When Apple unveiled the Retina display with its first MacBook Pro in 2012, it came with at least 256GB of flash memory. Nearly a decade later in 2020, the entry-level MacBook Pro still includes only 256GB of storage unless you upgrade it.
Meanwhile, in 2012, the iPhone 5 came in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. In 2020, the iPhone 11 will be available in 64GB, 128GB or 256GB flavors. So why has Apple put the MacBook on a diet? And is 256GB enough space?
Let’s explore why you shouldn’t be satisfied with just 256GB of storage when you buy your next MacBook.
Unstable storage price
We expect the price of technology to drop a lot over time as it becomes more widespread. But in components like memory and storage, that’s not always the case. Scarcity is one of the biggest price increases in the technical state – think about how expensive graphics cards were in 2017 and 2018 during the encryption currency mining.
Although the price of SSDs has generally fallen over the last decade, there has also been a significant rise in prices.
When prices fell in December 2016, some manufacturers raised prices by a high percentage early next year. The increase in prices is due to changes in manufacturing technology, rising raw material costs, demand for components from other industries and frictional weather, such as the floods in Thailand in 2011.
Has Apple suffered from the volatile price of computer memory and SSDs? Sure. But the company has much more bargaining power with manufacturers than with consumers and most retailers. Probably why we’ve seen only small increases in iPhone storage (like the 64GB base level, which moves from 16GB to 32GB) rather than bigger leaps in MacBook database storage (like moving to 512GB or even 1TB). ).
Apple’s high-end offerings (like the iMac Pro) now come standard with a 1TB solid-state drive, but these machines are very expensive. The iMac Pro starts at a whopping $ 5,000; hardly anyone needs it except creative professionals.
Meanwhile, an upgrade to a 1TB SSD adds $ 400 to $ 1,299, which you’re already paying for a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Despite the cost, Apple should still offer more than 256GB of its flagship laptop.
Is 256 GB enough?
If you buy any MacBook model and plan to use it as a host, buy a model with more than 256GB of storage. Even if you only double the internal storage to 512GB, you will thank yourself in a few years. The constant juggling of free space is miserable.
In general, MacBooks usually last a long time. In addition to aging internally and lacking some of the newer cool features, you can probably use your MacBook for a better decade before you need to replace it. Of course, it doesn’t work as well as newer models, but your purchase will take longer than many other technical products.
The often commendable reliability of MacBooks is that you may have to live with your chosen machine longer than you expect. If you don’t have the money to upgrade your hardware or don’t see the point in replacing a fully serviceable laptop, unfortunately you’ll opt for a lower capacity model.
As the host, the MacBook hosts photos and iTunes libraries. Here, all iPhone photos and videos are stored, as are all media managed or purchased through iTunes. Meanwhile it is possible to store some macOS libraries remotely
Create free space by moving backups, apps, and photos away from your MacBook
to save space, it is inconvenient. You need to be reliable by connecting external drives or network drives to your local network.
If you don’t pay for iCloud storage and back up your mobile devices to the cloud, you’ll need to create regular local backups instead. These backups are stored on your computer
~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup folder. Depending on the size of the device, these backups can be huge. Storing them elsewhere is one solution, but it also depends on external drives.
If you sync files from other computers using cloud storage, they too can take up a lot of space. It’s easier to get instant access to everything instead of constantly changing what you sync, but you need free space for it.
Don’t forget to make room for your apps. If you’re a student who spends half of your digital life in a browser and the other half in a word processor, this may not be a problem. But if you’re a photographer with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you’ll probably want to make the money you earn by installing the apps you need. Applications like Premier Pro CC and Lightroom can take up several gigabytes each.
Finally, you want space for the projects you are currently working on. This can be the Lightroom library or somewhere to transfer your video files while editing. If you’re working with high-bit-rate video or other media that depends on fast read-write performance, you’ll probably need to keep the source files on an SSD instead of the old external drive.
It is better to buy big
It’s always better to buy more storage than you need in the beginning than to try to upgrade later. While you can increase storage by replacing the drive on older models, most 2016 and later MacBooks are not user-upgradeable.
The latest MacBook Pro models include soldered RAM, a glued battery, and a patented solid-state drive that Apple doesn’t make available outside of its own channels. It is possible that we will eventually see compatible SSDs on the gray market, but they are unlikely to be cheap. You must also perform the update yourself.
You can currently only purchase SSD upgrades for MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2015 or earlier. While this is a great option that is cost effective if you have a compatible machine, it has its drawbacks.
Performing such an upgrade yourself will void the warranty and any purchased AppleCare plans. You can look at other methods add storage to your MacBook
How to add storage to your MacBook: 6 workable methods
, but the latest models lack an SD card reader. This was the previous method of adding comfortable storage space to the capacity of your laptop.
Apple bets on iCloud
macOS Sierra introduced a feature called Store in iCloud. This automatically downloads the files to iCloud, and when storage is low, it keeps only recently opened files on the system so you can access them locally. This only works if you have enough free iCloud storage after enabling the feature below System Preferences> Apple ID> iCloud.
Likewise, iCloud Photos offers high-resolution photo storage so you can optimize your local space with lower-quality copies. Subscribing to Apple Music gives you access to about 30 million songs, while the iCloud Music Library offers them for all your devices. However, you need a data connection to stream them.
The main reason most people buy more iCloud storage is enough space for cloud backups. This eliminates the difficulty of storing all your backup data locally. Apple’s 5GB of free storage hasn’t grown since it introduced the service in 2011, despite pushing customers toward cloud solutions.
But while iCloud is meant to collect laxity, we still desperately need more local storage.
When smaller is better for MacBook
If you already have a desktop or other primary computer, saving your MacBook is much less worrying. Failure to keep personal photos and iTunes purchases can even improve productivity. You can save money by choosing a smaller model and relying on the tasks you need to store your host.
For anyone else who is wondering how much storage space they need for their MacBook: consider how long you wait to use your machine and your storage requirements before purchasing. 512GB of space is decent if you’re not going to install large apps or keep huge photo / video libraries around you. If you need to, get at least 1TB. Otherwise, you’ll need to add more MacBook space by relying on external drives, cloud, and network storage.
If you have little space and can’t upgrade your machine, look how to free up space on a mac
How to free up space on your Mac: 8 tips and advice you need to know