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SR71
Aug 8, 2013, 10:12 AM
So I've had my current MacBook Pro for a little more than a year now and I will be selling it to my brother as he and I are both going off to college. He doesn't want to pay tons of money for a new Mac, so I told him I'd sell him my MBP (upgraded from 4GB of RAM to 8GB RAM from Crucial and got AppleCare till 2015) for $1,000 and I'd use that money along with a little that I've saved up to buy myself one of the new Air's.

I chose the Air over another MBP for two reasons: I will be commuting to school by bike, going up and down hills and the less weight, the better, and two, the battery life... since I'll be spending the majority of my time at the school and I don't want to have to carry around a power brick, long battery life is essential.

Anyways, so I'm going to be ordering my new Air this weekend (tax-free weekend, woohoo!), but am having difficulty deciding between the 256GB SSD or the 512GB. On my MBP, I just deleted a bunch of old things I've downloaded over the last year of ownership and am currently using up 147GB of space. This is also with a 35GB bootcamp partition which I will also be putting on the Air when I get it. I'm kind of leaning towards getting the 256GB SSD as it's considerably cheaper, but I also plan on keeping this Air for at least 3-4 years. I could always get an external HDD, but in my opinion, they can be cumbersome. The main reason I'm swayed to get the 512GB SSD is because I know I will never have to worry about storage... I wouldn't have to fiddle with an external HDD or have to worry about needing to delete files that are taking up to much space.

I just can't decide... Any input or suggestions would be great. Also, I don't know if this would have anything to do with it, but I am majoring in computer science for whatever that's worth.



robvas
Aug 8, 2013, 10:21 AM
Isn't this only a decision you can make?

You might consider that OWC will probably make an upgrade SSD within the next few months and if it's cheaper you could upgrade to that later on. Or get an OEM one on eBay.

brightjc@me.com
Aug 8, 2013, 10:37 AM
I have had a slightly different situation. I have an iMac (2010 2TB Internal hard drive) I wanted it to work faster so I bought an external SSD (I REALLY should of bought an internal SSD but I just couldn't afford it and our (UK) government were just about to raise the VAT rate (value added tax) from 17.5 to 20 so I would of had to wait another couple of month - bearing in mind that I didn't have any sort of mac to start with.
I ummed and arrrrgggghhhed about this but eventually went for a 240GB one NOT a 128 one. At the time they were a fairly new idea and were very expensive, I can't remember exactly but I think the drive (including the enclosure) was about 250 to 300.
In the end my boot drive (I used the internal for iTunes movies, TV series and music etc) totalled about 145GB so I did the right thing. But you need to think carefully about how long you want this mac to last as the longer you have it the more data you'll have.
Have fun with your purchase, John

DisplacedMic
Aug 8, 2013, 10:42 AM
i went i/ the 256. couldn't justify the expense for 512. especially for what i use my air for... i spent the money on the new time capsule instead - to which i added my various external drives.

brightjc@me.com
Aug 8, 2013, 10:56 AM
I think that you did the right thing. I however did not, I should of bought the printer later instead of with the iMac and maybe saved a bit harder before then I could of got an internal 256GB drive which would of been better than the one I bought which was connected with FireWire 800 as the 2010 model has neither Thunderbolt or USB 3. I'm currently saving up for a replacement however and I've now got a four hard drive (3.5") bay (Icybox) for my iTunes which currently had two 3TB Baracudda drives in it which are mirrored in case one fails. I have almost 2TB of iTunes stuff on it. Plus I've got a 2TB WD external hard drive for backing up the boot drive.
I've also just purchased a 128GB thumb (USB 3 but I've only got USB 2 ports but of course when I get my next iMac it WILL have USB 3) which after a lot deletions of unwanted games (CoD 1 & 2 etc) I've managed to reduce my boot drive to 90 GB so it's completely backed up to a USB thumb drive that I can unplug and put in my pocket just in case!
I'm now torn between the 512GB and the 756GB iMac but I think really that 512GB would be more than enough. I do want it to last about five years. Thanks for your prompt reply,
John

kohlson
Aug 8, 2013, 11:02 AM
Resource upgrades are very limited on the MBA, as you're well aware. My wife wanted limited access to Windows 7, so I bought a "fast" microSD 64GB chip, which contains her Fusion environment. It was inexpensive, and I expect in a year or so I'll be able to increase the size as needed.

brightjc@me.com
Aug 8, 2013, 11:08 AM
I've found that for my needs (I'm not a student or need a computer for work) an iMac, iPad (3rd gen 64GB) and a iPhone (5 32Gb) are perfect.
What puzzles me is why everyone moan that macs aren't any good for games.
I find that mine works excellently when I'm playing any of my games although I think that having 16GB DRAM and an SSD helps.

