8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2012 9:05 PM by lesliepaul
BreckSarah Level 1 Level 1

Hi, I am about ready to convert from a PC to a 13 inch MacBook Air for work purposes. I have been a Mac user personally since the beginning. I will use this computer for email, word docs, some music and some photos. My PC says I have only used 40gb of storage ( but I have about 5000 songs on an external drive)- so my question is: would I be crazy to just get the 128gb flash drive or should I go for the 256? My company is on a budget, but they said they will get me what I need. I'm just happy to be going to a MAC for work, and don't want to get more than I need.


Any thoughts or suggestions??




MacBook Air
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    If you are comfortable keeping all your files on an external drive then the smaller SSD would be sufficient. But if you need to keep everything on the computer's storage media  then you may need a larger SSD for that (or a HDD, if that is an option.)


    I had a 2010 MBA with the 128 GB SSD and found it more than adequate for my needs but I could not consider storing my entire iTunes library on the SSD because it was more than 30 GBs. The basic OS with support files and the pre-installed iLife apps takes close to 15 GBs of storage. The SSD provides a net 120 GBs, so that leaves about 105 GBs of free space. Deduct from that about 20 GBs to leave as free space for OS X, and you have about 80-85 GBs for files and data. Hopefully, this gives you a little bit of an idea whether you can get by with the smaller SSD.


    Also, be sure you get the model with 4 GBs of RAM.

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4

    An 8gb iPod can hold (give or take) about 2000 songs. So 5000 songs is about 16gb (give or take). Round it up to 20 to be on the ultra safe side combined with the 40gbs and we're talking 60gb.


    That's more then enough room, really. It's surprising how little room things take up now--music, mail, documents, photos (I've got tons of photos), these really don't take up much space at all. Videos and games and big programs that deal with videos, games or heavy photoshopping is what you have to watch out for--these tend to take up a lot of space. Which is to say, if it doesn't look like you're going to be putting a lot of videos or games or heavy-duty programs on your computer in the future, then 128gb should be just fine.


    I got the 128 11" Air about six or more months ago, started off using half the storage, and I'm only a little over half now. But all I put on it is documents, a new song now and then, a few photos. Most of the storage space is taken up by the programs I need which are writing programs and such--like Microsoft Office. And these are fairly modest in their demands. You don't say what work you'll be doing on this computer, but if it's a matter of doing numbers or creating documents and such, then don't be afraid to go for the 128gb.

  • chipperz Level 2 Level 2

    A lot depends on what you plan to store on your HDD.  Photos and other files can safely be stored on a CD or DVD and uploaded when you need them, rather than wasting space sitting on the HDD.  I went for the 256 GB SSD only because I felt more comfortable with the extra storage capacity.  The choice is yours.  If you use certain files constantly or very often, then save them to your HDD; if you use files infrequently, they are probably best left on a CD or DVD or even a USB drive.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5

    It's a $300 upgrade on the 13" MBA to go from 128GB to 256GB. Personally if you're on a budget (the company that is) and you're not certain you need the storage I'd say skip it. Worst case scenario you can pick up an external HD down the road with a whole more storage capabilities (for less) to take with you. Yes, I realize that lugging around even a bus-powered external drive can be a hassle but given the form factor of many of them it's a marginal inconvenience. Heck you could even pick up a couple of a 32GB SD cards if you really wanted to as an alternative option.


    Plus if it's a work computer, do you really want to store your personal music library on it anyway?

  • lesliepaul Level 1 Level 1

    Personally i'd say that get the 256 GB one. You should plan for future use even if you may not need one now. Having more storage definitely helps. Although it costs more since its flash storage, it'll help you achieve the highest productivity by being fast!

  • dwb Level 7 Level 7

    If we were talking about an upgradable computer I'd say, "Sure, you obviously can live in the 128GB computer now and probably for another year or two unless something changes and if need be you can get a larger drive." But the MBA isn't upgradable (at a decent price and without voiding the warranty) so I have a harder time recommending the 128GB drive.

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4

    I presume Sarah already got her computer as this was posted back in October. Now, of course, she would have the option of upgrading either sized Air (11" or 13") to not only 256 but up to 512, with 8gb RAM. I suspect, however, that such advice is a little late at this point.

  • lesliepaul Level 1 Level 1

    Yeah I guess we are replying Sarah for future descendant use of macbooks! ha!