How to live with a Mac mini or MacBook Air with a small internal drive

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  • Reply 21 of 59
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 631member
    wait wait what?  I have had an older mac be my server for my newer machine with faster smaller hard drives for UM, 25+ years?  I mean some guys say a NAS, but I never liked that idea, to each there own.  But my gosh just setup an SMB server $200 Mac Pro, hook up 4 TB or something, you can even hookup a $99 4 TB USB drive to a $40 Airport Extreme Base Station, and make a "NAS" and share files wirelessly from that.  Am I missing something? a... no.

    MacBook Air 128GB  $500 (used) (or MacBook Pro 13" 2018, $1500)
    Airport Extreme $40 (used)
    4TB WD Book $100 (new!)
    Cable Modem.  DONE?

    gees...
  • Reply 22 of 59
    Chapman8torChapman8tor Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Buying an external drive to make up for the Mac Mini's lack of reasonably-priced internal storage makes it the ultimate dongle and an insult to customers. Go to any Best Buy and you can find a half terabyte internal SSD for under $60. I understand the case with Apple is the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts, but Apple's margin on storage shouldn't be as high as the markup for gold. 
    kestral
  • Reply 23 of 59
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,746member
    And for those on the move?
    Today (Saturday) I'm off to photograph an event. Last year I took 351Gb of images with a 36Mp camera. Now I have a 48Mp Camera it will be worse.
    So I'm going to have my 1TB MacBook plus three 2GB SSD's (2 as backups). One contains my Lightroom Catalogue so the images will be copied there before two backups are made.
    Back home I'll merge the catalogue with my master on my Hackintosh that has 10TB of SSD/HDD in the case plus a Drobo and QNAP NAS systems as backups.
    I'd hate to think what storage I'd need if I started shooting in 4K Video.

    The price that apple charge for SSD's is silly and really need to come down an awful lot.

    I'm moving from 2.5in SSD's to M2 format as the overall size inc case is a lot smaller and easier to carry with my camera gear.

    128Gb for my use case is laughable.

    Sounds complicated.  I shoot almost that much every year with underwater photographs, and portraits.

    i have a  1TB quad-I7 iMac w/64GB RAM, connected to a 12TB TB2 Promise RAID tower which stores all my photos.  After each shoot, I upload a compressed folder to Dropbox.  I backup my Lightroom catalogue every month.  That’s it.

    i have peace of mind because my photos are backed up offsite so if my hardware gets stolen or house burns down, I still have them.
    Chapman8tordewmechia
  • Reply 24 of 59
    My mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13” with 2x1TB SSDs is still my daily machine for this very reason. My portable is a 512GB 12” 2016 MacBook. The only issues with this setup are Photos and iTunes. I have iTunes Match, but that’s useless on a plane, so there goes 100GB. If I want to watch purchased movies - that’s not so bad - I just download them and drag to an external, delete them from the MBP and whenever I want to watch a movie, I run it from the external, it uploads to iTunes and there’s the movie I want to watch. As for Photos - that’s a cluster with the 12” MB and iCloud Photos is off on that.
    What really gets me though is the price difference between a 256GB iPhone XS and the 512GB iPhone XS. Why the Macs can’t have the same price difference between capacities that iPhones have is crazy. And forget backing up my iPhone to the 12” MacBook. They have the same capacity. This forces us to have to upgrade iCloud storage to either 1TB or 2TB. Apple know what they’re doing, but it sucks.
    MacBook and MBP wise it should be simple like it is on say an XBox One - just connect an external and it’ll do it all for you.
    igohmmm
  • Reply 25 of 59
    sflocal said:


    Sounds complicated.  I shoot almost that much every year with underwater photographs, and portraits.

    i have a  1TB quad-I7 iMac w/64GB RAM, connected to a 12TB TB2 Promise RAID tower which stores all my photos.  After each shoot, I upload a compressed folder to Dropbox.  I backup my Lightroom catalogue every month.  That’s it.

