Storage solution for my personal data

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macusercom, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Macusercom macrumors newbie

    Macusercom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #1
    I currently have a MacBook Pro (500 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD ) and a MacBook Air (128 GB) for college. At first I thought I will be using my MBA only on the go and my MBP at home, but it turns out I'm using the MacBook Air for 95% of stuff and my MBP ist completely unused except when needing media data (music, photos and movies or files). I also wanted to replace the MBP with an iMac, but I wouldn't be using it much. I'm now planing on selling my MacBook Pro, but the big question now is where to store my personal data files (about 300 to 400 GB). I'm thinking about it for a week now and I couldn't make up my mind.

    PLEASE NOTE: I would encrypt anything using FileVault 2 no matter which option I choose (however using a NAS would make it impossible except using a .dmg image file).

    Solutions I've come up with:
    - sell MBA 128 GB and buy 256 GB/512 GB
    -> basically the easiest thing, but very expensive. I would worry more about carrying my MBA as mine is worth € 800 and the 512 GB would be worth at least € 1600, but I would have all my data in one place and I couldn't "lose" without losing my MBA itself.

    - use a special SD card for the MBA
    -> for about € 200 I would have 256 GB of extra storage (~80 MB/sec. read/write) in my MBA. I could have my files anywhere, but I might get short on storage and it blocks my SD card slot and I'd have to use a USB adapter for my camera's SD card. Moreover, it is easier to "steal" my personal data as someone only has to remove the SD card. I encrypt however, so data should be safe.

    - use an external hard drive or SSD
    -> this would be about € 250 and I could have almost full SSD speeds with an external SSD housing. I could easily expand the storage, my data could be easily separated from the MBA itself, so if someone steals it on the go and my external SSD is at home, my data is completely safe. I would only attach it if I needs to access files and I could easily remove it again. Only the usage on the go would be awful as using an MBA on your lap with an external drive is uncomfortable and quickly storing it needs one extra step: disconnecting the external drive.

    - use a NAS
    -> this would give me several benefits, but the iPhoto library can't be stored there and even though I could move my "original" iTunes library with all songs there, once on the move I'd have to switch libraries to use the one stored on the MBA itself. I would only benefit from it for several firmware files, normal data and maybe my videos. As I won't be using an Ethernet adapter for the MBA, speeds wouldn't exceed 15 MB/sec. which is bad for transferring or copying files.

    Maybe you could a 5th solution or do you suggest a combination of multiple solutions above? Then please tell me!

    So I need to put my iPhoto library somewhere, store firmware files, installer files and anything else and to be able to store my iTunes Music folder somewhere. I'm using iTunes Match, but I need to have them locally (iTunes Match is not really a backup service and if the subscription couldn't be renewed, I'm losing all my music). I would need to have a library to store all songs and to be able to just download certain songs on the go. I don't know how you could easily do that (except using the SD card solution and to keep the SD card plugged in).

    Files:
    ~30 GB iTunes
    ~150 GB videos
    ~40 GB iPhoto
    ~30 GB backups of Android, iPad and firmwares
    -> will increase over time of course!

    I hope you can help me out. If you read this post that far, you are one of the few. Please help me make up my mind! :p
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #2
    I'm concerned first and foremost about backup.

    If you get an external, THAT has to be backed up. Especially since it would be portable; when your computer gets stolen the portable drive will probably go with it.

    I don't see a need for a NAS. If you have multiple devices backing up, especially iOS stuff, then maybe. But you lose speed and just gain a different (or no) wire. Not worth it IMHO.

    I'd go with an external to backup at home, a portable external for storage on the go, and use of online storage (since face it, most of us use portable without external storage or backups connected). The stuff is cheap. You might wanna consider having a clone on that external if you're selling your MBP, since it gets you up and going if your machine fails.

    And I'd throw a thumbdrive or SD into the mix, maybe for just music or especially videos. I just pull one from a camera and use it for this on occasion, when I don't wanna haul the portable HD. Nice to have one formatted ExFat for media, since you can then use it on all sorts of other computers too.
     
