How do you expand your storage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jfong425, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. jfong425 macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2008
    Hey MacRumors, wanted to see how others set up their system.

    The newer Macbook Pro w/ retina display come with SSD drives (usually between 128gb-512gb). I know a lot of people have a much needed storage need, but don't want to pay the hefty $500 upgrade for the larger memory. From what I read, SSDs should be used for primary day to day files, applications and OS.

    So here's what I did. I have a 512gb SSD MBP and a 2TB external USB3.0 hard drive that I use to store movies, music, iTunes etc. It has a max transfer rate of 5gb/s. Is this something others do as well?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    USB 3.0 has a theoretical speed of 5 Gb/s, which comes down to maybe 500 MB/s, but then again, the HDD in that enclosure will probably "only" offer 120 to 180 MB/s read/write speeds, which is more than fast enough to play back movies and music or sort and edit photographs and videos.

    Many people use such external HDDs for data storage AND backups.
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    This is what most here do if there is not enough internal storage. Probably 90% of folks don't have more than 500GB of data, so they leave everything on the internal drive and use an external drive for timemachine backups. It is easier to go mobile and hang out at the coffee shop without carrying a hard drive around.

    For those that need fast storage or have large photo libraries that they edit, they typically max out the internal SSD size as its PCe based SSD and simply flies. But I'd say, besides the OS felling a bit snappier, 99% of us wouldn't notice .
  4. Dovahkiing macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I have two solutions.

    For my iTunes music library, I have a 64GB micro SD card plugged in all the time using the little minidrive adapter I bought from Amazon. This is a microSD card adapter that is flush with the outer casing when inserted.

    For games, I use a 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drive.

    Everything else goes on the internal SSD. I'm pretty happy with this setup.
  5. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    My setup is below in my sig, lets me keep everything I want with me, and I use an external 2TB for TM backups...

    All the speed of an SSD, all the cheap big storage onboard of a 1TB HDD - best of both worlds.
  6. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I have a 3TB NAS. If I am on the road I can connect directly to my NAS via a web portal or I can make use of cloud storage services (I pay for 100GB Dropbox & 100GB OneDrive).

    Storage is never an issue wherever I am in the world.
  7. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    I have around 350gb of library / audio / samples that I need to use with my MBP.
    So I carry around a small 500gb Lacie Rugged drive that is USB3.0.

    Keeps my MBP from filling up and is very small / light in a laptop bag.

    Also carry another small USB2.0 750gb system drive as a backup.

  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've not saturated the capacity of my SSD, but I work at keeping utilization in check. I do this by storing only a years Aperture library on my SSD and the prior year's goes on to a DAS. I also use a NAS for storage.

    Basically, I can live within 256GB of storage and I've set up procedures to maintain that. While I do use external drives, they're not needed to be with me when I travel.
  9. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    I keep my iTunes library, iPhoto/Aperture libraries, and most games on a 2TB external HDD. I started doing this when I bought my original rMBP because it only had a 256GB SSD, and I've just kept doing it with the new machine. For stuff I use on a regular basis (audio files for podcasts I record, work stuff, etc), I keep it on the internal drive and back up to Time Capsule and a NAS drive I can access remotely.
  10. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    Off and on

    I keep my main itunes library, movies, book backups, etc, on an external 1TB portable, tiny drive. Then, onboard I compliment the 256GB storage I picked up with a 128GB from pny.

    these things have hit 65$ at various times, the 64GB ones have hit 35$. Sits nice and flush with the 15" rMBP.

    It's not FAST storage, you won't be using it for a RAM disk or anything, but it's great for local storage and local backup.
  11. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    I keep my music and applications and photos on my 256GB SSD, and then I have a 3TB USB 3.0 external that I use to keep my movies and TV on (it's about 1.5TB of video).

    Some games I keep on my internal, but most of them are on my external.
  12. dnoonan macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2004
    Keep these setups coming! I'm about to pull the trigger on a 15" rMBP, and I'm agonizing over the 512mb vs. 1tb SSD decision. Seeing the different options is exactly what I need right now.

    For me, boot camp is mandatory--my day job is video game development. And yet I do a lot of DTP stuff (moonlighting) on the mac side of my machine. 512 seems kinda cramped to accommodate both...

    (currently using my "lunch tray"--a 2011 17" MBP.)
  13. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Get a classic, replace HDD with SSD, put a HDD or hybris into optical bay. That is what I did when I faced the same issue. I couldn't be happier.
  14. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    I'd lean towards the 1TB option in your case because of the need to run Bootcamp/Windows. I know for me, I'm able to have a decently sized Windows partition without sacrificing a lot of storage on the OS X side (200GB Win partition, the rest OS X). After running Bootcamp on a 256GB SSD (my original rMBP), I appreciate the added space of the 1TB even more.
  15. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68020

    Aug 16, 2007
    This is what I wanted to do but now there are no "classic" MBPs on the Apple refurb page except this one. --> It's not a bad machine spec wise. Except I'd up the ram to 8GB. But it's also not a hi-res display in either glossy or matte. Unless I can find one on Kijiji I feel almost forced in a sense to get the rMBP. Sure it'd be an awesome machine but the lack of ability for two internal SSD or HDD is almost a killer for me unless I can muster the money for the 1TB SSD option. Apple eye gouges people for storage upgrades.
  16. magnumpi macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
    At home I have a HP Microserver where I store pretty much anything: movies, music, ebooks, backups... A 64 GB perma-plugged SD card and a tiny 320 GB external HDD take care of my storage needs when I'm on the road.

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