128GB or 256GB SSD?

Baylor2014

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
21
0
Dallas, TX
I am getting a rMBP 13" for college. Will be doing basic MS Office work, gaming via Parallels, and web surfing. I am on a tight $1,300 budget and I have the choice to get the rMBP 13" with 8gb and 128 SSD ($1,289 w/ education discount) and just get an external SSD/HD when I need one or save and get the 256gb SSD ($1,399)? Time is of the essence and wasting more time on saving $$$ for the 256gb doesnt sound appealing at the moment, but I want to make the right decision so I need some input! Thanks!
 

0xyMoron

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2012
433
3
California
I am getting a rMBP 13" for college. Will be doing basic MS Office work, gaming via Parallels, and web surfing. I am on a tight $1,300 budget and I have the choice to get the rMBP 13" with 8gb and 128 SSD ($1,289 w/ education discount) and just get an external SSD/HD when I need one or save and get the 256gb SSD ($1,399)? Time is of the essence and wasting more time on saving $$$ for the 256gb doesnt sound appealing at the moment, but I want to make the right decision so I need some input! Thanks!
128gb should be enough for the needs you stated. As long as you have external drive for your media consumption you should be good.
 

Baylor2014

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
21
0
Dallas, TX
128gb should be enough for the needs you stated. As long as you have external drive for your media consumption you should be good.
Will running games/Parallels through an external HD slow the games/programs down? How about an external SSD?
 

noodle654

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2005
2,065
19
Never Ender
Will running games/Parallels through an external HD slow the games/programs down? How about an external SSD?
If you are gonna go the external SSD route you might as well spring for the 256GB MBP instead of the 128GB MBP.

Have you thought about refurbs/waiting for a better deal? The education discount is not very significant tbh. Best Buy sometimes has some really good deals for students.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
Will running games/Parallels through an external HD slow the games/programs down? How about an external SSD?
I agree 128GB should be more than enough for you to run OS X.

You should have no problems running apps, Parallels off an external HD. As for using an external SSD, you should notice no difference at all in terms of responsiveness, boot speeds, etc when using Thunderbolt or USB3.

I am booting to an external SSD in a Thunderbolt enclosure on my iMac although the machine has a 1Tb Fusion Drive.
 

Baylor2014

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
21
0
Dallas, TX
I agree 128GB should be more than enough for you to run OS X.

You should have no problems running apps, Parallels off an external HD. As for using an external SSD, you should notice no difference at all in terms of responsiveness, boot speeds, etc when using Thunderbolt or USB3.

I am booting to an external SSD in a Thunderbolt enclosure on my iMac although the machine has a 1Tb Fusion Drive.
Will you send me a link to your external SSD?
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
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bingeciren

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2011
854
715
I am getting a rMBP 13" for college. Will be doing basic MS Office work, gaming via Parallels, and web surfing. I am on a tight $1,300 budget and I have the choice to get the rMBP 13" with 8gb and 128 SSD ($1,289 w/ education discount) and just get an external SSD/HD when I need one or save and get the 256gb SSD ($1,399)? Time is of the essence and wasting more time on saving $$$ for the 256gb doesnt sound appealing at the moment, but I want to make the right decision so I need some input! Thanks!
While 128gb will be adequate for your needs, consider this:

The difference between the 256gb ($1399) and 128gb ($1289) is $110. If you factor in the price of an external HDD USB drive, which is roughly $50, you are looking at a net difference of $60. Even a USB3 external HDD will never approach the speed of the internal flash disk. Running Parallels from an external HDD will be less than ideal. I've done it and I prefer not to do it. With an external USB3 SSD, the performance is acceptable but this is not a cheaper alternative than going for the 256gb in the first place.

So, for the price difference, I wouldn't even think twice and go for the 256gb. That's my 2¢.
 

themumu

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2011
717
558
Sunnyvale
An external disk compared to a larger internal for only $110 more? Internal is better, hands down. Less hassle moving things around different drives, significantly faster IO speeds.

Check how much storage you are using right now. The only things that tend to really eat up space are media files - images, movies. If you are not into photography or video editing, you may get away with using 128GB without any external drives.
 

FreudianSlap

macrumors newbie
May 18, 2012
11
0
Have you considered a non-retina 13" and replacing the drive yourself? My non-retina 15" allows for the user to replace the drive under warranty, I have a Samsung 840 256gb in it. I just imagine it would be cheaper overall, but obviously, you'd lose the screen res and other specs. (It depends how important your gaming is to you, and what sort of games you play)

Just a thought.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,468
30,714
The Far Horizon
If you are gonna go the external SSD route you might as well spring for the 256GB MBP instead of the 128GB MBP.

Have you thought about refurbs/waiting for a better deal? The education discount is not very significant tbh. Best Buy sometimes has some really good deals for students.
While 128gb will be adequate for your needs, consider this:

The difference between the 256gb ($1399) and 128gb ($1289) is $110. If you factor in the price of an external HDD USB drive, which is roughly $50, you are looking at a net difference of $60. Even a USB3 external HDD will never approach the speed of the internal flash disk. Running Parallels from an external HDD will be less than ideal. I've done it and I prefer not to do it. With an external USB3 SSD, the performance is acceptable but this is not a cheaper alternative than going for the 256gb in the first place.

