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Question Do you really need more SSD Storage on a MacBook?

Super Spartan

Member
Aug 1, 2020
32
4
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So I remember last year when I bought a MacBook Pro 16, I custom ordered one with 4TB of SSD Storage which took 5 weeks since it's not a standard config which you cant just buy from a store. Now when I set it up and whatnot, I realized I am barely using any of that because all my documents, pics, etc were on the iCloud Storage which is very cheap. The only thing I guess I used the 4TB storage was to copy my entire movie library locally on the laptop but now that we have these very small sized portable SSDs I am wondering, is that really a must to buy more storage? What for? What am I missing here?

Reason I ask is because at the local stores here in Dubai they only have the new M1 Chipset MacBook Pro 13's with either 256GB or 512GB SSDs and only 8GB of RAM not the 16GB.

I hate waiting and was contemplating picking one of these little bad boys with their insane battery life for when I am out and about.

Also, is having an iPhone a MUST to be able to take advantage of all the features such as authentication and whatnot for Apple Pay and logging into my Apple ID? I'd hate to give up my Google Pixel 5 and pay an insane amount of money for these iPhones.
 
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Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
8,136
5,183
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So I remember last year when I bought a MacBook Pro 16, I custom ordered one with 4TB of SSD Storage which took 5 weeks since it's not a standard config which you cant just buy from a store. Now when I set it up and whatnot, I realized I am barely using any of that because all my documents, pics, etc were on the iCloud Storage which is very cheap. The only thing I guess I used the 4TB storage was to copy my entire movie library locally on the laptop but now that we have these very small sized portable SSDs I am wondering, is that really a must to buy more storage? What for? What am I missing here?

Reason I ask is because at the local stores here in Dubai they only have the new M1 Chipset MacBook Pro 13's with either 256GB or 512GB SSDs and only 8GB of RAM not the 16GB.

I hate waiting and was contemplating picking one of these little bad boys with their insane battery life for when I am out and about.

Also, is having an iPhone a MUST to be able to take advantage of all the features such as authentication and whatnot for Apple Pay and logging into my Apple ID? I'd hate to give up my Google Pixel 5 and pay an insane amount of money for these iPhones.
Storage doesn't mean as much as it used to, that's for sure. If the movies you like are available to stream, there's not much point to keeping them locally unless you're worried they'll vanish from a given subscription service (and if they're purchased, you'll likely have access to them for at least as long as the company survives). I don't think I'd need more than 512GB for the next few years, and can likely get by on 256GB.

With that said: I don't know that I'd rush out to get an M1 Mac in your position unless I wanted to downsize. Your 16-inch MBP is still a very capable beast, and you won't even have to think about app compatibility.

You don't need an iPhone for Apple Pay and other authentication on a Mac as long as the system has Touch ID, like your MBP does. It might be helpful for two-factor authentication when signing into your Apple ID, but that's about it. Most of the advantages of an iPhone-and-Mac combo come from the ease of syncing, transferring media and handling calls/texts (it's wonderful to simply answer a call on your computer).
 
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Super Spartan

Member
Aug 1, 2020
32
4
16
Storage doesn't mean as much as it used to, that's for sure. If the movies you like are available to stream, there's not much point to keeping them locally unless you're worried they'll vanish from a given subscription service (and if they're purchased, you'll likely have access to them for at least as long as the company survives). I don't think I'd need more than 512GB for the next few years, and can likely get by on 256GB.

With that said: I don't know that I'd rush out to get an M1 Mac in your position unless I wanted to downsize. Your 16-inch MBP is still a very capable beast, and you won't even have to think about app compatibility.

You don't need an iPhone for Apple Pay and other authentication on a Mac as long as the system has Touch ID, like your MBP does. It might be helpful for two-factor authentication when signing into your Apple ID, but that's about it. Most of the advantages of an iPhone-and-Mac combo come from the ease of syncing, transferring media and handling calls/texts (it's wonderful to simply answer a call on your computer).
Thanks a lot for this detailed answer!
 

Fir

Senior member
Jan 15, 2010
463
178
116
I usually get what's best bang for buck and performance.
2TB for 15 and 16" models.
1TB for 13 including the M1 I'm replying on now.

With thunderbolt, you can really get super fast external storage that can used for big (video) project files and not need to spend time copying to nvme storage. And needlessly wearing the flash down too.

8TB on the 16" is kind of crazy, I guess for someone that keeps everything on internal storage that may be the way to go.

But be forewarned too, if your logic board suddenly dies and you have to get it replaced all that data is gone! IMHO it makes more sense to keep it sensible and use external storage. A 10Gbps NAS/SAN is also another option.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
8,136
5,183
136
I usually get what's best bang for buck and performance.
2TB for 15 and 16" models.
1TB for 13 including the M1 I'm replying on now.

With thunderbolt, you can really get super fast external storage that can used for big (video) project files and not need to spend time copying to nvme storage. And needlessly wearing the flash down too.

8TB on the 16" is kind of crazy, I guess for someone that keeps everything on internal storage that may be the way to go.