MT0227
Aug 8, 2013, 11:42 AM
I purchased the a new MBA 11" 128GB as my mobile computer for work and travel. Given the same choices, I decided to setup a NAS server as a result of this constant decision that needs to be made every time you look to purchase. The $300 cost, going from 256GB to 512GB gets you real close to a decent, entry level, 2TB NAS setup (drives included). This cost is way too high in my view.

Now, all my files sit on the NAS and I just carry what I need for the time I will be away. As long as I have an internet connection I can simply access my NAS to retrieve anything I need or forgot. All my hard earned cash will be going to speed and performance as opposed to space when it's time for another purchase.

Additionally, if you have multiple devices, setting up a NAS should help keep your files organised to one device, making back-ups of your critical data more efficient as opposed to it being across several devices.

All the best with your new MBA

travod
Aug 8, 2013, 12:20 PM
I got the 256GB and bought a 1TB EHD on Amazon for ~$60. Very happy with my decision. I have enough storage on my laptop to keep my movies, shows, etc without worrying about running out, and when I do, I have a whole terabyte.

w00d
Aug 8, 2013, 01:10 PM
Just a guess, but if the 256 is not big enough, the 512 probably isn't either (at least not for long) so consider an external drive... usb3 is fast... all my raw photo and video goes to the external drive. 2TB archive in my pocket. Day to day projects and software fits (for me) on 256. But I have no idea what you need, this is just what works for me.

B...
Aug 8, 2013, 03:31 PM
256 should be fine.

m98custom1212
Aug 8, 2013, 03:43 PM
I've found that for my needs (I'm not a student or need a computer for work) an iMac, iPad (3rd gen 64GB) and a iPhone (5 32Gb) are perfect.
What puzzles me is why everyone moan that macs aren't any good for games.
I find that mine works excellently when I'm playing any of my games although I think that having 16GB DRAM and an SSD helps.

Everyone moans that macs aren't good for game is because of the video card..

For $2150 (http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD096LL/A?) you get a 680MX which is slighty better then a 670 ~$300 card Yes it can play modern games but for $2150..
Performance

Thanks to the additional shader cores and the faster memory, the graphics performance of the GeForce GTX 680MX should be 15 - 25 percent above the GTX 680M and similar to the Desktop GTX 580. The GPU has enough power to run demanding games of 2012 fluently with Full HD resolution and maxed out graphical settings. Battlefield 3, Skyrim, and Crysis 2, for example, are playable at the highest detail settings.

As an example, the GTX 680MX can play Battlefield 3 on ultra settings at 30 FPS on a native resolution of 2560x1440 during our benchmark sequence. For fluent multiplayer gameplay, the resolution and/or anti-aliasing should be reduced (e.g. 1920x1080 Ultra at 45 fps).

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-680MX.83519.0.html

designs216
Aug 8, 2013, 03:46 PM
Go with the 256 -- the Apple premium for the 512 is insane. Plenty of room for current projects. Your archive can go on a nice, cheap USB3.

Mike in Kansas
Aug 8, 2013, 04:20 PM
Do you, or will you, edit video or shoot lots of photos? Do you have a large music or movie collection? Do you feel the need to keep ALL of that on one self-contained machine?

I was just in the same boat. Getting a MBA for my son heading off to college. This will be his only computer; he will not have a desktop. He shoots photos, video, and has a large music and movie collection. He will be away from his room and between classes at the library, academic halls, and performance hall (he is a Music Ed major) the majority of the day. He'd like constant local access to all of this content; i.e. prefer no cloud storage.