So, for the price difference, I wouldn't even think twice and go for the 256gb. That's my 2¢.
An external disk compared to a larger internal for only $110 more? Internal is better, hands down. Less hassle moving things around different drives, significantly faster IO speeds.

Check how much storage you are using right now. The only things that tend to really eat up space are media files - images, movies. If you are not into photography or video editing, you may get away with using 128GB without any external drives.
These three posts sum it up well, to my mind.

Internal is far better, far faster, and more stable.

I used to have a 2010 MBA (a lovely machine in its day) with 128 SSD which - by last summer - was showing its age, slowing down, producing beach balls - and so on; I ended up giving it to my brother, while I bought a 2013 model with more memory.

Seriously, for the difference in initial outlay, - around $100 - the resulting computer will be a lot, lot better. personally, I would strongly recommend the 256SSD.
 

Izaiah

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2013
102
1
FL
If you sign up for Best Buy's college deals they'll send you an email with a bunch of coupon codes. One is good for $150 off any MacBook. That would bring the 8/256GB model down to $1350.

Not sure how much that helps given your strict 1300 budget, but $50 off is $50 off. I think the coupons are running until April 12, but don't quote me on that.
 

mdew408

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2014
5
0
I'd go with 128GB. With the rising shift toward Cloud-based applications, local storage is becoming less and less important.
 

Baylor2014

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
21
0
Dallas, TX
If you sign up for Best Buy's college deals they'll send you an email with a bunch of coupon codes. One is good for $150 off any MacBook. That would bring the 8/256GB model down to $1350.

Not sure how much that helps given your strict 1300 budget, but $50 off is $50 off. I think the coupons are running until April 12, but don't quote me on that.
Because of this God sent statement. I can now afford the 256gb SSD:cool:
 

akadmon

Suspended
Aug 30, 2006
2,007
2
New England
128gb should be enough for the needs you stated. As long as you have external drive for your media consumption you should be good.
Are you living in 2010? :eek: I would not get anything less than 250GB SSD these days as my system drive, and I'd go for at least 500GB to future proof.

I find it perplexing why people who appear to be serious about computing tear their hair out about spending 10-20% extra. Really? If a couple hundred bucks breaks your budget, go buy a Windows PC. You may not love it, but you'll like it well enough. In fact, you many be better off with a well equipped Windows machine than with a crippled Mac.
 
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SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
I find it perplexing why people who appear to be serious about computing tear their hair out about spending 10-20% extra. Really? If a couple hundred bucks breaks your budget, go buy a Windows PC. You may not love it, but you'll like it well enough. In fact, you many be better off with a well equipped Windows machine than with a crippled Mac.
I find it perplexing that people can be so callous as to suggest that a couple hundred bucks shouldn't be anything for anyone to worry about.

In this particular case we're talking about a student who is apparently saving on his own and for whom a couple hundred bucks might be a very big deal.

With the high speed external options of modern Macs, how does getting one with less internal storage qualify it as crippled? Having Thunderbolt and USB3 connectivity alone future-proofs it in terms of flash storage.

A little compassion for others who might not share your particular values where spending is concerned might be in order. I have to say your comments come off as rather arrogant.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,059
198
I find it perplexing that people can be so callous as to suggest that a couple hundred bucks shouldn't be anything for anyone to worry about.

In this particular case we're talking about a student who is apparently saving on his own and for whom a couple hundred bucks might be a very big deal.

With the high speed external options of modern Macs, how does getting one with less internal storage qualify it as crippled? Having Thunderbolt and USB3 connectivity alone future-proofs it in terms of flash storage.

A little compassion for others who might not share your particular values where spending is concerned might be in order. I have to say your comments come off as rather arrogant.
Well said. The base 11" model is plenty for what I need in the specs department, and it suits many others just fine as well. Sure, I could have purchased a windows computer for far less with far greater specs or a higher specced Mac for more money, but it's my effing money and I'll spend it how I please thankyouverymuch. (Or at least if my wife says I can ;))
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,035
2,717
I find it perplexing that people can be so callous as to suggest that a couple hundred bucks shouldn't be anything for anyone to worry about.

In this particular case we're talking about a student who is apparently saving on his own and for whom a couple hundred bucks might be a very big deal.
No, callous would be to say that if a couple of hundred bucks is such a big deal then he should get the hell out of the Apple store and buy a $500 no-name PC (that will do everything he needs for college and might even be better for gaming). Put the other $800 in a savings account so you won't need to go scrabbling for a loan or overdraft if you suddenly need money for something really essential. Keep that up, and next time round a few hundred bucks might not be such a big deal.

...but he didn't come here for heartlessly realistic financial advice, he came here for technical advice and experience with Macs, and that advice is:

128GB will probably do what you want for the moment, but it might be limiting in the future. Parallels VMs can get quite big (especially if you start installing games or using the 'snapshot' facilities). Yes, you can always get an external HD, but Parallels performance will be much better if you keep the VM files on the internal SSD. When you're already paying a premium for an ultra-portable computer, having to carry around a HD defeats the object somewhat.

