Is 128gb enough?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mg5904, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. mg5904 macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2008
    I'm finishing up school in a couple of weeks and promised myself a new computer in celebration (kind of backwards that, isn't it?). Will be replacing my HP laptop running Vista with a new MacBook 2.4 w/4gb Ram and maybe, just maybe the 128gb SSD.

    I'm really intrigued with this technology but a bit concerned that I will max it out quickly. I've read great things about the Intel X25-M and I have read that a 160gb version is either out now or just around the corner, so I guess I could wait and look into that route should 128 be a bit too snug.

    Pardon my ignorance here, I base my HD space understanding on my Windows experience; My first and only Mac was a 512 my family had back in the mid eighties.

    I anticipate running:
    *iTunes with about 15gb of content
    *XP and MS office - probably virtually with VM Fusion. I think. I really need a very reliable MS Office experience that can read access my prior writings, with as much original functionality as possible.
    *Adobe Creative Suite
    *Google Earth

    [Edit]My Hp is has about 100gb of "stuff" on it now with a 140gb drive[/Edit]

    I do a lot of writing and other Office tasks, am on the Web for most of the day (school related, honest), and play with photos on occasion. No gaming to speak of.

    Thanks for the help
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    512k maybe? In the early 90s we got a Performa 550 with a 150MB hard drive. I don't think that was even around for personal computers in the 80s. No? (I think 80s, I think big floppies that you need to flip to side "B" to finish loading the program)

    Ahh, dem the days. LOGO. ;)

    Personally, I'm hesitant - SSD drives haven't been on the market long enough to prove they're more reliable than spinning platters. I've seen many SD drives fail. HD's are more delicate than SSDs (from a physical shock perspective) but SSDs are much more prone to ESD damage and thermal damage.

    If you want to be safe, save the extra $ a 128GB SSD will cost you - and get yourself a 250GB hard drive, with an external 500GB hard drive for Time Machine backups. (that's, by far, your safest choice - and it'll likely cost the same)
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    The Intel Solid State Drives are by all means very fast but the 160GB version of the X25-M will cost $700 when officially released and the 80GB version can be had for a mere "bargain bin" price of $550 currently.
  4. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    A lot of people use external hard drives for their non-critical files or those accessed infrequently or even when at home only for entertainment purposes.

    You can use Apple's AirPort Extreme w/attached HDD or Time Capsule... or even just a USB cable attached to your Mac when at your desk. The first two options are nice because they're wireless and you don't have to mess with it. When I had my first MBA, I used the HDD linked to my AirPort Extreme for all of my files except ones currently working on and my music files. It really makes a nice backup system too.

    But, if the SSD is all the space you are going to have, you struggle with its space limitations.

    If it were me, I did buy a new MB too, I would stick with the 250 GB HDD and wait for the next round of upgrades to SSD sizes... In less than a year, it should hit 256 GB which is more realistic... and in a few years they will likely be as inexpensive as standard hard disks (debatable).

    I actually just ordered the 320 GB HDD that is 7200 RPM to gain some extra speed... so, we are all definitely getting used to more and more drive space but want speed similar to that of the SSD.

    Good luck and congrats on finishing college and your new MAC!
  5. mg5904 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2008
    Thanks for the advice, Big-TDI-Guy (Jetta?). You bring up an interesting point about reliability. I had presumed they would be fairly trustworthy due to no moving parts, but I guess they are too young to have proven themselves yet?

    ESD dmage?

    I was researching the Time Machine thing, but I have a number of questions prior to pursuing that option.

    I'm pretty sure it was the 512k. I wish I still had it, quite a fun machine! I think we purchased it in '84 or '85. Is that possible?
  6. mg5904 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2008
    Thank you for the well-wishes and your suggestions. I'm done in two weeks and will not purchase until after that time. I still have two papers due and I know having a new Mac sitting on my desk will be a distraction far too powerful for me to ignore!!

    How is the transfer rate Apple AirPort Extreme w/attached HDD or Time Capsule? Reasonable for infrequently used programs and apps?
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    128GB is not much space. You always be looking for stuff to delete.

    About Windows: If all you need to Office then why not run the Mac version of office? OKit you have a lot of Visual BASIC macros then you need Windows but if not Get the Mac version of Office,

    To run Windows you'd want VMWare Parallels and about 10 or 20 GB of space for the Windows installation. This cuts into your 128GB.

    I'd go for the larger drive. The SSD is only faster on benchmarks.

    Be sure and buy some external drives so you can use them for backups
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    128GB is enough space if you can learn to put your other stuff on an external drive. I've learned to cope with 32GB on my tablet computer; I just leave the useless crap off.
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I disagree. I have a 100GB drive in my MacBook. I also have 16GB of iTunes content and 5GB of iPhoto content. And I still have 33GB of free space according to Finder.

    Until recently I also had XP installed under Parallels. Back then my free HD space was lower, but still sufficient.

    128GB is more than enough space for the basics.

    I would also question the OP's need to run VMWare. I've never run into compatibility problems with Office for Mac. I originally installed Parallels to run Office 2008 (before the OSX version came out), but I found I simply never used it.
  10. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Should you get the rotating plater - be sure to get a 7200rpm. (5400 will slow down your video editing)

    And ESD = electro static discharge. Damage from static electricity.
  11. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    128GB is enough for most people. I have 120GB and I currently have over 80GB left. That's with a fair selection of apps that I installed. Take around 15GB for Parallels (Fusion is horrible... imho) and that would be 65GB. I have a 3GB iTunes library so just another 15GB for good measure. That leaves you at 50GB. Again, don't install junk and keep the computer (not on the outside, rather the SSD) clean.

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