MacBook Air: Insufficient Storage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by macbook_21, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. macbook_21 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I just bought a macbook air entry level: 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD on a Black Friday sale.

    I was very impressed by the extremely light weight and incredible battery life, a significant factor as I often like to work at cafes.

    I am starting to second guess my decision, however. I am coming from a 2008 macbook with a 1 TB hard drive. I have a large music collection, well over 200 GB's and have filled up well over 600 GB's on this drive.

    My main concerns about my 2008 macbook are that

    1. it lags tremendously if I have say, more than five or six tabs open, and the computer bogs down almost completely the more tabs I open.

    2. every time I play a youtube clip in HD, and sometimes in 480p, the fan/s kick up. I have gotten used to this, but it's far from ideal.

    3. my original battery no longer works, and the replacement/s I've bought only lasts for about a year or so, only giving about one hour of use or a bit more.

    I have 6 GB's of RAM and a new battery on order, so I'm hoping that addresses some of the issues.

    However, from what I can tell, the macbook air operates silently with hd videos, and of course, offers vastly superior battery life.

    I am just wondering if I can deal with 128 GB of storage. I can add 256 GB of storage via jetdrive, and perhaps the price will come down enough in a couple of years so that I can buy a 512, but even 384 seems pretty paltry compared to the 1 TB of storage I currently have.

    My budget is approx. $1K, so it would be difficult to move up to a higher storage SSD configuration.
     
  2. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a

    yanksrock100

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    #2
    I have a 2012 Macbook air with 128 gb (which I bought black friday years back too). I have been using it for a few years and honestly with I had gone for the 256gb. There are many times when I look at my storage have had to clean up my drive. I feel like I would be doing this alot less often with 256. Also I wish I could install Windows but I just simply don't have enough room to do that.

    My recommendation is to look at the refurbished Macbook Airs on Apple's website. Right now I see a 2015 with 256 gb for about 1k.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    You have to decide what data to keep on the Macbook Air and what data to keep on some kind of a NAS box at home and what to keep in the "cloud".

    I like to work at different locations and so I keep the data (Apple Pages and Keynotes mostly) in iCloud. I have the big libraries (photos, iTunes and FinalCut Pro) on an external FireWire800 disk drive and transfer just what I need to the macbook

    One other trick, I use an on-line backup service. It is always up to date and hold ALL my data. So now if I have a small-storage macbook and need some data I can download it from the backup
     
  4. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #4
    I bought a 128 GB and a 128 GB card and... I don't know what to fill them with. I run Spotify on my Air, which takes care of 99% of my music needs. I have a 32 GB photo library. I have a lot of text files but obviously they don't even reach 1 GB. I copied all I could think of to the SSD and I have 40 GB free. I use the iMac for all proper work, though.

    How about trying Apple Music (I can't believe I'm saying that) and only adding the part of your library that AM doesn't have? Do you need all the videos/other files from the 600 GB on your Air all the time? How about an external HDD?
     
  5. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    #5
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #6
    For use at home, the 802.11ac wifi is really fast if you have a compatible router, I get over 60MBytes/sec accessing a network drive. So you could use a NAS or even an older computer like your MBP as a file server for things you don't need when you're away from home. You could also use the MBP as an iTunes server and use home sharing to access it on the MBA.

    I also have a 2008 MBP like yours and considered using it for this, but ended up getting a Mini instead because I didn't want to deal with various issues on my old computer. Your $1000 budget should cover a base model Mini, a fast external drive and an 802.11ac router if you want to go this way.
     
  7. macbook_21, Nov 29, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015

    macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7

    Yeah, cloud storage is a bit of a paradigm shift for me.

    I'm so spoiled by the storage capabilities of hard drives, I don't really have to pay much attention to parsing out files or being careful about what I download or copy onto my drives.

    Most places have wi fi, but I don't always have access so cloud storage is not exactly as reliable as storing info on one's own drive.

    I will likely have to return the 128 gb mba for either 256 or 512.

    Given the lack of resale value of a macbook 2008, I'll simply keep it and hope that the 6 GB RAM upgrade makes this macbook workable again.

    I really wish I could spare another $500 or $600 to get my storage needs taken care of.
     
  8. Woodstockie macrumors member

    Woodstockie

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    NY
    #8
    Why don't you switch out your 1TB hard drive for an SSD with almost the same capacity? That will certainly give a better performance together more RAM. I have seen some really good deals now on large capacity SSD's in the last couple days.

    I took the DVD drive out of my MBP 2010 13" and replaced it with a 256GB SSD for the OS and programs. Kept an 1TB HD (7200rpm) in the main bay for a big photo library and other things. Works great.
     
  9. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    I hadn't considered it. It would solve the performance issue, but not the weight issue, or the battery issue. The 3 to 3.5 lb weight of the macbook air or pro along with longer battery life weigh heavily in their favor as an upgrade.
     
