Question about MBA storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by 3lite, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I have a 2012 MBA Air 13 128Gb storage.

    I am fine with 128 storage as I mainly use a laptop for school purposes and what not.

    But if somewhere down the line I may need more memory...

    1. Are the OWC SSD for MBA as good as the ones that Apple uses?

    2. Would a external HD suffice and what are its disadvantages (besides having to carry it) since it isn't SSD?

    3. Do you guys know of any good external HD for MBA? I'm looking to mainly store music, photos, etc.

    Also, how much Gb storage should I leave free at all times to have optimum performance? About 30Gb right?

  2. macrumors demi-god


    You can buy an external SSD or HDD.
    Any external drive will work, as long as you can connect it.
    Generally speaking, it's good to leave at least 10% of your internal drive free. More is better.

  3. macrumors 68040


    I read on here the owc gave a MBA owner issues on the actual size and fitting of the drive.

    Might want to check for that thread OP. I have the 512 apple drive so I cannot speak with any knowledge on the matter.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Man it's so crazy to me how little space is actually usable when you think about it

    128 GB SSD is what is on the box

    120 GB is the actual size of the drive

    20 GB is used upon first set up of Mac

    You have to leave about 20-30 GB to keep SSD running smoothly

    So essentially you are given about 75 GB of space that you can actually USE. You get a bit more than half of what you think you are buying. Insane
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah I saw that. I think they definitely made a mistake on his...


    Is there a difference? I've heard SSD is quicker but I'm not sure what they exactly mean by that.


    Yeah, I know! I just hope with each future update to the OS it's still 20 GB and not more.
  6. macrumors demi-god


    Yes, a SSD is much quicker, makes no sound and has no moving parts. A HDD has a spinning disk which makes noise and has much slower read/write performance, by comparison.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Since it's external would it really be that big of a difference? Since it's going to be limited by the USB and all.
  8. macrumors 68020

    I know it's not a lot of additional storage but I use a 32GB micro USB flash drive with my 11" air. I only have the 64GB because I really didn't need much, but I figured for $40 to get an additional 50% of memory isn't a bad deal. I leave it plugged in all the time and it works perfectly.
  9. macrumors regular

    I got the 256GB which should be plenty for me unless I decide to run windows on here as well. However, I have started thinking of picking up a flash drive as a quick, easy back up of certain files. The cost of these drives is dropping like a rock and it seems like an easy way to carry around some files without having to worry about packing an external harddrive around or sacrificing internal storage.
  10. macrumors 65816

    it's long been known that both Apple and PC makers state the unformatted capacity of their drives - formatted capacity is always a few % less

    20 to 30gb of free space for an SSD drive to run smoothly? - I don't think that part of your statement is correct.
    and actually initial setup of the OS X - the installed Applications, System and Library Folder should total less than 15gb - plus how many additional apps you want to install of course.
    you can always delete the stock ones you are never likely to use.

    and if one still ain't happy, then pick up a 500gb external HDD for $80 for the excess data.
    the basic 13" Air with 128gb SSD is still fantastic value for money when compared with anything the opposition has to offer when everything's weighed up
  11. throAU, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    macrumors 68030

    I'd aim for about 20-30GB free most of the time also.


    - temporary storage space for patches
    - space for OS X to use temporarily for on-the-fly file defragmentation
    - space for hibernation file, swap, etc.
    - some space to keep local time machine backups of files in between your regular time machine backups

    Yeah, sure - you CAN fill up your disk. But you lose functionality (time machine local backups), cause problems with upgrades, etc.

    This is why i believe the 64GB MBA is a total waste of time and shouldn't be sold (IMHO it only exists as a cheap entry price to up-sell to a higher model once the user is interested). 128GB is limiting enough, and for a machine that "just works" the user shouldn't be constantly paranoid about free space...

    IMHO - serious use with a 128GB air (or hell, any machine with an SSD really - they're all too small for the price) means you "need" some sort of home storage (NAS) that you can keep your long term storage on so you're not constantly scrimping for storage or considering what to delete - and use the 128GB flash as short term storage for "current" data.
  12. macrumors 68020

    I agree with your values. Anything less than those amounts impacts real world performance which gets annoying fast. Based on my first hand experience 256GB is optimum on the minimum end of things, and I believe Apple does too. It's just a shame they charge a huge premium for it.
  13. macrumors 68030


    256GB is enough to compromise a bit and have some music, movies, data, etc on your machine without constantly needing to store on external disks.

    128 can be done, but it is a bit painful.

    64gb is a joke :)
  14. macrumors 68040


    Can anyone explain this to me?

    Look at the finder available storage.

    WTH is this backup under system storage pane?

    Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 11.57.11 AM.png
  15. macrumors demi-god


    What you are seeing these is space taken up by Time Machine's local backups. You can ignore it and OS X will manage the space and shrink it if the space is needed. If it is bothering you, you can turn Time Machine off then back on and the space will be wiped.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Well I'll be, learning all the time.

    Thanks Weaselboy, you were 100% correct. never knew that existed.
  17. macrumors 68000


    I disagree GGJstudios. It all depends on if you can get it to fit. Seems like a common problem around here.

    In addition, you forgot to mention the issue of the Sandforce controller. OWC just uses the standard Sandforce firmware, whereas the Toshiba/Apple SSD uses a custom developed version of the Sandforce firmware.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Multiple people have stated it's true. That you should leave somewhere around that area free at all times or your SSD will experience undesirable results

    No. When I first bought my 128 GB MBA the first thing I did upon set up was check how much space I had left. It said something like 99.XX out of 120.47. My MBA came with 10.8.2 so it's possible it uses more space than previous versions.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah same with me... 120Gb free out of the box.

    Now I'm at 95 after installing MS Office and FireFox.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Whatever is minimally adequate today will soon be uselessly inadequate.

    Some's good, more's better with memory and storage. An external SSD connected via USB3 is quite quick though not as fast as an internal SSD.
  21. macrumors 65816

    I think we're starting to split hairs here - like I said, if you delete the native Apps you don't use, for example GarageBand and all the loops plus maybe iMovie, etc, you'll trim that used space well down under 20gb.

    My Apps take up 6.47 gb
    System Folder - 6.06 gb
    Library - 2.11 gb
    grand turtle - less than 15 gb

    my User Folder takes up the rest.

    I guess the sensible outcome is to opt for a 256gb SSD in the first place then everyone can be happy ;)
  22. macrumors 6502a


    What do you mean by quick? Isn't it just storage?
  23. macrumors demi-god


    It takes time to read and write data.
  24. macrumors 68000



    I left iMovie and garageband on the MBA and I believe I am at 104 GB free (out of 128GB). I did however get rid of the languages and other clean up.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Could you tell me which applications you deleted? And is it recommended to keep certain native apps?

Share This Page