Will 256GB SSD be enough storage for most people?

trjk434

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2014
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Just for general usage (like watching movies, listening to music, MS word, etc.) - do you think 256GB will be enough?

I hear some people say that 256GB is too small for them, and I honestly don't see how that's so small. Are they like professional photoshop users or something?

Also, is the SSD on the late 2013 MBP with retina upgradable?
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
Most people who store most of their media elsewhere, yes.

I have 100gb of lossless music in my iTunes library alone, and it continually gets bigger. Then add in ripped and downloaded DVD files which are 4-8gb a piece and you can fill up 256gb quick without accounting for anything else.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,849
716
Auckland
I run OS and Apps n a 120GB SSD with usually 50GB free.

I have 70GB of music and 460GB of iPhoto library on the 1TB HDD.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
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Will 256GB SSD be enough storage for most people?

Totally different for each person.

I have a 1TB SSD in my rMBP. I haven't had less then 500GB of HD space for ~5 years. I need a lot of space, I have a bunch of Windows VMs for browser testing, movies, 100GB Boot Camp partition, 150GB of games (X-Plane is huge), pictures, music and I like to have at least 150GB free for moving things around and for growth. I'd go insane if I had to use a 256GB SSD. I don't like thinking about running out of space and I really don't think I could fit at all on a 500GB HD. I also have a 12TB NAS box (but it's mostly free space), I like space. ;)

But on the other side of the coin there are people who 100GB is more then enough.
 

Baunkjaer

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2009
369
16
Copenhagen, Denmark
Totally different for each person.

I have a 1TB SSD in my rMBP. I haven't had less then 500GB of HD space for ~5 years. I need a lot of space, I have a bunch of Windows VMs for browser testing, movies, 100GB Boot Camp partition, 150GB of games (X-Plane is huge), pictures, music and I like to have at least 150GB free for moving things around and for growth. I'd go insane if I had to use a 256GB SSD. I don't like thinking about running out of space and I really don't think I could fit at all on a 500GB HD. I also have a 12TB NAS box (but it's mostly free space), I like space. ;)

But on the other side of the coin there are people who 100GB is more then enough.
Agree. For me 250GB is more than enough. All my music/movies are stored on my NAS. On the MBP´s iTunes, I only have a few playlist...
What takes most space, is iPhoto/Aperture library..
500GB SSD would be nice, but the price is too high, and I really don´t need it.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,365
Boston
Just for general usage (like watching movies, listening to music, MS word, etc.) - do you think 256GB will be enough?
It really depends on the person. For me, 256GB is enough but I have to move some stuff to my Drobo Mini.

I only maintain a years worth of images in my Aperture Library, so last years library gets moved off my rMBP and onto my Drobo. With that said, I found this process to be better for Aperture and not dealing with a ton of images and a huge library a plus so its not just for storage that I maintain my images by year.

I have a decent sized iTunes library and various other files. I'd say for the majority of people 256GB is enough but YMMV
 

Patriks7

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2008
1,285
282
Vienna
Depends on how much media you have. When I went from a 1TB HDD to a 256GB SSD, I thought it'd be impossible. But I cleaned up my files, put all my movies and photos on an external (I mean lets face it, I don't need access to them at all times) and signed up for iTunes Match. Now I'm barely using 100GB with my personal data, applications and some media. When I need access to some photos or videos I just plug in the external HDD.
 

blooperz

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2013
287
1
I would go with the 256g internal SSD and add some sort of wireless hard drive (i.e airport extreme) so you can access anything else you need over the cloud. It's nice to be able to access your bulk storage even when you're not home.

If I recall correctly though, I believe the 256gig SSD is a good bit slower then the 512+ hard drives, but for the uses you mentioned I doubt you would notice any difference at all.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,964
4,550
Depends on how rich your media library is... The 256GB is more then enough for me, and I use a number of VMs, a 60GB or so Bootcamp install with a number of games - but I don't have lots of photos or audio on my machine. If you want to keep 20 years worth of family albums + a massive music collection, space will very quickly become sparse.
 
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accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
The thing that always worries me about not storing all your files on your main machine is the lack of backup. If you are storing most of your files on an external hard drive because you opted for a smaller than needed drive in your main machine, then you have to basically have two external drives to ensure your files are backed up. It's just a pain in the arse.

I always lean towards my main machine having enough space for everything. That way, I can have everything with me when I need it and one external is all I need simply for a backup drive.
 

kristenp

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2014
26
0
I think for most people its enough but if you do stuff like boot camp then no.

Plus you can always use the sdxc card slot for media.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,182
5,536
[[ Just for general usage (like watching movies, listening to music, MS word, etc.) - do you think 256GB will be enough? ]]

It should be enough, so long as you don't intend to _store_ entire libraries full of movies, music, or pics on it.

Those files (particularly video files) can fill a drive up quickly.

If you want to keep lots of old stuff around, best to get an external drive on which to "archive" older files. That is, movies, music and pics that you no longer view or listen to often, but still want to keep available.

It's not much of a job to copy an old movie to the MacBook, if you're just going to watch it once -- and then delete it.

