User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Apple Products »

MacBook Air Refresh (Late April 2014)


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
MacBook Air Refresh (Late April 2014)
Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next Thread Tools
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2014-04-29, 11:58

Surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, the Macbook Air got a refresh this morning. The base 11" model now starts at $899 USD, the first time an Apple notebook (without student rates) has hit that price point. The new machines mostly bring slightly faster processors based on the Haswell chipset. This also marks the first Mac update for 2014.
  • 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD - $899
  • 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD - $1099
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD - $999
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD - $1199
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2014-04-29, 14:18

RAM is a tad on the low side, and there's no 16 GB option (if there were, I'd be tempted to downgrade from the rMBP).

Battery life has gone up slightly. Pricing is great.
  quote
turbulentfurball
Right Honourable Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Québec
Send a message via ICQ to turbulentfurball Send a message via AIM to turbulentfurball Send a message via MSN to turbulentfurball  
2014-04-29, 14:26

Refurbs have decreased in price accordingly. Very attractive pricing.
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2014-04-29, 14:40

Wow, those prices are just wonderful. I guess they’ll only last until the Air goes Retina. Very welcome in the meantime, though.

Most people with any kind of income can scrape together $899 for a personal computer that will last several years. I wouldn’t want to be selling ‘premium’ Windows-based notebooks these days!

Someone like chucker might need more RAM, but especially with Mavericks’ memory compression, the average user probably doesn’t. Beautiful machines, beautifully priced. Nice.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2014-04-29, 14:48

4GB is rather low for a modern machine, but then you can use the $100 Apple took of the price to max out the RAM.

As for the refurbs, the prices are great. $799 for last years base model is a steal.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-29, 18:26

I think an MBA might be my next laptop. I would like a larger screen though. The bezels look a tad thick. Probably they serve a purpose protecting the screen and providing integrity to a rather thin lid, but if they slimmed it a bit, a 14"+ screen would probably fit in the current 13" footprint. Likewise a 12" screen would probably shoehorn into the 11" chassis with a bit of redesign. I'm not dying for a retina screen, but I would like a good IPS display that does a little better in bright light.

.........................................
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-29, 19:08

Can we all agree that come fall of 2015 you still will not have purchased one, no matter what Apple has done to the design?

It took you about 11 years to buy your new iMac - and even then you went back and forth, struggled over specs, second-guessed yourself, agonized, regretted, re-thought it, etc. - so...

Hell, if you have a Mac notebook - of any kind (including a model that hasn't even been created/unveiled yet) - before 2016 - no, 2017! - I'll write a check for $100 to your favorite charity (depending on my cash flow at the time, I may generously increase that amount).

My $100 is safe. Haha.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-29, 19:47

I've decided that if I can keep my macbook running long enough I'm only 12 years away from having my own 20th anniversary mac. I always wanted a TAM
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-29, 20:51

Ha...exactly! I'm closing in on six years with my iMac (August 2007 mid-tier release, purchased as a refurb by me in September 2008). I'll have owned it for six come fall, but it'll be seven, spec/release-wise. No compelling reason just yet to replace/retire it, as long as it works and does everything (and nicely running Mavericks, latest Pixelmator, Adobe Illustrator CS6, all the latest Angry Birds stuff, latest iWork releases, etc.).
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-29, 21:09

For whatever reasons, I think the iMacs age better than laptops. My 2006 MBP feels a lot slower than desktop machines of the time. I remember all the way back to the gumdrop iMacs. In OS8.6/9 those things actually seemed quite sprightly even after a few years. No one would ever want to go back to those screens, which were average at best, even then, but the machines themselves ran well.

.........................................
  quote
Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2014-04-29, 21:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
Wow, those prices are just wonderful. I guess they’ll only last until the Air goes Retina. Very welcome in the meantime, though.

Most people with any kind of income can scrape together $899 for a personal computer that will last several years. I wouldn’t want to be selling ‘premium’ Windows-based notebooks these days!

Someone like chucker might need more RAM, but especially with Mavericks’ memory compression, the average user probably doesn’t. Beautiful machines, beautifully priced. Nice.
I can't imagine any user having a pleasant experience with 4GB RAM in 2014 doing anything beyond Facebook.

