128 vs 256GB SSD performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by raymanh, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. raymanh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    #1
    I've got a 2016 base nTB 13 model and am toying with the idea of swapping for a base 2017 nTB 13 model. Prices are similar since although the 2017 has CPU improvements, it's SSD is half the size.

    Much of the reason I want to upgrade is for that better CPU (I'll be using fcpx occasionally). However I also know that the write speeds on the 128gb SSD are half the speed. Will this have any adverse effects other than copying files taking twice as long. Since read speeds are the same, the boot time and app loading time should be equal correct? Thanks.
     
  2. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #2
    The write speeds of the 128 may not be half the speed of the 256 without knowing which drive is in each machine.
     
  3. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #3
    Don't worry about the speed so much as about the amount of storage.

    I have 120-128 GB on some secondary machines, but on my primary laptop I wouldn't go below 256 GB, and on my iMac I actually have 1 TB.

    It seems the sweet spot for people buying new laptops these days is 256 GB to 512 GB. I find it interesting that Apple doesn't sell a MacBook below 256 GB. The Pros used to be 256 GB as well, until Apple decided it wanted to adjust pricing.
     
  4. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #4
    If you're doing intensive enough FCPX work where the write speeds would make a difference, then there's no way that a 128GB SSD is adequate... ~500GB minimum and 1TB preferred. If you're just doing few minute videos, then it doesn't really matter anyway - don't worry about the difference in speeds.

    Also, if you're upgrading just for CPU, I assume you're going from a 2016 base to the fastest CPU option on the 2017... there's very little advantage in going from 2016 to 2017 if clocks are essentially the same.

    FCPX really benefits from fast GPU and 4-core+, which the 13" doesn't have (though fine for light FCPX use).

    Good luck!
     
  5. raymanh thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    #5
    The base CPU in the 2017 13" model beats the highest spec CPU in the 2016 13" model. There really is a big difference.

    I see your point about the SSD speeds. I wouldn't call the video editing work that I do intensive. It's usually short 5 minute movies that I make.

    Every time I've been to the Apple Store I have played around with FCPX on the MacBooks and MacBook Pros. They never seem to have any lag whatsoever with the demo 4k files (no proxies) so I think my 1080p footage should be OK.
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #6
    This is just my opinion, but whatever gains you make with the CPU/GPU advance will yield less overall benefit than the 128 GB SSD will yield limitations and inconvenience. IIRC OWC benchmarked the previous generation and the difference between the 128 and 256 in write speed was something like 30% - these benchmarks were probably done with the OS installed and nothing else. I doubt you will tell any difference in boot time and App load time.

    Even with small movie files, I think you will find it difficult to keep the 128GB SSD having 20-25%-ish percent free. Then, as it gets increasingly fuller, write speeds will fall, and the speed of wear will increase (this latter point is probably negligible given the high endurance NAND Apple uses.) This could drive you to having to use a SATA-based external SSD (which is obviously a ton slower than the internal storage, and less convenient) or a NVMe SSD via TB3 if you want comparable speeds to the factory SSD (which costs a small fortune.) Consequently, if you do upgrade to a 2017, I think it's worth saving until 256 (or, preferably, 512) is affordable - it's a lot of convenience for just $200 or $400 IMO. You could offset some of that cost by going for a refurb model.
     
  7. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #7
    Yup.

    BTW, I bought my laptop specifically as a road machine (and for lounging around the house and coffee shop), so I don't expect to do much video editing on it. Any video editing I do would be on my dual 27" iMac setup. I might do a few small iMovie projects for vacation videos or something on the MacBook but that would be it. I don't keep any other media on it either, except on trips where I might load a few movies and TV shows on it for the flights, etc. So, I decided to get a small SSD... but by small that means 256 GB. 128 GB is just too constraining these days.

    I do have 120 GB to 128 GB in my secondary laptops, but one is just a kitchen surfer, and the other is just another around-the-house machine and a machine to bring on trips with the kids so they don't destroy my 2017 MacBook.

    I think it says something when even my phone has 128 GB.
     
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #8
    Well, I guess it depends on what a "big difference" means to you. We're talking about a 1% difference in your example, and probably about 10% difference between 2016 vs 2017 base models.

    But good luck with whatever you decide!
     

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7 September 22, 2017