Living with smaller storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JonD25, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. JonD25 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I just ordered a 13” MBP with 512 GB storage. I’m coming from an iMac where I had 1 TB and plenty of USB ports I could keep hard drives connected to. Now that I’m moving to a more mobile setup with smaller storage, I’m curious how others get by. I could just offload a bunch of files I don’t need quick access to onto external drives. That seems the cheapest option. But not the most convenient when I need to access those files. So I’ve been thinking about cloud storage. Originally considering the 2TB iCloud option, but not sure it’s the best choice for this situation? Maybe Dropbox? Basically I just want to be able to not have all my files on my actual Mac, but still be able to access them easily without having to remember which drive I have it on and hoping I’ve got the right dongles for connecting, and hoping I even have it with me if I’m on the go. iCloud sounds good since I only ever use Apple products anyways, and it’s my understanding that it just automatically offloads less used files when storage gets full. I like that idea in theory. But not sure how well it actually works. Anyone have some input?
     
  2. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #2
    NAS.

    Far faster this cloud when I’m home. Slow but accessible when remote via VPN.

    No way I’d pay Apple’s SSD rates, they’re absurd.
     
  3. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #3
    I highly recommend OneDrive. I used this setup on my 128GB MacBook Air 2015 for 3 years. I use Word/Excel a lot (along with OneNote). Was able to keep 30-40GB free pretty easily only syncing what I needed to my MacBook with OneDrive.

    Now, I have a 1TB MBP ... and everything sits on my MBP. I don’t have any external drives other than for Time Machine.
     
  4. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I don’t use Microsoft software at all. I’m not sure I know of any benefits of OneDrive over any other service given that?

    I don’t know a lot about NAS, but one thing I do know is they’re not exactly cheap.
     
  5. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #5
    Ah. Yeah Dropbox is pretty good. Selective sync what you don’t need. I use Microsoft everything so editing word docs online from multiple devices is important to me.

    Good luck.
     
  6. alias99 macrumors regular

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    #6
    One drive here too, doesn't sync all the files and from my usage it takes up far less space than iCloud. Plus 1TB free if you have office 365.
     
  7. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #7
    It depends. I just have a dual bay NAS with mirrored 4TB drives (so 2 x 4TB). That setup is about $370 on Amazon. Apple's upgrade to 4TB is $1,400.

    One thousand and four hundred additional dollars on top of the price of the Macbook.

    Add in an AC1750 router $75 (or AC1300 $30 will even do for the Air or low end 13") to the NAS price and it's still far cheaper.

    To be honest, my first NAS failed (2TB mirrored) after 3 years, so my return is not as good as it cloud have been. I was hoping to get 6 years out of it, but the way I used my data has changed too and I'm now using more. So I replaced both the NAS and the drives (although those drives are still in use today for non-NAS purposes); and that's not a good scenario financially. Let's say I get 5 years from my MacBook, so $1,400 over 5 years is $280/year. Let's assume I got 3 years from my first NAS, that's say $125/year for the first three years, and let's assume that in three years I am replacing my NAS again (some sort of catastrophe/upgrade again) then that's $125/year for the two years left. So 5 x $125 = $625. + router upgrade if needed, let's call it $75 if we have a higher end MacBook Pro, that's $700. That's really as bad as it could have been for me financially and it's still only half of the price of the 4TB MacBook Pro upgrade. I was hoping it was going to be perhaps a quarter. I can live with a half. The NAS economies actually get better as you go larger too, on a $/MB basis.

    I didn't factor in resale at the end of life. I still have my old iMac that I need to get rid of. I don't plan on reselling this Macbook to fund a new one, but it's still worthy of consideration. I suspect the 4TB might command another couple of hundred over the 256GB if I sold it? I'm not really sure. So my horrible case scenario would be even worse, but a couple of hundred dollars on re-sale isn't material. I know there are plenty of ways to poke holes in the numbers and other people would use different valuation calculations.

    It's not for everyone but it works well for me and is cheaper. NAS is also more than just storage, though that's the primary reason to use it.
     
  8. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I’m not upgrading to 4 TB on my MacBook though. As I stated, I only upped it to 512 GB. 4 TB internal SSD isn’t even in the realm of what I’d consider doing.

    I don’t know, it just seems like the ease and reliability of paying for cloud storage is more ideal for me than fiddling with NAS. I’m not really looking to dive into that sort of setup myself. I just want reliable storage of files with as little fuss as possible.
     
  9. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #9

    For sure, if your needs aren't huge and if you're not too concerned about performance or you're not interested in configuring yet another piece of equipment then just go with iCloud. I'm not tying to sell you on NAS, I'm just pointing out that it's cheaper, at least in my case, and my case is pretty poor.
     
