11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2014 10:01 AM by TuanAnhTruong
griz_fan Level 1 (0 points)



I'm considering a MacBook Air with the 128MB SSD. It will be used primarily for school work. I'm most interested in how much available space I'll have, after the OS, standard software install (iLife, etc...). I think I can get by with a 128GB drive and an external drive/cloud storage.



MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)

    After formatting the drive will provide about 120 GBs of usable space using computer arithmetic. The OS runs around 11 GBs for a full install. Pre-loaded software runs another couple of GBs. So expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 GBs for basics. Add to that about another 20 GBs for necessary free space for the OS. So that would leave you with about 86 GBs for your stuff. That would be around 92 GBs in marketing arithmetic.

  • andyandywells Level 1 (105 points)

    iwork.com allows you to store documents in the cloud so I wouldn't worry too much

  • K T Level 7 (23,700 points)

    Get by to do what?


    If you're just surfing the web and using email, music etc. you might as well just get an iPad 2

  • andyandywells Level 1 (105 points)

    K T wrote:


    Get by to do what?


    If you're just surfing the web and using email, music etc. you might as well just get an iPad 2


    Personally, I'd rather have the MacBook Air than the iPad 2.

    For surfing the web and using e-mail, music etc and creating documents, the MacBook Air is more productive (in my opinion) to create documents and surf the web etc.


    The 11 inch MacBook Air is great, light, small, just as portable, if not more portable than the iPad

  • griz_fan Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Kappy. 90GB combined with an external drive for media files, and cloud storage for docs should be perfect.

    The MBA will actually be for my daughter, who will soon be in college and will use it for home work. With all that typing, a regular keyboard is a must.

  • pdxlight Level 1 (0 points)

    I just picked up a 13" 128GB Air the other day and was left with 104GB after installing the following:


    MS Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint)

    Adobe Lightroom 3




    For what it's worth, my ipad is going on Ebay today.

  • NingOnline Level 1 (25 points)

    Wow you seem to know pretty much about SSD and usable space. I was hoping if you could help me answering the following. Btw I am sorry if I am bunching in here, I thought I had the same question plus another one related to it and I was not sure whether I should post it here or open a new thread.


    I talked to a Genius in an Apple Store and I also talked to Apple Care and they both were not sure how much usable space would be left for me to use after formatting the 128GB SSD from my rMBP 13". You said 120GB and that matches with System Information (I thought it was weird and they could not explain it either ).


    My Question: Is it normal to have 90.04GB left in my usable space after ONLY installing:

    1. iWork '09 (700MB)
    2. MS Office for Mac 2011 (1.2GB?)
    3. Coconut Battery (couple of MB)


    My rMBP 13" came with Mountain Lion OSX and iPhoto, GarageBand and iMovie preinstalled. Further I do not have any backup programmes on (Time Machine is also off), and I have not downloaded anything or put any files on my brand new rMBP.


    Yet, my free space is fluctuating couple of GB (1-2) without any reason. The only thing I have done since my new SSD (replacement) last week is surfing around searching for solutions for my other issues with this rMBP.


    Apple Care told me Mountain Lion is taking around 6GB to install. If that is true, I should have 120GB-6GB-700MB-1.2GB-couple of MB = around 112GB free space left to use? But I do not. I have only 90.04GB space left and after talking to Apple Care for a long time he adviced me to clean install Mountain Lion OSX on my rMBP.


    Just wanted to do so and came across this issue: Mountain Lion OSX is not compatible with this computer. Came back to this Community and found my answer about that. And also found this thread .

  • griz_fan Level 1 (0 points)

    Be very careful here. The operating system and applications use a certain amount of space for housekeeping (so to speak). You are over-simplifying how your storage space gets used.


    You are the victim of some pretty bad information, so before doing anything rash, take a moment....


    If you have a Retina MacBook Pro 13", your computer is 100% compatible with OSX Mountain Lion, not sure where you were told otherwise.


    Also, a clean install of the operating system likely won't change anything. At best, it might recover a small amount of storage, but it will most likely provide zero benefit after you finish restoring applications, etc...


    So... take a breath, and get some better information. I would start with installing a utility to help you correctly understand how your drive space is being used. I use Spacie (http://spacieapp.com/), which costs a few dollars from the App Store, but does a great job of showing what precisely is using up space on your SSD.


    finally - as long as you don't plan on storing video or music files (or lots of virtual machines, or other huge files), the space you have should last quite a while. If you *do* plan on storing these file types, then you need to arrive at better strategy, because that internal SSD will never be enough, no matter how carefully you manage the space.


    Thanks to the info from Kappy, we ordered the MacBook Air with the 128GB SSD for my daughter to use in college. So far, she still has tons of free space, and at her current "run rate" it will take years before she starts to run out of room.


    Message was edited by: griz_fan Oh - one more thing. Get Time Machine setup. I can speak from personal experience that this is VERY valuable. A 500GB external 2.5" hard drive would be ideal, and can save you a LOT of grief down the road (I'm speaking from personal experience here)

  • NingOnline Level 1 (25 points)

    I know I am simplifying my storage space, that was more to make a rough indication to emphasize that I think there is something wrong with my fluctuating 90GB left for usage.


    The issue with Mountain Lion reinstalling on a preinstalled rMBP 13"; I found something here https://discussions.apple.com/message/20385993#20385993


    Thank you for the tip, I will try to work/test it out. And the 128GB of 'space' should be enough for me since I also have another external HD with 1TB .

  • griz_fan Level 1 (0 points)

    as far as the fluctuation is concerned, applications and the operating system manage temporary storage in the background (temporary files, caching, things like that). so, the available space will fluctuate a bit, I wouldn't worry too much about it, unless you see a big swing (5% or more, for example). That application I mentioned should help a lot by giving you a good idea where the space is being used.


    In the meantime, I would strongly recommend against reinstalling Mountain Lion, there really isn't anything wrong with your Mac.

  • TuanAnhTruong Level 1 (0 points)


    I wonder that I have a macbook pro retina 13inch. the factory Macintosh HD is 128Gb, but when I get infor HD, it showed that I have 120,14Gb. So where is my 8gb space?


    Thank you,

    (Sorry, because it's a long time to discuss on this topic)