Don’t Buy More Than 1TB of Storage for Your Mac: Here’s Why

With more internal storage space on your Mac comes a sense of security that you can save all your files locally without breaking a sweat. But just how much space is enough?

Depending on the sheer amount and size of files you handle regularly, you may be looking to customize your Mac with anywhere from 2TB to 8TB of internal space.

But that could be a luxury you never really use to the fullest. To that end, we have put together a couple of reasons why any Mac beyond 1TB might be a waste of your money.

1. External SSDs and HDDs Are Way Cheaper

A SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Beside a Usb Drive and Cable

Before purchasing a Mac with a much higher internal SSD, consider available external storage options. You’ll find that these are actually cheaper. And reliable too.

At the point of purchase, customizing a 16-inch MacBook Pro with additional 1TB SSD storage costs $400. That could be expensive for storage you may never really exhaust. Alternatively, you could pick up a 1TB external SSD that costs less than $200. A good example is the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB SSD. You’ll get the equivalent in storage space while saving more than half the cost.

On the one hand, paying for 4TB of internal SSD bumps up the price of the MacBook Pro by a whopping $1000; for 8TB, you have to pay an extra $2,200. On the other hand, you could pick up a 3TB external SSD for less than $400.

And if speed is not your utmost priority, you can also consider getting an external HDD. You can get 8TB of storage space with an external HDD that costs less than $200. While HDDs are cheaper than SSDs, they’re relatively slower to work with. But, it’s often a good choice if you only need a large space to save important files at minimal cost.

Choosing external SSDs and HDDs means you save hundreds of dollars that you couldn’t with a higher internal SSD option. Plus, external storage offers more flexibility and security. It’s also pretty smart and safe to back up your important files on a drive separate from your main device. This ensures you don’t lose these important files forever if anything goes wrong with your Mac.

Luckily, external storage doubles as a backup drive for your files. Although they might not be as quick, energy-efficient, and easy to move around with as your internal SSD, they are worthy alternatives that get the job done and spare you some cost. There are, however, some factors to consider when buying an external drive for a Mac.

2. Cloud Technology

Image of Connected Dots Simulating a Network

Hard drives crash, even Macs take fall damage, and with every possible harm that could befall your physical devices is a fear of losing your important files. But not so much with cloud technology. You’ll find that your data is relatively secure in the cloud.

Apple’s iCloud should be your go-to choice for cloud storage on your Mac. You can get as much as 2TB of cloud storage space by paying about $9.99/month. So, rather than store the bulk of important files you never really use on your laptop, upload them to the cloud. And with a stable internet connection, you can access them just as easily.

You can also choose from any of the most secure cloud storage services or even consider some free cloud storage providers, offering you much-needed space at a significantly reduced cost.

Cloud technology offers a bit more than cheap storage. Uploading your files to the cloud is a solid backup option that makes it pretty easy to recover your files if you ever lose your laptop or encounter any sort of hard drive failure,

Another advantage of cloud storage is the ease of accessing your files from anywhere as long as you have a stable connection. And when you make changes to these files online, the version stored in the cloud is updated accordingly.

So, if you aren’t developing apps, designing games, or editing videos, and you’ve got cloud storage as a supplementary storage option, getting a Mac with more than 1TB might just not be worth the hundreds of dollars Apple charges you for it.

3. Streaming Services

Image of Netflix Sign In Page on an Imac

Once, there must have been the need to store an archive of the songs and movies that have resonated with you over the years on your laptop so that you can easily enjoy them when you want.

But, with the slew of streaming services, free and paid, available to cater to different user tastes and needs, all you need is a stable internet connection and perhaps a token in subscription fees, and you can stream your favorite songs, movies, or movie series, within seconds.

Check our guide on some of the best music streaming services for audiophiles. We’d leave you to decide between Spotify and Apple Music, but the two music streaming services offer a standard individual plan for $9.99/month. For movies and shows, you can check our list of top streaming sites for watching TV on your computer.

Choosing streaming services means there’s less need to store your favorite songs and movies on your Mac. With even fewer movie and music downloads come less strain on your Mac’s startup disk and more free space that you may never run out of, making any Mac with more than 1TB a possible overkill.

Plus, it’s much safer to stream than download, provided you avoid illegal streaming sites. You do not have to wait long hours to complete a download before watching a movie or enjoying a new music album. And you can enjoy these benefits for typically less than $10 a month.

4. Gaming Is Typically Done Elsewhere

Game Console, Mac, and Phone Spread Out on a Wooden Surface

If you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars getting more storage space on your Mac so you can game conveniently, why not spend all that extra money on getting a device solely for gaming? You could buy a PS4 for less than $500, get a budget gaming laptop, or build ​​a cheap gaming PC for less than $100.

For instance, the Call of Duty games can consume up to 200GB of space each. There is no point clogging up your Mac’s storage space with games that run better on a gaming console like the PS4, PS5, or Xbox.

While you may believe that Apple doesn’t care much about macOS gaming, it creates a rewarding ecosystem experience for users with multiple Apple devices. So, you may be inclined to get a Mac with which you can work and also play some of your favorite games.

Macs aren’t the perfect gaming tools, but there are ways to improve your Mac gaming experience. With remote play and cloud gaming, there’s little need to burden your Mac’s internal storage, so spending on a Mac with more than 1TB may not be necessary.

Get started with our guide on cloud gaming, and you’ll discover that you can stream high-quality video games over the internet. While there’s some weight off your Mac’s internal storage, you’ll still need a fast broadband internet connection.

Choose the Right Storage Option for Your Mac

For most people who use their Mac for web browsing, programming, basic photo editing, and whatnot, the 512GB storage option is pretty adequate. But getting the 1TB storage variant is often a safer bet if you intend to use your Mac for years.

Nevertheless, Apple understands that some professionals run heavy-duty tasks on their MacBooks. Typically, graphic designers and content creators fall under this category, and Apple gives them options if they need more space than mainstream consumers.

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