Maxed out HD for rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MagicThief83, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. MagicThief83 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I've been waiting for the refreshed iMacs but it appears that may never happen, so I'm about two weeks away from ordering a rMBP. The build I'm considering is the 2.6GHz, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD or maybe even the 768GB SSD. The thing is, I wanna game, and will create a bootcamp partition for Steam games. Should I just get the 768GB HD because of this? I do have an external TB drive, but I don't want to install and load my games off the external because that will 1) take up space on the external which I use for backups and 2) wouldn't it be too taxing on the drive and increase the risk of HD failure? But then again, it is thunderbolt so it may possible handle the load times and data transfer. I'm looking to allocate about 400GB to bootcamp?
     
  2. nanolife, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    nanolife macrumors 6502

    nanolife

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    #2
    I just bought an Intel 520 240GB SSD and I have been using it with a Thermaltake Silver River 5G External Enclosure which is USB3 and I must say this is amazingly fast! I usually don't keep much important data on my local SSD, mostly apps or something I still didn't save on my external Intel SSD.

    Plus, I can't believe you actually need to install all your Steam library on a 400GB Bootcamp partition. What if you try to install only what you are playing lately, for example?

    Hope you won't tell me you really need 400GB for most of your games installed on your Mac at the same time because you play them all. :confused:
     
  3. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I was thinking just in case I needed the storage, and I do have a large Steam library. So you're saying the 512GB SSD should suffice?

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    By the way, does anyone here game off of an external drive on their rMBP? How's the performance?
     
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #4
    If you are looking for a 400GB bootcamp partition I would suggest going with the 768GB SSD especially if you don't want to deal with external storage. If you go with the 512GB variant it will only leave you with 112GB of space for OS X, which won't be that much once the drive is formatted in the first place, plus it's good practice not to let the drive fill up too much.

    If that's enough space for you on the OS X partition then go for it, but honestly if you are going to primarily use the computer for gaming you can get much better performance out of a Windows notebook at the price point of the rMBP compared to the 650M. I only say that because you are asking here if a 512GB drive would be enough for you with a 400GB partition for gaming on Windows.
     
  5. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Thanks for your advice. I think it makes sense to max out the HD on the rMBP. I will not be using the computer primarily for gaming, as being able to game on it would just be an added benefit. Based on my research, it seems that the GT 650M is more than capable of solid gaming. So OSX plus gaming in Windows makes the rMBP the best choice for me.
     
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #6
    Hopefully it didn't seem like I was telling you what to buy with your own money, it just sounded like you where primarily looking to game because you wanted to partition 400GB of a 512GB drive for Windows in order to game, which is most of the drive of course.

    It does sound like the rMBP is a good choice for you if you are looking to use OS X as well. The 650M is good, it can play modern games well, and if it can handle all of the games that you are trying to play then why not.
     
  7. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    You didn't sound patronizing at all, and I really do appreciate the advice given. I wanted to mention that I will also be downloading movies through iTunes, which is why I was considering the extra storage space as well. I currently have my iTunes library on the external drive. I've read a lot of good things about the GT 650M and it seems like it can handle today's games well, especially since it's OC'ed. I read that it's performance is actually that of a GTX 660M! That's impressive. I really am trying to hold out for an iMac refresh and I don't want to purchase the current 2011 iMac (21.5"), with its crummy video card. The rMBP bests the current 21.5" iMac hands down in terms of specifications...and it also has retina. With a 768GB HD, I think 300GB-400GB is a safe amount for a bootcamp partition. Do you bootcamp? How large is your game library and partition?

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    The thought of buying a dedicated Windows machine again just makes me cringe...with a Mac, you get OSX and Windows - the best of both worlds! :D I cannot see myself in the foreseeable future ever again purchasing a stand alone Windows machine!
     
  8. jedolley macrumors 68000

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    #8
    I went with the 512GB SSD myself and allocated 100GB for BootCamp/Gaming partition. As someone previously mentioned, I only have installed the games I am currently playing and still have ~45GB free. As for movies and other media files (i.e. Movies, TV Shows, Pictures, Songs, eBooks, etc.), I store those on a external storage since that would not fit on my SSD. I use a USB3 external drive and have no problems playing videos straight from the drive.

    I don't know if these suggestions/ideas would work for you, but just figured I'd share.
     
  9. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    If I get the 512GB SSD, I'll probably allocate 200GB to bootcamp.
     
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #10
    I used to, I don't really game anymore. I had a 500GB HDD at one point and I played some older games that the 320M could handle. I had a 180GB partition for games, but I really didn't play a large amount of games in one period of time. I would just play one for a while, move to another, so on and so forth - so I could have theoretically given it less of a partition and just uninstalled/reinstalled games as necessary. I didn't use Steam or any sort of library-type program, I simply installed the games via disk or download by themselves.

    That's in the past though, I used to have a Windows notebook with a stronger GPU to play the more intensive games. It sounds like the rMBP will be great for you though if the 650M will meet your gaming requirements - after all it's based solely on which games the user is looking to install and play in order to determine which chip/card/GPU is "good" or "bad" in my personal opinion.
     
