Is a 128 GB hard drive enough to dual boot?

eyetothesky

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2015
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I just got a new MBA. I'll be using it in med school with PowerPoint and other Microsoft applications, so I'm planning on dual booting with windows through bootcamp. I still have time to exchange this for a MBA with 256 GB, but my question is, would 128 GB be enough for both OS X and Windows for what I'm using it for? I'm new to macs too so I really don't know what I'm doing. Thanks!
 

z31fanatic

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2015
868
314
Mukilteo, WA USA
It is possible but I don't recommend it. Windows operating system alone uses 25-30GB of space. And then you add programs and documents you'll be creating and you'll be close to being full.
I'd definitely go with the 256GB option if you're going to dual boot.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
@eyetothesky I have a 120 GB SSD and dedicated 80 GB to OS X and 40 GB to Windows. After updates, disabling hibernation, and simply loading Office I was at under 1 GB of free space under Windows 7 Professional. I highly recommend that you bump up the available storage in your purchase.
 

Verki

macrumors newbie
Jun 11, 2015
4
0
Yes, it can. because the Windows OS need only 25-30 GB. But, 128 GB is a little bit small,
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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I just got a new MBA. I'll be using it in med school with PowerPoint and other Microsoft applications, so I'm planning on dual booting with windows through bootcamp. I still have time to exchange this for a MBA with 256 GB, but my question is, would 128 GB be enough for both OS X and Windows for what I'm using it for? I'm new to macs too so I really don't know what I'm doing. Thanks!
Nope. Well yes you can, but you can't install anything other than Office and updates.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,436
3,443
From my raw device: you would BETTER opt in 256 as long as you STILL CAN!
I tolerate this ultra small 128 GB with two OS enough. For office, I have subscription so all updates are streamed so I don't need to worry much about it. However I have a OneDrive for Business library need to sync which will take 2x of space on local tanks to that **** file cache system.
Due to my subscription, I have not only full office software installed, but also visio, which is quite useful when drawing not-so-professional graphs. And I have Adobe acrobat installed. In this configuration, I have roughly 10GB left out of 42.
Note: if you want to install standalone version of office, please assign at least 60GB to your windows partition. If you have subscription (which I bet you don't have), then you may assign windows to 45, like what I do.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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You can actually install Windows in an external drive. A bit fiddly but it works. All you need is a UASP USB 3.0 enclosure (pretty cheap) and a decent drive (just get a 250GB Crucial BX100 SSD, it's pretty cheap and fast).
UASP USB enclosure. Is that a kind of case? Talking about ssd, seems that the ssd I can get is only Samsung ones, and they are expensive.
 

yjchua95

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Apr 23, 2011
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Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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http://www.amazon.com/Archgon-MH-2231-U3-Aluminum-Enclosure-Optimized/dp/B00DPR9AG0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1434677398&sr=8-2&keywords=archgon+UASP+enclosure

Here's the enclosure that I use.

How about a 120GB Samsung 850 Evo? It's relatively inexpensive (here at least) and fast. Dedicate this drive entirely for Windows.
Seems that where I currently live (near Sydney) does not have many choices for me. The cheapest one is one with 250 GB storage. And this one, build by Samsung, tags 240+ AUD. with this price tag, I can actually buy a hard disk with thunderbolt cable and a well protected hard disk, although, I can only get an HDD.

And amazon in Australia does not sell electronic products.

Thanks for your advice. I may try to search for it. :)
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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Seems that where I currently live (near Sydney) does not have many choices for me. The cheapest one is one with 250 GB storage. And this one, build by Samsung, tags 240+ AUD. with this price tag, I can actually buy a hard disk with thunderbolt cable and a well protected hard disk, although, I can only get an HDD.

And amazon in Australia does not sell electronic products.

Thanks for your advice. I may try to search for it. :)
I live in Melbourne. You can order from Crucial's website and they'll ship it to you with a shipping cost.

A Thunderbolt drive with a HDD will perform far worse than an SSD in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

Order this one: https://www.ramcity.com.au/buy/crucial-bx100-250gb-2.5-inch-7mm-ssd/CT250BX100SSD1 (PS add $9 for shipping)

The Samsung is not worth the premium, and besides, the Crucial BX100 uses more durable MLC NAND. Besides, it performs pretty decently as well.
 
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Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,436
3,443
I live in Melbourne. You can order from Crucial's website and they'll ship it to you with a shipping cost.

A Thunderbolt drive with a HDD will perform far worse than an SSD in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

Order this one: https://www.ramcity.com.au/buy/crucial-bx100-250gb-2.5-inch-7mm-ssd/CT250BX100SSD1 (PS add $9 for shipping)

The Samsung is not worth the premium, and besides, the Crucial BX100 uses more durable MLC NAND. Besides, it performs pretty decently as well.
Thanks for your advice first!
Then, since MacBook Air has only two poor USB ports, I can only choose hard disk equipped with thunderbolt if I want to use it as system startup disk. See, I store my iTunes library in another hard disk, and I use one port to use that hard disk. Then if I use windows, I will need to use another USB port. Then, I have no port to support iPhone or iPad sync through iTunes under windows. If I buy a hard disk with thunderbolt cable, I then can use that port as my data storage port, while the remaining port could possibly be used as windows startup disk.
I have searched MacBook Pro models. No MacBook Pro has more than 2 USB port. This is a serious drawback.
Thanks for your advice!
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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Thanks for your advice first!
Then, since MacBook Air has only two poor USB ports, I can only choose hard disk equipped with thunderbolt if I want to use it as system startup disk. See, I store my iTunes library in another hard disk, and I use one port to use that hard disk. Then if I use windows, I will need to use another USB port. Then, I have no port to support iPhone or iPad sync through iTunes under windows. If I buy a hard disk with thunderbolt cable, I then can use that port as my data storage port, while the remaining port could possibly be used as windows startup disk.
I have searched MacBook Pro models. No MacBook Pro has more than 2 USB port. This is a serious drawback.
Thanks for your advice!
Does your MacBook Air have USB 3.0? If it does, then you can just go ahead and get the SSD.

