SSD Storage Size: Does Apple cheat?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jah2013, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Jah2013 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Hey there,

    I would like to know what you guys think about the reported storage size in system report... I ordered an "512GB model" but this is what it reports:

    499,08 GB (499.082.485.760 Byte)

    As you can see, there is 499 GB in the 1000 byte = 1 kilobyte "cheated counting way". In the old style counting way it would be even less: 464.80 GB ( 1024er counting).

    I am missing 12 GB's. Where is it ? Is is just deactivated for wear leveling ? To check yourself, go to :apple: -> About this mac -> More information -> System report -> Storage
  2. jetlitheone macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2012
    It's deactivated for wear leveling so to speak as you say. For TRIM and such.
  3. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
  4. enjoimorenow macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2013
    Where do you expect apple to store OSX at? It isn't just magically there and takes up no storage.... For someone privy enough to know the difference between 1000 and 1024 counts, I would think you would know that ANY operating system (windows, android, iOS, OS X, linux, etc.) ALL take up some amount of storage space. They have to be stored somewhere locally on the device.

    Apple also says right on their website:

    Even if you buy a 16gb iPhone, you don't get the full 16gb yourself. EVERY other device is the same way, this is not apple "cheating"
  5. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I would guess the 12GBs is being used by the operating system, preinstalled apps, and probably some kind of back up image which I assume is on a partition.
  6. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Its not cheating when the entire industry does it the same way.
  7. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    Try to Control+I your Applications folder. It could be some Gb in size.
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Wear leveling, recovery partion, etc... everyone does this.

    My 256GB SSD only shows up as 223GB in Windows. :eek:
  9. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    You're not missing anything. This is how it has always been, for every computer from any company.
  10. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    They are presenting something more than it actually is. I don't care if all manufacturers are doing it, it's still misleading on purpose and thus cheating.
  11. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Technically they have always been cheating in this department. Everyone forever and always.
    Even when they labeled 180GB or 240GB SSDs (with actually 256GB NAND), which was slightly more realistic, that rarely was what you got and it was still less. They always round up. Apple cheats or reports number the way that is industry standard and should really be considered cheating. It is very inaccurate with SSDs because the amount of spare area used depends on the controller and firmware and can change quite a lot.

    What the OS needs is actually included and only missing from the free space. I really don't know what some here are thinking. There is 200 MB for the GPT partition missing, a bit for file tables but not GBs on an almost empty drive. Most of the missing space is spare area for wear leveling and garbage collection.
  12. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    No it's not, the drive physically has that 512GB capacity. You could wipe it completely and unformat it if you wished. Formatting uses a small amount of space, as does the OS, the recovery partition etc.
    How would you suggest every company does it? It's just common sense in our age that you do not see or have full access to the space for straight forward reasons. Getting access to 499/512 is pretty dam good infact!
  13. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    Are you honestly saying that the majority of consumer are expecting to get 499 gb instead of 512 gb? Most consumers are not computer savy.
  14. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    If they're dropping £2k/$3k then yes, I expect a degree of understanding that not all the capacity of the drives is reserves solely for their data. That's only ~2.5% stored for everything the system and drive need to function. Hardly anything.
    If you are spending this much on a system that is targetted at the Pro market then you very likely do not 'need' a system this powerful.
    How many people here really need a 2.3GHz quad core all the time? Or 16GB RAM (honestly 4GB would suffice on Mavericks for many). If you are doing the odd media transcode you can afford to wait a few more seconds for it to be done etc.
    But there are many, myself included who understand the hardware and will fully utilise it on a regular basis.

    Apple has made potentially one of the best all round laptops on earth with some seriously cutting edge technology, the most advanced CPU architecture on earth, extremely powerful SSD's using innovative bus connections, impressive battery chemistry (just look at the charge cycle count improvements over the last five years). A display that puts just about every other to shame. Then lowers the price a good bit, then you complain they are 'cheating' you out of ~2.5% of SSD capacity. I think you need to go out and have a beer. It's all relative.
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
  16. Trixxr macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    Stop being stupid.

    The way that the drive is formatted will take up a % of the maximum space. Your drive will most likely also feature a recovery partition, which takes up even more space.

