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mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I am contemplating purchasing a 2012 MBA and am unable to determine whether I should drop the additional $500 for a 512GB SSD. Is the SSD upgradable should I decide to go with the 256GB SSD?

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (38,440 points)

    The Air is not noted by Apple to be user upgradable.  First priority should be the amount of memory...go for the most you can afford there.  The mass storage can be augmented at home by an external hard drive, slower than the SSD but once started up and application is loaded you can have a lot of data stored for a fraction of the cost of the large SSD.

  • mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you. I should have also added a few notes on intended use of this laptop. Here it is:

     

    - Bootcamp (Windows 7, Windows 8 when available). Will run MS Office in Bootcamp.

    - Logic Express 9 and a bunch of plugins. However, this will not be my main DAW, so only limited editing will be done.

    - VMWare fusion - will run the Bootcamp partition as a VM

    - Most of my music and movies will be in the cloud.

     

    Based on this, would you believe that the 2012 MBA (i7, 8GB, 256GB) will be a good fit?

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (38,440 points)

    The i7 and 8 GB ram, yes...the 256 GB SSD may be a little small...are you using a similar setup now, and if so, how much space do you need?  Do you really need the speed of the SSD for the Windows work and Logic work or could you get by with puting that on an external drive?  Or at least the associated applications and just Win on the SSD?  That way you still get the faster bootup but slower access to the applications and dats files.

  • mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I am using a similar setup now, but hardly ever do any editing on Logic which I do on my Mini (lots of RAM and storage). What is non-negotiable is being able to run Windows and also having at least 100GB to spare for future growth. I thinking through this, 256GB may be small and 500GB is what I should probably target. Howeve, this puts total cost well into the MacBook Pro range. Portability is an objective, but the cost seems prohibitive.

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 8 Level 8 (38,440 points)

    You are right, 256 GB does not leave you with much when one criterion is to have such a large future use space.  The MBP is a fine machine, and it is upgradable by the user.  So you can save some money on memory at the purchsae and install yourself for a fraction of the cost.  And have much larger mass storage.  You could spend some time at an Apple store or reseller and use both machines and see which feels like it would serve you the best.

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)

    It seems like you are putting more and more stuff in places other than the laptop. If you think this will continue in the future, you might be safe with the 256gb. I understand wanting at least 100gb to spare for future growth, but remember that what takes up the most space on computers is programs. Is it likely that you'll be getting any new, heavy-duty programs for this computer as compared to your Mini?

     

    And while I'm in agreement wit the "better safe than sorry" logic of getting more HD--when thinking about cost, remember (1) this is SSD--that's not what you get with a Macbook Pro--in fact, if you want that with an MBP, you'll have to pay much, much more and (2) Portablity is rather like a view of the ocean. You can buy a cheaper house with more room, but you won't get that view. Same here. How key is the lightness of the computer? If it's very key, then either go with 256 and work around it (larger cloud?) or pay for the bigger home with the same view. If it's not so key, if money and space are more important, then you'll need to surrender your dream of an ocean view. 

     

    How much do you plan to put on that disk anyway? Do you know?

  • mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I cannot think of heavy-duty that I will add over the next year. Logic and iLife on the Mac and Office 2010 on the Windows partition is all I can think of. There are other utilities and programs that I will use, but these are all very lightweight.

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)

    Then, likely, 256gb will do the trick--with room to spare. But if you get the computer, put everything on it, and find it too tight, you can always return it within 14 days and go for something else.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)

    That $500 price point for the move from 256 to 512GB is pretty scary. Especially when you consider what that same $500 can get you with external storage (multiple terabytes). I was faced with a similar situation when the offering was 128GB about moving to the 256GB solution and ultimately I decided against it and off loaded to external drives. Is that at all possible in your situation? You've mention how you're using the Mac said but you said that you wanted 100GB of space on the Windows side, for what exactly?

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    Not the new Retina Display model. It's a lot closer to being a MBA than a MBP.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)

    RRFS wrote:

     

    Not the new Retina Display model. It's a lot closer to being a MBA than a MBP.

     

    Minus the 1GB of VRAM, quad core i7 and dual Thunderbolt ports, right?

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    But you CAN'T upgrade the guts anymore.

  • mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I have decided that it simply makes more sense to get a new MBP 13" i7 with 8 GB RAM. I will repace the 5200rpm HDD with a 7200rpm HDD. All of this for under $1500.

  • 21Reasonz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is a tough decision, but luckily prices have continuted to come down.  For example, you can now get the best SSD at 512 GB for much much less:

     

     

    Crucial m4

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL3Y

    /___sbsstatic___/migration-images/197/19762018-1.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You can still also get a 256GB SSD for less as well:

     

     

    Samsung 830

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0077CR66A

    /___sbsstatic___/migration-images/197/19762018-2.jpg

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