Running out of space... new mac or other suggestion?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DCBass, May 21, 2016.

  1. DCBass macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #1
    Hello All,

    I have a 2014 13" rMBP with a 512GB SSD. It's been a fantastic computer and I really enjoy the size, speed, and everything else about it.

    One issue is that I am now running out of space. It turns out taking numerous photos and videos of one's first child can add up to much more GB of data than I anticipated!

    So, I am considering what I should do to add storage. I think my options are:

    1. Buy a few external hard drives. I already have one that I recently moved my iTunes library to. I can archive photos or keep videos I take on that drive as well, and buy another external for backup.
    Pro: this is by far the cheapest option. I would likely just get two 2TB seagate external hard drives.
    Con: I don't like the idea of having to plug in an external hard drive to access my data.

    2. Buy a desktop mac. I do prefer to have my laptop as my primary computer, but I could get a mac mini (refurbished) + an 1 external hard drive for local backup. Could I just get a mac mini without a display and remote into it from my laptop easily?
    Pro: this would give me a lot of room to grow... just add hard drives as needed. They would always be plugged in.
    Con: Is this overboard to have two macs? Also, I have backblaze, but would likely just keep the regular backup on the mac mini since I would keep all of my data there and not pay to have two macs backed up.

    3. Same as number 2, but get an iMac with retina display instead (21.5 or 27), refurbished
    Pro: my goodness do I like these new iMacs
    Con: the most expensive option. Maybe I should consider selling my laptop to get one these instead?

    Through writing this, I think I've settled on Option 1 since it's the most affordable, even though it's a hassle to plug and unplug external hard drives on a regular basis.

    Surely I'm not the only one with this issue. What do others do when a laptop just doesn't have enough space?

    Cheers,

    DCBass
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #2
    I dunno how much more space you need, but another option would be to buy a larger internal drive. People sell them in eBay that have been pulled from presumably broken MacBook (here is one). Not cheap, but you could sell your 512GB version to offset some of the cost.
     
  3. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    Location:
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    #3
    I'm kinda in position #2, although for a different reason. I don't really like keeping all my data on laptops; not only is there the possibility of theft of the laptop, I've also had too many problems with laptop drives failing on me (although I suppose that's not a problem with SSDs). The fact that 3.5 inch platter external disks are dirt cheap these days is also useful. :)

    Basically, I treat my desktop computer as my main computer, and anything mobile (laptop / tablet / phone / etc.) as a satellite of the main machine, allowing me to access a subset of my data when I'm on the move.

    BTW, have you considered a wireless storage option, ala Apple's Time Capsule? That would allow you some external storage without having to constantly plug/unplug your laptop...
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #4
    A question to consider: how often do you really need to access/look at those "numerous photos and videos" of your child? Do they all need to take up valuable space on your machine's internal SSD?

    IMHO the easiest solution is indeed buying an external SSD or two. I use Samsung's T1 with a 1 TB SSD as a "supplementary drive" to my 512 SSD in my rMBP and it works out very well. Most of the time I don't really need to look at all the photos that are stashed on there, or at some of the documents, and when I do it's a simple matter of plugging in the T1 and taking a look at or retrieving the particular item I want. This happens less often than I would have thought. New photos or videos go on my rMBP's SSD until I've processed them and shared them, whatever, and then after that they go right to the external drive. This keeps my rMBP's SSD at a good capacity level for continued smooth, fast operation and yet the images and other items are still easily within reach as needed. When I do a backup, I backup both the rMBP's internal SSD and also the supplementary external SSD. I really was pleasantly surprised to realize that I really didn't need all that stuff on my computer all the time. Another bonus is that in the future when I purchase another computer, I will still have all this right at my fingertips, ready to plug into the new machine, making future setting up a much speedier process. It's like adding another TB of capacity to the computer.
     
  5. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #5
    Where do you mainly need your extra storage?

    If its at home, then Network Attached Storage could be the solution - no need to plug in, just connect to your home wifi, and potentially it can be accessed by other computers in your home.

    Someone has also mentioned Apple Time Capsule which is one such system, there are lots of third party ones available, some of which let you access your files over the internet.
     