Unfortunately, most users just won't know how much faster/better their experience would be, especially since you are stuck with 4GB for the life of the machine.
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-29, 21:31

Maybe between the SSD and how Mavericks does some of the RAM tricks, it's not the bite or crisis it might've been a couple of years ago? I don't know. These things probably zip right along for those basic tasks. FWIW, most folks I know are just casual users (Mail, Safari - Facebook! -, iTunes and iPhoto...maybe a dash of Word and some sort of game every now and then). They probably do okay and wouldn't know 4GB from 8GB if it bonked them on the head.

I figure anyone looking to do some heavier lifting would also be the type who'd know to upgrade to 8GB.

I do wonder how much it would cost Apple to go with 8GB onboard instead of 4GB? $10? $75? I don't know those kinds of numbers. I can overlook a dinky amount of RAM on a Mac with easy access/upgradeability (Mac mini, 27" iMac, etc.), but we all see where things are heading (soldered-on, and "buy what you think you might need in a year or two because there's no adding it afterwards!"). If that's the case, then I think Apple should double their base offerings on soldered on RAM, across the board, especially if it's mere dollars for them to do so. All Airs come with 8GB (and if you need more, you can BTO to 16GB). I figure that'll come along in about 3-4 years, once 8GB is seen like 4GB is today. God forbid Apple kinda jumped out ahead and made to where the regular, non-techie/upgrading schmo can just get a really solidly-equipped, no-apology machine without online BTO and extra wait. Would be nice to walk into a local store (in a city like mine with no Apple Retail) with $899 -1,099 and get a machine I can feel good about for the next three years, RAM-wise.

I've got 3GB in my iMac. I, too, probably don't know what I'm missing. But I also can't bring myself to drop any money on upgrades to such an old machine for such a minimal result.
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2014-04-30, 02:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I can't imagine any user having a pleasant experience with 4GB RAM in 2014 doing anything beyond Facebook.
My girlfriend’s 2010 MacBook Air has 4 GB of RAM. Here are the apps she left running when she left for work this morning (I was hoping she had left over a dozen things running as she often does, but not this time ):



And this is the memory situation:



No memory pressure at all. Everything is quick and fully responsive.

This is how many people use computers. Heavyweight Adobe apps are not the norm except among professional users and computer geeks (the latter installing anything they can pirate, whether they know how to use it or have a use for it or not).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I do wonder how much it would cost Apple to go with 8GB onboard instead of 4GB? $10? $75? I don't know those kinds of numbers.
I don’t know the exact numbers either, but I know people like Cook really worry about small numbers. Besides, the engineers worry about power consumption. More RAM uses more power, constantly. A MacBook Air (or iPhone) shuts down or puts to sleep idle components to achieve very low power draw, but RAM modules need to be fed power all the time, even if they’re doing nothing. It’s harmful to battery life to power extra memory just for fun.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-30, 07:21

I keep reading that the MBA has a TN screen. Whenever I see them in the store they look good, but its deficiencies would probably be more noticeable in less bright light. They should probably fix that.

.........................................
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2014-04-30, 07:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I keep reading that the MBA has a TN screen. Whenever I see them in the store they look good, but its deficiencies would probably be more noticeable in less bright light. They should probably fix that.
They’ll do that with the Retina models when they arrive – and if the iPad mini to iPad mini with Retina display upgrade tells us anything, the MacBook Air with Retina display will probably be priced a little higher than the old pre-Retina models, and significantly higher than today’s new low prices. Which is fine, I suppose.

Apple’s Retina displays thus far have combined both 8-bit IPS panels and high pixel density. The latter is mostly beneficial with text, while the better panels make “Retina displays” great for graphics and photos too.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-30, 08:07

I should have wrote "less ideal light". Bright light would in fact expose the deficiencies.

The MBA doesn't really need retina level displays, though I could understand why they'll want to move to it as soon as they can - to have the entire mobile line-up using the same technology is a nice draw.

Last edited by Matsu : 2014-04-30 at 08:54.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-30, 10:04

Interesting article here

Apple's laptops are excellent, but the bulk of sales are in the 500-1000 range. So, they need to be there. I'm sure there's some elasticity between $500 and $1000 shoppers. Not all of them, but at least a few people who set out to spend $500 can be convinced to spend $1000 if a product really wows them.

I'm guessing $500 is probably too low to offer a high enough standard product, at least new. Based on nothing more than my own observations of people in coffee shops and libraries, Apple probably owns the tiers between $1300 to $2000+. If they become a permanent fixture in the 699-999 space, WinPC makers should worry.

