Taipei, Taiwan
    #4
    You will be totally fine with 4 GB, that's what my 2010 MBA has and I've been using it for almost 5 years.

    For future proofing I would definitely go with 8 GB though.
     
  5. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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  6. marshallbedsaul macrumors 6502a

    marshallbedsaul

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    Maryland
    #6
    Enough
    I thought BB website offered 8gb option
    Also price match them with bh photo saved me 89.99.
     
  7. tmarks11 macrumors 6502

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    May 3, 2010
    #8
    Unless you run a virtual Machine.

    I run VMWare fusion to run a virtual win7 machine, and I would be up a creek if I only had 4 GB of RAM. OS X doesn't seem to share RAM nicely with a virtual machine. If I give the virtual machine 3 GB, everything runs smooth as silk. If I give to 4GB of RAM, the war begins...
     
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #9
    The OP didn't say anything about virtual machines.
     
  9. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 2, 2014
    #10
    4GB is definitely enough for your usage, especially since it has SSD for swapping if things will go terribly working. But since it's not user-upgradeable, I would still go for 8GB, such MBA will have much higher resale value later on. These $100 for additional 4GB are well worth it.
     
  10. tmarks11 macrumors 6502

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    May 3, 2010
    #11
    true. Rereading his post, he would have no problem with 4 GB (heck, my wife has a similar usage pattern on her 2011 MBA with 2 GB and it handles the job).
     
  11. joshlalonde macrumors 6502

    joshlalonde

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    Jul 12, 2014
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    Canada
    #12
    Even with a VM, you can use 4GB. It's not perfect though. Then again, my work-around was to lower the amount of RAM used by guest.

    And then, I decided to get rid of the VM entirely and use my old Desktop for that stuff. Got 8.1, Visual Studio and Office Pro+ and Visio and I'm set. My concern was the loss of the disk space, not RAM though. It ran just fine.
     
  12. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Sunny Florida
    #13
    My wife has a 4GB MBA 2011, I have a 2013 8GB MBA. I was helping her out and DANG! hers was a slow poke. Both are maxed out i7s. So I don't know if it was the RAM or what, but I am not skimping on RAM anymore. It's not upgradable later, so its now or never.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    What apps did you run? Did you check the activity monitor to see why it was slow?

    Seems like we got several parallel ram threads running again :p
     
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #15
    I was running a Window VM and Quicken for Mac on both. She tells me its as fast as the day we got it. I don't remember it being that slow. I guess I just got spoiled. In any case, hers is getting eBayed and she is getting mine, so there will be happiness again in this household...
     
  15. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #16
    Yes, I think everybody on this board has always recommended > 4GB RAM if you're going to run VMs.
     
  16. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2007
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    Location eh?
    #17
    Quicken for Mac has always been slow since the PPC era if the workbook had ~2-3yrs worth of data... much worse if you have a stock broker account as it piles on more data to the Quicken file(an account with 5-10 companies, you'll hit 100 MB within two years of pulling online data... factoring in division spinoffs, stock split, reverse splits, dividends, money market interest, etc).

    If she uses Windows via VM, buy Quicken for Windows and it handles "large" Quicken files much smoother. Some claim the rewrite of Quicken for Mac is better, I wasn't impressed as my Quicken for Windows conversion to Quicken for Mac was painfully slow in opening/skimming through old info :(
     
  17. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #18
    The reason she still has a Windows VM is Quicken. We recently downloaded and tried Quicken for Mac so she can completely ditch Windows. I still have some software for which I need Windows.

    The Quicken for Mac is... sub par. But I think she will make do just to simplify her workflow and ditch Windows and Parallels. I on the other hand...
     

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  18. Abbara macrumors member

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  19. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    Here
    #20
    If that's has intensive as you get, 4GB will be fine.
     
  20. lazydog macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2005
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    Cramlington, UK
    #21
    Hi
    Depending on what is in those 10 - 20 tabs 4GB may or may not be enough. As an example, 20 youtube videos might be too much. I tried just this and although Safari could handle all those tabs and remained responsive, when I brought Mail to the foreground (which was already running before I loaded the tabs), it took about 30 seconds before Mail became responsive enough for me to use. This was on a 4GB 2011 Air by the way.

    b e n
     
  21. AliMacs macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2014
    #22
    Let's not forget that the MacBook air and MacBook Pro both have integrated gpu which also share the video memory with system memory. Essentially 4GB isn't 4GB after gpu resources are accounted for.
     
  22. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #23
    And how do you know this 30 second delay is ram related?
     
  23. lazydog macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Cramlington, UK
    #24
    Good Afternoon,

    Well, I had intentionally put stress on memory by opening so many tabs, as this was confirmed when I checked out the memory in Activity Monitor. Pressure graph was in the yellow with sections in red and heap loads of swap used. By the way, before switching to Mail I paused each video in order to reduce cpu load.

    I've just repeated the experiment and this time I did not get such a long delay. Memory pressure was still in the yellow and spiking red, but switching between apps was clunky. I imagine rightly or wrongly that things would be mitigated by a faster ssd in more recent Airs, and I suppose whether working on a Mac with such high memory pressure is acceptable or not is a personal preference. Anyway, 20 tabs of video is something I would not normally be doing so I'm not really going to delve into this anymore!

    b en
     
  24. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #25
    4GB was ok back in the 2007 MBP..

    Now in modern times and looking forward a few years, not so much :)
     

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