128 or 256 Gb ssd for my needs? Or wait for rMBP refresh?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by vane505, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. vane505 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    Hey, I'm very close to ordering my first mac, and was wondering what size of the SSD I should get.

    *I plan on running both Mac os x and Windows (probably W8.1 when it's released)
    *I'll keep my media files on my NAS.
    *I have a PC as my primary computer and will use the MBA as my secondary.
    *I will use it in school daily, and use it mostly for school work. I will not use any applications that take up to much space.

    ... or should I sell my PC and get a 15-inch rMBP when it's released :)? If so I would sell my PC and use the rMBP as my main computer.
    Appreciate your help :)
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    If you plan on having 2OS's then I would suggest the 256. You can probably live with 50GB of free space on each OS (if you go for the 128 option), but it doesnt seem very future proof. Remember that both OSX and Windows themselves take up hardrive space, Im not sure how much though. What will you be using the windows partition for?

    If you dont NEED a laptop or macbook computer for school, I would suggest waiting to see what becomes available. I personally prefer 1 computer as opposed to having a primary and secondary, but thats just me. What do you use your PC for though, because the rMBP may or may not be able to replace it.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    If you intend to lug it around, the MB Air is fantastic for that. Coupled with the size of textbooks, the weight cannot be beat. I would always go for the largest hard drive I could afford, even if I intend to use a NAS. With the MBAir, nothing is user replaceable. You can do it, but it's not a standard user replaceable part. Nor is memory. If you are getting a larger SSD in lieu of maxing out the memory, then I would max out the memory and go for the 128 SSD.

    As for the option of the retina MBP, how much do you think your PC will get you? PCs, even really great homebuilt PCs with all the latest and greatest, do not seem to net the same return that I've seen Macs net.
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Very good post and very good advice.

    Re portability, nothing beats the MBA; it is supremely portable, fast, and (until the development of retina technology) had the best screen on a laptop of any of Apple's line-up.

    Re SSD, (and, indeed, RAM), my advice would be to get the most you can afford. These specifications cannot be altered once you have made your selection, so choose wisely in the first place. My suggestion would be to go for the 256SSD - as GoCubsGo has already pointed out, both Windows and OSX take up space, and 128GB gets eaten up quite quickly.
  5. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    To me the retina expense is only justifiable for a narrow group of users. I would shoot for a 13" MBA with the 8/256GB config with the goal of making it last through the next four years. If the cost of this configuration gives pause, liquidate the PC as both OSs can reside on the Apple hardware moving forward.
  6. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    For some the screen really is a big deal. Depending upon what kind of work you do.
  7. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
  8. vane505 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    Thank you everyone for your responses. I'm starting to lean towards being patient and wait for the refresh. If so, I would sell my desktop and buy a retina 15,4" and use it as my only computer.

    One question though; how well does it work to use a MBA as a secondary computer to a PC? Do they "cooperate" well? The thing would be that I like gaming, and my PC performs very well with games, and second-hand value isn't to high, so that would be sacrificed if I go for one single powerful Macbook instead of a powerful PC and relatively weak MBA.
  9. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    I'd vote keep the pc for games and use mba for school and carrying around. If possible, upgrade whatever you can. I'm in love with my i7/8gb/256...

    Whichever you choose, mba or mbp, get at least the 256. I installed win 8 pro last night and out of a 50 gb partition, win 8 took up around 24 of the 50. I left 170gb for the OS X partition.

    I'm ok with that as I will very rarely be using that partition, but if you plan on installing a lot of games you'll need closer to 100 for it most likely.
  10. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    The first thing that REALLY frustrated me was that I couldn't use my 3.0 passport drives with my Air. I had NO idea that Mac couldn't write to ntfs.

    I was bummed right away. Apparently there's a paid software that works? I haven't tried it out.

    That's really the only compatibility issue I have with working my Air and my PC Desktop & Laptops.

    On and the other thing was I couldn't immediately get my media player (sigma chip machine) to access my Air right away, because the sharing feature is different.

    But other than that, it's been effortless using my first Apple Notebook... though I've used apple handheld for close to a decade now.

