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Spotlighter9

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Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
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Other than the obvious downsides of increased price and waiting for BTO, are there any reasons to try and keep my ordered 16" MBP to 1TB of storage?

The primary driver in moving to 2TB is my growing 730GB family iCloud Photo library which I need to have original downloads of in order to backup/timecapsule/clone/backblaze/etc. Given the physical size/SSD speed of the new 16" MBP, I prefer to not juggle storage of an external hard drive, so I was thinking the extra $400 might be worth it for 2TB future proofing.

Are there other downside considerations for going with the 2TB of storage? A few I can think of are, backing up, spotlight indexing, filevault encrypting, and virus scan times will be greater for a larger size SSD. Also, having to deal with a more cumbersome exchange/apple care process for a BTO machine (stock MBPs get swapped a lot easier for issues).

Many thanks!
 

fa8362

macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2008
1,571
496
An external drive isn't as fast, but it's way more versatile. I use 3 different computers and need the versatility of external drives.
 
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Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
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For the sake of Apple’s 2TB upgrade you could almost buy a second machine and have twice the workflow.
Yep, I agree. The upgrade is expensive at almost half the price of a new base MBA. But my needs/future needs are for storage which is expensive in any practical SSD form for Photos/Videos. :)
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,121
8,803
The primary driver in moving to 2TB is my growing 730GB family iCloud Photo library which I need to have original downloads of in order to backup/timecapsule/clone/backblaze/etc. Given the physical size/SSD speed of the new 16" MBP, I prefer to not juggle storage of an external hard drive, so I was thinking the extra $400 might be worth it for 2TB future proofing.
Here is what I do. I have an M1 Mac mini is a cabinet at home with its photo library on an external drive. Photos is set to always download originals, so they get saved on the external drive, which I back up to a rotating set of offsite hard drives. All of my personal machines are set to optimize iCloud photos.

Setting that up in your home would cost only be a little bit more than upgrading a MacBook Pro to 2TB.

Also, consider that it's probably not really necessary to backup iCloud files.
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
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Here is what I do. I have an M1 Mac mini is a cabinet at home with its photo library on an external drive. Photos is set to always download originals, so they get saved on the external drive, which I back up to a rotating set of offsite hard drives. All of my personal machines are set to optimize iCloud photos.

Setting that up in your home would cost only be a little bit more than upgrading a MacBook Pro to 2TB.

Also, consider that it's probably not really necessary to backup iCloud files.
Thanks! This is a very elegant solution that I've considered in the past. Unfortunately, given the size of my fast growing Photo library at 730GB, I would need to get a 2TB Mac Mini that would cost $1,500 BTO. So the mac mini option doesn't seem all that attractive compared to spending the extra $400 on the MBP to solve the problem.:)
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
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180
An external drive isn't as fast, but it's way more versatile. I use 3 different computers and need the versatility of external drives.
Thanks! Yes. The versatility of this option is indeed attractive and one that I am seriously considering, especially in allowing me to switch which mac/future mac controls the originals. The downside being, to make this solution palatable for dealing with my entire Photo Library, I would likely want an SSD Thunderbolt drive solution...especially, since most of the Photo/Video editing of this library will be done directly on the 16" MBP. A 2TB Samsung X5 is $800.
 

bobcomer

macrumors 601
May 18, 2015
4,949
3,689
Other than the obvious downsides of increased price and waiting for BTO, are there any reasons to try and keep my ordered 16" MBP to 1TB of storage?

The primary driver in moving to 2TB is my growing 730GB family iCloud Photo library which I need to have original downloads of in order to backup/timecapsule/clone/backblaze/etc. Given the physical size/SSD speed of the new 16" MBP, I prefer to not juggle storage of an external hard drive, so I was thinking the extra $400 might be worth it for 2TB future proofing.

Are there other downside considerations for going with the 2TB of storage? A few I can think of are, backing up, spotlight indexing, filevault encrypting, and virus scan times will be greater for a larger size SSD. Also, having to deal with a more cumbersome exchange/apple care process for a BTO machine (stock MBPs get swapped a lot easier for issues).