    You're getting what you're paying for. This isn't some industry conspiracy. Read up on it, please.
  17. Merode macrumors 6502


    Nov 5, 2013
    Warszawa, Poland
    IT's normal - the drive's capacity is what they say it is, but filesystem takes some space. You can add to that recovery partition. You can't help it.

    It's like when you have to pay USPS for packaging's weight even though you only want contents to be delivered. :p
  18. Jah2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Well, I would expect it to say 512,000,000,000... bytes then and say that there is 500GB allocated to the filesystem and 12 GB overhead or that the recovery partition takes x gigabytes. I would not expect it to say only 500,000... in a place where it should report the "theoretical" size of the hardware.

    As I am not so sure that I really got an 512 GB model, what programs I could use to detect the hardware ?
  19. Merode macrumors 6502


    Nov 5, 2013
    Warszawa, Poland
    What I meant by filesystem is the way that data is saved on hard drive or in this case solid state drive. The files you see and every information associated with them must be stored and read in some way from physical storage device. Filesystem is a software way to do that. I don't know much about mac's filesystem, but NTFS for example requires space to store information about what part of hard drive is used, what part is empty and a lot and lot more. You won't find that data on your partition and it is the case with every single filesystem.

    You can go to shop, buy external HDD that is meant to be for exaple 1TB, but as soon as you format it with any filesystem, you're going to notice that you will not have 1TB of free space. Filesystem will take some space and the bigger the drive the more space the filesystem will require.

    We also mentioned the recovery partition which will be at least the size of OS X which is I think 8GB.

    Of course, what you described might be the case. According to Apple Store website: "1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = 1 trillion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.". It looks like they use decimal measure for bytes and that explains everything. You will find more information here:

    I hope it helps.
  20. RobboMB macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2013
    You did, don't worry about it.

    It's just something you'll have to accept, hard drives always appear to have less space in the OS than they do on the label. If it was reporting 300gb in the OS then yeah, there could be something fishy, but 499 out of 512 is perfectly fine (512/1.024 = 500, allow a bit for overhead and you're there)
  21. MacChinoNyc macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    I think the worst at this or best at this is Samsung. I recently tried an ultra book from them, 128gb ssd and I kid you not maybe only half was available for my use. Even after uninstalling crap apps. I think their method of system recovery partitions is all messed up. Now I don't mind if they are actually helpful in a disaster recovery situation but if you're going to advertise 128gb then that is what I should get. Include a bigger ssd if need be and do all the partitioning you want but I'm buying a 128gb ssd and that is what I expect./endrant
  22. rapicell macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    Apple makes footnotes all over the site about how formatted capacity is actually less, so how's it cheating if they literally tell you.
  23. Jah2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Maybe I need to clarify. Mac OS X is actually calculation 1 KB = 1000 B (not 1024) which is already the "cheaty way of calculating". It shows the full number (without any /1024 oder /1000) as 499,xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx BYTES!

    So I can say: it is not the typical 1000/1024 issue which would normally lead to the case that you buy a 1 TB drive (1000,xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx Bytes, Windows calculates /1024 and says 930 GB).

    What I dont understand is why it is actually less than the cheaty way of 512 GB, reported in the hardware tool which SHOULD include the space used by filesystem meta and recovery partition.
  24. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Filesystem data isn't that big. On my 80GB NTFS drive (34% free space which is fairly filled) the MFT is 314 MB and the zone size is 193MB (exclusively reserved part). That isn't even 1% of the drive it says 0% of drive because it rounds.
    All the file system data and GBT partition together even on a big drive cannot account for 12GB. Maybe 1GB if there are many partitions and lots of files.
  25. RobboMB macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2013
    Didn't realise apple changed to SI units.

    I still stand by my original point that you've got nothing to worry about though. What's 12Gb really going to matter? If it's that much of a headache buy a 16Gb (or whatever it formats as....) SD card for £5 and whack it in the side, job done.

    Chances are it's a recovery partition or something to that effect, which i'm sure you won't be complaining about having if it every locks up :p (And before you say "but its showing 499..... bytes", it will do, the recovery PARTITION will be separate to the disk that it shows inside the OS)

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