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The price of this laptop has dropped by $54 on the base model 13.3" - making this a hot deal.

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Apple Macbook Air
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You can get it for $999 in Microcenter.

Jack9000 said:   You can get it for $999 in Microcenter.

Are you confusing Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge? I'm guessing so.

Same price from B&H for a while. 13" Mac Air

Is it worth about $240 to get the 8gb Ram version?

The problem is that few websites offer the 8gb version, and those that do charge tax. Plus, I doubt I'll see any of the 8gb versions on sale. Thus, the regular upgrade price is $100, tax is around $80, and then no $60 off sale. That's where the extra $240 comes from.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thanks

OSX is quite memory hungry, so 8gb would definitely be useful if you find yourself as one of those people who either do a lot of intensive work (non-word processing) or have upwards of 20 tabs open at one time.

Also, keep in mind that you cannot upgrade RAM or storage on your own with macbook airs. So whatever you buy, you're stuck with.

Pretty sure the RAM is soldered in on the Air. So, if you think you'll need the 8, just pay it up front. The 13" Pro comes with 4GB for the same price as this and is user upgradeable (RAM, HDD). Just bought one for my son, a college junior, recently. The Air is impressive to look at and hold, but unless you need ultra portable, go with a Pro imho.

I've been doing advanced image editing with Aperture and Photoshop with 4 gigs of ram on my Air with absolutely no problems -- speedy as hell. The SSD makes a huge difference. I wouldn't assume you need it the way you might on an HDD based laptop, and I certainly wouldn't pay $240 extra for it.

3-4 years from now and you will kick yourself for not going with the 8GB over the 4GB. I don't do a lot of intense tasks but programs will add up and start eating into your memory and once you max that out then your really slowing your computer down. $240 bucks is a lot, but you can never go back once you made the choice to stay with 4GB. I know I wouldn't even think if having a computer running OS X with less then 8GB these days.

Again, I've got to disagree. The Air is simply a different experience, and it's hard to overstate just how much the solid-state drive helps. Aperture, for instance, which is a huge resource hog, runs only SLIGHTLY faster on my iMac with 16 gigs of RAM and quadcore processor as it does on my Core2Duo Air with 4 gigs of ram. In both cases, the program is blazing fast. All computers swap to the hard drive when they're running into limits on the physical memory, and the SSD drive makes that work very, very well.

Anyway -- Apple haters cover your ears -- there's an easy way to test this that you really can't do with windows PCs: Go to the Apple Store. They will have Airs there with 4 gigs of RAM that will have Aperture, Photoshop, FinalCut Pro installed. These are major, major programs. I think you'll be impressed with how fast they run.


GiveMeFreeStuff said:   999 at frys
Unavailable online currently and seems to be unavailable at most stores

I would kick myself for going with the 8GB over the 4GB right now for $240. Apple only charge $100 for this upgrade and I thought they're greedy...


keaton85 said:   3-4 years from now and you will kick yourself for not going with the 8GB over the 4GB. I don't do a lot of intense tasks but programs will add up and start eating into your memory and once you max that out then your really slowing your computer down. $240 bucks is a lot, but you can never go back once you made the choice to stay with 4GB. I know I wouldn't even think if having a computer running OS X with less then 8GB these days.

MontyBurnsFW said:   I've been doing advanced image editing with Aperture and Photoshop with 4 gigs of ram on my Air with absolutely no problems -- speedy as hell. The SSD makes a huge difference. I wouldn't assume you need it the way you might on an HDD based laptop, and I certainly wouldn't pay $240 extra for it.

Technically, the solid state drive is RAM. It just isn't connected to the motherboard or designed to be quite as fast. The memory in a SSD is still solid state memory just like the chips you plug into memory slots in motherboards. Swapping onto a solid state drive isn't at motherboard speeds, but it is still pretty fast. Such swapping is an entirely different experience than swapping onto a mechanical hard drive.

$240 is a whole lot compared to my dilemma of a $99-upgrade on Apple Store

The $99 ($100 in your calculation) part is easily justifiable. "Future proof", "resale value", etc. I am not so sure about the "memory hungry OSX" part, but it might be true depending on how you look at it. Right now, on my 8GB MBA, I run a number of applications that requires total of 1.10 GB "wired memory". But since I have 8GB RAM, I guess, the OS is generously keeping/using 1.6 GB "Active memory" and 360 MB "Inactive memory" (it's for performance, so if any of the contents needs to be "wired" again, they're already in memory). That's 3.05 GB "Used", leaving me with 4.95GB "Free". On a 4GB model, with the same number of applications running, I guess that OSX may not be so generous in keeping stuffs in memory.

Here are some considerations that you may be interested.
2011 MBA has 2GB model, and people were asking the same question "2gb or 4gb". Just google it. Now, it's "4gb or 8gb". The backdrop is that the new OSX, Mountain Lion, is just around the corner. It's free upgrade for new buyers. $19 for old owners of any prior versions. I am weak, and I know I'll surrender to Apple's marketing machine for future OSX upgrade if they keep the upgrade price so low.

The tax part? How do you justify a killer? But, if you're convinced that 8GB is the way to go, just take the pain. The extra 4GB may just cure you...

The $60 off part? Ok... go back to college so that you qualify for Apple's education discount pricing (-$50 for MBA). Actually, many parents, school board members, staff/faculty also qualify for the education discount pricing. Before September, you can also get $100 iTune card for Apple's back to school promotion. Do check the latest college education cost before you decide to go back to college...

For those running the 4gb on Mac Air, can you really run Parallel's on this machine? is that somethign you recommend.

Parallels will work fine with 4GB of memory, as will most any other mainline software program.

For most people, 4GB is fine. Yes, it'll even be fine a few years from now. Spend some time with Activity Monitor or look up actually memory usage from various websites. Conjecture and FUD are worthless. Statements such as an SSD being "technically" RAM are both worthless and stupid.



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