Many thanks!
There's no disadvantage other than $400. Personally I'll go with external storage, but if you're new laptop is more portable than mine, then internal is better. SD cards can be pretty good for external storage too, but always keep 3 copies.(They're not as stable as SSD's)
 
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Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
192
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No. Just get the base mini and use cheap external hard drives. Speed isn't necessary for this purpose.
Interesting. I did not really think of it this way. This solution is definitely worth considering. The costs would still likely be greater than the current $400 MBP upgrade, but since it could be implemented in the future once I run out of space on a 1TB MBP, pricing it could be equal or lower by then. It would also provide the benefit of freeing me to get the base storage on all future macs if I use the "optimized icloud photo library" feature. :)
 

agent mac

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2007
93
144
Thanks! This is a very elegant solution that I've considered in the past. Unfortunately, given the size of my fast growing Photo library at 730GB, I would need to get a 2TB Mac Mini that would cost $1,500 BTO. So the mac mini option doesn't seem all that attractive compared to spending the extra $400 on the MBP to solve the problem.:)
How many photos do you have? Could you just select the great ones and get rid of some of the duplicates/almost identical/blurry ones?
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
192
180
Here is what I do. I have an M1 Mac mini is a cabinet at home with its photo library on an external drive. Photos is set to always download originals, so they get saved on the external drive, which I back up to a rotating set of offsite hard drives. All of my personal machines are set to optimize iCloud photos.

Setting that up in your home would cost only be a little bit more than upgrading a MacBook Pro to 2TB.

Also, consider that it's probably not really necessary to backup iCloud files.
So, how efficient is "Optimize iCloud Photos" on a mac and the Photos App, any downsides? Any issues with clicking on a large video, downloading it from the cloud, editing it and syncing (Other than using larger amounts of ISP data that is)?
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
192
180
How many photos do you have? Could you just select the great ones and get rid of some of the duplicates/almost identical/blurry ones?

We have quite a large number of photos and videos that we've taken of our family over 17 years and the photo library has gotten very unwieldy. Culling the library is something we are excitedly looking forward to doing with the M1 MBP and have patiently waited for this amazing new generation of Macs!
 

davidako

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2021
447
1,038
So, how efficient is "Optimize iCloud Photos" on a mac and the Photos App, any downsides? Any issues with clicking on a large video, downloading it from the cloud, editing it and syncing (Other than using larger amounts of ISP data that is)?

Optimisation is great my ~300 GB library only uses a few GB of space. But when you edit you need to download the full version. So the only problem is if you want to use old photos while offline.
 
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Tozovac

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2014
3,005
3,210
I wish iCloud were more “obvious,” for lack of a better term. It would be an ideal option to economically add a large storage option to, say, a 256gb or less Mac. But man, I had a few headaches when using iCloud a few years ago. Just like how iCloud Photos makes it hard to “own” your pictures later (no easy option to download all to physical hard drive, at least, that was the case a few years ago), I ran into issues when trying to pull the plug from iCloud and move all files back onto 1 physical drive. For now, it feels really good to have a separate physical drive large enough for all my files (2TB), and, unfortunately, Dropbox has behaved better for me than iCloud, so I’m using Dropbox as a backup of sorts (in addition to a physical Time Machine backup drive).

Just like I hate dongles and expect my laptop to be an “all-in-one solution” for the majority of time (no Bluetooth mouse, no trackpad, a fully-charged battery at the start of the day, etc.), having enough built-in storage is preferable than toting around and managing an external SSD, even with the nutty cost.
 
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phillytim

macrumors 68000
Aug 12, 2011
1,744
1,235
Philadelphia, PA
It is ridiculous how much Apple charges for SSD storage; especially when you can get 5TB drives (yeah they are HDD, not SSD, I know) at Best Buy for $100 nowadays. It is obvious that Apple keeps SSD storage so high to entice you into an iCloud storage plan.

I also prefer having all my files stored on my laptop; and have been considering a move over to a nice Windows laptop for my next upgrade, where I can upgrade the ram/ssd as needs dictate.