  11. nanolife macrumors 6502

    nanolife

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    #11
    It will be enough if you plan only gaming and nothing else. 512GB - 400GB = 112GB of free space. Now consider the OSX installed + basic apps and see if that will be enough for you.

    That definitely wouldn't be enough for me and I'm not even gaming so much. My bootcamp partition has only 40GB.
     
  12. switon, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012

    switon macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Hi, and might I ask...

    Hi MagicThief83,

    Let me start by saying that I fully understand your comments of both not wanting to buy a windows-only machine and of wanting to buy the Retina MBP -- this is understandable to me.

    But let me say that if you already have a Thunderbolt external drive, such as a RAID with striping or perhaps even a fast SSD, then you should be able to store both your games as well as your multimedia on the external drive with little or no compromises to your playing/viewing experiences. I would not worry about storing your games/multimedia on an external drive being "too taxing on the drive and increase the risk of HD failure" to quote you, as these drives are designed to handle this type of usage. And if you are still worried about this then I would recommend that you purchase enterprise-class HDDs, which have a longer warranty and thus presumably better quality control, instead of consumer-grade drives. This is especially true if your HDDs are in any type of RAID system, as the enterprise-class drives do ERC (Error Recovery Control) which means that they "wait" before actually reporting disk errors to see if they are single sector errors and thus can be eliminating by remapping to an unused sector. In other words, having a consumer-grade HDD in a RAID can be problematic since these drives will typically immediately report read/write errors to the RAID controller which then might immediately mark the error reporting drive as "failed" and remove it from the pool of RAID drives forcing a time-consuming repartitioning of the data across the remaining good RAID drives.

    Lastly, allow me a further suggestion. Since high capacity external HDDs are fairly cheap today (okay, so before the Thai floods they were even cheaper), I would recommend that you get a separate external drive, say a 3 or 4TB one with USB3.0 interface, to backup your rMBP and your current external 1TB Thunderbolt-enabled drive that you store your games/multimedia on. This third drive only serves as your backup. It does not need the communication speeds of Thunderbolt since only the initial backup, whether by Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner, will be large with all subsequent backups being much smaller. And USB 3.0 is plenty fast for this. In fact, you might even think about a 3TB Time Capsule and perform your Time Machine backups wirelessly to the Time Capsule. (After the initial TM backup, wireless will be plenty fast for your subsequent hourly TM backups.)

    In summary, your Thunderbolt-connected 1TB HDD (or RAID?) should store all of your games/multimedia and give you fast enough communications to your rMBP so as not to adversely affect your playing/viewing/listening experiences. A cheap third 2/3/4 TB external HDD with USB 3.0 interface then serves as your backup drive. You then won't need to spend an extra $500 on the Apple 768GB SSD for the rMBP, this savings then more than pays for the third 4TB USB3.0 backup drive. If you find that one particular game suffers from being played over Thunderbolt on your external 1TB drive, then you can always transfer this game to the rMBP's SSD whenever you wish to play it. What do you think? Sound like a viable solution to you?

    Regards and have fun with whatever system you eventually settle on,
    Switon
     
  13. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thank you for your thoughts and comprehensiveness. My external TB enclosure houses 2 2TB 7200 rpm drives. I didn't configure them as a RAID or JBOD array, because I wanted to use each of the drives separately. I preferred storage amount over performance (i.e., RAID 0) I know I could've configured them as a RAID 0, but the fear of data loss if one hard disk fails prevented me from configuring it in this manner. I have a 1.5 TB partition for time machine, a 500GB NTFS partition for Windows, and another 1.5 TB Mac OS partition for storage, media (iTunes), etc. I'm just worried because if I get a rMBP, this will be my machine for years to come, that's why i was contemplating the 768GB SSD. So you say that gaming off the external thunderbolt drive won't hinder performance? Thanks once again!

    Edit: In your opinion, is it better to game off a RAID 0 array as opposed to a stand alone 7200 rpm thunderbolt drive?
     
  14. switon macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Quote: "Edit: In your opinion, is it better to game off a RAID 0 array as opposed to a stand alone 7200 rpm thunderbolt drive?"

    As I mentioned, I don't game off of the rMBP...so I don't have any direct evidence one way or the other. On the other hand, I think you won't be limited by gaming off of your 7200rpm Thunderbolt connected drive (assuming your getting anywhere from 120Mb/s to 180Mb/s throughput). I think that RAID 0, while doubling your communication speed, is probably overkill for your gaming experiences. In other words, I don't think you will have to convert your two external HDDs to RAID 0 just for your gaming. And, even if you find that for one game the Thunderbolt drive is too slow, then you can always transfer that game to the rMBP's SSD to play it. Over Thunderbolt this transfer will be fast.

    Switon
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #15
    You can certainly get an external USB 3.0 drive to install Steam games to it. $500 will get you a 512GB SSD with a quality USB 3.0 enclosure.

    Then again I prefer not to carry an external around unless I have to (sort of defeats the point of having an portable computer and have to carry a bunch of external HDDs).

    I have only about 100GB free on my 768GB SSD (751GB real capacity), so maybe that isn't enough either.
     

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