256 or 512?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SamVilde, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. SamVilde macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    This is a question no one can answer but me.

    I run a nice fast 2008 Macbook with 6GB ram and a 2-year-old 256GB SSD. Battery was replaced 3 years ago, and is getting wimpy. The computer itself is svelte and fast, but I'm tired of the battery draining out/taking forever to charge and once I got my iPhone 7 I came to terms with how the screen just sucks.

    I am a teacher and I use mostly Office software, with some lite iMovie work, photo editing, etc.

    I'm going to get a 2016 tbMBP.
    I'm going to get 16GB RAM for good luck and longevity.
    I'm on the fence between the 256 and 512.

    I do not like cloud-only storage. I want my files locally. I know I can move things to removable SSDs, but I really like to have all my resources within reach. Sometimes in teaching you want quick access to an article or photograph or something from 6 years ago, and you want it quickly.

    At the same time ... the 256GB SSD in this computer is nowhere near full. I've got about 90GB free. So maybe I'll never need that space.

    I guess it depends how long the computer will last me. If I get 6+ years out of my next computer (as I have with this one), I'll likely feel constrained by the smaller hard drive. But if the computer doesn't have the longevity of this beast, I might not need it.

    Really, I'd like you to talk me into the 512 - since I want another 8 year machine. But when I hear people talk about their more modern machines dying after only 4 years, it seems silly to waste money planning ahead.

    Thanks.
     
  2. canuckRus, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017

    canuckRus macrumors 6502

    canuckRus

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #2
    (512) You never know, but better to be safe than sorry down the road. Teachers must accumulate and require a lot of stuff unexpectedly like every one else.
     
  3. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #3
    512 SSD.

    Back in 2013 I bought a 13" rMBP with 256 SSD, thinking that since I had another computer to use also that this would be plenty.....but soon found that this was not the case at all. The next time I bought an rMBP I went with 512 SSD, and have done so also with my rMB as well. It makes all the difference, having that extra breathing room and being able to add new stuff without worrying about running out of storage space. I have a large iTunes library and fairly large photo files and for me 256 capacity on the SSD just did not cut the mustard. I am MUCH happier with 512 GB SSD and it is nice to know that the extra storage capacity is there even if I don't use it all.
     
  4. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #4
    A vote for 512 here too.

    A very very rough calculation suggests that you might be adding 10 to 20 Gb of "stuff" a year. While you might possibly manage to have everything squeezed onto a 256 Gb SSD at the end of the new machine's life, I think it's imprudent to count on it. Plus, SSD's don't really like to be full, you'll be better off with the extra space even if you don't ever use it all up.

    I'd expect the larger SSD to be slightly faster, as well.
     
  5. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #5
    Thank you for confirming what I wanted to hear.

    Knowing how my brain works, I may never fill this 256. I like to throw junk away and keep my files tidy and organized, so it's easy to find what I need. At the same time, knowing how my brainworks, I get really worried when I'm afraid I'm going to run out of space, and hate feeling cramped. For the peace of mind alone, it's probably worth the $180.
     
  6. Sedulous macrumors 68020

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #6
    It is just lame that Apple doesn't make user upgrades a viable option on new "pro" hardware. Yeah, I'd definitely go 512GB. SSDs do apparently slow down as they fill (or so I heard... never tested it myself).
     
  7. mag2001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #7
    I am in the same boat. I am thinking of getting a new tbMBP and can't decide on 256 or 512. I currently have a rMB with 512 and use more than 256. I would have to transfer some of my pictures onto hard drives to free up space. I would save money getting the 256 and could use that extra case to get a decent USB-c drive.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    If you can swing the cost increase for the 512, then definitely go with that.
     
  9. TheArcher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    #9
    512. You may never use the space but you'll be glad to have it just in case. It's the minimum I would buy with a new rMBP TB. I am actually debating between 512 and 1 TB, personally, but the 1 TB price is very difficult to sallow. Apple has made this upgrade a premium. I am debating a purchase a new 15" rMBP TB but am waiting for Apple to work out most of the kinks prior to the purchase. It'll most likely be after Q1 as I heard reports Apple will be switching to IGZO displays.
     