  10. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Appreciate the input and perspective. Sorry if it sounded otherwise. Part of me wants a NAS setup and has wanted one for a while. But I think in reality it’s not for me, at least not right now.
     
  11. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #11
    All good, I didn't take it that way.
     
  12. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

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    #12
  13. phillytim macrumors 65816

    phillytim

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    #13
    Hopefully you have a good backup plan for it?
     
  14. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #14
    Backblaze, Arq with B2, two time machine drives, three CCC drives. All my important data resides in iCloud. Yeah, I may be overdoing the backup thing a little.

    One time machine and CCC drive is 54 miles away from the others.
     
  15. phillytim, Aug 8, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019

    phillytim macrumors 65816

    phillytim

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    #15
    Microsoft O365 ($99/year for 1TB OneDrive storage each for 5 users + Office apps for 5 computers + 5 smartphones + 5 tablets, OR $69/year for 1TB OneDrive storage for 1 user + Office apps for 1 computer + 1 smartphone + 1 tablet) is a great value, compared to DropBox (cheapest is $120/year for 2TB storage, no Office apps).

    That being said, I'm grappling with either that or a NAS myself, should I purchase another MacBook instead of a possible Windows laptop (in which case I would assure that I could open it up and pop in a 1TB SSD, as I did with my now-aging MacBook).
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #16
    Perhaps it's time to think long and hard about "what stuff" on the internal drive is actually worth keeping.
    You want to keep roughly 7-10% of the laptop's drive "free", for VM disk swapping, temp files, etc.

    How many files currently just "sit there" on the iMac's drive, seldom accessed?
    Put that stuff on an external drive (USB3 HDD or SSD). Plug it in when you need to.

    For "more frequently accessed" things that you don't have room for on the internal drive, how about a USBc flashdrive?
     
  17. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Solid advice. I definitely plan on taking a look at my iMac storage before transferring stuff over to the MacBook Pro. I feel like I should be able to get it under 512 GB pretty easily. Raw photos are the thing that takes the most storage for me and I generally offload those after being done with them to external drives. Also have some media I could probably move elsewhere no problem. And then just plenty of files I probably just don’t need at all. I think I’ve just become so accustomed to the luxury of having 1TB to stretch out into and not “manage” so much, that I’d like some sort of way to sprawl past the 512GB internal drive, at the very least. But also just getting input on how others deal with smaller internal storage and how the cloud can factor in in a major way.
     
  18. JonD25, Aug 8, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019

    JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Do you know of any very affordable, easy to set up NAS storage? Like, WD MyCloud kinda stuff. Bang for the buck and reliable would be what I was looking for, 2TB minimum storage, under $200. I did briefly look at the MyCloud but didn’t seem all that great from reviews.

    EDIT: Never mind. I just realized that even the MyCloud is out of that budget range, plus I’d be worried about storing anything on there and not backing it up, so I’d have to deal with that too.
     
  19. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #19


    The WD MyCloud is very basic. If you JUST want storage it'll do the trick. If you want some more advanced features then I'd be looking at a Synology.

    If you're set on $200, then I'd pick up the MyCloud. The Synology DS218j is similar price but doesn't include disks so you're looking at probably $350 or so, depending how you size the drives.

    This page links to both the WD MyCloud and the Synology at the bottom.
    https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Home-P...ds=wd+mycloud&qid=1565280679&s=gateway&sr=8-2

    You mention reliability - you cannot replace the drives on the lower end MyCloud. So if a drive fails I believe you're toast. But aside from that, I've used one briefly (set one up for an acquaintance) and I was impressed. For the money I think they're good.

    I'm pretty protective of my data so another expense you may need to consider is an external drive to backup the NAS. I backup my MacBook to both my NAS and to external USB drives, and I also backup my NAS to external drives too. Time Machine to NAS is good, but it's not perfect. Not sure about others but I always like multiple backups.

    You may also want to ensure you have wifi with at least AC1300 for the lower end 13" and at least AC1750 for the other Pro machines. Ethernet might be a good idea for the initial backup too. The initial backup to a NAS based Time Machine drive over wifi will be slow (depending how much data you have).
     
  20. pshufd macrumors 65816

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    #20
    512 GB SD Card on the side and will get a 1 TB card when prices come down.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    Since macs don't have a SD card reader, it may be better to just bite the bullet and use an external ssd.

    For me, I was using the external SSD because I couldn't afford a mac that was configured with sufficient storage. Its not ideal but was workable.
     
  22. pshufd macrumors 65816

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    #22
    My Macs have SD readers.

    If they didn't, I'd look at USB sticks.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    Current MBP?
     
  24. pshufd macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I have 2014 and 2015 MBPs. Looking to get another 2015 maxed out.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    The op is looking to buy a new MBP and those don't have SD cards so that is not viable option for him
     

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28 August 7, 2019