    i have peace of mind because my photos are backed up offsite so if my hardware gets stolen or house burns down, I still have them.
    I settled on this setup because I go off on trips where I take lots and lots of photos. eg Safari in Tanzania. Last year, I averaged over 90Gb/day (raw + JPG) so just taking the MBP without the extra drives is a total no-go.
  • Reply 26 of 59
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    kdc1174 said:
    My mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13” with 2x1TB SSDs is still my daily machine for this very reason. My portable is a 512GB 12” 2016 MacBook. The only issues with this setup are Photos and iTunes. I have iTunes Match, but that’s useless on a plane, so there goes 100GB. If I want to watch purchased movies - that’s not so bad - I just download them and drag to an external, delete them from the MBP and whenever I want to watch a movie, I run it from the external, it uploads to iTunes and there’s the movie I want to watch. As for Photos - that’s a cluster with the 12” MB and iCloud Photos is off on that.
    What really gets me though is the price difference between a 256GB iPhone XS and the 512GB iPhone XS. Why the Macs can’t have the same price difference between capacities that iPhones have is crazy. And forget backing up my iPhone to the 12” MacBook. They have the same capacity. This forces us to have to upgrade iCloud storage to either 1TB or 2TB. Apple know what they’re doing, but it sucks.
    MacBook and MBP wise it should be simple like it is on say an XBox One - just connect an external and it’ll do it all for you.
    The reason it’s only a ‘small’ increase for iPhone storage is because those are prebuilt SKU’s.  To alter storage on the Mac you need to choose a different SKU (the listed base items on the website) which will also contain better cpu or more ram or you choose a custom build.  Essentially you are charged more for a custom build because the wee guy at the factory or assembly office has to grab the extra bits and stuff it in the Mac.  So apple charge an arm and a leg for this, because Apple.
  • Reply 27 of 59
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,583member
    Can you still just NetBoot a stationary computer and use the network storage for everything?  I’ve eliminated my MacBook Air from my normal workflow; I generally use my iPad Pro instead and Remote Desktop or shell access to a cloud computer.  Just not worth it to me to upgrade the laptop at this point— too expensive for an “extra” machine.
  • Reply 28 of 59
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,746member
    Buying an external drive to make up for the Mac Mini's lack of reasonably-priced internal storage makes it the ultimate dongle and an insult to customers. Go to any Best Buy and you can find a half terabyte internal SSD for under $60. I understand the case with Apple is the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts, but Apple's margin on storage shouldn't be as high as the markup for gold. 
    Stop comparing a $60 SATA Best Buy drive with what Apple puts in their machines.  Not anywhere near the same thing.
    seanj
  • Reply 29 of 59
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,188member
    Buying an external drive to make up for the Mac Mini's lack of reasonably-priced internal storage makes it the ultimate dongle and an insult to customers. Go to any Best Buy and you can find a half terabyte internal SSD for under $60. I understand the case with Apple is the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts, but Apple's margin on storage shouldn't be as high as the markup for gold. 
    What? You're saying that if a customer intentionally purchases a computer that does not meet their storage requirements they should feel insulted? Insulted by whom? They're the one who bought something knowing very well, up-front, and prior to purchase that it did not fit their needs and would require additional external storage. And they bought it anyway! Maybe they should feel stupid, but that's not Apple's fault. Mom, dad, a substandard education to blame perhaps, but not Apple's fault.

    The gist of just about every complaint here is that many folks believe that Apple charges way too much for internal storage. Count me in. But if you or I feel that way, we can shop around for a better deal if the storage cost is the biggest deciding factor for the purchase. Yeah, I know nobody likes the "if you don't like the deal - walk away" response, but when I'm shopping for a car and see the prices that they are asking I may think they are insane, but I'm not personally offended or insulted. It's simply a signal from the automaker that I'm not their customer. End of story.

    On the other hand, if my livelihood or a personal passion depends on having a computer or car that has a set of features and qualities I am not willing to compromise on, and the only inhibitor to getting the model I really want is price, I'll try my best to make it work. Some people need a 700 HP motor in their car, so anything less does not meet their needs. The absolute worst choice you can make as a consumer is to sacrifice essential features and qualities for a lower up-front cost. It's like buying a cheaper boat because it has a small hole in the hull. The thrill of saving a few bucks up-front because you sacrificed a little bit on "hull integrity" will quickly fade when your boat is sitting on the bottom of the lake. Also look at total cost of ownership (TCO). If you buy less than what you really need you'll be forever trying to make up the difference with add-ons, accommodations, and frustration. Cheaping out up-front can cost you more in the long run - and the only one you can blame is yourself.
  • Reply 30 of 59
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,259member
    wizard69 said:
    I have to take exception to this article.   Buying a relatively large SSD isn’t that hard nor that expensive these days.  The problem is they can’t be installed in the Mini nor most Macs these days!!!   The only people that need to be burdened by these small drives are people buying Apple hardware.  It is a sad state of affairs that we now have to deal with, that is Apple grossly overcharging for what amounts to commodity tech.  Buy hardware from somebody else, almost anyone really, and your expenses drop considerably.  
    I totally agree.

    The concepts of "it just works" and default, ungradeable and insufficient storage are incompatible.