@Spotlighter9 There is also the option of a NAS, like a nice Synology, instead of the Mac Mini solution.
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
2,334
4,729
If you can afford it, get the 2 or 4TB model but my opinion is storing a nearly static 750GB of photos that you look through maybe once every 2-3 years is a huge waste of your $500-$1000 bucks. You can do what I do. Every December, I select all photos added to my iCloud Photo Library in the last 12 months, export "unmodified originals" to my Synology and that's my annual backup. I have all of my full res originals on a cheap hard drive just in case and I have 'optimize' storage turned on for my Mac's library. It uses 250GB locally and the rest is on the cloud and everything is on my NAS. The only reason I'd go larger on the SSD is if I'm regularly working on files that hit up against my SSD's storage. My Final Cut Pro libraries regularly are about 1TB in size so I basically have 2TB on everything and it's enough to give me a 500GB buffer at all times. Lightroom library (about 40TB) is stored on my NAS as are my exported video archive (about 60TB) and my iCloud library (2TB). I need to access those files rarely and can just copy them to my SSD over the network if I need them.
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
192
180
Hi all. So here's an update. After our great discussion a few weeks back, I decided to upgrade the BTO SSD storage option from 1TB to 2TB, as spending the additional $400 made more sense to me when considering all the advantages of a larger internal SSD. What pushed me over the top was the process of SSD "wear leveling" as well as the way Apple handles memory swaps on the M1s, especially given that I was only ordering 16GB of RAM. I feel that the larger SSD will not only solve (for good) my storage/photo library issue, but also provide an added bonus of SSD longevity/stability (I kept my last MBP 12 years!). I also read that the 2TB internal SSD is much faster than the 512GB and 1TB internal SSDs. And given the size and weight of the new 16" MBP (though actually a reduction for me), I really didn't want to deal with the additional hassle/weight/purchase of using an external drive for something I am accessing daily/regularly.

My new 16" M1 MBP finally arrived last Friday (after a five-week wait) and I am completely thrilled with it. Since I wanted to start fresh and not port over 12 years of crud from my old MBP, I decided not to use migration assistant or time machine to transfer photos/files. I began with photos by turning on "Download Originals to this Mac" in the Photos App preferences. It took about three days on a 500Gbps Wifi 5 network to download my 615GB iCloud Photo Library to the MBP. Notably, the first 6-7 hours it spent initially slow loading thumbnails and presumably setting up the directory/hierarchy before it began actually downloading originals. The download process went very smooth and without a hitch, duplicates, hangups, etc. In the end, the 615GB iCloud Photo Library turned out to be 668GB when listed in "About this Mac" and 705GB when I view "info" of the "System Photo Library" in the "Pictures" folder. I assume that each process calculates the photo library size a bit differently. The photo library, however, now feels very clean compared to my old MBP having legacy iPhoto remnants, etc. Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions!
 

entropyfl

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
1,057
805
Hi all. So here's an update. After our great discussion a few weeks back, I decided to upgrade the BTO SSD storage option from 1TB to 2TB, as spending the additional $400 made more sense to me when considering all the advantages of a larger internal SSD. What pushed me over the top was the process of SSD "wear leveling" as well as the way Apple handles memory swaps on the M1s, especially given that I was only ordering 16GB of RAM. I feel that the larger SSD will not only solve (for good) my storage/photo library issue, but also provide an added bonus of SSD longevity/stability (I kept my last MBP 12 years!). I also read that the 2TB internal SSD is much faster than the 512GB and 1TB internal SSDs. And given the size and weight of the new 16" MBP (though actually a reduction for me), I really didn't want to deal with the additional hassle/weight/purchase of using an external drive for something I am accessing daily/regularly.

My new 16" M1 MBP finally arrived last Friday (after a five-week wait) and I am completely thrilled with it. Since I wanted to start fresh and not port over 12 years of crud from my old MBP, I decided not to use migration assistant or time machine to transfer photos/files. I began with photos by turning on "Download Originals to this Mac" in the Photos App preferences. It took about three days on a 500Gbps Wifi 5 network to download my 615GB iCloud Photo Library to the MBP. Notably, the first 6-7 hours it spent initially slow loading thumbnails and presumably setting up the directory/hierarchy before it began actually downloading originals. The download process went very smooth and without a hitch, duplicates, hangups, etc. In the end, the 615GB iCloud Photo Library turned out to be 668GB when listed in "About this Mac" and 705GB when I view "info" of the "System Photo Library" in the "Pictures" folder. I assume that each process calculates the photo library size a bit differently. The photo library, however, now feels very clean compared to my old MBP having legacy iPhoto remnants, etc. Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions!
So just over a year later, are you still happy? You still using iCloud Photos? I’m in a similar boat to you and my plan is to maybe move away from iCloud library as it just takes forever to download and upload which really irritates me.
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
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180
So just over a year later, are you still happy? You still using iCloud Photos? I’m in a similar boat to you and my plan is to maybe move away from iCloud library as it just takes forever to download and upload which really irritates me.
I couldn't be more pleased with my decision to go for the 2TB. I love iCloud Photo Library and wouldn't dream of moving on from it...especially with shared photo library in Ventura now available (I am still on Monterrey). On the 16" M1 MBP iCloud Photo download/uploads are very fast and a non-issue. Time Machine backups of my full originals (as part of my 3-2-1 backup strategy) gives me peace of mind.
 
