How much HDD space should you leave free if any?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Furifo, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Furifo macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    I'm ordering my first mac (MBP13) soon but I'm not sure if the 250gb HDD space is going to be enough as I think I read somewhere it's important to keep some HDD space free (might have been for windows now that I think about it, it was a long time ago).

    Basically, this is how I'll be using the space:
    Total Size - 250gb. I'm assuming that when I get the mac, with SL and stuff like iLife preinstalled it'll have ~220gb of space.
    Windows 7 bootcamp partition - 100gb
    Apps + stuff - 50gb

    Leaving me with ~70gb free. Is that enough free space to keep SL running smoothly?

    I've got a 500gb external HDD for my multimedia

    I could opt for a 320gb HDD but I'm looking to upgrade to SSD anyway when the prices fall.

    Also, is it possible to resize a windows bootcamp partition?
  2. warrena macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2010
    DFW area
    I have always tried to keep about 50% free, that will leave as much data as possible on the outside of the platters, improving speed. As the drive fills up it gets slower. If you look at most drive charts, as they fill up the performance drops.

    As drive capacity has gone up and cost down, I would go with as large as you can, say a 500GB drive.

    I have never tried to resize a bootcamp partition so not sure. From what I have read it typically requires a complete redo of the partition and reinstall of Windows - but I could be wrong. I would err on the side of making it as large as you think you will ultimately need it.
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    How much Windows stuff are you really going to do? Could you make that partition smaller?
  4. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Thanks for that. Yeah, I do remember reading something like after a certain percentage the performance of the drive starts to drop dramatically.

    I do like to play the odd game so it's really mainly for that. Depending on how much space Windows 7 takes (I think it's around 15gb) I think I should be able to reduce the size of the partition.
  5. regieferg macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2010
    I am getting a macbook pro soon and i am going to put windows for gaming on it. This is what i am going to do.
    hard drive partitions (250GB HD):
    -windows- 50-90GB
    -mac os x-160-200GB

    That will give me plenty of room for my games and stuff. Plus if i would want windows programs i would use virtualbox(free) or parallels(paid) to use them. So i would give over 50% (50% = 125 GB) to mac os because i am just playing games on windows.
    Also giving tought to getting a bigger Hard Drive off a site like newegg or Amazon.
  6. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    I was thinking of getting a larger HDD as well off amazon. I think I can drop the size of my windows partition to 75GB.

    I might just spec my MBP with a 320gb HDD which saves me the hassle of buying it and swapping out the drives. A 320gb HDD over here is around £32. My MBP specced with a 320gb one would only cost £34 extra so it does seem like good value.

    A 500gb one is ~£45 but Apple are trying to charge £103 to spec an MBP with one :eek:

    I think I'll split it like this:
    Clean HDD with just SL on - Estimated ~300GB
    Windows 7 partition - 75GB
    Apps n stuff (like music) - Around 30gb (I know I said 50gb before but that was a bit excessive. I have around 5gb of music and I doubt I'd use 25gb for the apps I'm going to install so even the figure of 30gb is high). That leaves me a nice, comfortable 195gb of space left.

    The windows 7 partition would be pretty full though. Windows 7 itself takes 15gb of space so that leaves me with 60gb. The games I wanted to install, I've estimated will take up around 45gb of space leaving 15gb on the Windows 7 partition. Will the small amount of space left for W7 affect gaming performance in any way? (Not bothered about load times).
  7. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    I've always heard that all you need is ample space for your paging file. That is, the memory the OS uses if you run out of Physical RAM memory. For most people, that's usually less than 3GB.

    You know you're really full when you're about 2GB away, and a message keeps coming up that says "Your hard drive is almost full"
    As long as you're not getting that message, i'd say your OK.
    If you have 70GB left, that's fine. I've been using my stock 250GB MacBook Pro for over a year now with ~40GB free, and it's been perfectly fine. I have an 80GB Windows 7 Home Premium 64BIT disk partition, and the rest is allocated to mac OS. Of course, I could delete some heavy data things, but the thing that is taking up the most space, (ADOBE CS3) I use quite a lot.
    All in all, if you can make it in about under 30GB, you're fine. Plus, factor in some extra space for how long you want to keep your computer. If you want to keep it for 4 years, i'd say you need at least 60GB in free space once you have everything you can possibly think of installed, and all the music you think you're ever going to have. :)

    Also, make your windows drive with about 30GB free after everything you install is there. That way, you can fit about 4 more games before the hard drive is full if you ever plan on getting more.

    If this is too much for your 250GB, please don't go with apple and instead buy one off of amazon, as then you can keep the 250GB and put it in an external case for very cheap, and use it for more storage.
    Good Luck!
  8. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    40gb left and it's still working fine? Sounds like a 250gb HDD should do me just fine then. No point in spending extra money in something that's not needed.

    So, what you're saying is that with 40gb left your mac is still as speedy as it was when you first bought it?
  9. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Just totalled up all the apps n games I want to install and here's the breakdown:
    HDD with SL installed when I get it - 220gb
    Bootcamp - 75gb
    All the music I'd probably ever own and all the apps I'm probably ever going to install - At most, 45gb

    Leaving 100gb free. Is that enough to keep the mac launching day to day apps (safari, word, photoshop etc) like it did on the day I bought it? (Assuming I regularly run SL cache cleaner, repair permissions etc).
  10. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I can GUARANTEE you will be cursing the fact that you don't have enough space on your HDD within a year or two. It's pretty much a fact of life that file sizes of media and programs keep growing larger as new and exciting things are brought online. I'd suggest (as others have) to go with the largest drive you can afford.

    ...and I'll take that bet on your media and apps never going over 45GB. ;)
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Micromat says in their FAQ that if an HFS+ volume is more than 85% full and heavily fragmented, it can become corrupted.
  12. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
  13. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Alright, it seems the general advice here is to get a bigger drive and seeing as I don't want to risk a corrupted drive by going over 85% I think I'll order my MBP as it is and then get a 500gb HDD and install it myself.

    I'm not entirely sure if this is the right way but this is what I was thinking of doing:

    1) Getting this -

    Would that be compatible and is an 8mb cache good/bad/standard? I'm really not too good with HDDs (Alls I know is that ssd > everything else). I don't mind it only being 5400 rpm.

    2) And this -

    Is that the correct enclosure?

    3) Connecting to MBP and using Carbon Copy Cloner

    4) Swap the drives

    5) Good to go?

    I assume replacing a HDD does NOT invalidate AppleCare (assuming I damage nothing else)? Because it'd be pretty sucky if it did :(

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