128 ssd or 256??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Lastgreen, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Lastgreen macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2017
    hey guys I saw the 128 ssd MacBook Pro 2017 on sale on amazon for $1188 I was wondering if I could purchase this model along with a 250 gb ssdT5 Samsung external hard drive for $125 to cut down on expenses... the 256 model is $1479... I am a medical student so I mainly plan on typing up documents and reading slides / E books as well as watching videos. Additionally I plan to keep the laptop for 5 years
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    That will work fine, but from personal experience it is a pain to have only 128GB of storage
  3. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010
    Size counts!!!!!

    Bigger is better, there’s a reason why it’s on sale and it can’t be upgraded in the future.

    If money is an issue buy an older version, say 2015, with a large SSD.
  4. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    External drives should never be relied upon at point of sale. Get your computer with the storage you need (128GB is fine for a few people, but I'd suggest only professional office workers - not as a personal computer). Think about additional storage later in the road, but carrying any external storage device will complicate the storage of the device and risks damage/loss of data.

    Save up the extra few hundred and get the one you need, think of the cost over the 5 years rather than the initial price.
  5. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
    256gb MP/ 500gb external drive for backups absolute minimums for down the road-life without regret.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    Your original plan will do in a pinch. The t5 drives are small and fast. Easy to carry around and use.

    If you are mindful of what you put onto the internal drive you can easily "survive" on 128gb.

    But before you settle on that, I suggest you shop around for a better deal on the 256gb configuration...
  7. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    Honestly 256 is now pretty bare minimum for a main computer, so unless you're going to be doing absolutely nothing but writing papers in word/pages with it it's probably not going to be a great experience for you. Adding in anything like backing up your iPhone or storing photos or any light games you might want to play will make 128 quite a struggle. So if you're going to have access to another machine with more storage that you can keep everything else on and the MBP will be just for your studies then yeah, you can get away with it, if not then you ought to consider something else, including manufacturers other than Apple who can now offer similarly well built machines with more storage for the same money.
  8. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    It depends what you do with your computers but IMO a general rule of thumb is that for a main machine, 256 GB should be considered the minimum for a new main machine, with 512 GB preferred for a lot of people.

    I have different SSD-endowed machines from 90 GB all the way up to 1 TB plus external 1 TB SSD and I will say that even for basic usage 90-128 GB can be problematic while 256 GB provides much more breathing room. OTOH, 128 is more OK if it’s a secondary machine and you already know you don’t need to keep much data on the machine.

    You mentioned videos. Note that if you say load up ten 5 GB videos, that’s 50 GB right there. Hell, these days I have 128 GB in my phone, and I generally need significantly more in my computer.
  9. maerz001 macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2010
  10. triangletechie macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2017
    In 2017, I wouldn't buy a laptop with 128 gb of storage. I'd go for 256. Doesn't the OS take up about 10 gb? So you'd start out with about 118 gb available.
  11. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    When the drive is formatted, because Apple uses 1GB= 1 billion bytes exactly, it actually comes out at around 120Gb before the OS is installed, and the OS is ~11GB which leaves 109 actually available to use. Apps like pages take up more on top of that too.
  12. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    It's about a dozen GB for the OS and another 7 GB just for stuff like MS Office 2016.

    So, count on about 25-30 GB for just for 10.13.1, MS Office, and some other applications. That's not even counting GarageBand, which takes up a ton of space if you load all the extras.

    So, with a 128 GB drive, you might expect less than 100 GB available after a full install of the OS and some apps.

    Load up ten 5 GB movies for a trip, and suddenly you're down to 50 GB. And with SSDs, you should probably have about 20% of the drive empty, so say about 25 GB should be kept empty, leaving you with just 25 GB left of usable space.

    If you had gone for 256 GB, you'd have 150 GB left of usable space after my above usage scenario.
  13. adamh10 macrumors member


    Mar 20, 2009
    Bradford, ON, Canada
    I mean, I have a 2TB SSD on my 2017 MacBook Pro w/TouchBar 15-inch and honestly would have trouble with anything less than 1TB minimum... I don’t know how Apple gets away with 128/256/512GB storage... do people not use their Mac computers the way they used to for performance based projects? Because I do and I honestly need the space, iCloud is great and all, but I need local storage, too. Lots of it!

    So yeah, if your only choice is 128 or 256GB, I would have to “recommend” 256 in this case... 128GB is just not enough and in my experience you’ll constantly be deleting stuff and running out of space. My iPhone is 256GB and even it is pretty much full, what with 30,000 photos, many videos and iMovie projects I tinker with on the go, etc.

    More storage FTW!

    Cheers :)

    PS: I hope you get my lighthearted humour here. While more storage is critical for me, if it isn’t important to you that’s perfectly ok. But for what I use my MacBook Pro for, I had to max out all specs.
  14. scotttnz macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I'd say definitely get the 256! I kinda wish I'd got 1TB instead of 512GB, as it is a bit of a pain having to manage what data is on the internal vs an external SSD.
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    You can manage but chances are you will regret it - especially if you are deadset on keeping this system for 5 years. It's potentially a significant inconvenience over a rather small sum of money, plus this adds inherently greater logistical complications to a backup solution.
  16. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    I agree with many others in this thread: The longer you keep your laptop, the more you'll regret the choice of smaller storage. Take the price difference between a laptop with 128 GB storage and one with 256, and split that number over 60 months (5 years expected lifetime). That's about $5 a month. Not a sum that you'll really miss, but the difference in storage is one between a computer you know will limit you and a computer that probably won't.
  17. recoil80 macrumors 68020

    Jul 16, 2014
    I bought a model with 256GB of storage in 2012 and it was the right decision, last week I found a good deal for a 2016 TB MBP with 256GB and I bought it since I found out that storage tier is the sweet spot. I need an external drive, but I'd need it even with the 512GB model so there was no reason to spend more for the higher capacity.
    128GB is not enough in my opinion, you want to be able to use the laptop with all your apps and important stuff even without the external drive.

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16 November 6, 2017