.........................................
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-30, 16:24

The only thing is this (and I think it kinda matters, even to those of us who know the specs and what truly matters and what just sounds good on paper, etc.): I think people could deal with Apple's stuff always being more expensive (and not having a $500 laptop), but even if Apple had a $699-799 model, we all know that it would still somehow "read worse" on specs than a $499 HP at Best Buy (in terms of graphics, memory, etc.).

Like it or not, some folks buy that way. Or are nudged that way by hopped-up sales staff.

I'd love to imagine Apple coming out with a $699 notebook of some sort. Only thing is, Apple being Apple, they'd probably hobble it to the point of idiocy. It would look great, of course. But it would have 4GB of non-upgradeable RAM, a 64GB SSD, last-generation's graphics, etc. Apple doesn't make crap, which is a good thing. But they do cripple their low end stuff to get it close. So their only real choices here are:

- Change their approach and make some crap so they can be in that ultra cheap space (where, traditionally, they've never shown interest)
- Just resign themselves to the fact they're never going to compete in that "$500 laptop" segment

I think the latter is way more likely.

We could see a $699 Apple notebook within the next few years. But nobody here would buy it without BTO'ing the hell out of it, and those who make stock purchases pay not be impressed by its out-of-the-box numbers.

"Why would I pay $699 for that Apple one when this HP one is $499 - $399 with a rebate! - and every single number/spec is higher and better, by far, than the Apple model?!"

Apple isn't about to design/sell (in their eyes) a TurdBook, so some markets just may go unaddressed/un-pursued.

They won't compromise on design or quality, we know that. But they have no problem lowering specs. But I'm not sure they could do that enough to ever get to the $500 area with something they'd be comfortable with or proud of. If Apple did release a $500 notebook, it would have a Core 2 Duo processor, graphics from the last generation of the white plastic MacBook, a spinning 4200rpm hard drive, a display made by Etch-a-Sketch, etc.
  quote
Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2014-04-30, 16:46

Nobody knows for sure, but I'm guessing Apple is happy leaving that $500-700 bracket to the iPad. And I think it's more likely that a future iPad will encroach on the MacBook Air price bracket rather than the other way around.

The MacBook Air will also continue to gain Retina MacBook Pro features to compensate as those two product lines converge.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-04-30, 17:06

I didn't mean to imply that Apple should make $500 notebooks, only that they should find ways to encourage the $500 notebook buyer to think about a $700-1000 machine instead. Something with better specs? Not necessarily. Just something that continues to look, feel and function better than anything else for similar money.

If they're feeling really adventurous, maybe something with a wow-factor?

But what could that be? I think waterproofing is a good next step. They're close already. Just a few gaskets, a membrane, and a bonded screen. The Air has so few ports that there must be a way to economically seal them from moisture.

They don't have to build something that you can submerge in water, but something you can spill your coffee on, or that won't get destroyed if your water bottle springs a leak. Things like that get people's attention. Parents with messy accident prone little ones, outdoorsmen, wannabe outdoorsmen... etc...

.........................................

Last edited by Matsu : 2014-05-01 at 03:34.
  quote
Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2014-04-30, 21:35

Quote:
My girlfriend’s 2010 MacBook Air has 4 GB of RAM. Here are the apps she left running when she left for work this morning (I was hoping she had left over a dozen things running as she often does, but not this time ):



And this is the memory situation:



No memory pressure at all. Everything is quick and fully responsive.

I don't consider 3.26GB of 4GB of physical memory use and 5.5GB of Virtual memory to be "no memory pressure at all" despite what Apple's little memory pressure graph may say. memory compression isn't all that helpful if you are quickly going in-between multiple apps (Outlook/Mail, Safari, iTunes, Word, etc)

I never once mentioned Adobe apps or intense design apps either. However, I think it is beneath Apple to ship a machine that is not capable of running those apps sufficiently, especially one with no upgrade path. The machine is fully capable otherwise, other than being neutered in RAM. Apple does advertise the Macbook Air with Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Logic, etc after all.

I'm also speaking from experience of having to use a machine with only 4GB of RAM for far too long. It is not a pleasant experience. Try scrolling through a large iPhoto library. Or a large Word document. Or scrolling through a large PDF in Acrobat Reader. Try doing the same thing while having Outlook open, Safari, and iTunes. It gets worse. Those aren't "professional tasks".... and even if they were, why is that an acceptable tradeoff?