And you can just go to Woolworth's or Big W and buy a USB 3.0 hub. I use that all the time to increase the number of ports without losing performance.

This is how I boot up mine: right USB port for the external SSD to boot Windows, and a 4-port USB hub connected to the left USB port with two external drives connected to it. No performance loss experienced (checked with Blackmagic disk speed test).

I will never ever recommend a Thunderbolt HDD, it's a complete waste of cash. If it's a Thunderbolt SSD, then it might be worth considering.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,436
3,443
Does your MacBook Air have USB 3.0? If it does, then you can just go ahead and get the SSD.

And you can just go to Woolworth's or Big W and buy a USB 3.0 hub. I use that all the time to increase the number of ports without losing performance.

This is how I boot up mine: right USB port for the external SSD to boot Windows, and a 4-port USB hub connected to the left USB port with two external drives connected to it. No performance loss experienced (checked with Blackmagic disk speed test).

I will never ever recommend a Thunderbolt HDD, it's a complete waste of cash. If it's a Thunderbolt SSD, then it might be worth considering.
I have seen a thunderbolt ssd. That is a 500 GB version, and its price tag is 800 AUD. ultra expensive.
For USB hub, speed is one of my concern, and power supply is another concern. I wonder, if I can use USB hub without losing performance, since my two hard disks are both USB 3.0, although I can guess there should be no performance drop, on HDD. And do you need to prepare for another, yes, power adapter to use that hub?
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
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I have seen a thunderbolt ssd. That is a 500 GB version, and its price tag is 800 AUD. ultra expensive.
For USB hub, speed is one of my concern, and power supply is another concern. I wonder, if I can use USB hub without losing performance, since my two hard disks are both USB 3.0, although I can guess there should be no performance drop, on HDD. And do you need to prepare for another, yes, power adapter to use that hub?
Like I said, speed isn't a concern with a USB hub. Any USB 3.0 hub from Big W or Woolworths will do, and I've found that all of them supports UASP (not mentioned on packaging).

Yes, there is a power adapter bundled with the hub, generally.

I've uploaded a screenshot of a Transcend 240GB JetDrive USB 3.0 SSD connected over a USB 3.0 hub. Connecting it over a native USB 3.0 port yields identical results. So bottom line - there isn't a performance hit at all.

This is the best setup for performance over USB - one USB port for the boot external SSD and one USB port for the USB hub. Since both your USB 3 hard drives are HDDs, you won't see any performance hits either with both connected to the hub.
 

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Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,436
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Like I said, speed isn't a concern with a USB hub. Any USB 3.0 hub from Big W or Woolworths will do, and I've found that all of them supports UASP (not mentioned on packaging).

Yes, there is a power adapter bundled with the hub, generally.

I've uploaded a screenshot of a Transcend 240GB JetDrive USB 3.0 SSD connected over a USB 3.0 hub. Connecting it over a native USB 3.0 port yields identical results. So bottom line - there isn't a performance hit at all.

This is the best setup for performance over USB - one USB port for the boot external SSD and one USB port for the USB hub. Since both your USB 3 hard drives are HDDs, you won't see any performance hits either with both connected to the hub.
First thanks for your help!
Um, maybe what I know is a thing of the past, generally. I mean, I was told that USB hub could reduce USB device performance since one USB 2.0 port could only provide 480Mbps read or write speed.
And, a new USB HDD for Time Machine Backup as well as iTunes library storage would be a better choice. Maybe the obvious drawback is, I need to take one more power cord for this hub.
And, you know, USB 3.0 has only 640MB/s maximum speed. Therefore for SSD, this could be a limitation sometimes. Now I don't need to worry much, though.
I may search for a USB hub, and a budget USB hard drive for TM backup, if I want to do some maintenance for my MacBook Air.
Thank you for your advice again!
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
First thanks for your help!
Um, maybe what I know is a thing of the past, generally. I mean, I was told that USB hub could reduce USB device performance since one USB 2.0 port could only provide 480Mbps read or write speed.
And, a new USB HDD for Time Machine Backup as well as iTunes library storage would be a better choice. Maybe the obvious drawback is, I need to take one more power cord for this hub.
And, you know, USB 3.0 has only 640MB/s maximum speed. Therefore for SSD, this could be a limitation sometimes. Now I don't need to worry much, though.
I may search for a USB hub, and a budget USB hard drive for TM backup, if I want to do some maintenance for my MacBook Air.
Thank you for your advice again!
You just have to buy a USB 3.0 hub. Then you will not experience any performance slowdowns at all (just like mine).

Just head down to Sydney's CBD and go to a Woolies or a Big W there and buy a hub. Even in Melbourne here (I live just outside the CBD, in Carlton), the Woolies in my area even had them.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,436
3,443
You just have to buy a USB 3.0 hub. Then you will not experience any performance slowdowns at all (just like mine).

Just head down to Sydney's CBD and go to a Woolies or a Big W there and buy a hub. Even in Melbourne here (I live just outside the CBD, in Carlton), the Woolies in my area even had them.
Yes, you are right. First I need to buy a hub.

For additional hard disk, this could be another thing.

Thank you for your help. :)