But be forewarned too, if your logic board suddenly dies and you have to get it replaced all that data is gone! IMHO it makes more sense to keep it sensible and use external storage. A 10Gbps NAS/SAN is also another option.
Mind you, if you're the kind of person who can make use of an 8TB SSD, you almost certainly have extensive backups and network storage ready to go!

The OP likely doesn't need external non-backup storage since this is more for watching movies and documents, but a backup, absolutely. As I like to put it: imagine your home is on fire and you have 30 seconds to grab anything you can't afford to lose... a backup drive is much easier to take than a laptop.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,049
357
126
On my non Mac laptop I have 6tb but I game heavily and games are in the 100+ gb range now. Being that Mac is not a gaming platform you don't need that capacity. I only think it's necessary if you use it in a more professional manner, like video editing and such.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,781
519
126
My M1 MBP is the 256GB variant, and the only large use of data that I have is Xcode. Although, given that Xcode is a fairly beefy program, I might feel slightly more at ease with 512GB, but it isn't that necessary. I'd say... just make sure you delete your unneeded downloads.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
8,136
5,183
136
My M1 MBP is the 256GB variant, and the only large use of data that I have is Xcode. Although, given that Xcode is a fairly beefy program, I might feel slightly more at ease with 512GB, but it isn't that necessary. I'd say... just make sure you delete your unneeded downloads.
This reminds me of my fiancée's experience. She was using a Lenovo IdeaPad netbook with 32GB of storage for over five years. Leaping from that to a MacBook Air with 256GB of storage was a minor revelation, especially when she has no real need for locally stored media. She might as well have infinite space as far as she's concerned.

It's those kinds of leaps that put Apple's storage choices in context. Enthusiasts would definitely be more comfortable with 512GB or more at this point, but there's a legion of people who never really use their laptop's storage aside from storing a few Microsoft Office files and maybe some offline copies of their favorite streaming music playlists. I'm fine with 256GB if Apple and others can sell powerful laptops to more people.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,640
309
126
Storage doesn't mean as much as it used to, that's for sure. If the movies you like are available to stream, there's not much point to keeping them locally unless you're worried they'll vanish from a given subscription service (and if they're purchased, you'll likely have access to them for at least as long as the company survives). I don't think I'd need more than 512GB for the next few years, and can likely get by on 256GB.

With that said: I don't know that I'd rush out to get an M1 Mac in your position unless I wanted to downsize. Your 16-inch MBP is still a very capable beast, and you won't even have to think about app compatibility.

You don't need an iPhone for Apple Pay and other authentication on a Mac as long as the system has Touch ID, like your MBP does. It might be helpful for two-factor authentication when signing into your Apple ID, but that's about it. Most of the advantages of an iPhone-and-Mac combo come from the ease of syncing, transferring media and handling calls/texts (it's wonderful to simply answer a call on your computer).
what service has a giant library of UHD 4k blurays to stream? i guess you could say if you are boring and have no memories in life you wouldnt need much storage. Some people have video files that are 100gb each i can just imagine when we get to 8k movies (i only filmed a few so far but each was over 50gb. So you have to decide, do you have NAS DAS / home server? then storage is irrelevant, if its your only storage / machine 4tb would only backup your phone a few times before maxing out.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
8,136
5,183
136
what service has a giant library of UHD 4k blurays to stream? i guess you could say if you are boring and have no memories in life you wouldnt need much storage. Some people have video files that are 100gb each i can just imagine when we get to 8k movies (i only filmed a few so far but each was over 50gb. So you have to decide, do you have NAS DAS / home server? then storage is irrelevant, if its your only storage / machine 4tb would only backup your phone a few times before maxing out.
I know streaming and downloadable video haven't necessarily matched Blu-ray in quality, but I don't think that's really a concern for most people. Online video is frequently "good enough," and services like Disney+ offer pretty high quality.

I have plenty of memories... but I also don't record a ton of video. Mostly photos. And I probably won't need a few hundred gigabytes just for those, even with some videos peppered in between!

I can appreciate wanting to have large local collections, but please don't suggest that everyone should be like you. Plenty of us have more modest storage demands, or don't use a laptop as our main machine.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,640
309
126
I know streaming and downloadable video haven't necessarily matched Blu-ray in quality, but I don't think that's really a concern for most people. Online video is frequently "good enough," and services like Disney+ offer pretty high quality.

I have plenty of memories... but I also don't record a ton of video. Mostly photos. And I probably won't need a few hundred gigabytes just for those, even with some videos peppered in between!

I can appreciate wanting to have large local collections, but please don't suggest that everyone should be like you. Plenty of us have more modest storage demands, or don't use a laptop as our main machine.
cough cough.. isnt that what i said if you dont use it as your main machine or have some other storage then it wouldn't matter as much. BUT the real question is what will the laptop be used for and since they mentioned not even using the 4tb and using the cloud then 512gb sounds totally fine.

As far as streaming services, yea most people just dont know how much better teh quality gets, they buy 400$ big screens and pay 200$ a month for cable and watch at 1080p, i havnt had cable / satellite / antenna for 15 years.

what about apple pay? no idea, you can get some kinda apple watch i guess to use that? or a iphone 6 or newer? i havnt used a touch pay system except for at chucky cheese :p
 

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