128 GB or 258 GB?

Tony78228

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2013
106
0
Texas
hey everyone. I'd really like to buy my first MacBook air, but wondering if 258 GB is enough for me. I wouldn't be storing very much music on it, no movies, and not too many photos. I'd use it for surfing the web, youtube, netflix, facebook, you get the idea, so would 128 GB be enough for me? or should I play it safe, and get the 258 GB?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
hey everyone. I'd really like to buy my first MacBook air, but wondering if 258 GB is enough for me. I wouldn't be storing very much music on it, no movies, and not too many photos. I'd use it for surfing the web, youtube, netflix, facebook, you get the idea, so would 128 GB be enough for me? or should I play it safe, and get the 258 GB?
From your description, 128 would be way more than enough.

YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, etc. are web "apps" that basically don't require any storage space. So your only concern is really photos and music, since you said you wouldn't be storing any movies. After installing the operating system and all the standard apps, the most space those are realistically going to take up is around 30GB, which leaves you with almost 100GB for music and photos, which is a pretty enormous amount of space.
 

Dweez

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2011
1,248
10
Down by the river
I run my 512 about 65% full most of the time, with the VMs and media which I carry around. Plus I use a 128 gig PNY StorEdge SD card for entertainment media - movies & music.

If you're not going to carry around much, they the 128 should fit well. However, the rule of storage space is "if it's there, I will fill it"... :)
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,715
276
Oregon
We've got one of the first 11" MBAs and use it much the way you suggest (although it is also used for photos). It was a base model which was 64GB of SSD and 2GB of RAM. It runs Mavericks just fine.

So I'd think that if you just buy the base model, you won't have any problems. Save the money!
 

Roland P

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2014
7
0
I ordered a 11" 128gb mba.

I use a 15" 256gb rmbp for my work, with a windows 8 vm (sql server and mailserver), Eclipse, tomcat and some projects and still have 180gb free.

So 128gb on a machine with less serious use is definitely enough for me.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,059
2,285
IMHO, get at least 256GB, especially if the MBA is your only computer. I have a 2012 MBA that I foolishly bought with only a 64GB SSD. My MBA is not my main computer, a Mac Pro is. I only use it when traveling, and sometimes on the couch. My plan was to use it with an external Hybrid Drive when I was stationary and use it with the internal SSD when I was on the move. This was a Classic FAIL on my part. I ended up putting a Transcend 480 GB SSD in my machine, and it is working great.

The 2013 and later MBAs do not yet have a third party solution for a replacement SSD, so you won't have that option if 128GB turns out to be to small. I would't skimp on storage.

Lou
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
IMHO, get at least 256GB, especially if the MBA is your only computer. ... I would't skimp on storage.

Lou
This sort of advice is just irresponsible. Telling somebody to spend a significant amount of money on an upgrade that he clearly doesn't need considering the usage he describes. It's $200 down the drain on something he won't use, and he probably won't get ANY of that back when he eventually sells the machine.

Of course some people will have a legitimate need for > 128GB of local storage, like people who run VMs, edit large videos, etc. But otherwise, you almost certainly have a lot of stuff that could be offloaded to a small external hard drive. Do you REALLY need instant access to your entire DVD collection, CD collection, and every picture you've ever taken?
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
51,776
35,358
The Far Horizon
Well, the OP asked for advice, so those who respond give advice from their own perspective, experience and needs.

My personal advice is to get as much as you think you may need, which is more than you think you will need. In this case, I'd recommend 256GB over 128GB any day. My first MBA - bought in 2010 - had 128GB, and, by 2013, it was no longer sufficient for my needs, hence I'd certainly recommend 256.



 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,059
2,285
This sort of advice is just irresponsible.
I've been a member of this forum for awhile, and have seen many threads like these:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1721408/

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1783945/

And there has to be a reason Transcend and OWC are selling so many retrofit SSDs.

To throw names here at someone who makes a suggestion to an asked question, and backs it up with personal experience is just not good etiquette IMO. You're entitled to your opinion and I'm certainly entitled to mine.

Lou
 

dagdagdag234

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2011
148
12
I had a strange experience when I bought my 11" MBA at the Apple store.i wanted the base model with only 128gb because i know from 5 yrs experience w my MacBook Pro, using Dropbox for docs, never interested in iPhoto on a Mac for storage, using spotify for music, Evernote etc I only use about 40gb total. The apple guy said "Are you sure? I only sell 128gb airs to little old ladies." It was pretty insulting and hostile and I assured him that I was fine w 128gb.

I think everyone can probably do their own math as to what they like to store on their laptop -- and then maybe about 30gb or so extra for future os updates, big apps they may someday want etc...

