Anyone regret only getting 256GB SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by johngwheeler, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    I'm thinking of getting a base 2.2GHz rMBP 15, and am wondering whether I will be OK with the standard 256GB storage.

    I have the same amount on my MBA, and it's generally OK, but I do find I need to move my VMs to and from external storage quite often. I generally need to have 2 VMs of 40-70GB on the SSD at any one time.

    I also use a 64GB flush-fitting SD-card for my "overflow" for items that I access infrequently, or that don't need a fast access speed (iTunes library, books, archive documents etc.).

    You obviously need to keep on top the "housekeeping" to prioritise the items that should be on the SSD, and move 2nd tier items to external or cloud storage every few weeks.

    The 512GB upgrade is quite a lot of money - and I need to consider whether it is really going to be worth it.

    What have your experiences been? Better to keep a "lean" system, or just buy big and avoid space anxiety?
  2. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Depends on your use and needs. I need about 2TB minimum, but 90% of that is photos and media. 256GB works fine with a USB 3.0 2TB external drive. There was no benefit, for me, to having more than 256GB internal. YMMV.
  3. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    I have been fine with mine. 216gb free but my needs are few in regards to HD space
  4. johngwheeler thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Apart from productivity and development applications (various IDEs and development frameworks), my main space requirement is for Virtual Machines and a Windows partition. I need about 60GB for Windows 7, and would like to be able to have c. 100GB dedicated for Linux Virtual Machines. I think there are real advantages to running the VMs on the internal SSD rather than by external USB 3 disks (even if these are SSDs) - I don't know whether Thunderbolt externals would be better, but they are still too expensive!

    Provided I can get all of my Apps and personal data on the remaining 70GB or so left (assuming Mac OS X requires about 20GB), I will be fine. This does require keeping on top of tidying up the file system though - I guess it depends on how organised one is!

    My view is that my data is a lot more valuable that the actual computer, so I like to have this on robust and redundant storage rather than solely on a laptop with a TM backup. I have a NAS with RAID 1 disks at home, and use Dropbox & GoogleDrive quite a lot and a second tier backup for critical data.

    I'm probably answering my own question - but I guess I can make it work with 256GB. The only downside is the time spend in data maintenance - so my real question is whether the cost of a larger SSD is worth the time saved in frequent clean-ups.
  5. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    I have 256GB and yet to use half of it.

    I store movies on an external drive, no need to always have that kind of stuff on your main drive.

  6. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Sure if you're running multiple operating systems you would want a ton of space and if you're running more than 1 OS then it only makes sense to max out the storage.
  7. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I tend to think you need more than you think, but with the nature of cloud computing, I would assume you do not need that kind of space anymore if you are the average user.
  8. EOB macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2014
    Los Angeles
    I have been using a 256gb SSD for about three years now, I just recently bought a rMBP 15 with 256gb and have about 170gb left. I keep only my most essential files on my macbook and everything else is stored in external drives or cloud storage(files I sometimes need access to)
  9. bgd macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2005
    I'm surviving on 128 GB at the moment so 256 is luxury :)

    I use a NAS so don't have any space issues. Memory, on the other hand, is a problem with VMs. My MBA inherited main machine status unexpectedly but is coping well.

    Upgrading to rMBP shortly and 256 GB will be plenty, so will 16 GB. :)
  10. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Barely using 100GB on my 256GB rMBP. Most of it from steam. In my line of work, work apps and files don't take up allot of space. Media is where most of the storage space is lost. Just having having 10 games installed can take up 50gb from steam nowadays. (Allot of newer games are taking up 10+ gigs EACH)
  11. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    That sounds right.
  12. Fiestaman macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2009
    I personally regret getting only 256gb pretty much every day, but I bought my 15" MBPr when the MBPr first came out, so upgrading to 512gb would have cost me another $500. And upgrading to 768gb at $1000 even was just crazy talk. I also have a flush 64gb microSD card that stays in the computer at all times, but the speed difference is ridiculous. Next time I buy another computer, I'll definitely at least get 512, but might spend the money and get 1TB. I'd much rather have too much space than too little and the price difference is getting less and less. Keep in mind that the hard drive is not upgradeable, so whatever you decide, you're stuck with.
  13. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    It sounds like you could make it work with 256GB -- I know, even with my inchoate interest in lossless music, I could make it work with that amount of storage. Are you thinking about buying new? For the price of the base model new, you can get the high-end model refurbished. Obviously the other compelling reason to upgrade is discrete graphics. But I'm personally eyeing the refurbished model of the configuration you're considering.
  14. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    If you use bootcamp 256 won't cut it... a usable bootcamp partition is gonna be around ~100 gigs
  15. johngwheeler thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Yes, I will use bootcamp, but think that 100GB is more than I need. I currently have 256GB on my MBA, and find that my 85GB bootcamp partition still has 20GB free and I have lots of unnecessary stuff on the Windows installation. I was thinking of dropping bootcamp down to 70GB on the new installation.

