What should I get to supplement the SSD of my Retina Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TheChad25, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. TheChad25 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012
    Hi everyone, I just ordered a new Macbook Pro Retina display with 16gb Ram, the 256GB SSD, & the 2.3 GHz processor. I currently use about 550 GB on my 2007 iMac that I'm migrating away from. I'm a graphic designer that does a lot of work with Photoshop & Illustrator. I also do a little web design, have a large iPhoto collection, and a pretty big iTunes collection too.

    I'm worried 256 GB won't be enough for me, so how can I make the most of what I have? I've heard it's important to install your actual programs on the SSD (is that accurate?), but should I put all my photos, music, movies, etc on an external drive? Is it a better solution to put it 'in the cloud'? I've considered iTunes match but haven't tried it, and that only solves part of the problem. If an external drive is the way to go, should I go USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, or does it matter? What about external ssd/hdd? I'm up for suggestions on a good external drive.

    I haven't really done much computer shopping since 2007 and since technology has changed a lot since then, I could use some help and explanations of why your solution is best since I'm new to USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, SSDs, etc. Also, the laptop stretched my budget, so the cheaper the solution to the storage issues, the better, thanks!
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Anything with Thunderbolt would be prohibitively expensive, so you Shoukd probably go with USB 3.
  3. Rmafive macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2008
    Richmond, Virginia
    Check out Seagate. You can get a usb 3.0 external drive that you can upgrade to thunderbolt down the road if you need an increase in speed (for only $180).
  4. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    I keep my music (MP3 and AAC, these are synced with my iPhone) directly on the MBPR, but the FLAC version stays on external. Only a small subset of my pictures and movies go on the MBPR for space reasons.

    I don't entirely trust the cloud to be available at all times e.g. Murphy's Law. The most I'll do is keep a full copy of my files in a NAS at home, but as far as storing things in the cloud, no. What happened to MegaUpload can well happen to places like DropBox.

    USB3 will suffice for most external storage needs. TB might be good to have for a video scratch disk.
  5. golu14 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2012
    Delhi, India
    A usb 3.0 drive, or if u need a more portable and permanent solution, a 128gig sdxc card (lexar 400x for about 170$ it has 65mb+ 'minimum' read speed)

    But nothing like a 450mbps built in chip.
    Do it my way, fill what you have right now. Till then this flash chip will be available on ebay, get it from there, if u ever need one.

    Or get apple time capsule, 2tb wireless for 300$ :)
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have a qnap NAS so all my media, i.e., music and other large files are stored there. Its a bit pricey but the NAS allows me to back up my other computers and access the data.

    Short of that a USB drive is the next logical option
  7. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Not easy to replace a failing Time Capsule hard drive for most people. If either the router/switch or the HDD portion of Time Capsule fails, you're screwed, it's best to keep them physically and logically separate.
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    We need a bit more info to recommend the best solution for you.

    1. Are your storage needs growing? In other words, you said you use about 550GB now. How many GBs (on average) do you add per month?

    2. Do you need to access the data while on the go or is it enough that you can access it at home?

    If your storage needs are growing rapidly, then your best solution would be to get a NAS or multi-bay USB 3.0 enclosure. That way you can add storage as your needs grow. The benefit of NAS is that it can be accessed by any computer in the network and you don't need to be plugged in. USB 3.0, on the other hand, is faster and most likely cheaper as well.

    If you need your data while out of the house, then an external HD is pretty much your only option. 2.5" drives go up to 2TB nowadays and they don't need an external power supply like 3.5" drives do.

    But yeah, give us a bit more info and it will be easier for us to help.
  9. TheChad25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2012

    1. I'd say they're growing at a fairly consistent speed, but nothing crazy. It took me 5 years to get to 550gb and I'd say that pace is just a little faster now. I hope to clear some of that 550gb when I switch, but I don't know how much I'll be able to.

    2. Its a plus being able to take everything with me, even if its a little bulky and in my laptop case. I already have an old USB 2.0 500gb drive to keep at home and dump excess files into that I may or may not ever use.

    Someone also mentioned earlier the possibility of getting a big SD card and keeping it in the laptop. Is that a good solution from others experiences or would that be slow and not fit to keep things like my iTunes collection to free up space? If so, whats a good card for that? Also suggestions for 2.5" external HDs could be good to so I could research and look at those solutions to compare costs.
  10. The "Dude" macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2011
    I agree. I got a Western Digital Passport 1.5tb portable drive on Amazon for $150. It's USB 3 so it's plenty fast. I now keep my movie collection (800gb) on this as opposed to the SSD.

    Storage solutions are plentiful and relatively cheap. If you're willing to deal with plugging in a peripheral from time to time, you will have no issues with space. And Thunderbolt is overkill I think for what you want to do. USB 3 will serve you fine.
  11. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    if i were going for a smaller capacity 2.5 inch hd, i would get a lacie usb 3 drive. they are really sleek, and only a few dollars more than normal.

    i went with a 2tb wb passport for $200. usb 3, and 2.5" hd.
  12. golu14 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2012
    Delhi, India
    Just wondering, is there a usb 3.0 to thunderbolt adaptor available?

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