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So, the time has come to replace my mid-2012 MacBook Pro. When I purchased this laptop four years ago I paid extra for the 1TB internal drive upgrade; a couple of years later I upgraded again to a 2TB internal drive. Now I am looking for a newer laptop, and I am frustrated to find that there seems to be no way to get anywhere close to that kind of storage in a newer (post-2013) MBP. The largest size SSD I can find is a 1TB upgrade, and that is prohibitively expensive.

I know people love the SSDs because they are faster, smaller and lighter. But surely I am not the only user who values capacity over speed -- right? What do people do if they need more storage with the newer laptops?

(I recognize that the only real answers may just be "Don't buy a newer laptop" or "Wait for Moore's Law to catch up with your needs." I'd prefer a more practical solution.)

Edited: Regarding "Wait for Moore's Law to catch up with your needs", it looks like that may be happening already, as SanDisk has just announced (September 20, 2016) a prototype 1 TB SD card: http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/9/20/12986234/biggest-sd-card-1-terabyte-sandisk.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – bmike Aug 29 '16 at 15:29
  • I've put the answers in chat - let's focus on comments to improve the question and chat for potential answers or Ask Different Meta discussion if this is on or off topic. Thanks all! – bmike Aug 29 '16 at 15:53
  • Upvoted. Don't understand reason for downvote. – Andrew Lazarus Aug 29 '16 at 16:53
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The wireless networking on Apple hardware is really as fast as spinning hard drives can shove data so there's not much benefit to putting large storage in a device as I see it.

We run the MacBook pro in places where an iMac used to be needed with iSCSI initiators to connect to SAN, AFP and SMB shares to file servers, thunderbolt and USB 3.0 access to drives.

If you benchmark the speed of the SSD in that hardware, you'll see why it's so pricey. If you think of that as fast cache - high speed storage premium tier and then look at your workload - you can think about how you can place low access speed requirements and long term storage elsewhere and let the system cache the files needed locally.

Apple is going that way for iCloud, Photos, iTunes - having a large library and letting the system go out to the cloud as needed to retrieve files. If that change doesn't arrive at a pace you like or you really need to bring several TB of storage with you - there are great options with thunderbolt and USB 3 as well as networked storage to fit many sizes and price points.

  • It's funny that cloud storage didn't even appear on my radar as an option -- I spend large amounts of my time working in places where there is no wireless connectivity, so that isn't something I can even consider. – mweiss Aug 29 '16 at 15:31
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    @mweiss You have to opt in to the cloud thinning - you can always insist your Mac downloads all the files that are cloud backed. Then you can decide if/when to prune the local "cache" as you see fit. – bmike Aug 29 '16 at 16:12

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