Do I need a TB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by databody, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. databody, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013

    databody macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2013
    Hi MacRumors-ites:

    I'm aware this isn't the only thread on this general topic, but I'd like to get your input on this particular situation.

    I'm deciding between getting a retina MBP with 16 GB RAM and a 2.3Ghz CPU (unless someone tells me otherwise) and either 512 GB or 1 TB.

    I'm a grad student and am purchasing because my last tea spill became the last straw in my long haul with my current old mac (a 2007 2.4 C2D MBP).

    I've taxed my current machine's small and by today's standards slow 150GB hard drive with about 200 GB of data (much of it now on a Time Capsule) and space was my main problem to deal with with this mac (the reason I got the Time Capsule).

    I want to move my 200GB of material (70 GB itunes, 40 GB aperture, apps and work/school documents for the rest) straight onto my new machine and have room to "grow" in the next few years: I photograph and store entire 500pg/historical books to photocopy them making my own digital archives on a weekly basis; I plan to get more into photography as a hobby as well; I want to keep the option of doing semi-professional ("grad school quality") documentaries open--but I don't actually do those yet. As a student/academic I do a lot of long 2-400 pg writing/theses and I like to be able to have 1 million internet tabs and PDF books/papers (some of them very cumbersome, poorly digitized 1-200MB "text" files) open along with my aperture library with my photo-archived books so I can juxtapose many different materials and ultimately combine them into what I write.

    I'm worried that after transferring my material on day 1, though close to 300GB will be free, I might not have much real room to work with if I want to maintain the laptop's optimal/robust performance. Just how much of a SSD do you need to keep free for a machine like this to run optimally/do what I want it to? How much room will I really have to work with/grow into from day 1 if I use 200GB of the 512? And of the 1 TB?

    OTOH, given that I've taken a while to fill 200GB, though I don't know what the future will bring and how having better tools might encourage me to do more cool things requiring more space, I doubt I'll really fill the 1TB. I really wish there were a 750GB option! To me a computer is my work equipment and it isn't something to skimp on...but there does seem a point at which one can overdo it, and the price of this model with 1TB does seem a little "out of range" for many students. I can guiltily pay for the TB if I need it, but the question I?

    Also, I've tended to like to buy decent machines and try to make them last as long as possible. Is it reasonable to expect a machine like this to last 3-4 years running more or less optimally with a TB of space as opposed to 512GB? Is it just wiser to buy a 512 GB machine and save my pennies for buying a new machine a little earlier down the line? I'm honestly a little fed up with Apple because of how badly my current machine declined (before the spill)...even at about 3.5 years of use it was giving me serious issues, though I could and did hold out on upgrading since their updates didn't seem revolutionary to me. When I look at my current machine, I feel like it is silly to spend so much on something that will just end up more or less inoperable in a crate in the basement when its "obsolete" by the file-size and format and software standards of tomorrow.

    Thanks for reading (I know this was long); I look forward to hearing your input/experience with this sort of issue. Please advise!
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I advise you to get what you can afford, what you need is entirely up to you for storage.

    What you need now may not be what you need In the future.
  3. blackers10 macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2013
    if you need more than 512gb what the hell are you storing on your laptop....
    if you just store a million tv shows or old "just in case files" etc that you rarely if ever watch just get an external drive and save yourself the $600...
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You can easily go beyond 512GB, Photoshop files, RAW files from the newer cameras, Aperture library (or LightRoom). iTunes library, Virtual Machines. All of them or a combination of them will eat up your space and in a lot of cases having them on your internal drive makes more sense then offloading them. Everyone's needs are different, you may not see the need for a large SSD but it seems the OP is thinking ahead and wants to make the purchase fits his needs now and down the road.

    OP, if you can afford the 1TB drive and you see the usage growth exceeding that of the 512GB drive. Its a lot simpler then using an external drive that you'll need to alway lug around with you. From what I've seen the 1TB drive is exceedingly quick as well, another added benefit :)
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Concur. The 1TB SSD is a 4-lane PCIe drive, while all other capacities are only 2-lane.
  6. fskywalker, Dec 25, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013

    fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    There used to be a 768GB SSD option on the previous generation rMBP's, which at the time was the biggest size. I had that size SSD on my gone 13 and 15 inch 2012 rMBP's but the new ones with PCIe they forced you to go either 128, 256, 512 or 1TB, so the 768GB is no longer there. I'm using about 400 gigs on my 1 TB drive so could have perhaps go along with the 512, but given the fact got a pretty nice deal on my machine through Ebay (Brand new & sealed 13" rMBP 2.8/16/1TB for $2400 shipped) I went for it. So I have over 500 gigs of free space, so have a lot of room for future proofing for a while!.

    So like others said, if you can afford it, go for it. If the extra $500 or so price is too much, since the PCIe card is removable, you may do an upgrade at a later time by buying a 1TB card (have seen them already in Ebay for about $1000 or about $1 per gig) or third parties like OWC if they release them in the future.

    Hope this helps.
  7. MathBunny123 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    Toronto, Canada | Sibiu, Romania

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