I'm still irked the way the apple guy treated me though. It was very "slick salesman" and I usually never get that from apple.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,715
276
Oregon
While someone could post a reply "get a 15" MacBookPro, I've found nothing short of that will do for my needs" and that reply could be 100% honest and true, it probably says nothing useful for the OP. If somebody replied "You need 256GB for what you stated," that would be irresponsible, but nobody has said that. The real question isn't what I need or some other replier needs but what does the OP need considering that he "wouldn't be storing very much music on it, no movies, and not too many photos. I'd use it for surfing the web, youtube, netflix, Facebook..." This is very light use, certainly much lighter than people who have found they need high-power and capacity systems.

Disclaimer: while our 64GB SSD, 2GB RAM MacBookAir works perfectly fine for light uses, I do have a 15" MBP with a 1TB HDD and 8GB RAM having found that an earlier MacBook wasn't up to the task, but that's a different task involving virtual machines and video production.

----------

The apple guy said "Are you sure? I only sell 128gb airs to little old ladies."
Wisdom comes with age. :)
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,366
538
Houston, Texas
The apple guy said "Are you sure? I only sell 128gb airs to little old ladies." It was pretty insulting and hostile and I assured him that I was fine w 128gb.
You should have reminded him that it is 2014 and physical storage is not as important as it once was. Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, cloud storage galore means I don't even use half of my 128 drive, and my usage sounds just like the OP.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,917
1,615
128 is more than enough if you don't store lots of music, photos, and videos on it. The other files you will have don't take up much space.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,458
3,474
Florida Resident
I have had 3 Macbook Airs. Started with the super size 128 (at the time), second was a 256, now with a 512. The driver for me for more space was games and VMs but I could do those on external drives. I store my iTunes spanned on two external 4 TB drives already.

Having said that, 128 GB can go a long way.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,650
9,344
Prescott Valley, AZ
Definitely go with the base model (128). My usage is similar to yours and I have like 78 of 128GB free on my machine. Going with 256 would have been a waste of 200 dollars for me and probably would for you to.
I went with a 128GB 11" MBA and supplemented the storage with a 64GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit. Plenty for media and docs. But it isn't my primary device, it is a replacement for my Surface 2.
 

dagdagdag234

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2011
148
12
Lots of zippy replies I wish I had told the Apple guy. Yeah, who's the "old lady"? The guy who stores stuff in the cloud or the guy who needs everything physically on his laptop?
 

Tony78228

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2013
106
0
Texas
I've read how some of you have expanded storage with different things, I have no idea what any of that is..LOL but I'll learn if I have to. I've never owned a mac before. I'm leaning towards the 128 now
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,366
538
Houston, Texas
I went with a 128GB 11" MBA and supplemented the storage with a 64GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit. Plenty for media and docs. But it isn't my primary device, it is a replacement for my Surface 2.
I've been drawn to the 11 lately. I am actually thinking of getting it to use instead of my retina 13. I was going to go with a 13 inch Air, but the 11 inch just seems that it could replace my 13 inch pro and my ipad. I really hate carrying two devices but worry about screen quality after using nothing but retina.

You use a retina ipad and an 11 Air right?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
Well, the OP asked for advice, so those who respond give advice from their own perspective, experience and needs.
...
Nope, advice must be given according to the OP's perspective and needs. Otherwise it quickly becomes pointless and stupid.

Can you imagine?

OP: "I need a small laptop to surf the web."
Advice: "I spend all day waiting on my 8-core Mac Pro to finish various raytraces so you definitely need a 12-core Mac Pro."

See? Pointless.

----------

I've been drawn to the 11 lately. I am actually thinking of getting it to use instead of my retina 13. I was going to go with a 13 inch Air, but the 11 inch just seems that it could replace my 13 inch pro and my ipad. I really hate carrying two devices but worry about screen quality after using nothing but retina.

You use a retina ipad and an 11 Air right?
When I bought my 2014 11" MBA I put it side-by-side with my 2010 MBA to compare screen quality. The 2010 model had better saturation and that annoyed me for about a day and a half. Then I got used to it, and now when I'm looking at the 2014's screen, it seems pretty great.

I think the moral is that Apple's retina displays are obviously better but after a day or two if getting used to the MBA's screen, you're ultimately still going to get the same amount of work done etc.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,650
9,344
Prescott Valley, AZ
I've been drawn to the 11 lately. I am actually thinking of getting it to use instead of my retina 13. I was going to go with a 13 inch Air, but the 11 inch just seems that it could replace my 13 inch pro and my ipad. I really hate carrying two devices but worry about screen quality after using nothing but retina.

You use a retina ipad and an 11 Air right?
Yes. I have absolutely no problem switching between the two screens. I use the iPad for things that are better suited for direct/touch interaction (eg. SimpleMind mindmapping, reading scans of vintage magazines and catalogs, etc)

With the few tweaks that we've discussed in the past, I can do my graphic design work on the 11 when away from my home office without an noticeable difference or eye strain.

I think that the whole PPI deal has been magnified beyond reason. Yes, there is a difference. Yes, the difference can be noticeable. But for some (not addressing this comment to you) PPI is the end-all, be-all deal-breaker. That's their prerogative of course, but I think that they miss out on some pretty neat tech as a trade-off.
 
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