MBA 13" 128 GB HD Enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sixteen12, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    After much deliberation I've decided a MBA 13 is right for my needs, but I haven't found any definitive information on if the hard drive is enough. For the $300 in savings, I would rather get the 128GB model and a 1TB external, however I'm not sure if I've have enough room for all the programs I want installed:

    I take it the HD starts with ~121GB, minus ~10GB for Lion. Leaving me roughly 110GB for iTunes, iLife, Office 11, Adobe CS 5.5, Draftsight and maybe the odd game like Starcraft 2/ Warcraft 3. I would like to leave a 20-50GB buffer for working files. Will this be enoughr room, or should I spring for the 256?

    Caveat I also have a gaming PC from 2009 but want to leave it to be mostly a media rig.
  2. macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Reno, NV
    I had a '08 MBP that I installed a 120GB SSD in. It did the job and I had similar usage that you do. I didn't like that I had to watch my usage so closely so I ended up getting the 256 in my new air. If you can afford it, I say get the 256 so you don't have to worry about it.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    Yes it is probably enough for what you list.

    But yes, if you have the money, you should get the upgrade. Why? Because once you start using the Macbook Air for those tasks, you'll want to put your old desktop PC out to pasture. When that happens, you'll wish you upgraded. I guess you can get an after market OWC at that point (something I'm not considering, having decided on the 128gig in the summer).
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Yeah, that's true but by that time its possible OWC replacement drives will be much cheaper in a years time.

    I can afford the 256, but at that point I feel I may as well get the i7 for $100 more, which really has minimal additional benefits from my readings.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    You can always upgrade the SSD, but not the processor :p. Plus...there are external HDs.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    I dont see you needing 256 GB at all times. Personally I bought a second hand MBA that had a 256 GB SSD already built in, and I only use about 50 GB of it. If you have an external HDD/other PC, I really dont think you will use 256 GB.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2010
    Yes, you can probably make due if you don't have a lot of music, movies, and photos. You will probably have to monitor your usage pretty meticulously, however if you get the 128 and find out it's not enough I'm sure you could get a 256gb ssd online somewhere cheaper than what apple is charging for the upgrade
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    I have 128GB SSD on my MBA, I just keep my movies on an external 2.5" drive that I carry around with me. I do store my iTunes library on there, and I still have around 60GB left.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    I agree with what aph3x did. It's too much hassle to be constantly worried about managing data. I'd go for the 256GB so you don't have to worry about it all. I'm using 200GB for downloads, data, apps, iTunes and development software. The 50GB free fluctuates. Couldn't have gone for the 128 option (even though ti was my first thoughts)
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    The 128 work for me. Computing is moving more towards cloud computing anyways so having less internal space isn't much of an issue anymore. I came from an old MB with 500 gigs too.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    check the tracking device
    i was thinking the same thing before i bought mine.
    If you don't have a HUGE media collection it shouldn't be a problem, and if it is, put the big stuff on an external hdd. they're going quite cheap these days :)
  12. macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    I purchased a model with the 256GB, but I have been finding I haven't been using much of it. I have been storing some stuff on the cloud, so that I can easily access it from whatever computer I have been using, and other stuff I have been storing on a few SD cards I had laying around after upgrading the ones for my cameras to larger sizes. I have been storing documents, archived keynote presentations and so on to the SD cards.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2009
    i have the 256GB and find it perfect. I could scrape by with 120GB, but I like the ability to throw on other stuff if I go away, like movies & music & no shuffling cards, HDD's etc
  14. macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Don't get me wrong, I don't shuffle cards to be sure. But I find there are a lot of infrequently used documents, presentations, etc. on my computer. I find if I put these on cards, they take up no room in the case, and I have instant access to them whenever I need them. I wouldn't want to have to shuffle them, that's for sure, but they do seem perfectly suited to what I use them for. I have no regretts about deciding on the 256GB, I am just saying I am happy to find I haven't been filling it rapidly. The smaller storage has gotten me away from the "find a bigger place for my stuff" concept of traditional drives and thinking about what I actually need right on that drive, and what I don't. It has been a little different experience from just buying a bigger HDD and keeping everything on it, and actually it is kind of fun :)
  15. macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    I thought 128GB would be enough, and I was out of space within months. That's with ALL video moved to external drives. Music absolutely HAS to stay.

    So....I got a 240GB OWC SSD. :)
  16. Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    I use an external for my movies, but everything else stays on my 128GB SSD in my MBA. I have around 65GB left after music and pictures are on there. Haven't had a problem so far, but if I had the choice, I would go bigger next time for the peace of mind.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    I so wish the Air came with a 512 GB SSD option. I would have considered it instead of a Macbook Pro then. I need at least 300 GB, preferably more and I like to carry around all my media on the computer not on external drives. I've got an external HDD though, but it's not so convenient. :(
  18. macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Came here to post this exact question, as I'm still within the 2 week return period for my Macbook Air 13" 128GB model. I have similar usage that you do, except I probably won't game on the MBA considering it's limited video capabilities and relatively high resolution. I have a desktop with about 7TB of storage for media, and I'm currently building a NAS that will basically make that media available all the time, so I'm thinking I'm good with the 128, but it sure would be nice to have the extra "breathing room". My only concern is that I'm considering installing Win 7 via bootcamp, which will need a good chunk of space. It doesn't sound like this is something you want to do, but if you're thinking about it, I'd definitely consider the 256.

    I just wish the price difference weren't so ridiculous. They really make you pay a nasty premium for that extra 128GB. $300 for 128GB is crazy expensive no matter what kind of drive you're talking about.

    Another option (as mentioned previously by another poster) I'm considering is to just get a 64GB SD card and keep it in there all the time. Of course, if Apple had designed the reader port like many other laptops with the card fitting in flush, this would be a much more elegant solution... :mad:
  19. macrumors 601

    Dec 14, 2007
    Get the 256 and forget the SD card.

    You wont regret the added space.......unless.....

    You plan to get next years MBA...
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    I got the 128 and immediately had to make considerations for externally storing old files just to make room. It was probably a good thing, because it forced me to clean house. If I got the 256, I would have kept things as is and I was keeping things on the computer I just don't use in a day to day operation - or even year to year operation. Right now I have almost 60 gigs free, which means I eliminated 60 gigs of crap (although it's sitting on an external g-tech drive right now).

    Next time I'll get the 256 or maybe it will be 500 once ssd prices come down.
  21. macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2011

    I am using 128gb sad. I think I should get 256gb one instead because I use my macbook air to play game a lot. For example, world of warcraft take a lot of space. Maybe some starcraft 2 and incoming diablo 3 too. if you do not play game then just get 128gb.
  22. altecXP, Nov 15, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    I have:
    CS Master 5.5
    Office 2011
    Lotus Notes
    MSN Messenger
    Local Copy of Gmail and iCloud email
    Apple Remote Desktop
    VMware Fusion
    65GB Windows 7 VM
    Suitcase Fusion
    Symantec AntiVirus
    + all the files in my Documents and Downloads ~400MB

    I am using only 110.5GB
  23. macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Northern California
    Ditto. And with iTunes match, my library lives in the cloud so to access it I don't need to have the whole thing on my Air or on a hard drive.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2010
    128GB SSD Enough MB Air 13"

    I went for the 256, just because.
    Just because, if you run out you can't do much. :)

    Rule for computers, buy more than you think you need, if you can afford it.
    Technically the SSD is not upgradeable, yeah I know it is.
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    My music and videos are already set up on a server, and maybe I'll even try iTunes match when (if) it comes to Canada.

    Now hopefully there are some refurbs soon, a Pentax K-5 is calling my name.

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