MBAir as primary computer- solutions to limited storage space...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zub3qin, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    For those that are using the Macbook Air as their primary computer, what are people's solutions for the limited drive size of the Macbook Air?

    External USB Drive?
    Network Dirve?
    SD cards?

    In other words, is there an easy way to expand storage without sacrificing much in terms of speed or convenience (ie I want to maintain the ability to sync my camera or iPhone directly to the Macbook Air, but somehow get the music and photos synced to a drive not-residing on the Air itself.) I also want to avoid freezes and beachballs when I am editing photos.

    Specifically, iTunes and iPhoto libraries take up the most space, so off-loading these somewhere would be great.

    This is a creative bunch, and I suspect this is a common problem, so I look forward to comments.

  2. ImperialX macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I simply use a 750GB External 2.5" HDD. It's quite portable.
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    FWIW, I have a MBP15 and have run out of space.

    I went with an external WD USB 1TB HDD.

    You can see it here.

    Works well for my needs.
  4. zub3qin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Do you feel that things slow down considerably when using this USB drive with the Macbook Air?
  5. Z'sMBA-11 macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010
    Dubai, UAE - Camp Lejeune, NC - USA
    I'm running a WD USB 1TB HDD with both my MBA 11's, has my iTunes library, and all my media on it with a few apps.

    Its not as fast as the Solid State, but runs just like any other HDD.

  6. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Raided nas, you should be doing it anyway, at a bare minimum.
  7. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Why not just a USB hard drive? Works for me. You're right though, the data access will certainly be slower than on-board storage, but cest la vie.
  8. highscheme macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I haven't purchased my 11" Air yet, but I plan to use it with the 500 GB usb HD.

    It will be my primary computer, but there *is* an 24" iMac that I have access to.

    I have decided to go with 64GB as I dont think an extra 64GB is worth a 15-20% in overall price. I will get reinstall the OS immediately and get rid of everything I don't need. I will get rid of much of iLife besides iPhoto.

    I will probably keep some music on it but a relatively limited amount and just use the 500GB external to switch between what I want on it at any given time.

    Next, I plan to upgrade the storage to 128GB+ in the future if it is possible and more affordable.
  9. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
  10. potentpotable macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
  11. zub3qin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Great concept but reviews say this thing is SLOW SLOW SLOW.

    "Backup test - unencrypted (using the included software)
    2.8GB, 8200 files
    Echo ZE 8GB (the microscopic USB thing you mention)- 113 minutes
    Echo SE 16GB (regular USB stick) - 16.5 minutes
    OCZ Rally2 8GB - 17 minutes"

    32GB extra at $100- and VERY slow at that.... not sure this is the solution.
  12. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
  13. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    May 13, 2008
    For a long time I have needed to use external drives for media. I have lots of movies (in-car racing footage), iTunes library and Aperture library. I have an Opti bay in my MacBook Pro 17" which holds all my media on a 750Gb drive. This frees up the system SSD and the thing flies.

    I'm going to do the same thing with the Air but I will use a USB drive which I will keep synced with the drive on my MBP which will now stay in my office.

    With ever growing media libraries the system drive is never going to cope, even if it's 256gb so the sooner you setup an external media drive the better you will cope. This only needs to be plugged in when you are working with you media obviously.

    Also make sure you back it up regularly!!

    At home my MacPro has a 2Tb media drive and a 2Tb time machine backup dirve.
  14. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2010
    The soilution is network storage. USB drives are a pain.
  15. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
  16. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    As expansion of my 13" MacBook Air, I got the OCZ Enyo USB 3.0 Portable Bus Powered Solid State Drive

    Though the large sequential transfers are limited by USB 2.0 (39MB/s), the small random transfers are up to 14 times faster than a normal USB HDD and the transactions per second are up to 45 times faster.

    It not only matches the look and feel of the MacBook Air but it will be ready to go over 200MB/s when the next gen MacBook Air or MacBook Pro comes out with built-in USB 3.0 (I've verified that speed on the Mac Pro using a USB 3.0 PCIe adapter.)
  17. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I bought a 13 inch MBA to use as my primary computer. That's why I got it with 256GB of flash storage. I didn't want to have to worry very soon about auxiliary storage. Just in case, I have both a 1TB Time Capsule and an OWC 250GB FW drive available on my network. My most frequently used auxiliary drive, though, is a Toshiba 640GB portable USB drive. I keep all of my movie, music, and recorded book files on that one and backup my Windows data files to it too. Fortunately, Toshiba now makes a 1TB version of the drive, so I should be in good shape there, too. I also use the 2GB of free storage Dropbox provided to store backups of my most critical data files.

    As impressive as the 11 inch MBA is, I decided that I didn't want to be limited to only 64 or 128GB of storage on what would be my main computer. After I finished installing programs and data files on my MBA I had used 126GB of storage, which convinced me that the 11 inch MBA would not have been a good choice.
  18. gonzoguy24 macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2010

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