    Possibly of more interest is whether the 512GB SSDs are significantly faster than the 256GB version, or whether Apple tend to use worse (non-Samsung) SSDs in the smaller model?
  16. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Ditto. Movies are on an external drive as is all past schoolwork except the current semester. The only other stuff I have is photos because I haven't had the heart to move them and my iTunes music. In total I have 3.25TB across three external drives and both of my MBPs. I guess I'm used to having to manage storage since my first MBP had a 160GB drive originally. 256GB seems like an improvement over that.
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    If you want dual booting with Windows, you'll perhaps need a 512GB unit. Otherwise, you'll be fine with 256GB. I think it's a waste storing a big music/photo library in a SSD since most files are rarely accessed. Someday, when SSDs become really cheap and we'll have affordable 2TB+ units, and HDDs will be retired, then I'll change my mind.
  18. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    I don't have a rMBP (yet) ... just a 2012 cMBP that I put a 256GB SSD into. The only negative thing I feel is that 512GB SSDs were not the price then that they are now, but that's not something that I can control. So, I don't regret my decision of getting the 256GB vs a 512GB one.
  19. YYR123 macrumors newbie


    Apr 16, 2012
    Nope, my needs go far above 512gb

    So 256 is fine b/c I always have a TB EXTERNAL for real storage
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I got 512

    I have nowhere near your needs and I still got a 512 GB disk. Why?? Because I like to not have to worry about it.

    As you say 256GB will give you housekeeping issues, how much is your time worth?? If you spend just an hour a week moving files and your time is conservatively worth $30/hour then you have repaid that upgrade in ten weeks. Time is almost never the cheaper option in my experience and a few hundred dollars upfront can save you significant money in time over the life of the machine.....
  21. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    No regrets because i got a 500GB one instead. I also keep all my media external on a NAS. However, I choose to keep a copy of all my music 150Gig on my macbook as well for when I am travelling.

    It is kept in SYNC with the version on the NAS everytime I connect.
  22. BoneDaddy Suspended


    Jan 8, 2015
    I got the 1TB. Glad I did. I have all of my libraries and plugins on it. That takes up over 500gb. I love it.
  23. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    I have one with 128GB another with 256GB and the latest with 512GB.

    128 is fine from a storage point of view for me and my needs - its got over 90GB of space free most of the time, but..... there is a difference in performance not huge, but its there. I use an external NAS drive (Synology DS1515+) for pretty much everything including iTunes as it offers far more storage and redundancy capabilities.

    If you are worried and don't want external storage then select a larger option.
  24. Xeridionix macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2015
    Speaking from experience with a previous computer and a 250 GB SSD, I found that it was a royal pain in the rear. I used to do a lot of the same things you are looking to do in regards to multiple virtual machines and found that I was constantly having to move files around to make room, and I didn't have a large music library or anything of that sort on the SSD. That particular computer also had a 500 GB internal hard drive, and running the virtual machines from that was a huge bottleneck compared to the rest of the system.

    So with all that being said, and with Boot Camp in the picture as well I'd highly recommend that you aim for 512 GB if you can afford to especially since you can't easily swap out the storage in the MacBook Pro with Retina display down the road and would have to rely on external disks.
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm happy with my 256GB, but I have a nice setup that I use a DAS for my large file needs

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