He's moving his existing content from a 2012 MBA that he and his mom share; his portion of the 256GB SSD is over 120GB and he just started shooting photos seriously last year, so it will continue to grow. He wants to keep as much of his Aperture library, music & movie library and video library on his machine as possible, so he has the ability to edit and create wherever he is. Therefore, I opted for the 512GB SSD.

It was a hard decision, as the $300 upcharge could have purchased quite a few TB of external USB3 storage. However, the main reason for going with the MBA in the first place vs. a MBP was to have his entire digital life all in one light transportable yet powerful and fast device. Using external HDDs put a damper on that elegance, so we went with as much onboard storage as possible.

If you aren't adding lots of video or photos, and don't have a lot invested in iTunes or other file-based music, you could probably get by with the 256GB.

johnjey
Aug 8, 2013, 04:30 PM
Well to everyone who is pushing you to NOT get a 512GB SSD...i am the living example of using it and it beats every other SSD on the planet in terms of read/write speeds + the whole point of buying a Mac Air is portability and i don't want to take a 5+ whatever pound Airport Extreme dangling with me all the time (And that's only used for a back-up not an external HDD) ==> it's strange but true that the window fanboys need coaching when moving to Apple as Back-up and external HDD are 2 different worlds and not so easily understandable (despite being a comp science major lol)

Go ahead, get the 512 SSD and you will NOT regret it:):):):)

ZBoater
Aug 8, 2013, 04:31 PM
You NEED 512GB... :rolleyes:

If you give me your bank account number and password, I can log in and do a financial analysis of your income and expenditures and tell you if the upgrade cost would be worth it for you. :p

512 is double 256. And it costs $300 for that upgrade. Only you know your usage patterns and your financial situation. Is it worth it? For you - maybe. Maybe not. For me it was worth every penny. I needed the space. And I could afford to buy it. So I did.

If you absolutely have to have more that 256GB for your use, then the question answers itself. If you don't need all that space, then it becomes a matter of how much is your convenience worth. Toting around an SD card or USB3 drive for anything that doesn't fit, or having it all inside the MBA. I tote around a 2TB hard drive for my movies. My movies won't fit on a 256GB or 512GB drive. But I do have a ton of VMs, and I don't want to mess with external drives for those. Plus I have all my music and pictures with me. But that's ME. YMMV.

kahkityoong
Aug 8, 2013, 06:22 PM
Go with the 256 -- the Apple premium for the 512 is insane. Plenty of room for current projects. Your archive can go on a nice, cheap USB3.

Actually it is not. Show me an SSD with performance similar to that in the 2013 MBA at a significantly cheaper price. IMO the markup in reasonable here, at least compared to the usual Apple tax on upgrades.

Ronnoco
Aug 8, 2013, 06:51 PM
I went with the 512GB, it was within the budget I set for a new computer, no regrets as this is the fastest SSD i have ever had the pleasure of owning (and I've owned more than a few). I love having lots of available open space (and I am a HUGE user of movie, tv and music media) without having to carry external USB3 drives. This thing is ABSOLUTE "lightning-in-a-bottle"! :D

designs216
Aug 8, 2013, 07:08 PM
Actually it is not. Show me an SSD with performance similar to that in the 2013 MBA at a significantly cheaper price. IMO the markup in reasonable here, at least compared to the usual Apple tax on upgrades.

To my knowledge, the Apple drive is the only horse in the race. In monopoly situations, the sky's the limit. My point is this, if the OP can get by with 256, why encourage a student to pay more for the 512?

kahkityoong
Aug 8, 2013, 09:37 PM
To my knowledge, the Apple drive is the only horse in the race. In monopoly situations, the sky's the limit. My point is this, if the OP can get by with 256, why encourage a student to pay more for the 512?

And my point was that the premium for 512GB is not 'insane' as you put it. If he needs 256, great. But he wanted to go to 512GB, the premium is by no means insane at all. There are no SSDs with similar read/write speeds in any 'horse race' which are significantly cheaper currently.

