I have te possibility to get a 13'' 2013 MBA with i5 and 4gb of Ram for 200$ less than the habitual sell price.

The only problem is I can't have more ram, it's 4gb or nothing. My question is : will it be enough ? I will use this mba for web-browsing, movie watching and a litte bit of dev (node.js, and perhaps some script language like ruby), i'll PERHAPS use it for xCode from time to time, but it's not sure, I have an iMac at home for this.

So, is it a good idea to take this macbook, or should I pay 300$ more to have 8gb of ram ?

Thank you for your help !

  • Nobody can tell you this as you cannot describe exactly what you're trying to achieve. For regular usage 4GB is enough. – Rob May 13 '14 at 11:08
  • If you have a iMac for heavier stuff should be OK - Xcode will run in 4G but depends on how big the project is and would have to be quite big to have issues - an SSD helps more here. – Mark May 13 '14 at 11:14
  • Ok, so basically for a regular "laptop usage" (browsing the web, office suite and a little bit of code) it's not useful to pay 300$ more for just 4gb of ram ? – T2o May 13 '14 at 11:29
  • if you don't need to virtualize a guest OS, 4gb is fine. – Guido Preite May 13 '14 at 13:23
  • If I want to virtualize I'll do it on my home's computer :) – T2o May 13 '14 at 13:33

For what ever it is wort, here are my personal experience.

I have a mid 2012 MBA with 4 Gig RAM and 256 Gig SSD.

It has a Mavericks OS 10.9.2, MS Office 2011, 3 Browsers ect..(browser could eat up to 700 meg of RAM)

I have 110 Gig of videos and pictures.

I am a "normal" (no offense) user thus no serious programing or heavy duty video or photos rendering. (those are the CPU and RAM killers)

So far having multiple apps open, I have not noticed a slow down in performances.

The Activity Monitor on mavericks has a great feature called memory load, and I always stay in the green range.

I would say having more is not a must have but nice to have (so a question of Budget)

  • Ok, so I think I will purchase the 4 gb, different forums told me the same thing, 4gb is enough for normal usage ! Thank you for the answer – T2o May 13 '14 at 12:07
  • I have a 2011 MBA with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD and I even use it with Photoshop, Autodesk Maya and Final Cut. It's no beast, but it does the job very well. – rwenz3l May 13 '14 at 13:15
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    With 10.9 RAM compression feature, you should be fine for 'normal use'. But more RAM is always better and an investment into the future (safes you 1~2 years before the need of buying a new one since you cannot swap RAM of these notebooks). – mana May 13 '14 at 14:49

I chose the 4GB version and used the extra $$$ for more storage. I replace my laptop every year or every other year (Apple's computers hold their value and I usually resell them for 75% to 80% of what I originally paid). So if the 4GB RAM became limiting, I would just deal with it until the following year.

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