System Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tsl90, Aug 8, 2013.

?

Next step?

  1. External HD on the network / MBA

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. New MBP to manage system / storage

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Desktop / MBA

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. Other

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. tsl90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #1
    Looking to get a better system for home/work.

    Currently I just have a 7yo MBP 15in with a 160G HD that is getting bloated. I keep all the photos and music on this. The computer is used for web browsing, email, minimal photo editing, connecting to remote desk top at work... Nothing real demanding. I have a Time Capsule and keep regular backups since I worry about losing photos.

    Since my HD is nearing capacity I need to figure out a next step. I have been torn b/n iPad and 13in rMBP vs MBA to use daily for work. But I still need to figure out what to do to manage the family photo library, etc...

    Options as I see them:

    I suppose I could figure out how to keep my itunes and iphoto libraries on an external drive connected to the network. I think it's possible. I'm afraid it would become cumbersome, but please let me know if this is easy. If so I would probably just get a MBA for work and maybe an iPad for the wife. As long as I could manage everything with external storage on the network I think I'd be OK.

    Next option would be new MBP and just keep working the way I am. I'd rather get something smaller that I can take back and forth to work. But the HD in the new stuff is so big, I could continue this way.

    Another option would be to get a desktop to keep at home and manage photos etc... Then the MBA... If I get a desktop I'd prefer to stick with a Mac, but I'm not sure. Having a Windows machine around might simplify things now and then and would be cheaper - but I suspect it might complicate some issues with everything else being Mac... I even thought about hoping the current Mac Pros get way cheap after the update happens (I'd even get a refurb) and that way I'd have a reasonably powerful and expandable desktop that hopefully will fill that role for a while. But this option requires the expense of a monitor as well...

    Still in the planning stages obviously. Would appreciate advice.

    Thanks

    TL
     
  2. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #2
    Sharing large iPhoto libraries over a network is slow, very slow actually. iTunes is different because it can load song individually. iPhoto loads very large portions of the library at once, with a lot of metadata going back and forth.

    I would wait for a haswell MBP, they will be a much better performing laptop. There is also a 512GB option for the new MBA

    The desktop could have lots of storage, but i would judge whether you really need it or not.
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    You didn't say anything was wrong with your current computer other than the disk capacity, so why not just replace it with a larger drive? That's less than a tenth the cost of any other solution!
     
  4. tsl90 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the ideas.

    Do I NEED a desktop? No definitely not. But if it simplified things in a major way and gave me more options down the road I could afford it.

    And I have considered just getting a larger HD in my current MBP. At 7yr or so old it is showing it's age a bit. In other ways besides having a full HD. The fan runs a lot, and has an annoying rattle. It will need another new battery soon (must be the 5th or so...). I think it is getting old. But it is functional. My biggest issue with it is that I'd like to have something more portable that I could take to work and back.
     
  5. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #5
    What are you thoughts on a MBA and a thunderbolt storage add-on?
     
  6. tsl90 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #6
    My first thoughts are that I don't know what that is... Sounds like option one.

    I'll do some googling.

    Thanks
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    A 13" Macbook Air would greatly increase your portability and be better in all respects except for slightly fewer display pixels. If you get it with 256GB drive that's more than 50% additional storage space which should keep you going for a while, and it is possible to replace with a still larger drive in the future.
     
  8. tsl90 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #8
    Thanks, both of you.

    So, thunderbolt external HD. Yes, with a MBA it would be very doable. I had imagined an external HD attached to the Time Capsule and available to anyone on the network, but this could work too.

    I wonder if there's an easy way to automate backups of the external hd either to the TC or another external drive?

    Also - my current MBP doesn't have usb3. Some thunderbolt drives have usb3 ports also.

    I could theoretically get one of these:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=10GE2SRNV4YV4MVNNF1A

    That would let me connect to my current MBP now, and then to my MBA via thunderbolt later.

    I've read mixed reviews on those card adapters. Anyone know a safe one?



    I'm definitely leaning toward a MBA for everyday use. I need to look at them in person and decide how much I will miss the retina display. I am fine with the display on my MBP now. Not sure how it stacks up to the one on the current MBA. It's probably mostly psychological. When I see a rMBP and like the super sharp screen I'll always remember my MBA isn't quite as good... But I'll bet the MBA is the best answer for me now.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    Things have gotten more involved. You have more than one computer? The TC or an external drive on the TC is the easiest way to share data, but it will be slow.

    Hanging an external drive on the computer is faster but is a ball on the end of a chain in terms of portability. I would hope 256GB internal on the MBA would be enough for you, otherwise you could go to 512GB but it's now getting pricy.

    SuperDuper! and I would expect CarbonCopyCloner will backup one drive to another when the backup drive is connected. You need to connect the drive on a schedule -- these programs aren't intended for continuous backup.

    USB2 can be used. Unless your external is a SSD or a RAID array you won't get any greater performance with Thunderbolt over FW800 (which I hope you have in the MBP) or USB3, so could use a external case like this http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB
     
  10. tsl90 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #10
    To clarify - I only have the MBP now. I have guests that access the network - and if I get a MBA I will likely still have the MBP in play.

    The portability issue is why I ideally wanted an external HD that stayed tethered to the network as opposed to one I had to plug into my laptop, but that's not a dealbreaker. If I use the external HD for my photo library I will want a duplicate. I don't want the photos only in one place. So I will need two drives. Unless I could back up the external drive to the Time Capsule when it is attached to the MBA. I won't upload pics to the external drive every day. So just occasional backups of the ext drive would be OK. But automating it would be nice. To TC would be ideal.

    I suspect 256GB is adequate. Of course thats what I thought about 160GB a few years ago.

    I could migrate everything on my MBP to the new laptop and continue as I am now. I just think I'd be better off if I had a system that didn't keep all those files on my laptop all the time.

    Thanks again for the input.
     
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    Have you considered an iMac plus an iPad? Gives you portability, power, and disk space at a lower cost. I take my iPad almost everywhere but only take my MBP when I need its capability.
     
  12. tsl90 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #12
    Thanks.

    I have considered that option. I consider it a variation of #3.

    When I see people and their ipads, I want one. But when I think about how I use my computer and the word processing I do, I think I'd be better served by a laptop. Not 100% sure.
     

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