So, if you can afford to get the 256GB then go for it - even if it means saving for another month or two - it will probably be worth it in the long run. But don't sell any kidneys.

(And *do* consider getting something much cheaper and setting up a rainy-day fund. Your decision, but being totally reliant on loans in an emergency is the real money-pit).

.
 

Baylor2014

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
21
0
Dallas, TX
I find it perplexing that people can be so callous as to suggest that a couple hundred bucks shouldn't be anything for anyone to worry about.

In this particular case we're talking about a student who is apparently saving on his own and for whom a couple hundred bucks might be a very big deal.

With the high speed external options of modern Macs, how does getting one with less internal storage qualify it as crippled? Having Thunderbolt and USB3 connectivity alone future-proofs it in terms of flash storage.

A little compassion for others who might not share your particular values where spending is concerned might be in order. I have to say your comments come off as rather arrogant.
You nailed it. I don't understand why someone would come off that way considering I am a student and, unlike most people my age, I understand the value of money and want to pay for my own things so that I can take pride in them. Having Mom and Dad pay for all my desires is being "callous". Not all of us are Benny Big Bucks over here so a couple hundred is a good chunk of cash and time. I'm glad some of you guys understand that!
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,504
3,099
Will running games/Parallels through an external HD slow the games/programs down? How about an external SSD?
External SSD would be nonsense; you would be better off with a larger internal SSD. Parallels means you need space for MacOS X and Windows; I'd probably go for 256GB if it is only $110 extra. _OR_ if you need to go cheap, get 128 GB and get a tiny 64GB USB stick or card for music, videos etc. (Kingston 64GB micro for about $40). 256GB is probably better.

You nailed it. I don't understand why someone would come off that way considering I am a student and, unlike most people my age, I understand the value of money and want to pay for my own things so that I can take pride in them. Having Mom and Dad pay for all my desires is being "callous". Not all of us are Benny Big Bucks over here so a couple hundred is a good chunk of cash and time. I'm glad some of you guys understand that!
Had to vote this one up. My situation is slightly different... My kids have rich parents, I don't :)
 
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SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
No, callous would be to say that if a couple of hundred bucks is such a big deal then he should get the hell out of the Apple store and buy a $500 no-name PC (that will do everything he needs for college and might even be better for gaming). Put the other $800 in a savings account so you won't need to go scrabbling for a loan or overdraft if you suddenly need money for something really essential. Keep that up, and next time round a few hundred bucks might not be such a big deal.
Actually, I wouldn't call that callous at all. :p

It isn't an indiscriminate (nor arrogant) jab at anyone who finds a couple hundred bucks to be anything to cry over.

Parallels VMs can get quite big (especially if you start installing games or using the 'snapshot' facilities). Yes, you can always get an external HD, but Parallels performance will be much better if you keep the VM files on the internal SSD.
Actually, I have 640GB worth of flash storage and several Parallels VMs, some of which I run 24/7 but I do not waste any of that real estate on the VMs. They are all on HDs. The amount of RAM in the system is way more important to the performance of the VMs in my experience.

The SSD is reserved for OS X and BootCamp and even then I symlink a huge amount of data to the HD. E.g. the iTunes library, all media files, etc. in the interest of keeping the SSD as lean as possible.

When you're already paying a premium for an ultra-portable computer, having to carry around a HD defeats the object somewhat.
This is an excellent point, although the enclosures I'm using are extremely compact and very light.

Incidentally, PCIe blade SSDs for the rMBP (MBA and iMac) can be purchased even now on eBay. The minute my AppleCare is up I'm replacing the 128GB in this iMac with a nice 1TB. They should be far more reasonably priced and available in 3 years time.

----------

Not all of us are Benny Big Bucks over here so a couple hundred is a good chunk of cash and time. I'm glad some of you guys understand that!
Hey, I graduated college before you were born and a couple hundred bucks is still a lot of money to me. :p

Oh and good deal on getting the coupon deals to bring the 256GB down to what you wanted to spend. It's definitely a great idea if it fits your budget.
 

Baylor2014

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2014
21
0
Dallas, TX
Thanks for all the input guys! I'll be grabbing a rMBP 13" 8gb RAM and 256gb SSD at my local Best Buy sometime this week for $1,349! Thank you everyone for helping me decide!
 

Ingot

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2010
266
23
Well said. The base 11" model is plenty for what I need in the specs department, and it suits many others just fine as well. Sure, I could have purchased a windows computer for far less with far greater specs or a higher specced Mac for more money, but it's my effing money and I'll spend it how I please thankyouverymuch. (Or at least if my wife says I can ;))
I feel your pain. I get the "20 year wife card" played all the time. But I do work it to my advantage. I talk about how sick I am about all my friends having big F-250's and all I got is a little girlie corolla. Then we compromise and bingo bango - I get my MBA 11" 256 SSD and 8gb ram.

And she is probably thinking "Jeez that's all it took for him to shut the hell up and leave me alone???"

Win Win for all...