DisplacedMic
Aug 9, 2013, 10:43 AM
To my knowledge, the Apple drive is the only horse in the race. In monopoly situations, the sky's the limit. My point is this, if the OP can get by with 256, why encourage a student to pay more for the 512?

i agree w/ both of you. it's VERY expensive but not that obscene considering SSDs are around $1/gig these days.

i just don't think it's worth it...for my needs anyway. that being said, i doubt too many people regret getting it once the trigger is pulled.

m98custom1212
Aug 9, 2013, 11:25 AM
You NEED 512GB... :rolleyes:

If you give me your bank account number and password, I can log in and do a financial analysis of your income and expenditures and tell you if the upgrade cost would be worth it for you. :p

512 is double 256. And it costs $300 for that upgrade. Only you know your usage patterns and your financial situation. Is it worth it? For you - maybe. Maybe not. For me it was worth every penny. I needed the space. And I could afford to buy it. So I did.

If you absolutely have to have more that 256GB for your use, then the question answers itself. If you don't need all that space, then it becomes a matter of how much is your convenience worth. Toting around an SD card or USB3 drive for anything that doesn't fit, or having it all inside the MBA. I tote around a 2TB hard drive for my movies. My movies won't fit on a 256GB or 512GB drive. But I do have a ton of VMs, and I don't want to mess with external drives for those. Plus I have all my music and pictures with me. But that's ME. YMMV.


Well said..

In my case I didn't.. I wanted the most storage without going overboard in my case it will be 256gb. I felt I have better things to spend $300 on. 128gb wasn't enough for the programs I needed to install. (Inventor 2014 , Solidworks 2013, NX 8.5, Autodesk Design suite, Office 2013, Abode Suite, Sony Vegas, Matlab, Mathcad etc.) Plus, the main designs I'm working on are in the cloud.

In a nutshell, if you feel double the storage is worth $300 and can afford go for it. You can never have enough storage. I didn't feel that way.. I use external 1tb (usb 3) for my music, movies and tv series. I use internal storage for everything important.

PS: I don't have OSX Installed just Windows 8

AXs
Aug 9, 2013, 11:47 AM
Well said..

In my case I didn't.. I wanted the most storage without going overboard in my case it will be 256gb. I felt I have better things to spend $300 on. 128gb wasn't enough for the programs I needed to install. (Inventor 2014 , Solidworks 2013, NX 8.5, Autodesk Design suite, Office 2013, Abode Suite, Sony Vegas, Matlab, Mathcad etc.) Plus, the main designs I'm working on are in the cloud.

In a nutshell, if you feel double the storage is worth $300 and can afford go for it. You can never have enough storage. I didn't feel that way.. I use external 1tb (usb 3) for my music, movies and tv series. I use internal storage for everything important.

Yea this sums it up pretty well.

I would add that if you don't plan on running multiple OS, especially Windows, then 128GB would also be enough, though it might be tight later on.

256GB is really more than enough. I've got ubuntu and OS X, 50GB of music and about 10GB of movies so there's always something to watch if i'm in a part of the world with no internet for some reason, and I lose my passport drive.

Point is, I still have about 80gb Free space. 192GB would have been spot on for me... but 256 is cool. I can always use this space to add more stuff. I might need later on... like say if I patch things up with Windows and it moves back in. :p


tl,dr: Get 256GB, and spend the $300 on external Thunderbolt drive/or Time Capsule 2TB

cube
Aug 9, 2013, 11:55 AM
256GB should be enough to last the 3 years needed for the average office worker. It is more of a problem getting only 4GB of soldered RAM.

Boyd01
Aug 9, 2013, 01:19 PM
I just sold my 2011 MBA with a 256gb SSD and got a 2013 MBA with a 512gb SSD. If I could have gotten 512 back in 2011, I definitely would have. Yes, it's expensive but a year from now I really doubt that you'll say "damn, my SSD is just too big". :D

I like to keep as much stuff as possible on my MBA, and I didn't have a big problem with 256 in general, but I had to regularly prune old Logic Pro files to keep them from getting out of hand. And I would have liked a larger iTunes library.

The final straw for me was a video project that I recently did, after a few years hiatus. Within a couple days, my free space went from 110gb to less than 50gb and I had to keep deleting or archiving files to keep it at that level. Sure, you can use an external drive but that destroys the whole beauty of the MBA - the portability and fast SSD.