  10. Woodstockie macrumors member

    Woodstockie

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    #10
    I understand. If performance is somewhat less important compared to storage, an other option would be to see if you can score for example a MBA or MBP from 2012 and upgrade (the SSD) to 1TB. Still faster and better battery life than your 2008 and around your budget.
     
  11. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    How does the OS deal with files on a jetdrive?

    Let's say I store all, or a portion of my music files, podcasts, etc. on the jetdrive? Will itunes play back these files as if they were stored on the SSD?
     
  12. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #12
    You can purchase a jetdrive ssd from Amazon and install it to increase your storage capacity. I did that earlier this year to up my storage from 64 to 256 GB.
     
  13. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #13
    Make sure you read up on the battery drain due to the Jetdrive Lite.

    How much of that data do you need with you while at cafes and out and about?
     
  14. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    I need all of my word and spreadsheet documents, which don't require a lot of drive space.

    However, I'd like to have all of my itunes music files, books, and podcasts with me as well. All of my itunes files total up to nearly 400 gigs.

    I'm so spoiled with a 1 TB drive, I ripped a bunch of my DVD's onto my drive, and I don't really need to have those with me.

    I could definitely work with a 512 GB SSD, and eventually purchase a jetdrive as necessary. A 256 SSD plus 256 jetdrive could work, too, but I'd likely have to split up those itunes files. Will itunes access music and podcast files on a jetdrive just like files stored on SSD?

    Will read up on jetdrive battery drain.
     
  15. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #15
    I got the 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb for the same reason, so I could have my whole iTunes library. Problem is, my library has grown to over 1TB since then. A little over a year ago it became obvious that I was going to outgrow any kind of SSD, so I got the Mini as an iTunes server and freed up lots of room on the MBA. I keep the local iTunes library on the MBA pretty small most of the time, but have loaded it up a couple times while travelling.

    I found this article useful regarding moving your library to an external device. http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/ Just be careful, because depending on your configuration, it's possible to corrupt your library if you start iTunes and the external device isn't available.
     
  16. macbook_21, Nov 30, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015

    macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I checked prices for SSD upgrades on previous models and the prices are very high: $500 to $600 for 512 GB SSD's.

    I'm really not sure what to do now, as far as upgrading. I feel like I need a week or two to do some research to explore my options and make the right decision.

    It really comes down to the fact that $1K is not going to buy me a mac laptop with the storage I want.
     
  17. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    I just upgraded my current macbook with 6 gigs of RAM and what a difference!

    I can open up just about as many browser tabs as I want and stream multiple hd videos at the same time!

    I tried maxing out the RAM, opening up a dozen tabs, including a couple of hd videos streaming, and then opened up a bunch of apps. I think I managed to use up to 4.3 gigs of RAM, but there was still plenty of memory left. No wonder the browser was constantly crashing before!

    I've swapped out the old battery as well, but obviously, won't have any data to report there for a couple of days.

    The next step is to open this baby up and probably clear out a fair amount of dust build up near the fans....

    Oh, and I did a general clean up of the case and screen, and the computer looks just about new!
     
  18. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #18
    Those old core2duo machines can be fine for many things. But there's really a big difference in performance compared to the newer i-series processors. For example, it took me about 75 minutes to rip a one hour TV show in Handbrake on my 2008 15" MBP. My 2013 MBA does the same thing in about 15 minutes. :)
     
  19. g33k macrumors member

    g33k

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    #19
    iTunes match seems excellent for what for the OP's needs. It's impractical now a days to carry round 20+GB's of music around.
     
  20. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    I have over 250 GB's of music.
     
  21. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    The problem is that I can't get a mbp or mba with any more than 512 gigs, and people on this forum are telling me that a jetdrive will drain the battery faster.

    I haven't ruled out keeping the mba but the storage limitation is a significant issue.
     
  22. g33k macrumors member

    g33k

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  23. posguy99 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Anything in the SD slot will prevent the laptop from entering standby mode. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202124
     
  24. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    So, the 6 gig RAM upgrade certainly improved performance, but isn't a fix all. I can still max out RAM if I open up enough tabs on chrome. Also, the weird issue with safari pages constantly refreshing is still present, albeit less frequently.

    Far fewer beachballs, however.
     
  25. macbook_21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    So, I have until january 15th to return the macbook air, if my options open up.

    Here they are currently:

    1. keep the macbook air and bring along a smallish external drive most of the time.

    2. return the macbook air when a mba or mbp revision is announced and buy a '15 on closeout.

    3. keep the 2008 macbook indefinitely, until I can buy a macbook with the internal storage I want.

    So, a lot of the game plan is dependent upon a revision being announced sometime in january, with '15 models being closed out at an attractive price.

    Wish me luck!

    btw: the air is a very nice computer. It's really nice being able to carry along a computer fully 2 lbs lighter. Plus, hd streaming is like buttah!

    Yeah, it would be nice to have a "retina" display, and additional ports would sure be nice, but it's still a really, very good computer experience.

    I hope apple offers relatively affordable 512 and 768 gb storage option on new models, even though I won't be buying one this round. The 1 tb ssd options are very spendy.
     

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