Is 8gb Enough For Macbook Air

By | 13/09/2022

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1 of the nigh asked questions on all Mac forums is whether it is ok to buy a MacBook Pro with just 8GB or it would be better to upgrade to at least 16GB. Answers evidently vary from person to person, only the mutual consensus is it depends on which applications you are going to use.

The trouble with forums is that the more you read them, the more
it gets considering people are suggesting solutions, simply they do not know your circumstances.

I don’t know them either, but I can help you to reach a decision by request some questions and refuting some common myths.

Once you lot get all the required information, you (hopefully) volition be able to make an informed decision on which works best for you. Hither’s my take on this topic.

8GB of RAM is enough for someone who uses a MacBook Air or Pro to surf the internet, check emails, and work with documents. Those who write code, professionally edit videos and sound, or use the laptop for gaming should invest in MacBook Pro with 16GB or more figurer memory.

Hither’s the quick determination guide:

decision guide image
8GB vs 16GB Conclusion Guide

And now let me prove my point of view.

RAM vs Storage: What’s the Difference

640K ought to be enough for everyone

Nib Gates, Founder of Microsoft

You may wonder why retentivity options start with 8 gigs and storage with 256 on new Apple tree computers.

Where those numbers come from?

To avoid existence as well technical, permit me explicate the difference between two on a elementary example.

Allow’s presume y’all are building a business firm.

Y’all have a warehouse with all tools required for the job, but the problem is that the warehouse is located half a mile from the identify you lot have called for your new home.

Since you can’t move the entire warehouse to the construction place, y’all decided to employ a toolbox to deport simply the tools you lot need for the next task.

In this hypothetical example, you are a processor (CPU) that does the piece of work. A warehouse is a storage (disk) that contains everything you need at present or may need sometime in the future.

And finally, the toolbox is a brusk term retention (or RAM).

So, what the deviation between bigger and smaller toolboxes?

With a bigger toolbox, you volition
make fewer trips
betwixt warehouse and structure objects and save fourth dimension.

Same with reckoner memory. The more RAM you take, the more apps can run at the aforementioned fourth dimension. With less memory, the computer has to access the storage (which is significantly slower than RAM) more often.

This means that in theory,
with more than memory your Mac may run faster.

At present, let’southward run into how this applies to the existent life.

iv Reasons to Purchase a MacBook Pro With 16GB RAM

image of memory modules

i. You lot need advanced hardware for work

I apply MacBook Pro 16″ with 16GB of RAM and tons of disk storage.

I am a software programmer and as such, I need serious computing power to:

  • Run multiple operating systems
  • Run multiple VMs
  • Run application and database servers locally
  • Build applications with millions of lines of code

The main reason for me to have more memory is ability to run multiple resource-hungry apps simultaneously.

However, if I used virtual clouds to host VMs, servers, databases, and build processes, I would be fine with 8GB.

So, if the question is whether programmers would benefit from more memory and then the answer is:

Beginner programmers do non demand more than than 8GB RAM on Mac. The developers who use virtual clouds for heavy work will also be fine with standard memory. Only the programmers that run VMs, databases, etc. on their MacBooks, need 16GB or more.

Another type of work that benefits from upgrades is computer designers. If you utilise Adobe Photoshop, Last Cut Pro, Logic Pro, or similar software, and then go with 16 gigs.

2. Y’all are a serious gamer

Yous probably heard about gaming laptops.

These are the well-nigh powerful computers on the market and for a good reason. Most modernistic games require a lot of resources.

image of a gamer

Y’all tin can run games with minimal hardware specs, but the graphics will not be expert, the game will constantly lag and even crash.

The primary requirement for nearly games is a good graphics carte du jour and processor. The next requirement would be more memory.

Only once more, some games are heavier than others.

For example, if you lot love to play
Crossy Road Castle, the base MacBook Air will do.

But, if you love
Call of Duty
or some other game with advanced graphics, and then consider ownership MacBook Pro with 16GB.

3. You tend to future-proof purchases

You still retrieve the worst fault of your life when you bought a 2 door Mini convertible three years agone.

As soon equally y’all signed the credit application y’all establish out that the girl y’all met last week at your friends’ business firm is planning your nuptials in May.

Within 3 weeks after buying a automobile you had buyer remorse.

What were you thinking?

How are going to fit your married woman and 3 children that were built-in 10 days afterward the wedding to the Mini convertible?

No, you lot will non make this error over again with your laptop.

Y’all will time to come proof and buy a MacBook with 32GB of RAM so you can watch pictures of your triplets in 3D.

