How much RAM do you need?
How much RAM you need in a system depends on what you intend to do with it, how long you intend to keep it, and whether or not you can upgrade your memory post-purchase. This last point is important, as many high-end laptops have eliminated user-upgradeable RAM in order to reduce system thickness by roughly six nanometers.
Adding additional RAM to any laptop generally increases power consumption by a measurable (if small) amount, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most users. It’s also better to have a bit too much RAM than too little, as whatever you gain in power savings you’ll promptly lose to increased disk paging.
Apple’s MacBook Air offers 4GB of RAM, but most of the systems from Dell, HP, and other OEMs start at 8GB, and I think that’s the better sweet spot. That’s not to say you can’t get by on 4GB — you absolutely can — but 8GB gives you a bit more breathing room.
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