128GB enough for university?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Danando1993, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Danando1993 macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    A basic question but is the base 13 inch retina MacBook Pro's 128GB enough? How do other people with this model find managing memory?

    The laptop will solely be used for university work. I'm studying architecture and plan on using it for lectures - notes/essay writing, for use when I'm in studio - photoshop/ autocad etc.

    I've got a 27 inch iMac that I use for all of my media and iphone syncing so I'm thinking that without putting music or movies on the laptop 128GB could be fine?

    I do plan on using external hard drives to store work on also.
  2. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    You might need some tuition and housing money, too! ;)
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    A 128 GB drive with an external drive will be fine.
  4. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    You'll be doing CAD drawings out your...other end. You might want something with a larger internal drive. Once you add an external you're carrying around a lot of stuff.
  5. ourmountain macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    Don't forget condoms, ramen, and crippling debt.
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The (sad?) truth is, all those years of sweat and toil will fit on a smallish USB flash drive. I'd even say a DVD, but the RMBP doesn't have one. :)
  7. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
    My cousin has around 10-20GB left. I would not recommend it.

    Especially since he isn't a hardcore user. Like he uses his laptop very lightly.
  8. Rbk23 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2014
    Unless you plan to bootcamp Windows, 128 will be fine along with an external HDD.
  9. David T. macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2013
    I'm considering the same question... especially with the recent bump in CPU and Ram specs on the base model.

    I checked my current Windows 7 machine, and I've used up 58 Gig. Of that 58 gig, I think about 57 gig is Winows updates :D :D :D.

    Anyhow, I have full office suite, and a quite of bit of other software... Comodo Firewall, AVAST Anti-Virus, Web editing software, Photo Editing software... etc. However, I store all my documents, spreadsheet, photos, etc. on flash drives. So, they take up any space and are not that big anyway. I do it more for security and as a backup by keeping at least two duplicate flash drives.

    In your case, the CAD stuff may take up a lot of space. If you don't already have the external drives you will have to buy them. Consider that in your equation. Spending the extra $200 for the 256 gig drive may be a better choice, and certainly more convenient than external drives.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think you'll find 128GB to be too small rather quickly. Just my $.02 but in this day and age 128 just won't cut it.
  11. TjeuV macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
    Out of personal experience: 120GB could be enough but you'll have to be careful on what you put on the internal storage. Each semester I put all my files on an external drive to clear up space for the next.
    Basically: If you actively manage your storage you'll be fine with 120GB.
  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I bought my daughter a 128GB Macbook Air 2 years ago. She is a student. She manages fine. As others have suggested get a external hard disk and you will be fine.
  13. Danando1993 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks for the replies, I understand that 128GB isn't much at all and maybe I'm trying to convince myself that with the right management and use of external hard drives it will be.

    But, £200 more for an extra 128GB to put it up to 256Gb is pretty expensive huh? In the bigger picture 256GB isn't a lot either so maybe spending that £200 for far more external hard drive storage could be more worth while?

    Carrying around a external hard drive wouldn't really be a problem for me either.
  14. LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    How about a mini SD card and adapter - fits flush in Macbook SD slot? Thats what I use with 64GB Sandisk. And Sandisk just released a 128GB.

    Adapter is $5 on ebay.
  15. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I don't know where you're studying, but most architecture programs in the US are fairly computer-centric these days for studios. Most common apps are Rhino, SketchUp and Revit. These are heavy-duty 3D modeling apps and they want more than a MBP 13".

    If you're going to stick with a MBP, you want the 15" w/ the discrete graphics (nvidia 750m GPU), 256GB SSD (you'll eventually want a Windows boot camp partition), and obviously 8GB RAM, though 16GB is preferable if you'll be using a VM, which is a major convenience at times.
  16. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    Was about to say this but this person beat me to it.
  17. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I, too, was thinking the same way, but the OP also has a 27" iMac and I expect he will really want to run Autocad and Photoshop (he mentions) on that system to get the advantage of the large display.
  18. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    That's a great point. If he can have the iMac in studio, that would work. But they generally encourage students to do their work in studio, and a laptop is generally more convenient for that. Sometimes students have an external display in their studio and/or at home.

    Along those lines, OP might be best off selling the iMac and using the funds to get a high-end MBP? Just a thought.
  19. Danando1993 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    A 15" would be the better choice if I had the money, but unfortunately the only real options are the 13" plus as the other poster said I would make use of the iMacs screen too. The majority of my friends use 13" pros in studio and they have no problems.

    The primary use of the laptop would be for use in studio, when sketching up plans, elevations, looking at precedents/Research and then CAD, SketchUp and photoshop further into projects. I'll be honest Revit and Rhino I've never used so Im pretty clueless about if the base pro could run those programmes well if I needed them in the future.

    Selling the iMac isn't really an option either its my main machine and home hub for all my other devices iPad, iPhone etc.

    Grateful for your replies.
  20. LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    That is what I used to have setup at home.
    I sold my iMac - 3 1/2 years old for 40% of cost.
    And got MBA 13.
    Now I am buying MBP 15 need bigger screen.

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