  3. Macusercom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Macusercom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #3
    Well, I do have a Time Capsule so no need for an external backup drive. I wouldn't really carry the external HDD with me all the time, so it doesn't have to get stolen when my MBA is gone. A normal SD card would do too, though it sticks out a bit. However, with the MBA the SD card slot seems to be working now. On my MBP the SD card wasn't recognised all the time or was locked even though it wasn't. The smaller Transcent Lite wouldn't be good for switching it very often, as its edges break when pulled out too often. A normal one wouldn't have this issue.

    A thumbdrive (especially 3.0) would be quite big and I'd like to keep the MBA's shape and size without anything blocking USB ports or sticking out.

    My current idea is to use a 256 GB SD card for music + iPhoto and to store everything else on an external drive which could be backed up using my Apple Time Capsule. Still not sure, but it seems cheaper than upgrading my MBA to 512 GB for whooping € 1700 refurbished (plus selling my current one).
     
  4. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular

    s0nicpr0s

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #4
    I've looked around and found a few different possibilities.

    Would you be able or willing to mixing and matching your add-on solutions? They do have some decently high capacity (up to 128GB) flash drives that barely extend past the usb port. Then you could look at a smaller SD card, or still plan on the higher capacity and have much higher read/write speeds. Have you definitively decided whether you're looking at compact SD cards that are sized for the Air so as not to stick out? Or still considering a full size that has overhang?

    Going this route you are managing external devices, and any potential headaches if something were to die on you. Another route could be potentially upgrading the internal storage of your current Air. Which year/model do you have?
     
  5. Macusercom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Macusercom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #5
    Well I'd like not to use a USB port as I need one for USB drives I need to use for a short period of time and the other one for my devices or an external sound card at home. I'd rather not block 1 USB port. For the SD card I'd definitely prefer the shorter one as it is smaller and about the same size. The only advantage would be the intercompatibility (but with HFS+ and FileVault 2 you won't be using this SD card on a Windows PC) and the fact that a 512 GB SD card exists, but this is out of my price range right now.

    I currently have the 13" MBA Mid 2014 refurbished. Any upgrade has to be a new device (thanks to the change in the Mid 2013 model) -.-
     
  6. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular

    s0nicpr0s

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    Ah okay, sadly I'm not seeing much in the way of new drives you can put into the 2014 model. I think you'd be stuck buying ones that people have removed from other machines, and that's not necessarily ideal. Oh well, looks like an SD card for on the go extended storage is your best bet then. If using it for storage of the items you listed above, I'm sure that the 30+MB/s write is more than enough if you're not going to constantly backing up your phone to it directly. And even if you were, that's still a very respectable speed.

    Do you know which brand you are thinking of getting? Transcend is the only one I've found at 256, PNY seems to be capped at 128, or it can get pricey to do 128/200 micro sd cards.
     
  7. Macusercom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Macusercom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #7
    Well there would be some new storage solutions for the MBA but they are quite expensive (512 GB are about $600) and they're out of stock on iFixit. However, I could also sell the 128 GB module I currently have.

    Would I then void my warranty for the whole MBA or just its storage? If so, is there a seal or something so could I just switch the old 128 GB module back to make them not notice? However, I've to keep my 128 GB module then.

    The Transcend Lite would have 90 MB/sec. read and write which isn't too bad. A micro SD card with 128 GB wouldn't be enough and they are significantly slower than the Transcend Lite. Moreover, the Transcend does away with the lock switch that I wouldn't need and that could bug in the MBA like it does on other MacBooks.
     
  8. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular

    s0nicpr0s

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    Technically, I believe just opening the machine can void the warranty nowadays, let alone swapping anything in or out of it. Whether they'd be able to detect that another drive was in at some point I'm not entirely sure. Couldn't comment on whether they'd refuse to warranty anything, but I'd anticipate it'd just be storage issues. I mean, if your screen dies that has nothing to do with the SSD.
     

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