Unless the economics change, an aftermarket SSD upgrade is not the most cost-effective solution. I kept thinking about that for my 2011 machine, but they aren't cheap and it made more sense to just get a new machine with 512 and take advantage of the faster processor, better battery life, USB 3 and other improvements.

Ronnoco
Aug 9, 2013, 04:01 PM
I just sold my 2011 MBA with a 256gb SSD and got a 2013 MBA with a 512gb SSD. If I could have gotten 512 back in 2011, I definitely would have. Yes, it's expensive but a year from now I really doubt that you'll say "damn, my SSD is just too big". :D

I like to keep as much stuff as possible on my MBA, and I didn't have a big problem with 256 in general, but I had to regularly prune old Logic Pro files to keep them from getting out of hand. And I would have liked a larger iTunes library.

The final straw for me was a video project that I recently did, after a few years hiatus. Within a couple days, my free space went from 110gb to less than 50gb and I had to keep deleting or archiving files to keep it at that level. Sure, you can use an external drive but that destroys the whole beauty of the MBA - the portability and fast SSD.

Unless the economics change, an aftermarket SSD upgrade is not the most cost-effective solution. I kept thinking about that for my 2011 machine, but they aren't cheap and it made more sense to just get a new machine with 512 and take advantage of the faster processor, better battery life, USB 3 and other improvements.
I read somewhere that the 2012 "Ultimate" with 500GB SSD cost $2220.00 as opposed to the 2013 512GB "Ultimate" at $1849.00. That is a $350.00 drop in price to upgrade to the 512 (this may or may not be accurate as I read it on a blog)...If it is indeed true, I would assume there will be an even more dramatic price drop in next years Broadwell 512GB models (or perhaps higher capacity).

iZac
Aug 9, 2013, 10:34 PM
Personally I run low on space with my 256 air - I even dumped my 50 gig iTunes folder on a microSD (with a stubby Micro SD card reader so i can permanently keep it plugged in the mac) and I still only have ~75 gig free. I have plenty of misc files, CS suite, AutoCAD parallels etc. on it but all my 'media' is on 7TB of external HDs

If you're anything like me, I'd go for the 512gb. Of course, if you really come stuck in a few years - if you're brave enough you can replace your current SSD with a bigger one and companies like OWC will give you a caddy to put your now useless SSD in, to use as an external HD.

Basically you'll pay for the convenience to have a bigger HD now rather than later.

AXs
Aug 9, 2013, 10:42 PM
I read somewhere that the 2012 "Ultimate" with 500GB SSD cost $2220.00 as opposed to the 2013 512GB "Ultimate" at $1849.00. That is a $350.00 drop in price to upgrade to the 512 (this may or may not be accurate as I read it on a blog)...If it is indeed true, I would assume there will be an even more dramatic price drop in next years Broadwell 512GB models (or perhaps higher capacity).

And in 2008 it cost $1000 to upgrade from 80GB HDD on the Original Air, to 64GB SSD.

Yea, ONE THOUSAND bucks!

It is safe to say that SSD prices are dropping rapidly.

SR71
Aug 10, 2013, 12:55 PM
Alright, so I have decided on the 256GB SSD. I'm going to use it for the next year or so and see how I do with 256GB of space. If it becomes a problem, I'll just sell it next year for a slight loss and buy the 512GB model (refurbished ones should be out by then and the price should be brought down when next year's models are released, thus making the 2013 model more affordable).

Also, to those who said this was a decision only I could make, that is true, but all of these responses by other members has helped me quite a bit. It allowed me to see how other people who were/are in a similar situation dealt with the lower amount of space. Granted, their uses may be different, for the most part they were nearly the same.

kodeman53
Aug 10, 2013, 02:34 PM
Good decision and thanks for sharing your financial dealings with your parents.

ajr2348
Aug 10, 2013, 04:03 PM
Good decision and thanks for sharing your financial dealings with your parents.

F'n hey. I haven't randomly laughed that hard in awhile.

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2013, 04:11 PM
...My parents still need to pay me back since they borrowed some money from me, but I'm not gonna rush them for it (even though if they paid me back I'd have more than enough for the 512GB) as that would be rude, especially after they've already done so much for me that it just would not be acceptable for me to rush them...

Really? Wow.

(Speechless)