My point is that some people like to exist overprepared.

If y’all belong to this category and you tin afford to spend an extra $200, and so go ahead and invest in upgrades.

Withal, if you are short on greenbacks, but still remember about upgrades, the best upgrade sequence in my opinion is the following:

  1. Deejay/storage
  2. CPU
  3. RAM

In other words, you commencement with upgrading storage. If you have some coin left, consider upgrading the processor. Retention upgrade comes concluding equally information technology gives to the lowest degree bang for cadet.

And be conscientious – Apple upgrades are costly. A base MacBook Pro 16″ costs around $2500, but the cost tag for fully upgraded one is close to five k.

4. You buy iPhone every ii years

I met a lot of people who flip burgers in McDonald’s and they own last generation iPhones which cost a fiddling less than MacBook Air.

“What’s the hole-and-corner of the financial success of those amazing people?”, you lot wonder.

How they manage to upgrade expensive iPhones every two years?

The hush-hush is simple and it’s called
eighteen-calendar month special financing (no involvement if paid in full).

Allow’due south assume that the base MBP model with 8GB will cost $1299.00.

With 12-month special financing, you will have to pay
for 12 months.

Tin can you afford payments? Ok, let’s move on.

At present, permit’s add $200 and upgrade the memory to 16GB. Now, you take to pay

Tin can you nonetheless afford the payments?

Yous nod.

Your face lits up with a smile.

You hide a heap of crumpled dollar bills in the back pocket of your Duluth pants and go to the Apple site to utilise for credit.

By the manner, a credit line is not the only way to make computer purchases affordable. Bank check my other commodity on various saving tips:

Practice you know when is the
Best Time to Purchase a MacBook?

Two reasons why 8GB is all y’all need

ane. You use laptops as a YouTube player and/or a typewriter

Almost users don’t demand advanced hardware. In fact, they would be fine fifty-fifty with 4GB RAM.

For instance, I have two 2014 MacBooks Air: 11″ and 13″.

Both are ever in the dining room somewhere under the table, and when we need to check something on the internet or watch a YouTube video, either i works great.

No delays, no crashes, no overheating.

And when I browse the internet on MBA with 4GB vs MacBook Pro with 8GB, I come across no difference in performance.

So, if 4GB is enough for daily stuff, then 16GB is kinda excessive.

8 GB RAM pickup truck
8 GB RAM pickup truck

Also, if your master job is editing documents in Google docs or MS Part, then you don’t demand a powerful calculator.

For example, I am typing this text on base model of MacBook Air M1 while listening music in YouTube, and I have no problems.

Here’s how Activeness Monitor window looks at this very moment:

activity monitor

There is ane exception for finance people who use Excel. I know folks that work with gigabyte sheets and they need retentivity even more than storage.

two. You lot are reading this commodity

If y’all’re reading this article in that location is a 93% chance that you are either a newbie or non very good with tech.

If you were using Apple laptops for many years you would be scaring mortals on forums with unrealistic demands for computing power.

But, allow’due south get serious.

We will employ an emptying process to find those fancy people who will do good from extra memory.


When solving any problem, information technology’s all-time to start with the “Why?” question.

In our case, the question is,
Why are people asking about choosing between 8GB and 16GB?

At that place are two answers:

  1. Apple allows to upgrade CPU, RAM, and storage at the time of buy, and many people seem to beginning desperately googling to find out if upgrades are required or worthful. By the way, if are wondering if a storage upgrade is required equally well check my post about 128GB minimum storage for MacBooks.
  2. The heir-apparent knows that RAM in MacBooks is soldered to the motherboard and there is
    no way to upgrade it later.

If y’all’re already aware of limited MacBook upgradeability, and so you should answer another question:
If it was possible to add more retention subsequently would information technology solve your trouble?

If you have previously owned a laptop, did you ever upgrade memory on them?

Or did you lot buy another laptop?

In case if you have never upgraded old laptops, then chances that you lot would care about MacBook upgradeability are nigh zip.

So end worrying and become ahead with the new MacBook Pro with 8GB (or the same amount of RAM you already have on your current laptop).

Myth of future-proofing

When asking about RAM upgrades, most users talk almost future-proofing their buy.

What does it mean?

Future-proofing is basically fright of the future.

A fear that 1 twenty-four hour period Apple will release a new upgrade and I will not be able to utilize my MacBook.

Or a fright that 1 solar day I decide to be a programmer or a designer and I will need more resource and now I am stuck.