Quote:
I don’t know the exact numbers either, but I know people like Cook really worry about small numbers. Besides, the engineers worry about power consumption. More RAM uses more power, constantly. A MacBook Air (or iPhone) shuts down or puts to sleep idle components to achieve very low power draw, but RAM modules need to be fed power all the time, even if they’re doing nothing. It’s harmful to battery life to power extra memory just for fun.
Show me some data on battery life of a 4GB vs 8GB Macbook Air. I bet you there is no difference. Show me a 4GB vs 16GB MacBook Pro I bet you there is no difference.

Having less ram also means you utilize virtual memory more. This uses the solid state drives more and also uses the CPU more to manage virtual memory usage. Solid State drives are more efficient than a hard drive but are they more efficient than RAM? (I don't know, I'm asking).

Last edited by Brave Ulysses : 2014-04-30 at 21:46.
  quote
alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via ICQ to alcimedes  
2014-05-01, 08:23

In theory an SSD would take less energy than RAM, since RAM has to be powered to retain the data, where as an SSD writes and it's done.

To me the big screw job in all of this is that the RAM can't be upgraded, and that is Apple's cardinal sin.

This shit might be "OK" by their standards today, but in two or three years time that 4GB of RAM is going to be rearing its head even more than today, and you CAN'T FIX IT.

That's just stupid. Ship them all with 8GB minimum, or allow people to upgrade them after the fact, but you can't say "no upgrades after you buy it" and still allow people to buy machines with anemic RAM specs.

The consumer might not know any better, but Apple should.

(to be fair I haven't tried a machine with 4GB of RAM *and* an SSD) Maybe in that combination the lack of RAM isn't nearly as noticeable, SSD's to seem to smooth over a wide variety of 'slowness' perceptions and realities with machines.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-05-01, 09:00

My old MacBook Pro is limited to 3GB. With an HDD it was awful trying to run the latest Adobe suite. With an aftermarket SSD it became more tolerable, but it's still a single tasking machine. You don't want too many things open all at once. A lot of things worked against it though. Slower ram, much slower CPU (2.16ghz c2d), and both a small HDD and small SSD, and SATA3 bottlenecks on the internal drives. Neither technology particularly likes being filled past 50%-66% capacity unless you want to constantly repair discs to fight slow down.

New i7/i5 based machines are surely much faster, their SSDs aren't nearly as bottle necked and they have faster RAM, but they still have relatively small capacity storage. Something the average user will fill up in a hurry, and which will slow the overall system down markedly, though at least these can be changed later.

.........................................
  quote
billybobsky
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2014-05-01, 09:31

I've had 8 GB ram since 2009, I am surprised anything less is even an option...
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-05-01, 11:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
In theory an SSD would take less energy than RAM, since RAM has to be powered to retain the data, where as an SSD writes and it's done.

To me the big screw job in all of this is that the RAM can't be upgraded, and that is Apple's cardinal sin.

This shit might be "OK" by their standards today, but in two or three years time that 4GB of RAM is going to be rearing its head even more than today, and you CAN'T FIX IT.

That's just stupid. Ship them all with 8GB minimum, or allow people to upgrade them after the fact, but you can't say "no upgrades after you buy it" and still allow people to buy machines with anemic RAM specs.

The consumer might not know any better, but Apple should.

(to be fair I haven't tried a machine with 4GB of RAM *and* an SSD) Maybe in that combination the lack of RAM isn't nearly as noticeable, SSD's to seem to smooth over a wide variety of 'slowness' perceptions and realities with machines.
Yeah, that's why I wrote/asked what I did earlier...if 4G of RAM - combined with SSDs and the way Mavericks treats memory - might make it less noticeable than on a pre-Mavericks MacBook with a traditional hard drive (at 5400rpm or whatever).

But you're right...Apple should know, even if the consumer doesn't, and just cover that since 4GB may not seem like much in 18-24 months. That's also why I was curious about what it costs Apple to use 8GB instead of 4GB.

I, too, don't like the movement of "here it is, what you buy is what you're stuck with for the life of the machine...but we're going to make the stock amount lower than it probably should be, and we're going to charge you quite a bit to upgrade it. That means you pretty much have to order online and go through the BTO procedure (often adding several days to the purchase/delivery). We know you'd like to walk into your local Apple Store or Best Buy and just get what you want (and feel good about its specs over the long haul). Tough!"

The 21.5" iMac is the same way, and I've written about that plenty. It's no longer user-upgradeable either, and so you're having to make those decisions with it as well. Just seems wrong that a desktop of that kind is sealed/inaccessible (after having not been since 1999).

