8gb vs 16gb ram: which is best for macbook air?

In this article let’s take a look at what is the difference between the performance of 8GB RAM vs 16GB Ram MacBook Air because a lot of people who are going to purchase a MacBook Air in the first place are always confused whether they should pick 8GB RAM model or 16 GB RAM model because of the price difference as if you want to purchase the 16GB model then you will have to pay additional $200 more which is a lot of money just to upgrade the RAM so I will try to answer your question and clear your confusion in detail in this article. So let us get started.

So 8GB RAM versus 16GB Ram which one should you pick for your MacBook Air?

To be extremely honest with you I have Mac mini with M2 model as you can see in the image below 

and it has a 8GB ram and 256 GB storage which means I have not upgraded neither the storage not the RAM and this is what most people have in general that 8 GB RAM model is more than sufficient and more than enough for majority of the users and when I say majority it means more than 95% of the users should be more than happy with 8GB RAM.

Let me tell you why, it is very important to understand that there is a big difference between 8GB RAM on MacBook Air especially on new M1 chips macbook as compared to a windows machine because the latest MacBook Air M1 or M2 or even M3 has something called as unified memory which means if you have a MacBook Air with a 8GB ram and you are running some extensive task like video editing then obviously you need more Ram in such case but what happens if you don’t have enough Ram to run the task so this is where unified memory comes into the picture, Unified memory is the high-bandwidth and low-latency memory featured on Apple’s M-series of chips. The memory architecture brings together the memory resource available for both the CPU and GPU. This would traditional by split between RAM and vRAM respectively and there is a concept of memory swapping which means when your Ram gets completely utilized then it will increase the storage of the Ram by taking some of the storage from the disc to increase the performance because both Ram and storage are present on a single ship so it increases performance.

Memory swapping allows the operating system and its users to expand memory to disk rather than limiting the system to solely physically RAM-based memory. 

And because of this reason even though you have 8GB of RAM on your MacBook Air it is not always equal to 8GB RAM that you can have on windows machine because you can do much more things on 8gb RAM of MacBook because first of all the operating system of MacBook is properly optimized for the apps and in most cases 8GB RAM is more than enough for you to run your day to day task like web browsing sending emails and beginner level video editing as a matter of fact you can also edit videos up to 4K level on 8GB RAM and 256 GB of storage and you should have no issue with it as long as you are not having a lot of multi tasking apps open because that consumes lot of Ram, but in majority of the cases 8GB of RAM is more than sufficient for most of the users who are just using the computer or laptop for normal daily task.

And if you are into some kind of a profession like video editing or graphic designing or machine learning or anything like that where you are not a beginner person but you are making money out of your profession then you might want to consider the 16GB version because it will give you more space to test things out and you will not have glitches and have faster performance because of more Ram, and also make sure that once you buy the macbook Air you can’t upgrade the parts later which means you will start with whatever the configuration of Ram and storage that you have and there is no option for upgradability in future so you have to take the right decision depending up on the first case and your usage and the profession that you are in.

I would never recommend people to upgrade the RAM to 24gb because it is not required for majority of people and when I say majority it means 99% of the people should never upgrade the RAM more than 16GB on MacBook Air because it is not required as a mentioned earlier the concept of unified memory and memory swapping where if you are doing some task which is taking more than 15 GB of RAM then in order to increase the RAM some of these storage space will be taking from the disc which is called as memory shopping which will increase the storage of the RAM so you don’t necessary have to worry that you will have to buy 24 GB because it is very expensive first fall and apart from being expensive it is also not required in most cases, and even if you want to purchase the 24 GB version then I would have recommend to buy MacBook Pro where you get much more performance in similar price because to upgrade from 8gb to 24 GB you will have to spend around 400 extra dollars and in that price gap you can purchase a MacBook Pro which will give you more performance compared to the MacBook Air in terms of the CPU core and GPU cores. And if you can only upgrade either Ram or storage because it is expensive as you need to invest more than 200 dollars for either of the ones then choose Ram because storage is something that you can upgrade later by purchasing an external SSD for half the price you can get around 1 terabyte of SSD from Samsung company of high speed but you cannot upgrade the RAM or you cannot purchase external RAM as there is no such concept of that but you can also increase the storage by purchasing and external SSD so if you are confused between weather you should upgrade the storage of the RAM that I would highly recommend you to update the storage if you have the money and you know that you are not a beginner and you know that you need search high level of performance and you are into heavy video editing and graphic designing or programming or machine learning and you are making a lot of money out of your profession and you know that that much of RAM is what you required for your daily work usage and work.


These are my thoughts regarding which Ram you should choose whether it is 8GB or 16GB and I would only recommend you to switch to 16GB of version if you know that you are not a beginner and you know that you are going to do every task on your machine like video editing or graphic designing or something very extensive and you know that you will not regret your decision later because upgrading the RAM is also very expensive as you need to spend more $200 but in majority of the cases you don’t require more than 8 GB of the RAM on your macbook and don’t think that only have your GB because as the already mentioned earlier the concept of unified memory and memory stopping so it is very important to understand that you can have much more performance and speed 8GB RAM of a MacBook Air as compared to a 16GB RAM of a windows computer because of amazing optimisation and ecosystem of Apple.

So these are my thoughts regarding which one you should pick between 8gb and 16GB for your MacBook Air.

Do let me know what are your thoughts about MacBook Air in the comments below and also share the article with your friends.