Should I buy 128gb or 256?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shp46, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. shp46 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
    I am buying a new Macbook air and wondering if it's worth the extra money. I currently have a much older Macbook (like the white plastic one, not a pro) and in the "about this computer" information it says there are 4gb of storage, I don't know if this is true or if I am missing something but if it really only has 4gb and I haven't had any storage problems using it for 4 years of college then obviously I will only get 128gb. Does anyone know if the old macbooks really only have about 4gb of storage? or Is 128 really not a lot and I should get 256?
  2. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    the 4GB is for the RAM;)
    look under SATA to see your hard drive, it will tell you its size,amount used, amount of space left, you can make your decision from their
  3. shp46 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Gigahertz. its like RPM in a car, a measure of speed. More is better, but its GHZ per core, so 4 slower cores can be better than 2 faster cores.
  5. krspkbl macrumors 6502


    Jul 20, 2012
    That 4GB is your RAM.

    What kind of stuff are you going to store on your computer?

    If it's just applications, photos, documents, some music and a few films then 128GB should last you a good while. If you're going to be storing loads of music, films and games then 256GB is the one for you.
  6. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Since the internal storage isn't something which can be upgraded later, buy as much as you can afford. The downside is that as long as the storage exists, it will get filled. :)
  7. shp46 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
    I'm going to want to transfer most of my old documents and all my photos and music and it looks like I'm at about 120 right now on this computer so I think I am going to go with the 256, thanks for the help! does anyone know what the ghz is and is it worth paying extra for the bigger one?
  8. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    If keeping it < 1yr, just get a 128GB. But if keeping long-term go for 256GB.
  9. lagisibuk macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
    Always Somewhere
    it's depend on what you do and how long you keep your macbook.
    but, in other case, MBA with 4GB + 128SSD is enough for low-mid activities.
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    What are you main usage patterns? What do you do most on the old Mac you have? What do you see yourself doing in a near future if you get the machine?
  11. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    If you think you'll ever run a second OS on the internal SSD, get 256.
  12. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013

    GHz is the frequency of CPU as others have said.
    SSDs have storage and RAM is memory although both are measured in GB.

    Think of RAM as short term memory, like when you cram for a test. When you close the test (or program) that memory is erased.
    Storage is like long term memory, for example the text book you should be reading all semester. You may have an error when loading the test, but the information should still be there when you restart.

    For any computer without a dedicated graphics card, which includes the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and low end iMac, 4GB of RAM (memory) may not be enough so for that I would recommend 8GB.

    For storage, it seems like 256 may be better than 128 for you BUT, while you may need some songs and some photos on your computer, you should be able to store some on an external drive.
    I have 2 external hard drives, 1 Toshiba and 1 Seagate. They hold about 1TB (1000 GB of storage) and only cost about $70 (probably less now). I have all my past school files, work-related files, other stored documents, recorded VHS tapes, DVD collection, photo albums, and music collection on them. On my actual computer I only have about 1GB of photos and videos, 2GB of iMovie files, and about 2GB of music.
    External hard drives are much slower than SSDs so they are better for archiving than daily use, but unless you absolutely NEED all of your photos and music on your computer at once, an external hard drive may be better and cheaper than larger SSD.
  13. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Why buy a very nice portable computer only to carry around a ton of external hard drives?

    That's a mentality I don't understand. The only justification I have for carrying a external is for backup.
  14. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    You will not notice any difference between 4gb and 8gb of ram.
    If you need to run a ton of apps simoultaneously you might want 8.
    If you want to run VMs you might want 16.
    If you ever manage to exceed 4gb Mavericks will swap to the ssd but pcie ssds are so fast today that there is no lag with normal usage. Storing on externals can get annoying and 128gb might limit the speed by mavericks not being able to swap as much. Overall I think external storage somewhat defeats the purpose of a laptop.
    A lot of people jump for the 8gb ram version for peace of mind reasons.
    thats why there are great deals on the basemodels with 4gb ram.
    Get the 4gb/256gb base model on sale! safe up to 300,- that way and spend your money on other things.
    We bought the 4gb/256gb not so long ago and it will certainly last you at least 4years.
  15. WasBeen macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    UK, near London
    Judge the knowledge of the poster

    Without any intention on being rude to anyone.

    If the original poster did not know who big their hard drive was, I think they are unlikely to be installing second OS's or running virtual machines.

    If money is tight, get the cheaper one, if you are rich, get the more expensive one.
  16. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007

    Primary computer or secondary computer?

    Are u going to run parallels or bootcamp.

    If you are using it as primary computer and planning in keeping it 2 plus years. Get 256gb ssd.

    If you are running parallels or bootcamo. Get 256gb ssd.

    Everything else is a toss up.
  17. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    You make a great point about the SSD being faster than a traditional HDD for paging/swapping.

    Nonetheless, SSDs are slower than RAM.

    MBAs also need RAM for the GPU, so 4 can become more like 2.5GB and with only 2.5 you will notice more bouts of lag.

    With 8GB total you can also make a small RAM disk for help loading and editing certain files and reducing wear on the SSD which is important because SSDs are not as sturdy as HDDs and give less warning before failing.

    Though I do agree, a new MBA should last 4 years or so.


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