In June 2022, Apple revealed a new 13-inch MacBook Air with the company’s latest M2 Silicon chip. With a design that now matches the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, the M2 MacBook Air is the perfect option for those who have eagerly waited years for a refreshed MacBook Air.
The base model of the M2 MacBook Air comes with 8GB of unified memory, with upgrade options of up to 24GB. This is the first Air model that can be configured with 24GB of unified memory on the market.
The entry-level M2 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM has some limitations compared to the other siblings, like a slower SSD speed, an inferior GPU, or a lack of a fast charger. This may make you wonder if you should pay extra for the higher-end models or stick with the base model.
M2 MacBook Air 8GB vs. 16GB & 24GB
All three models are powered by the same M2 chip under the hood with 16-core Neural Engine. So, we can expect the same CPU performance across all three models. The differences lie in the SSD speed and the number of GPU cores, but they are not massive, and you will not notice them if you are a user with basic needs.
Also read: Apple MacBook Air M2: 8 Core vs. 10 Core.
|Base M2 Air (8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 8-core GPU)||16GB or 24GB M2 Air (10-core GPU, 512GB of storage)|
So, M2 MacBook Air 8GB: Who Is It For?
The short answer is it depends on your workflow. I have been using my base M1 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM for two years, and I have no intention to upgrade to the M2 model this year. I do most of my stuff on my M1 MacBook Air, from writing content to editing photos and videos to watching Netflix. It works perfectly for me, and I have never seen an out-of-memory error message.
Most users are not buying MacBook Air models to perform large video edits, complex music productions, or render multiple high-res videos simultaneously. Instead, they use these machines for their basic tasks. If you sit within this group of users, the 8GB model is the right option for you.
One of the most annoying things about the base M2 Air is the lack of a fast charger in the box. There is no reason why Apple decided to remove it from the box even though the M2 Air features a MagSafe port for charging. But you can purchase the 67W USB-C power adapter separately for $20 from the Apple Store.
M2 MacBook Air 16GB: Who Is It For?
A MacBook with 16GB of RAM has become a standard for those who want to run multiple apps or open tens of Chrome or Safari tabs simultaneously. If you use your laptop for 4K editing, 3D titles, and 360° video editing, grab the 16GB model.
Remember that you cannot add more RAM to your MacBook Air with a Silicon chip, as it’s part of the chipset. What you buy is what you will be stuck with for the next 3 or 4 years, so consider getting the 16GB model if you want to go beyond basic tasks. The 16GB model also features a faster SSD, more storage, and extra GPU cores.
M2 MacBook Air 24GB: Who Is It For?
The M2 MacBook Air is the first Air model that can be configured with 24GB of unified memory. The model is the better option for those who want a MacBook Air with lots of unified memory without paying a fortune for the Pro model.
However, remember that you still will get the same M2 chip, SSD speed, and GPU cores as the 16GB model. Nothing is more. Of course, more RAM is better, but 24GB might not be necessary. If you are serious about video editing and want to do it professionally, opt for the 14-inch MacBook Pro.
The Bottom Line
The reasons you should choose the 8GB RAM M2 MacBook Air
- $200 cheaper than the 16GB model. $400 cheaper than the 24GB model
- Enough for daily tasks like web browsing, content writing, watching Netflix
- Can handle basic designing and coding apps
- Can do some basic photo or video editing.
The reasons you should choose the 16GB RAM M2 MacBook Air over the 24GB model.
- $200 cheaper
- Same overall performance between the two
- 16GB RAM is enough for most tasks.
Buying the base model M2 MacBook Air may be the perfect option for many folks who do not want to spend thousands of dollars on a MacBook. However, if you want an extra bit of GPU performance for video editing, encoding, or more RAM for multitasking and future-proofing, opt for the 16GB model.