How to Determine How Much Hard Drive Space You Need

By Mark L. Chambers

You need to decide just how much hard drive space is enough for your MacBook. If your last name is Zuckerberg and you had something to do with that Facebook thing, you can probably pick just about any drive on the market. However, if you have a family, a mortgage, a car payment, and lust in your heart for the latest computer games; you must be a little more selective.

Follow these two hard-and-fast rules when determining the capacity of a new drive:

  1. If you’re buying a replacement for your existing drive, shop for a drive with at least twice the capacity of the existing drive (if possible).

  2. If you’re buying an external drive, shop for a drive with at least the same capacity as your existing internal drive (if possible). One exception: If you’re adding an external drive for use with Time Machine, you’ll want at least twice the capacity of your existing drive.

Those rules seem to work pretty doggone well in most circumstances, with these two exceptions: gamers and digital video gurus. These folks need to shoehorn as much space as they possibly can into their systems. If you’re a hardcore gamer or if you work primarily with digital video, you need a wheelbarrow’s worth of hard drive capacity. Trust me: Buy the biggest hard drive that you can afford.