  6. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #6
    OP, it was the dilemma you offered that prompted me to replace my 2012 rMBP (512GB) with a 2013 rMBP (1TB) - but the 2012 unit is still in use as a back up in my small company. The "fix" we employed for the smaller storage is this (not an affiliate link, I don't roll that way...):
    http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Jet..._UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=19AG7FS32WTMZKP66MG4
    and the PNY StorEDGE is also a decent option to portable SSDs or HDs...
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    Thread jack>> MacRumors makes all Amazon links into an affiliate link with their affiliate info, even if you were to use your own. :)
     
  8. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Good to know, offering in my defense that I use generic Google searches for this kind of stuff. I have a dedicated user account for my Amazon shopping and another user account for my MR posts - I'm too paranoid to "mix-n-match", so somebody other than me is seeing that coin in their bank account... :confused:
     
  9. DCBass thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #9
    All,

    Thanks for all of the great feedback. It is all much appreciated!

    This is a good point. This is why I am primarily looking to archive older photos and videos onto an external HD at the very least.


    Both of these sound interesting. However, I am committed to using backblaze as part of my backup solution, and they do not support NAS or wireless external drives. only hard connected drives. (see their link). The pro of this, on the other hand, would that my wire would easily be able to view anything on the NAS from her windows laptop.


    hmmm... interesting. How reliable are these?
     
  10. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
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    Portland / Seattle
    #10
    I've had no problems - as in zero problems - with either brand of these modified SD cards. I'm still using some of the PNY StorEDGE cards.

    My only "issue" is that they're not as "deep" as normal SD cards, but IMHO they're ideal for those looking to add storage to our portable Macs.

    Two of my employees use the TarDisk Pear, but they (my guys, that is) are out of the area. I've heard no complaints from either of them about the Pear drive - it looks the same as the SD cards I'm alluding to and using but is a completely different animal from what they've said so far...
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #11
    I'd never heard of the TarDisk Pear, so had a look and read some reviews.....it sounds great until you realize that this is actually reconfiguring the file system within the OS so that rather than looking like two separate disks (the way it does with a Transcend JetDrive Lite) it becomes all one drive. That's dandy until something happens and the Pear needs to be removed from the computer for some reason -- big risk of corrupting and losing files this way. Also, what happens when the next version of OS X comes out? I would think that this would increase the possibility of problems.
     
  12. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #12
    A NAS option might be the ticket for you. There are several makers and these units can range from a single drive on up to 8 drives (consumer and prosumer models). What also might interest you is some NAS comes with applications such as a private cloud, may house your iTunes media files and more.

    A nice simple set up may be a 2 drive NAS set up so the 2nd drive mirrors the data on the first drive (redundancy) referred to as RAID 1. You can choose a pair of large drives. Chances are, it would be cheaper than another Mac. Make sure that the NAS uses decent Ethernet cat5e or cat6 to your router.

    Typical to the mix are Synology (216+ model would be an excellent choice), QNAP and Asustor. There are other makers out there including Netgear, Western Digital etc. Both QNAP and Synology come with quite a bit of usable applications and have devoted fans which translates to excellent forums for support and questions. While I have a few QNAP offerings, I would suggest investigating the Synology as it has great feedback from first time NAS owners.

    An alternative is to use a router that allows for attached storage. Some routers allow access to these attached drives via the internet if set up correctly (though you should always be sure there is enough security associated with a drive accessible from the outside).
     
  13. ckuttner macrumors member

    ckuttner

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    Portland, OR
    #13
    Anybody have any more experiences to report with Tardisk [I love the name!] with Pear?

    I really like the concept. Alternatives include our NAS, or just one of those little cards, but having this be all one big virtual drive is appealing. As to the risks if Pear doesn't keep up with newer systems: as long as I keep doing my backups, should be able to access all my stuff.
    I welcome input!

    ck
     
  14. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #14
    I would invest in a NAS instead of replacing a 2014 computer at this point. A good NAS would provide RAID capabilities and also should provide you access from multiple machines within your network, and also maybe remote access over the internet.
     
  15. ckuttner macrumors member

    ckuttner

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    #15
    The only investment I need to make in an NAS is doing it...I have a 1 Tb HD hooked up to my Airport, with partitions named Klaatu, Barada, and Nikto. If we move our photo library to one of those partitions, we will free up a lot of space.

    But there's something reassuring about having it all there with us when we walk out of the house with the MacBook.
     
  16. bingeciren, Aug 19, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016

    bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    #16
    I use Photos to save space. In order to do that, the originals must be located externally and in the preferences of the Photos, "Copy items to the Photos library" must be unchecked. Start with an empty Photos Library and import all your photos from your external location. I keep my originals on a USB drive for speed, but they can reside on a NAS as well. Photos merely establishes a pointer to the originals and generates thumbnails to view them offline.

