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Mac202

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2019
7
0
Narrowing down my buying decision. Going to get a 13.3" Macbook Pro (the price is the deciding factor) and trying to decide between 128 GB SSD of 256 SSD. I will be using the laptop for basic everyday tasks - email, websurfing, some minor photo and video editing, some minor CAD design. I think I will go with 16GB RAM to kind of future proof the laptop but am wondering what SSD would work knowing I could always add an external SSD if I need it. Also, what difference is there between a 1.4 GHZ I5 chip and a 2.4 GHZ i5 chip? Is it worth to by the 2.4 GHZ? Thanks for your help.
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,468
USA
Narrowing down my buying decision. Going to get a 13.3" Macbook Pro (the price is the deciding factor) and trying to decide between 128 GB SSD of 256 SSD. I will be using the laptop for basic everyday tasks - email, websurfing, some minor photo and video editing, some minor CAD design. I think I will go with 16GB RAM to kind of future proof the laptop but am wondering what SSD would work knowing I could always add an external SSD if I need it. Also, what difference is there between a 1.4 GHZ I5 chip and a 2.4 GHZ i5 chip? Is it worth to by the 2.4 GHZ? Thanks for your help.
Storage

Keep in mind that the macOS system is going to use about ~20GB storage.

I have a 2019 MacBook Air with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. I currently have 93.37GB storage left with the following installed:
* macOS Catalina system
* Affinity Designer
* Affinity Photo
* GIMP
* iMovie
* Numbers
* Onyx
* Pages

I don't see any issues with only 8GB RAM, but don't know what the future holds as far as RAM needs. I'm not sure how much storage your CAD app will take, so that should figure in as well.

CPU

Keep in mind that the T2 chip takes a lot of work off the CPU, so a T2-equipped machine will perform better than the specs would suggest. My 2019 MBA doesn't have any issues with lag, freezes or beach balling. I typically have ~7 apps open with 5 tabs in Safari.

I hope this information can be of help to you. If I had it to do over again, I would probably go with 256GB SSD if only for peace of mind.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
63,925
46,385
In a coffee shop.
Narrowing down my buying decision. Going to get a 13.3" Macbook Pro (the price is the deciding factor) and trying to decide between 128 GB SSD of 256 SSD. I will be using the laptop for basic everyday tasks - email, websurfing, some minor photo and video editing, some minor CAD design. I think I will go with 16GB RAM to kind of future proof the laptop but am wondering what SSD would work knowing I could always add an external SSD if I need it. Also, what difference is there between a 1.4 GHZ I5 chip and a 2.4 GHZ i5 chip? Is it worth to by the 2.4 GHZ? Thanks for your help.

I would recommend 256 GB SSD as a minimum.

These days, 128 is not very much; to put things into perspective, my iTunes library (on my computer) is just under 100 GB.
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 603
Aug 18, 2009
5,776
2,900
Upstate NY
I never even considered anything less than 256GB. That being said, my late 2015 rMBP with a 256GB SSD has less than 128GB on it last I checked.

Pictures and CAD will definitely chew through space. I would rather not deal with the hassle of an external.
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,468
USA
SSD's perform wear leveling - a storage method that helps prevent a single cell from failing by moving data around for even wear across the whole of the SSD. In order to achieve this the SSD needs free space, so it's good to always leave 10% of the SSD empty so there is ample room to move data. I believe 256GB SSD may be the better choice.
 
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Mac202

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2019
7
0
Thanks for all the replies. It's obvious 256 is the way to go. I think I'll go with 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, and 2.4 GHZ i5. Is 16 GB too much though?
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,468
USA
Thanks for all the replies. It's obvious 256 is the way to go. I think I'll go with 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, and 2.4 GHZ i5. Is 16 GB too much though?
I think we're getting to the era where 16GB will be beneficial. I don't know much about CAD software, but I would think a more powerful CPU combined with more RAM would be a good idea. I do know that editing videos on my 2019 MBA (base system) will sometimes result in dropped frames in iMovie.

Edit: Sorry, I misread the OP.
 
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rosyapple

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2018
133
81
I think we're getting to the era where 16GB will be beneficial. I don't know much about CAD software, but I would think a more powerful CPU combined with more RAM would be a good idea. I do know that editing videos on my 2019 MBA (base system) will sometimes result in dropped frames in iMovie.

If you're going to spec the MBA above the base system, have you compared the base system MacBook Pro as far as performance and price? I could be overreacting here, as I know little about CAD, but it won't hurt to check it out.

Totally agree with revmacian. I have 256 GB SSD MBA and it's not enough. I can't even backup my iPhone (64GB) and iPad (128GB) in my internal disk and have to attach an external hard drive for that. It's quite troublesome to have to attach an external drive every time I want to sync though.

I also agree with revmacian about checking out the base system of the higher spec of MacBook Pro. I was configuring a MacBookPro 13' with better spec (RAM, SSD, etc) and found out that with the same price or slightly higher, I can get a base MBP 16' with similar spec and better in everything else — GPU, CPU, etc. Too bad it's a 16' inch... I'm very very tempted, but 16' inch would be too unwieldy to bring to school. When Apple fixes the keyboard for MBP 13' this year, I'll decide whether I'll be getting a 13' or 16'. It'll be my first time ever going down to an Apple Store. Normally I just by online from Apple website since I already know what I want. But to be able to figure out whether I'll be happy with bringing a 16' to school, I guess I have to see it for myself.
 
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Mac202

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2019
7
0
With these specs, I think it makes more sense to look at the MBP, maybe even the 15" MBP. There seem to be some really good deals out there now on the 15" for only slightly more.
 

Sp00k

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2019
18
15
Narrowing down my buying decision. Going to get a 13.3" Macbook Pro (the price is the deciding factor) and trying to decide between 128 GB SSD of 256 SSD. I will be using the laptop for basic everyday tasks - email, websurfing, some minor photo and video editing, some minor CAD design. I think I will go with 16GB RAM to kind of future proof the laptop but am wondering what SSD would work knowing I could always add an external SSD if I need it. Also, what difference is there between a 1.4 GHZ I5 chip and a 2.4 GHZ i5 chip? Is it worth to by the 2.4 GHZ? Thanks for your help.
I was contemplating the same types of things and asked around. 16gb's of ram is just a must have for future proofing, so is a 256gb ssd. Between the 1.4ghz and 2.4ghz, I would just go with the 1.4ghz. It's much less, and you will get roughly the same performance as they both turbo the same in normal use.
 

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,206
SF Bay Area
Go for 256. The SSD is non-upgradable. So if you run out of space you are looking at getting an external drive or NAS to store the extra files.
 

darkmatter343

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2017
343
232
Toronto, Canada
I think I will go with 16GB RAM to kind of future proof the laptop but am wondering what SSD would work knowing I could always add an external SSD if I need it.

Going with 16gb but 128gb storage is not future proofing. Keep in mind MacOS already uses up to half of the 128GB you have, also factoring in the formatting issue so really after unboxing you'll probably have around 60-70gb to play with. Pay the tax now and upgrade to 256, in 2-3yrs you'll come back on this board and thank us.
 
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