MBA 2012: 256GB vs. 512GB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MagicThief83, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. MagicThief83, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    MagicThief83 macrumors 6502

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    NYC
    #1
    I just purchased an 11" MBA i7, with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. I'm wondering now whether I should've just coughed up the extra couple hundred bucks and invested in the 512GB. Anyone here find that even the 256GB can leave one yearning for more space? Which storage option did you guys select and why? For external storage, I have the Lacie 4TB thunderbolt drive on the way, but I'm worried because I know that it is almost impossible to install applications on an external drive, and don't want the system drive getting too cramped for space. I also will be bootcamping, and plan on dedicating 80-100GB to that. Just wondering if I should've maxed out the SSD option? :(
     
  2. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #2
    Quite a few years ago I managed on a lot less... If you had really needed 512GB of space, you wouldn't have bought the 256GB model in the first place. Ergo, you should focus on getting used to the idea that you made a good decision. Enjoy your notebook ;)
     
  3. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks for the positive response! I see you have a 256GB MBP, how are you managing space-wise with that?
     
  4. Barna Biro, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #4
    Around 120 GB free space left ( plenty for my needs ) with Windows 7 installed using Bootcamp, complete Adobe Masters Collection CS5 installed and quite a few more things. I don't like keeping music or movies on my computer so that saves a lot of space... Even when I download something, after watching it, I usually always delete it the next second.

    As a software engineer, project sources don't get "huge" and 256 GB is plenty. I'm only keeping Windows for Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 and Battlefield 3 at the moment... might get rid of it ( or even if not the entire Windows, but at least the games since they are just distraction in the end ) in the future and free up even more space.

    PS: I am actually considering to buy a 512GB MBA only for the sake of having it maxed out... not yet 100% decided though, will see when the time comes.
     
  5. wditters macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #5
    For the last 5 years I have lived by the following rule:
    - What I want to run I store on an internal disk
    - What I want to store, I do on an external disk

    For me the only reason why I went for the 512Gb internal option is that I have two Virtual Machines I need for my work, a 100Gb VM and a 70Gb VM. On top of that I still want to have access to a day-to-day personal W7 configuration so I bootcamped that into 160Gb still leaving 180Gb for OSX.

    If running bootcamp is the only thing you want to do, 256Gb will be more than sufficient. You may want to split into a slightly larger partition for W7 than for OSX, simply because both Windows OS and Apps usually take up a bit more space than their OSX alternatives.

    Note: with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 I realize that running VMs from an external disk works fine and really is fast enough, especially with external SSD drives. Since often I need to travel really lightly though, I prefer to leave external disks home.
     
  6. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    What is the size of your bootcamp partition? And how much GB remain after the aforementioned game installations? I'm thinking of just settling for the 256GB because hopefully when Apple refreshes the 2012 iMacs, I'll prob get a maxed out 21.5" and that will be my primary desktop PC, while the MBA will be my PC for the on the go. Just hate space constraints though:D

    ----------

    It's just that I'm afraid of over sizing the bootcamp partition, which is why I would like to dedicate a 100GB max (might even bring that down to 80GB). With Diablo 3 (8GB file) and Windows updates, hypothetically, how space should I have left with an 80GB partition? Let's say I originally dedicate 100GB, but then decide it's too much, can I resize without having to reformat the partition? Also, I don't want to leave OSX with too little storage.

    ----------

    Will Winclone allow me to resize a partition?
     
  7. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

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    Denver
    #7
    Everyone's needs are different and there is always a compromise between mobility and capacity. The trick is figuring out exactly what you need to keep on internal local storage, optimizing it, and what you can farm out to add-on local drives, network drives, and cloud storage.

    If my MBA was my only machine or if I planned to dedicate as much space to boot camp as you are planning I would likely have ordered the larger SSD but that's me.

    You might consider the following

    • Remove things you don't use. In my case that included some drivers of hardware brands I don't encounter. Apps like garage band that I don't use and have a large footprint.
    • Try utilitities like Xslimmer or unilingual to slim binaries - can save gbs and programs load even faster
    • Consider a compact bus powered USB3 drive for high performance local access to big things you don't need all the time but need fast access to when you need them. Virtual machines are a prime candidate there.
    • Consider a remotely accessible NAS system like those offered by Synology for big things you need moderately fast access to when home and slower access to when remote
    • Consider a cloud service for smaller things you need modistly fast access to from anywhere
    • Consider using other devices like an iPhone or iPad to store music, pictures, videos and other space intensive items you may not need on your laptop all the time

    Fwiw, I'm happy with 256gb SSD, but I have 10tb of NAS space I can access from anywhere, and have room locally for the small VMs And other things i really need all the time.
     
  8. P0stalTek macrumors 6502

    P0stalTek

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #8
    I learned a long time ago that you will use whatever you have with storage. If that's 256GB, you'll fill it and learn to maintain it healthy and safe. If it's 512GB, you'll fill it and learn to maintain it healthy and safe.

    Just get used to 256GB, I do not find it that limiting. I have a couple virtual machines, 2-3 big games, full Office suite, and full Adobe Creative suite installed. 83GB used. :)

    I think you will adjust quicker than you think! I really do not think it is worth getting buyer's remorse now for, just enjoy it!
     
  9. pandaguy macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2012
    #9
    I didn't really see the need because of the fact that I had four years worth of music, movies and documents that never exceeded 160 GB.
     
  10. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #10
    512gb

    I just bought a i7/8gb/512 Gb 2012 Mac air,

    I felt like the 512 is necessary and I wanted to keep this computer for a while. I like movies and have a lot of photos. I might not use all 512 but having the space is nice for me being that I am already at 230 GB.

    Lugging a External around can be a drag if you constantly use it, so I just use my 1 TB for major things I don't use often or backups.

    having the freedom and not worrying about the space is good for me.
     
  11. mpaquette macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #11
    I opted for the 512GB SSD this time around. I've been using a 256GB SSD in my MBP for the last year or so. I never ran out of space, but between music files (Apple Lossless) and my Windows7 VM for work, I had less than 100GB feee, so I figured what the heck.
     
  12. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #12


    The partition size is 90GB, more than enough for Windows and the other stuff :) Just don't forget to remove / disable the paging files and other stuff that will eat up quite some space senselessly.
     
  13. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 27, 2010
    #13
    For now, 256GB is an overkill for me ( I don't store movies or pictures).
     
  14. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I think I'll just settle for 256GB for now ;) What are the average file sizes of OSX apps? I think I'll be ok and to be honest, the only files I see taking up large chunks of space will be movie files, and I can easily just store those on an external drive right?
     
  15. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    May 19, 2009
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    Midwest US
    #15
    Were the upgrade only "the extra couple hundred bucks," I'd have gone for it myself! Alas, at $500, it becomes a luxury rather than a necessity ... I can carry my iTunes library around on a USB3 drive.

    I had every intention of buying an "ultimate" 13", decided that (a) I could not live without the 11" form factor and (b) the extra 256GB of flash storage did not make economic sense. I'm at about 185GB all in with the exception of iTunes, and I'll shuffle content around for a while to keep the $500 in my bank account.
     
  16. MagicThief83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    So you went with the 256GB SSD? Are you saying you have 185GB remaining or you've used up 185GB?
     
  17. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #17
    Yes ... I need about 185GB, so I'll have something like 70GB left on the 256. My 185GB total includes the system software.
     

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