Is 128GB SSD Enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jamesjanzen, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. jamesjanzen macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    I'm currently using an Asus netbook that came with a 256GB HDD (I think). Planning on upgrading to a Macbook Air, and I can't really see the point for the $200 upgrade to a 256GB SSD. Is there any reason why someone would need this in high school / university? I don't take all that many pictures and have been planning to get an external hard drive for that stuff anyway if I need to.

    Help greatly appreciated :)
  2. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    If attaching an external HD doesn't bother you then Go4rIt. When a 4TB external can be had for less than the SSD upgrade price, no brainer right.

    I said "if it doesn't bother you," after all the Mac is a portable first and foremost, for most people anyways.
  3. McGiord, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
  4. ZeppeZ macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    I personally went for the i5/8gb/256gb Macbook Air 11" just because I dont like having to watch everything I install and save on my computer to save space..

    I also ordered a Sandisk Cruzer Fit 64gb from Ebay for around 50$, which is so small you can leave it in the Macbook all the time, its a good option for you if you just wanna go for the 128gb!
  5. marktebbutt1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2013
    If you are going to store a lot of data and you are not sure if 128 GB are enough, go for 256 GB of flash storage and 8 GB of memory. I don't recommend you to buy a MacBook with 4 GB of memory as we don't know if this amount of memory will be enough in future Mac OS X versions.

    Respecting to the flash storage, if you don't have enough storage with only 128 GB, purchase an external drive and put your data there. You should buy one or two external drives to make backups of your files.
  6. MatsSkoe macrumors member


    Jul 28, 2013
    Like Mark says. I for instance am very happy with my 128 GB storage. I use some large programs like Matlab, SPSS and LaTeX, listen to music on my MBA and watch some series. I don't leave unnecessary video files on my computer but store all my music and recent photos (older are stored externally).

    I did go for the 8 GB of memory mainly for future OS X releases.
  7. 0983275 Suspended

    Mar 15, 2013
    128GB should be enough unless you're going to be working with large files (video editing, RAW image, etc, in which case you're better off going with a machine with better specs)
  8. livit macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2013

    If low on space, you could also consider a service like bitcasa.
    Works much like a network drive/external drive, except it's in the cloud.

    Not like dropbox, where your data is both local and online, however bitcasa shows up in your finder, just like an external drive would, so you don't have to manage files through web interfaces.
  9. Collider macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    I was in your position, OP, and just couldn't justify the extra cash on the 256, though I did want it. I did invest in a 64GB memory stick, though, and that works as a decent middle ground for extra storage when I'm on the go and don't want to carry external drives around or worry about filling up my Air.
  10. cerberusss, Dec 20, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013

    cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands
    You have to do some plussing and minusing.

    This is what my 120 GB looks like (35 GB free):
    9 GB for OS X (System and Library folders)
    1-8 GB swap and log files (the private folder)
    20 GB Applications
    45 GB in my account

    I don't have backups of my iPad or iPhone in there. These are simply not backupped (I don't care about these), but if you do that, add the size of these to your account.

    I also don't store music or photos, these are on a separate drive.

    All in all, it's somewhat of a hassle, and it complicates backups. But at the time of purchase, I had a budget to stick to, plus I kinda like screwing around with storage.

    Totally agree.
  11. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    If you ever plan on dual-booting Windows you're going to need more than 128GB of space.

    Also, good tip on getting an external - make sure you get another to back that one up!
  12. jamesjanzen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    I most definitely have a budget to stick to :)

    Thanks to all who have replied - your help is greatly appreciated. I'm already certain on getting 8GB RAM and the i7 processor... much harder to upgrade it seems than storage (external).
  13. deluxeshredder macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2013
    Is is enough for me on my lightly-used MacBook Air.

    I keep the system, apps, DropBox and a tiny (~1000 songs) music collection and just offload everything else.
  14. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    The i7 isn't really a great value. Drop that and but get an i5/8GB/256GB.
  15. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    For me it's enough. The only thing I store in mass quantities is music which takes up about 15 GB. Movies and TV Shows I delete after watching and pictures don't take up that much room. I have about 3-4 Steam games as well but some of them take up a lot of room so when I get bored of a game I just uninstall it. I think I started with about 100 GB of space when I first got it, I used about half of that within 3-4 months and it hasn't changed since then. I have 55 GB free right now but I think I gained back about 10 GB of space after installing Mavericks.
  16. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i think you'd be better off upgrading the HD space before the chip... maybe even before the RAM unless you really aren't going to be putting much on it.
  17. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    What are you doing on a Macbook Air that requires 8GB RAM and an i7 Processor?

    I'd upgrade the SSD to 256 if that were the only thing. Otherwise if you have a desktop, leave the MBA as the base model and use SMB and 802.11n or Gigabit Ethernet via Thunderbolt to access and transfer larger files as necessary.
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My personal $.02 is that the 128GB is too small, it limits your options, now and down the road.
  19. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    128gb should suffice for you, if you consider yourself a fairly light user.

    I am using the 64gb macbook air and am down to around 10+gb of storage. What Apple doesn't tell you is that in addition to the OS, it will also use up about 5gb of storage for the mail app, 5gb for photo stream, and 4-8gb for sleep disk images, amongst other misc odds and ends.

    Apps like Office also take up space. If you use dropbox, that can also take up space if you choose to keep everything. There were a few times when I came dangerously close to running out of storage (left with 1-2gb of storage), like when I was upgrading to Mavericks and some server bug led to me downloading the update (~4gb) twice. I have no music or movies on my macbook.

    If you want to edit a video clip using iMovie, that's pretty much out of the question since a 45-min clip filmed on my iPhone already takes up 9gb of space. That and I find external storage quite cumbersome, what more since it is so easy to just close the lid of the macbook and walk away when it's time to pack up and go.

    In hindsight, I should have gone with the 128gb one, but what's done is done. :(
  20. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    How long do you plan on keeping the MBA for? 4 Years or more? $200 is not that much spread over several years.

    Personally I feel 128GB is too small even if you are willing to use an external drive for data. 256GB give you that much more space to carry stuff without needing to necessarily attach an external drive every time you turn it on.
  21. jamesjanzen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    Sigh, it's so hard to decide. My current 2.5-year-old NetBook came with a 256GB HD, and I've only used about 50GB.
  22. The Mercurian macrumors 68000

    Mar 17, 2012
    I had this dilemma and went for the 128GB version. Mistake - should have gotten the 256 - for 2 reasons.
    1. Storage space. 128 is easy to fill up!
    2. Speed - the 256Gb drive is a bit faster for reasons I cannot remember.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The one thing I think you don't want is to regret getting the too small SSD, as I mentioned you get more flexibility with the larger drive, including peace of mind. While you're only using 50GB on your netbook, what happens if you start using iTunes or iPhoto. You can fill up your space in no time.

    If down the road you want to load windows for what ever reason, you'll be pushing up against the 128GB ceiling in no time.

    Given the price, and how long you expect to use it, I think the 256GB SSD option is a better move, you don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish - just my $.02
  24. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Well, there's your answer then. 128GB should be sufficient.

    But definitely save on the i7, you'll never use it. 8GB RAM for sure though.
  25. jamesjanzen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    I was talking to an Apple Sales guy at the local Apple store, and he told me that the i7 will be necessary in the future ... you don't agree with this? Just trying to figure out where everyone's opinions clash.

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