  10. paulryp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    #10
    512 is the only option do not even consider 256.
     
  11. v0lume4 macrumors 68000

    v0lume4

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    #11
    512

    Storage is that one thing you don't regret not upgrading -- until it's too late. Then you're stuck. 256 isn't enough these days.
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #12
    I bought my MBP with a 256 Gb SSD - took me all of six months to fill it up. Get the 512.
     
  13. AlliePallie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    #13
    Another take on all this:
    Since no single disk, spinner or SSD, is safe, you should have multiple backup drives (believe me!!). You can store any amount of "Not in Immediate Need" stuff in these and recover the data whenever you plug in for backup. So, a 256GB SSD should be plenty.
    Also, there have been a number of stories around the net suggesting that, long-term, the conventional hard drives might well be more reliable than the SSDs. As a compromise, use conventional hard drives for backups (also cheaper) and the 256GB SSD in you computer will be fine.
     
  14. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #14
    As a person rocking an 8 year, 3 month old laptop, I'm a dedicated backer-upper. Even still, I like to have all my resources - including "stuff not in immediate need" - equally accessible; I don't want them only on externals.

    I don't tend to collect useless artifacts, though: it we're working on a movie project, for example, I usually delete the unwanted/unused clips once the project is completed. For this reason I do accumulate rather slowly, by modern standards. It might take another five years to need that space.
     
  15. canuckRus macrumors 6502

    canuckRus

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #15
    Too much stress to save a few bucks.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 9, 2017 ---
    It wasn't that so long ago when a 10GB drive was considered to be more than adequate. It inevitably happens.
     
  16. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #16
    Hi

    If you have only 90GB left I'd go for the 512GB

    Out of interest is it the 13" or 15" tbMBP just wondering if its the i5 or i7 to complement the 16GB RAM
     
  17. Jimmiray macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    #17
    I got mine as the 256 and bought a 2tb external. I found both sizes a little small, I had a 512 in my previous mac and was still having to do a lot of file managing. The transfer speeds using final cut and iTunes have been fine, plus I'm less worried about storage. Should add I'm using a Usb C to usb 3.0 connection for full speed.

    My two cents
     
  18. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #18
    I'm getting the 13" 2.9.
    Getting the 16GB of RAM for longevity and good luck, as noted above. I do not use super-intense programs very often, but I'm often doing a lot of things simultaneously, and like my computer to be snappy and allow multitasking in all areas.
     
  19. deany, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

    deany macrumors 68030

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #19
    Hi

    The geekbench is:

    13" i5 2.9 : 3773
    13" i7 3.3 : 4005

    Perhaps macOS 2022 may prefer the i7 and programs like Parallels would run better in the meantime.

    I personally would go for the 13" i7 16GB RAM 512GB with a 5 year investment in mind, others may disagree and offer advice. The i7 is a fair bit more for just a 6% approx performace increase.

    I'm no expert.

    I'd definitely recommend 3 year AppleCare cover.
     
  20. caelius macrumors regular

    caelius

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Location:
    Innsbruck, Austria
    #20
    If you can afford it and plan to use the MBP for a couple of years: go all-in and max it out. Better safe than sorry.
     
  21. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #21
    My MM(Late 2014) has a 256SSD and I consider myself a "light-user", i.e., surf-the-net, buy movies/music on Amazon, etc.

    As of today I only have around 20GB of space left on this SSD, however, I do have a couple of WD Passport External Drives which I plan on unloading some of the movies that are on my MM internal SSD to spare up some space.

    However, IMO I go-along with other recommendations on this Forum in buying a new/refurbished MM with as much SSD GB that you think that you will need as a Internal SSD is generally faster and more convenient than a External SSD.
     
  22. Rob9874 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #22
    I just upgraded my 2011 MBP to an SSD and went 1TB. I was using 400 of my 500GB (mainly music and photos), and was trying to find the right cloud storage to offload some of the clutter. Going 1TB solved all my problems. So def not 256.
     

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