Do one or the other...either figure out a way to build an Air with user-upgradeable RAM, OR put a solid, decent amount in stock for 2014 (and for the high price people are paying for these things), and then let the BTO be geared toward those who're really needing the extra or pushing their machines more than the average user.

Can't have it both ways..."we're welding the thing shut/soldering everything to the board AND we're skimping on the stock amounts! You want a RAM amount you're going to feel good about come 2016 or so? Fork over now, pal...".
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2014-05-01, 13:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
But you're right...Apple should know, even if the consumer doesn't, and just cover that since 4GB may not seem like much in 18-24 months. That's also why I was curious about what it costs Apple to use 8GB instead of 4GB.
The difference in price between notebook 4GB and 8GB dimms is maybe $20-30, and that is the price difference between individual dims, rather than the quantity Apple would be ordering. There is simply no excuse for keeping these machines at 4GB.
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-05-01, 13:58

That's what I was wondering. It wouldn't even be a blink to them, huh?

I'd feel better about buying one, just walking into MacAuthority or Best Buy with $1,000 and paying cash or whatever, and knowing 8GB has a bit more "legs" in the coming 2-3 years.

I've just about gotten tired of ordering online, credit cards, shipping, having stuff sit on my porch for half a day, etc. I've become a real "buy it in town, pay cash" kinda guy in recent years. With the exception of the iOS stuff, Apple makes it where I can't.
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2014-05-02, 06:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I don't consider 3.26GB of 4GB of physical memory use and 5.5GB of Virtual memory to be "no memory pressure at all" despite what Apple's little memory pressure graph may say.
Well, more memory wouldn’t make the computer run faster in this case, which is the bottom line here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I never once mentioned Adobe apps or intense design apps either. However, I think it is beneath Apple to ship a machine that is not capable of running those apps sufficiently, especially one with no upgrade path.
But why? Some MacBook Air buyers will never use those apps (the vast majority, probably). It would be wasteful and pointless to spec every machine for the worst-case scenario. You may as well complain a Mac Pro hasn’t got enough memory for continental-scale weather forecasting.

Besides, 4 GB can honestly run things like Aperture. Not ideally, but it works fine if you take care to shut down memory-hungry things before starting work.

That’s the thing: 4 GB is actually quite a bit of memory. It’s not comparable to past situations, where Macs shipped with 128 MB and could barely load the OS in that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I'm also speaking from experience of having to use a machine with only 4GB of RAM for far too long. It is not a pleasant experience. Try scrolling through a large iPhoto library. Or a large Word document. Or scrolling through a large PDF in Acrobat Reader.
These things aren’t necessarily memory limited. For example, I haven’t seen Adobe Reader scroll smoothly in years on any Mac. The app is just layer upon layer of inefficiencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Show me some data on battery life of a 4GB vs 8GB Macbook Air. I bet you there is no difference. Show me a 4GB vs 16GB MacBook Pro I bet you there is no difference.
When I upgraded my old MacBook Pro from 2 GB to 8 GB of RAM I noticed a distinct increase in idle power consumption. Not drastic, but enough to be sure it was real. Since the MacBook Air has extremely low power draw at idle, the effect may be larger for it.

I don’t know which memory modules Apple uses so I can’t look up the figures. But for a given manufacturing process, doubling memory capacity simply doubles many types of current draw (though admittedly not some important ones, which show less of an increase). And notebook memory chips use enough power to make the sticks warm to the touch, i.e. a significant amount. In the very rough range of a watt, judging from some Micron datasheets I glanced at. So we’re talking about real effects on battery consumption – maybe close to an hour over the 12 hours claimed life of the 13-inch MacBook Air.

Memory power consumption is an important reason Apple has worked so hard to keep down the memory requirements of iOS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
The difference in price between notebook 4GB and 8GB dimms is maybe $20-30, and that is the price difference between individual dims, rather than the quantity Apple would be ordering. There is simply no excuse for keeping these machines at 4GB.
$20–30 is a fortune to a bean-counter and a very good excuse. If the marginal cost to make an Air is $300 then $30 would be a 10 per cent increase!

By the way, it isn’t just Apple that has stagnated on memory capacities. The whole PC industry has done so. 4 GB was common on new Windows-based notebooks in 2009, and remains so today five years later. Increases are no longer as vital as they were, and price pressure is higher.