    The majority of Mac / Apple customers are normal, non-technical people who want something simple and easy to operate that "just works".   To expect them to understand the subtle and inherent difficulties created by insufficient storage is unreasonable.   And, to expect them to be willing and able to predict their future needs is even more unreasonable.

    It seems that the Mac team has been living too long in their own little techy world and has lost touch.
    We all know about the crappy, fragile keyboard issues, but instead of addressing it, Apple has doubled and tripled down on it.   Plus, as we see here, Apple is foisting machines on the mostly unsuspecting with insufficient storage and, the only fix is to scrap the machine and buy a new one.
    ...  That's unacceptable.
    ......  To coin a phrase:   "This is crap!   Fix it!"
    kestral
  • Reply 31 of 59
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,967administrator
    kohtaoke said:
    Booting Mac computers that have the Apple T2 Security Chip from external drives needs a setting to be adjusted.
    See > Apple Support / About Startup Security Utility
    Yup, this is how to do it.

    However, we're seeing some instability in a T2 machine when booted from an external intended as a main drive, that doesn't manifest when you boot from the internal. It isn't profound, but it only takes one funny crash ruining work to be a problem.
    kestral
  • Reply 32 of 59
    The T2 chip for external devices shouldn’t be a problem. From https://www.blackbagtech.com/blog/2018/08/21/examining-mac-data-hardware-apple-t2-chip/ … While the Mac is running live, the data is in a decrypted state and can be collected to a folder on destination drive, sparse image, or DMG. We recommend formatting the drive/image as APFS or HFS+ to preserve the most metadata.
  • Reply 33 of 59
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,967administrator
    imagladry said:
    The T2 chip for external devices shouldn’t be a problem. From https://www.blackbagtech.com/blog/2018/08/21/examining-mac-data-hardware-apple-t2-chip/ … While the Mac is running live, the data is in a decrypted state and can be collected to a folder on destination drive, sparse image, or DMG. We recommend formatting the drive/image as APFS or HFS+ to preserve the most metadata.
    You're right, it shouldn't be. But yet, it is.
  • Reply 34 of 59
    You just get external USB drive (or fast write flash drives) and work on it. The speeds are sufficient even for video editing streams and external storage is not that expensive. Internal drive is needed only for that what OS requires (most likely for applicaton installations). Not a big deal.
    seanj
  • Reply 35 of 59
    sonyk1sonyk1 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Hi time Apple doubled the space with these at the same price
    SSD price have halfed

    Come on be more realistic
    okssipinkestral
  • Reply 36 of 59
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    sflocal said:
    Buying an external drive to make up for the Mac Mini's lack of reasonably-priced internal storage makes it the ultimate dongle and an insult to customers. Go to any Best Buy and you can find a half terabyte internal SSD for under $60. I understand the case with Apple is the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts, but Apple's margin on storage shouldn't be as high as the markup for gold. 
    Stop comparing a $60 SATA Best Buy drive with what Apple puts in their machines.  Not anywhere near the same thing.
    Nvme is down to $80-120 for 500GB for a decent quality drive
    kestral
  • Reply 37 of 59
    entropys said:
    It is depressing that such articles are necessary due to the gouging Apple does because of the need for additional storage. It is probably reason number one that after thirty years of recommending macs to friends and family, I just can’t do it anymore. 

    It it is also a reason, if you are a dedicated Mac user, to buy the current iMac as it doesn’t have the T2 chip, and you can easily just boot off the TB3 port with an NVME enclosure. That said, it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem of Apple’s upgrade pricing policy, and while I am accepting of this workaround, I won’t recommend it when buying a computer to someone else.
    I too am no longer recommending macs...
    I love the two older Macs I own, but unless a person needs to use Mac specific software it really isn’t worth the hassle anymore.
    okssipinkestral
  • Reply 38 of 59
    “How to live with” makes owning a Mac sound like a medical condition.
    entropyskestralGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 39 of 59
    doggonedoggone Posts: 191member
    Biggest issue for me is when I have to do an encrypted iPhone backup on my server (recycled rMBP with 512GB upgrade).  With iPhones having the 256GB drive it is very hard to get this to work.  What happens when I get a 512GB iPhone and can't do the encrypted store?
    All iTunes content is on a Drobo and I have cleaned out most apps that are legacy or no longer needed. 
  • Reply 40 of 59
    igohmmmigohmmm Posts: 10member
    I live with it by clinging to my 2012 MBP, upgraded to 16 GB RAM and 2 TB SSD. 

    I keep hoping that Apple will either bring laptops with replaceable or with decently priced storage. 

    I am losing hope. 
    kestral
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