    This way, even when the originals are not available, Photos allows all photos to be viewed with decent resolution. The only disadvantage to this method is that 1) editing is not allowed (obviously) and 2) the videos cannot be viewed, 3) All new photos has to be either copied directly to the external drive first and then imported to the photos in order to keep them externally, or use the Photos to import first, then export them to the external drive and then erase them from the Photos (the originals are exported) and re-import them to the Photos. Somewhat seems a little involved but the rewards justifies the extra work.

    The space saving is substantial. My original photos occupy about 250 GB, yet the Photos Library is only 28 GB.
     
  17. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #17
    Backblaze, looks like a great solution but I wouldn't continue with a $5 a month cloud solution if it meant I couldn't use a NAS. Why not just use a different cloud solution that would let you use a NAS it's the cheapest and most expandable option for what you need. This really seems a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
     
  18. nfable macrumors regular

    nfable

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    #18
    MBP -> Raid Enclosure -> Off site backup

    You can set some raid mirroring and have CrashPlan / off site storage back everything up. Don't do NAS over wifi if you'll be throwing alot of data back n forth = lag and meh feeling, just accept the bane of a first world problem, and plug in a USB3 / TB cable (oh, the hassle!)
     
  19. grahamperrin, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016

    grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #19
    FreeNAS.

    Mobile hard disk drives.

    I'm wary of Backblaze.

    The path for users of Pear, which uses Apple Core Storage, should be no different from the path for users of Apple Fusion Drive.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/posts/20685640 under MacBook Pro 2012 still relevant? –

    – if I recall correctly, I decided against use of the slot.

    If Sierra will work reliably with Apple's services, then optimised storage might be least hassle, although:
    • I have not tested the features
    • I assume that for many customers, Apple's charges for remote storage will be prohibitively expensive
     
  20. ckuttner, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2016

    ckuttner macrumors member

    ckuttner

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    Portland, OR
    #20
    Folks, I am really grateful for the advice/comments.

    Was just today reading MacLife (8/16 issue, No. 118, p.33) and it looks as though Apple has come to the rescue, with Optimized Storage, where they will take a lot of the deadwood from my drive and keep it in iCloud for my recovering as needed. I am planning to give that a try.

    However: yesterday I spoke with Tardisk. Their salesguy was only a little pushy,mostly in a good way, as in dropping prices lower and lower the more I hesitated. I decided to go ahead and spend the money for a 256Gb Tardisk.

    I will avoid opening the package until I try out Optimized Storage. I may just post results here if I remember!.......
    Edited: Optimized Storage comes with Sierra (10.12). So I guess my Tardisk is going to arrive before Sierra does. By the way: the price point that got me to buy the Tardisk was $100 less than the standard price of $400.
     
  21. ckuttner macrumors member

    ckuttner

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    #21
    Just thought I'd share...I did buy a 512Gb Tardisk, it was not as easy to install as I had hoped, but they gave me a lot of support and my 256Gb MacBook Pro Retina is now 512GB for the same amount of money as if I'd bought 512Gb to start with.
    They are having a special today of having it at the same price I got, 25% off. I don't want to get into trouble with MacRumors posting the code or anything, but if you chat with them, I think you can get the discount.
    No disclaimer needed: other than the discount, I have no particular percs or relationship with this company.
    A memory card that would serve as a second drive in the MacBook would cost half as much, but having this all as one virtual disk works nicely for me.
     
  22. CrystalQuest76 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2015
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    West Cost A Lot
    #22
    There is absolutely no reason to buy a new computer. That's a ridiculous waste of money. Just buy an external drive and move off the computer the files that you don't use that often.
    Saving Money is Not a Crime.
     
  23. ckuttner macrumors member

    ckuttner

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    #23
    Yup, it is a bit of a waste of money...but this isn't a new computer, it has just opened up more storage on our existing MacBook. Nothing we couldn't have accomplished with an external drive or our Airport-associated drive. But heck, we could have saved even more money just buying a ChromeBook or a Windoze machine, but what would have been the fun in that? Macs are about (relative) ease of use and convenience, and this is how I chose to approach the issue of diminishing space.

    Or to quote one of my friend's taglines: "I am *NOT* defensive!!!!"
     
  24. ckuttner macrumors member

    ckuttner

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    #24
    So the bottom line is...I did install the TarDisk, it was complicated but I got a lot of support from the company. And it works just fine.
     

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