MBA 13" 128GB or 256GB SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jpiszcz, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. jpiszcz macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2010

    At the apple store, I was playing with a 13" and it had 39GB free on the 128GB SSD, I assume this is due to demos/etc on the demo units.

    What SSD did you choose?

    For a 13" MBA 128GB w/8GB of ram is $1299, but when you go to 256GB SSD it shoots to $1599, $300 more for 128GB, what do you think?
  2. goinskiing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    Meridian, ID
    I had the 13" 2011 MBA w/128GB and while I was able to skate by most of the time I had always wished I had gotten a little bit bigger. I sold that now and bought the 11" 2012 MBA w/256GB and feel like I have breathing room again.

    The takeaway is if you are able to get by with carefully watching space then 128GB is fine, but if you have the extra $ and want some breathing room the 256GB is great (this was the case for me anyways).
  3. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Personally, 128 would leave me with very little room to grow (maybe 5-10GB). So I went for the 256GB SSD.
  4. AppleSticker54 macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2012
    Depending on how big your iTunes library is, and how much you store in terms of applications, etc (not to mention if you are also going to load Windows), I'd say the extra $300 will be well worth it.

    I got the 13"/8/256 and I couldn't be happier!
  5. lls4f macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2012
    United States
    256 leaves me not ever worrying about storage space. My previous computer had a 150gb hard drive, so 256 was an upgrade for me. I don't worry about storage because even with music and photos all on the SSD plus a good number of apps, I'm still at 190gb free. So obviously I would go for the 256gb. I'm hoping that as SSD prices fall over the life of this machine, 256 will still be a reasonable resale option even if higher numbers become standard later.
  6. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    totally depends on your use. When SSD first came out i was able to skate by on 64 gb. For me, 128 is more than enough since i use spotify/pandora for music so have no itunes library.
  7. Knightimer macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
  8. jpiszcz thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2010
    Thanks for the replies!

    Definitely plan on trying OSX and Windows dual boot -- so 256GB most likely, thanks again for the responses.
  9. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    If it is your primary computer, IMHO you want the 256g SSD. If it is a choice between 8g or 256SSD, I would get the 256SSD.

    Me, I got the 128 SSD 11" version with 4gigs. This continues to be the full on sweet point for me. The bottom of the line is usually not good enough and is reft with compromises. You go up through the ranks until you spend all the money you can possibly spend. There is always an argument to do so.

    I have never had an issue with 4 gigs. I have slightly had an issue with 128gs, but Imatch and some other things have mitigated that for me quite a bit, so I didn't go 256g. I suspect that the cost will be so low that next time I will for sure.
  10. jmgregory1 macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and a few other places around the world
    Just pay the added amount and get both the 256gb ssd and the 8gb ram. Yes, it's more expensive, but you'll never think about why you didn't just pay the additional upfront cost in the first place if you go low on either.

    I say this as someone happily working on my '11 13" mba with 128gb drive (56gb free). I had the money to get the 256, but thought that I could just as easily clean house and save things I'm not using on a regular basis on my TC or external drive. I've had zero issues and have also done the same thing with my iP4s, cleaning out the crap I don't use (including making my entire iTunes library live in the cloud (I'm using Match).

    That being said, I'll be getting another mba in the coming weeks and will most likely go big for both ram and ssd this time, for exactly the reason I stated above.
  11. Buffsteria macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012
    One thing you might consider is whether you'll ever be installing Windows on it with Boot Camp. I don't know if this is the norm but the last few times I used Windows 7 Pro and it took up 50GB of disk space just for the Windows installation.
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    i think windows 7 is around 35ish. I use bootcamp with a 128 ssd and never run into issues :)
  13. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    Got my MacBook air today with 256GB SSD.

    after importing my music, photos, documents and installing my apps, I have 140GB free, so 128GB SSD wouldn't have left me much room to expand my collections.
  14. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    128gb with bootcamp is very cramped, you'll be needing an external USB 3.0 drive to accommodate your media files and will have to cycle your apps.
  15. lonewolf604 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    Isn't it cheaper to just buy an external drive and import your less important stuff?
  16. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    It would be cheaper. It also means you have to spend more of your time shuttling things back and forth, or you have to haul a portable drive along with you.

    Depending on your personal preference, that might be a perfectly fine tradeoff. When I had 128GB SSD it was a constant hassle for me (esp since I would frequently run out of space completely), so this time around I went 512GB.
  17. lonewolf604 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    I doubt my usage would be that heavy. I had a white 2008 macbook until now which only had about 150~gb. I had only about 40gb left, and I would have had more space had it not been for windows installed (which I only used for games because the old macbooks couldn't support steam).

    Plus I'd probably only need to carry a thumb drive for my extra needs.
  18. HenryHealy macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2011
    I was going to go with the 128GB but after seeing this thread, I'm not so sure.
  19. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2008
    Oxford, England
    256Gb, 128Gb is far too tight for me, especially as I want at least 60Gb for a Windows Bootcamp partition...
  20. pandaguy macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    I think you're making the right decision with the 256. I mean, for a college-bound student like myself 512 is too much but 128 too little.
  21. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    How about a 128gb Ssd plus a 64gb sdhc cars on the side? Swap as needed?
  22. mikeray macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
  23. Trunks87 macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    I bought the 13" 8GB 128GB HDD. Waiting to get AppleCare when the 1yr warranty is almost out. Expecting to install BootCamp w/ 25GB partition and Parallels. I have a separate PC for gaming and a separate file server so its not smart for me to spend additional on storage space I don't know that it will be used soon. To keep from initial sticker shock I rationalized that an external HDD down the road may be wanted. It depends if one has the additional disposable coin/credit cards then desire to buy more storage built-in ahead of time, if I did I would've gone with the 256GB for sure!

    Just fyi USB 3.0 enclosures can max out at 5gbps while SSD SATA III HDD's can reach speeds of 6gbps depending which SSD is chosen.
  24. mukade macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2010
    The Air isn't my main machine, so I just went for the 128.

    At home I have my iTunes over airplay, so with all my essential apps installed I still have 70GB left over.

    I also have a 750GB USB 3.0 portable drive, which is fast enough for all my storage needs.
  25. bockscar macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Installing Windows 7 via Bootcamp alone will take up 35GB?

    This excludes installing other programs?

    I read somewhere that it's about 10-12GB.

    And here as well - How to Install Windows 7 on Your Mac Using Boot Camp2

    The person partitions 32GB and after installing the Windows, the hard drive space shows 17.2GB out of 31.8GB free. That's about 14GB used after installing Windows 7.

    I'm planning to partition the SSD as Windows 7 + 20GB free space.

    Meaning, if Windows 7 takes up 15GB, I'll partition a total of 35GB

    Thanks in advanced.

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