Mac air 13 512 or 256?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jmariah, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2012
    I'm getting ready to purchase my first mac book air coming from a pc (hp). I keep going back and forth on whether to upgrade to the 512gb flash or keep the 13" at 256 with 8gb ram and the i7 processor. I will be using the laptop for mainly photos, itunes, and internet with a few word processing applications. Do i really need the 512? I also know you can't upgrage the air's after they are built so i'd like this laptop to last me at least 5 years with plenty of space. I have about 5000 itunes songs currently. Please let me know. Thank you!
  2. tiwizard, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    Technically, you *can* upgrade the SSD at a later date. However, you would be paying full price for the SSD (though you could sell the old one on EBay, Craigslist, etc).

    It's hard to say whether you will need the entire 512 GB SSD. If you want to save money, you could always buy the 256 GB now (as long as you know you can fit everything into it right now) and buy an external drive later. Because you don't seem concerned about the price that much, you may even want to get a multi-terabyte Thunderbolt drive array later on.

    If you go with the 256 GB and want to save space or find an external drive or storage solution, or even upgrade your internal SSD, I have a short guide on saving disk space and upgrading here:
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    The 512GB SSD is a $500 upgrade from the 256GB. Contrary to what Apple says, the SSD is upgradeable on the 2012 MBA.

    You must decide if the extra 256GB is worth $500.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Apr 9, 2008
    If I did want to upgrade what does the 256GB go for?
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    If you have videos in your iTunes library and video and RAW photos in your photo software, they will start to eat up space. It's nothing for an iPhone video to be 100's of MB, and a couple of cards from a DSLR adding another 4GB - 8GB of photos.

    If you don't mind using a small USB-powered external HDD as your photo storage drive you can easily get by with the 256GB drive.

    Alos, as the previous poster's stated, you can get 3rd party SSDs for the MBA and you could possibly decide later on if you need to swap out the SSD for a larger one.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2012
    i am concerned with price if i can save $450 :) Is there a way to tell on a pc what i'm using that would be equivalent to a 256 flash drive?


    I'd rather not have an external hard drive. This will be my main laptop so i'd like to have it available to travel with without bulking it up and worrying about an external drive.

  7. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    what about an external ? you will end up saving 300 bucks or so , you can get 500-750 or even 1TB plenty of space and you will end up saving a few hundred bucks
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    Well, you can obviously look at the folder sizes of your images and music on your Windows machine to get an idea of how much you have sitting in there.

    Mountain Lion takes up ~13GB of SSD space. Then, depending if you use Aperture, Abode CS, etc, that could take up anywhere from 1GB to 10GB. For reference, my Apps/System/Library folders on my iMac take up ~50GB, and that's after 4+ years of accumulating apps. My MBA, which is brand new, has less than half that.

    I would guess that you'd be fine with the 256GB SSD for quite a while. It was only 4 years ago that the stock iMacs came with 320GB drives, so it's in the same ballpark. If that lasts you a couple of years, I would bet that a 480-512GB SSD will be under $250 by then.
  9. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    There is no difference between HD space and SSD space. A byte is a byte. A byte in OSX is as same as a byte in Windows.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Honestly, you don't even need the i7 processor.

    I think you should get the 256GB Base Model + 8GB RAM. Get an external hard drive if it's not enough. You can upgrade the SSD afterwards but not the RAM. So if you're planning for using it at least 5 years then 8GB is a must!
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    The upgrade from 128GB to 256GB is $300.
  12. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
    I think he is asking what could he sell his 256GB for if he buys a 512GB down the road.
  13. macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    Yeah, you can get a 1TB external for less than $100. :cool:
  14. macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2006
    You can do what I did: buy a 2011 MacBook Air from Craigslist and upgrade it with a 480GB OWC 6G SSD. Total cost for me was $1300 ($800 for the MBA, $500 for the SSD on eBay). The only drawback is that the 2011 MBA's max out at 4GB RAM, but that's plenty for my needs and the extra onboard storage is more valuable for me.
  15. macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Buddy its $500

    Hey man it's a matter of $500 so if you are a kind of person that really uses memory get the 512GB but don't buy a big storage then after 5 years not use more than 250GB but see how much you used in your previous laptop and predict from there.:cool:

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