    But yea, you should definitely wait to see what Apple has in store with the Retina refresh. It is still going to be about a month. If you can wait, I recommend you to wait.
    That way, you don't have to take any chances on the Air before knowing what Apple has in store for the Pros.

    Good luck!

    PS: I agree with poster above - get 256GB especially if you plan on running Windows. I guess that may solve the ntfs issue as well? No cluse, haven't installed windows on my Mac. Maybe never will. Had enough for a lifetime with malwares and viruses :p
  11. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    I'm waiting for the refresh, it's very close.
  12. vane505 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    How does it usually work with Apple? I know that they used to have a big event soon before release (new to Apple products, never owned a Mac before). Are there any dates for planned events where it's likely the refreshed rMBP/cMBP will be presented?
  13. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i am sure others have said this - but you definitely need to strongly consider 256 if you are planning on running windows.

    OSX takes up about 12 gigs
    VMware wants 40gig for XP and more for Win7/8

    and then you really want to keep a good 10-20% of space free on any drive, including a SSD so that's another 13-25 gigs

    so, you know if you really are just using the device as a secondary and keeping your media elsewhere then you should be fine. but otherwise, i think 256 is a better bet.


    usually in time to hype up back to school (summer) and holiday (end of year) sales. I would expect the pro, macbook pros and new iPads novemberish
  14. Tarrou8 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2013
    Wait for the new 15" rMBP and use it as your primary. If you need something smaller during class get an iPad to supplement.
  15. jadAce macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2013
    If you use your Mac as a secondary, 256 (or even 128) would be enough.

    Personally, I would just wait for the new rMBP and sell the PC.
    Make the complete switch, and welcome to the Light Side! :)apple:) :)
  16. Kedan, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    Kedan macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2013
    I was in exactly the same boat.

    I'm doing an engineering PhD and wanted to make the jump to mac for general word processing and non-intensive tasks. I have a pretty beefy PC in my office at uni for everything else.

    Just couldn't decide between an MBA or waiting for the MBPr refresh. Ultimately decided it's a secondary computer so don't really need the MBP or the retina screen. Plus I'm working abroad for two weeks in September so the MBA will just be ideal.

    Ordered an i5/8/256 this morning!! My first mac, getting a bit too excited about it hah!

    I never used to be an apple fan but I've found myself rocking an iPhone 5 / iPad 4 and now a Haswell MBA

    What happened?

    Edit: Also just wanted to say, I love education pricing :) £170 off and £70 app store voucher
  17. vane505 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    Again, thank you everyone for your help. I know that the voucher of 100$ is a limited time offer, but do you know if the 10% off is permanent or is that also a part of back-to-school?
  18. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    You know you can just format the drive in OSX using Disk Utility, right? Then it will work with OSX. Do you specifically need NTFS for Windows compatibility with that drive?
  19. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Is there a way I can do this on my Mac without losing data? I know there are ways around it with Windows, but pardon my shortcomings - as I stated, relatively new to Mac OS.

  20. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I used an NTFS driver once and hosed my external drive big time. I wouldn't recommend it. Apparently Microsoft takes its NTFS format very seriously. :D

    I don't know of a way to do it without losing the data. I have several passport drives, and I formatted them all exFAT so I could read/write in both Windows and Mac without issues. I also tried a MacOS driver on my Windows PC. I had to restore my Windows PC from a backup it got hosed so badly. And I used to do tech support for a living. :rolleyes:

    I've found exFAT to be the best compromise, or at least the most convenient. I have one Seagate external drive connected to my TB display via Firewire which I formatted MacOS, but I never share that one. I also have a NAS, which both Windows and Mac can read/write to. It's a bit more of an expensive solution and not very portable, but for home use it does the trick.
  21. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Thanks for taking the time to give pointers. I guess I have some options.
    Will look into it. cheers
  22. w00d macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    Do you have a backup of that external drive? If so, just format and restore from backup.

    I can't see how it would be possible to reformat a drive in-place without losing the data.
  23. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    Since when can you format a drive without losing the information on it?
  24. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    You can't, but you can convert from FAT32 to NTFS without losing any data. It's a perfectly valid question. There could be some utility out there like the CONVERT command but for Mac. I haven't seen one, but it's not out of the realm of possibility...

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