Let’due south beginning accost the beginning fear.

I always recommend having automatic upgrades on so the Bone (operating system) on your laptop is upward to date, has all enhancements (including operation improvements), and is secure.

Just the affair
you lot don’t take to upgrade to the new OS.

In 2018, macOS Mojave introduced using about 2GB of RAM for itself. This figure stayed almost the aforementioned since 2013, which means that with 8GB of concrete RAM, you have about 6GB for all applications.

If for some reason Apple decides to release a new OS that will demand 8GB and then you don’t have to upgrade.

If yous made a error and upgraded you can always go back, especially if y’all have a Fourth dimension Machine backup.

I piece of work in the estimator industry and I have
customers who are still using 30-twelvemonth former hardware and software!

At present, what virtually a career change?

Well, I call up I covered this already.

What’southward the worst thing is going to happen?

Every time I am faced with a dilemma, this is a question I ask myself.

Let’s assume that I accept only 8GB, and I installed an application that needs a lot of memory.

In 99% of cases, it means that the awarding will run slow, and just in i% of cases, it will not run at all.

If in that location is not enough memory, the operating system starts swapping data between memory and the disk drive.

Back in the 24-hour interval, when we had HDDs, it would mean that the application volition be unusable. Now, with faster SSDs, the performance is only terrible but still tolerable.

If you lot take such an application, you may exist forced to close all other apps to free as much memory as possible, which is inconvenient but achievable.

There is no reason for any private to take a computer in his home.

Ken Olsen, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp.

Exercise you really need a MacBook?

This is actually a very good question.

If y’all never had a laptop earlier, why exercise you think you need a Mac?

If y’all want to play games then you should know that the MBP is not a gaming laptop.

Gaming laptops have specific requirements and the main requirement is a dedicated GPU (graphics processing unit). Y’all can buy a gaming laptop cheaper than an MBP with the possibility of a future upgrade for half the price.

If you are a LAMP developer then peradventure you better off with a Linux laptop?

PC laptop vs MacBook Air

image of two laptops

Since we started questioning the feasibility of MacBooks every bit a grade laptops, let me share a story about my laptops.

In 2014 I bought two laptops.

First was a MacBook Air with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD.

The second was a Dell XPS 15 (for the price of 15-inch MBP) with 8GB RAM and 512GB HDD. A yr afterward, I upgraded my Dell with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD because I wanted to run a SQL Server on information technology.

Now, after 5 years, I have a gamble to check a future proof myth. I don’t use either laptop for anything serious. On both of them, I only edit Word documents and browse the internet.

MBA runs too as information technology used to five years ago.
When I open the lid, it’s instantly on. When I edit documents, I meet no lag. It still has an original bombardment which holds for hours.

Dell is another story.

Did yous detect that later on 5 years, PCs gets …tired?

When I open a chapeau on Dell it takes eight-10 seconds until Windows shows a sign of life. It’s similar waking up a teenager for schoolhouse.

When I blazon on my Dell, I take to periodically stop and run across how letters are slowly popping up.

One absurd thing that Dell has is a TouchScreen Display which is very helpful. Because the
touchpad on Dell stopped working three years ago.

Did I mention that I had to replace the battery on Dell?

As for internet browsing, I telephone call Google Chrome an blaster. It’south equally painfully slow on both laptops.

How much memory do you really need on macOS?

According to LaptopMag 8GB will let you do anything except high-stop gaming.

They fifty-fifty backed up those numbers with some testing. Anyway, I kind of agree with them and you can utilize the chart below as a reference (at least for the near time to come).

RAM Recommendations
Prototype credit: LaptopMag

I would add together some exceptions:

  1. If you’re planning to run VMs on a MacBook Pro, so y’all accept two options: run but 1 VM at a time with depression RAM settings or go for 16-32GB.
  2. If you’re planning to work with Photoshop, Illustrator, and other design software, it won’t hurt to take 16GB.
  3. If you lot’re planning to run Windows on MacBook become for 16GB.


If yous even so non sure let me give you very simple tips:

  • If yous tin afford an boosted $200 get for 16GB
  • If y’all already have 8GB MBP and you notice a memory pressure level go for sixteen
  • If you lot’re buying for credit, get for 16
  • Otherwise, buy MacBook Pro with 8GB

It’south very hard to tell how much ability you need for a laptop when you non good with tech.

But remember you
take a 14-day return window.

Install all apps during that time, open them all, and stress test the system. Use the activity monitor to see if yous benefit from memory or CPU upgrade.


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