Something else to consider, and it's important:
You need a backup of the contents of your internal drive, of course.
And you'll ALSO need a backup of the contents of your external archives.

Having only one copy of any file that's important to you, isn't enough.
 

kastorff

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2006
122
5
It's all about the media, or virtual machines. On one laptop with a 512 GB SSD, I consistently have about 40 GB free. On that that machine, I have 2 VMs, and about 23,000 songs in an iTunes Match library. On a newer 512 GB machine, with 4 VMs, and no local music storage, and roughly the same user data, I have 300 GB free.
 
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Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
726
69
I'm hoping so. Being a bit of a music and photo guy 256GB isn't hard to fill these days. I have a 2TB external for Time Machine and storage, I think it'll do well when I'm home, but plan on getting a low profile solid state external for travelling with mainly for photo storage.
As for running apps and such, yeah it's big enough.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,984
532
Pennsylvania
I have a 128gb SSD with Windows 8 in a VM and Visual Studio installed. I also have some music, all of my work related files, and Photoshop CS6. I have 27gb free, and the only thing I don't keep on my SSD is a WoW install.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend used up 124gb just from the OS + apps, school work and photos she took with her iPhone. Add in a Windows install, and she's close to using 256gb of space too. The difference is that since she's not "techy" and a pack rat, she doesn't clean up old files and her SSD is more likely to run out of space before mine does.

Each user is different. What do you think? My personal opinion is that 256gb is 2014 is ridiculously small.
 

Neocortex27

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2013
22
0
For me, 256 GB is not enough. I got 512 GB, and I am glad I did. I'm currently taking up about 282 GB and it's all of my photos from the last 10 years or so and lots of music. I love having the extra space for future photos!
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
The thing that always worries me about not storing all your files on your main machine is the lack of backup. If you are storing most of your files on an external hard drive because you opted for a smaller than needed drive in your main machine, then you have to basically have two external drives to ensure your files are backed up. It's just a pain in the arse.

I always lean towards my main machine having enough space for everything. That way, I can have everything with me when I need it and one external is all I need simply for a backup drive.
NAS box with RAID is the way to go.
 

codo

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2006
475
3
England, United Kingdom
The thing that always worries me about not storing all your files on your main machine is the lack of backup. If you are storing most of your files on an external hard drive because you opted for a smaller than needed drive in your main machine, then you have to basically have two external drives to ensure your files are backed up. It's just a pain in the arse.

I always lean towards my main machine having enough space for everything. That way, I can have everything with me when I need it and one external is all I need simply for a backup drive.
I completely agree with this and share the philosophy. I like my MacBook to accommodate all of my files (apart from when I used to do a significant amount of video editing - I used an external firewire HDD for scratch/render/original files).

However, all documents, music, etc is on my main machine and is backed up onto my external drive regularly. I think it's the safest option short of having a RAID backup solution (which is overkill for most in my opinion) and means you always have access to your files, wherever you are.

For me, 320GB would be the minimum.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,047
1,104
NYC
I know a lot people who only have some 60-70GB of files on their computer so 128GB would be more than enough.

It just depends on the person and what his/her needs are. It's different for everyone.

For a scenario where someone doesn't know how much he/she needs, perhaps 256GB is a good place to start. It's at a good price point while giving adequate capacity.
 

christarp

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2013
453
436
for me, It's fine, holds my music, some games, all the stuff I use on a daily basis. The only thing it won't hold is all of my movies, however I'd need more than a 1TB drive to have all of that (I rip all my blu-rays to 1080p and 720p copies).

So for MOST of my stuff (read: all of my stuff sans movies), 256GB works just fine.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,970
68
I hear some people say that 256GB is too small for them, and I honestly don't see how that's so small. Are they like professional photoshop users or something?
Usage can vary quite a bit from person to person and there are countless possibilities why 256 could be insufficient. My VM alone consumes a considerable amount of space. While I keep most of my media on my NAS I do keep some on my MBP and that easts up a considerable amount of space as well. Back when I was editing video my active project would also eat up quite a bit of space.

As for what's enough space for you, you're the best to answer that question. What are you currently using? How much growth do you anticipate? How much headroom do you want?

The thing that always worries me about not storing all your files on your main machine is the lack of backup.
One isn't necessarily related to the other. It's certainly possible to not store files on your main machine AND have backup(s).
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
1,823
1,360
An island in the Andaman Sea.
Who is "most people"?

After nearly five years the 120 GB HDD on my computer is not even half full. I guess it would be the same for many others. My first computer had only a 20 GB HDD, and that was not half full when I replaced it because it failed (after 4 years)

Beside OS X 10.8, about 15% is work files, another 5% is my own non work files, and the rest is split between iTunes (about half from my own CD collection and half from work related CDs) and photos (I delete most of the pictures I take, keeping only the ones that are of importance for one reason or another).

I had no photos or music on my first computer…. memory was relatively expensive then. I didn't have a digital camera, and listened to music from CDs

On the other hand there are those who like to squirrel away vast files of music (much of which they seldom listen to) photos (many of which are of little importance), movies and obsolete documents and more. Memory is fairly cheap these days, so why not keep everything…. for whatever reason.

Everyone's needs are different.