And some trends have actually reduced memory requirements: increased use of cloud-based services in a browser rather than a standalone app, increased recognition of the value of (and adoption of) simple and lightweight desktop apps, increased use of an iPhone for everyday photos instead of a dedicated camera and iPhoto, etc.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
  quote
Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2014-05-02, 06:35

The happy medium here might be for Apple to make the BTO options a little more palatable compared to 3rd party options - which they've largely locked out. On some machines the BTO RAM prices are absurd.
  quote
Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2014-05-02, 09:40

Quote:
Well, more memory wouldn’t make the computer run faster in this case, which is the bottom line here.
How not? That's also very far from the bottom line here.

Quote:
But why? Some MacBook Air buyers will never use those apps (the vast majority, probably)
God, that is an awful statement, that apologists use all the time.

Quote:
It would be wasteful and pointless to spec every machine for the worst-case scenario.
8GB of RAM is now worst case scenario? A Macbook Air owner using Illustrator is now a worst-case scenario? A Macbook Air owner running multiple apps at once is a worst case scenario? Maybe Apple should disable Mission Control and Spaces on those machines then. May as well not accommodate a "worst case scenario" if the machine can't handle it. Using the machine in 24 months is a worst case scenario?

Quote:
Besides, 4 GB can honestly run things like Aperture. Not ideally, but it works fine if you take care to shut down memory-hungry things before starting work.
I use Aperture everyday. It sucks with 4GB of RAM. It will run, but it sucks.

Your suggestion is that users' needs never expand and develop as they use their machines. You seem to think this machine is simply a bargain bin, do nothing but Facebook machine, that soccer moms use for nothing else and that their creativity going forward and computer needs will be stunted in time. That's the exact opposite impression Apple gives about its products and users. The iPad fits that need. The MacBook Air (and the Mac in general) should be different. It should be more powerful and enable the user to grow within reason at each price point. With 4GB of RAM that can not be upgraded I feel this is just a dead end 2 year max computer, which makes it very far from impressive.

Again... the ONLY thing holding this computer back from smoothly performing all of those tasks is the RAM, and something the user can not upgrade... ever.

Quote:
That’s the thing: 4 GB is actually quite a bit of memory. It’s not comparable to past situations, where Macs shipped with 128 MB and could barely load the OS in that.
Not true.

Apple also never shipped a machine with 128MB of RAM that could not be upgraded.

Quote:
These things aren’t necessarily memory limited. For example, I haven’t seen Adobe Reader scroll smoothly in years on any Mac. The app is just layer upon layer of inefficiencies.
maybe you need more RAM.

Quote:
When I upgraded my old MacBook Pro from 2 GB to 8 GB of RAM I noticed a distinct increase in idle power consumption. Not drastic, but enough to be sure it was real. Since the MacBook Air has extremely low power draw at idle, the effect may be larger for it.

I don’t know which memory modules Apple uses so I can’t look up the figures. But for a given manufacturing process, doubling memory capacity simply doubles many types of current draw (though admittedly not some important ones, which show less of an increase). And notebook memory chips use enough power to make the sticks warm to the touch, i.e. a significant amount. In the very rough range of a watt, judging from some Micron datasheets I glanced at. So we’re talking about real effects on battery consumption – maybe close to an hour over the 12 hours claimed life of the 13-inch MacBook Air.

Memory power consumption is an important reason Apple has worked so hard to keep down the memory requirements of iOS.
Sorry, all of the above is BS. Show me stats from an independent source. I've searched. I have found nothing at all about shorter battery life with 8GB RAM vs 4GB in a Macbook Air.

Quote:
By the way, it isn’t just Apple that has stagnated on memory capacities. The whole PC industry has done so. 4 GB was common on new Windows-based notebooks in 2009, and remains so today five years later. Increases are no longer as vital as they were, and price pressure is higher.
Hard to find a PC laptop that doesn't allow you to upgrade the RAM. Most seem to come with 8GB these days anyway.

I also don't see any value in arguing that Apple is following the PC industry. Since when is that Apple's goal?
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Surprise MacBook Pro refresh incoming? Robo Speculation and Rumors 7 2011-09-20 07:07
Late '09 MacBook chucker Apple Products 183 2009-11-19 16:08
Mac Pro & Macbook Pro Refresh this fall? Moogs Speculation and Rumors 12 2009-07-15 20:57
MacBook Pro Refresh @ Apple Expo Paris? TiG4 Speculation and Rumors 4 2007-09-03 13:59
Wait for Macbook refresh? Rod Purchasing Advice 25 2006-09-01 23:42


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 16:13.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2019, AppleNova