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GooseInTheCaboose

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2022
277
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Yep, I agree. The upgrade is expensive at almost half the price of a new base MBA. But my needs/future needs are for storage which is expensive in any practical SSD form for Photos/Videos. :)
Consider this tho: you buy the mbp with 2tb today but in a month or two they upgrade to m2pro with some killer new features: how would you feel?

I used to always get max storage until I realized I am a happier customer if I upgrade more frequently. There are downsides to spending lots of money future proofing: you are making a financial commitment to the device. And this device was released more than a year ago, which is like middle aged in the tech world lol
 

Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2021
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180
Consider this tho: you buy the mbp with 2tb today but in a month or two they upgrade to m2pro with some killer new features: how would you feel?

I used to always get max storage until I realized I am a happier customer if I upgrade more frequently. There are downsides to spending lots of money future proofing: you are making a financial commitment to the device. And this device was released more than a year ago, which is like middle aged in the tech world lol
This is a great perspective and I agree if you are the type who is changing out their MBP every few years or buying end of cycle then the consideration of going external storage carries more weight as the more economically palatable option. For me, I keep my MBPs a long, long time and bought at the launch of a new generation. I'll add that my wife also uses the MBP with her own user account so we are now topping the 1TB mark in terms of our combined storage needs with plenty of room to spare...everything is internal, fast, efficient, and easy...and without any external storage juggling. Again...our first priority was having access to our iCloud Photo Libraries in full originals and even more so once we start using the new shared library feature in Ventura.
 

GooseInTheCaboose

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2022
277
146
Yeah I realize not everyone is like that, but for me I’m happier to get the killer new feature when they release it. And for me an aging macbook that is slow etc is worse than no macbook at all.

One thing to consider: do you really need a MBP with all the storage to have access to your photos? Maybe you could set up a mac mini at home with external ssds to download the originals. You can always view the originals quick and snappy on a big screen with that setup. Then have 1 or 2 MBAs and sync the photos on icloud. Keep the MBAs base configs and use them as if they were iPads, since theyre mobile devices afterall. Then you have everything and the best of both worlds. It will cost more to get the mac mini but that can be the beater computer that you use mainly for backups that you will keep a long time. The airs are disposable. It can give you flexibility.

Unfortunately with Apple theres no easy way to keep the originals without spending $$ be it on an extra computer for backups or internal storage
 
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Spotlighter9

macrumors regular
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Apr 28, 2021
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Yeah I realize not everyone is like that, but for me I’m happier to get the killer new feature when they release it. And for me an aging macbook that is slow etc is worse than no macbook at all.

One thing to consider: do you really need a MBP with all the storage to have access to your photos? Maybe you could set up a mac mini at home with external ssds to download the originals. You can always view the originals quick and snappy on a big screen with that setup. Then have 1 or 2 MBAs and sync the photos on icloud. Keep the MBAs base configs and use them as if they were iPads, since theyre mobile devices afterall. Then you have everything and the best of both worlds. It will cost more to get the mac mini but that can be the beater computer that you use mainly for backups that you will keep a long time. The airs are disposable. It can give you flexibility.

Unfortunately with Apple theres no easy way to keep the originals without spending $$ be it on an extra computer for backups or internal storage
LOL...yes the Mac Mini (as well as NAS) option was tossed around and debated over a year ago in this thread (see posts #5-7) when I was agonizing over the correct purchase options for my new 16" MBP. On balance, spending the $400 on the BTO 2TB storage upgrade as a turnkey solution was more preferable and appealing to me than spending the $900+ on a new Mac mini and external drive in addition to the $$ spent on the new MBP. I completely agree with you about the cost premium imposed for backing up a large growing iCloud Photo Library. Most people don't realize that you need full photo originals first downloaded to a Mac or designated external drive in order to then backup (via time machine, cloning, or drag & drop). I really wrestled with the this over the years as my prior MBP ran out of internal storage. As I said in post #21...reflecting back I have a been very happy with the ease and simplicity and feel I made the correct choice.
 
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