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I'm planning on buying a MacBook Pro, and swapping the superdrive for an ssd as a system disk.

The price tags on those are still pretty hefty, so I'd like to shell out for the minimum disk size I can get by with, without running into troubles...

I'm sort of a minimalist so I don't plan on installing a bunch of stuff on this drive, however this machine will be used for development, so I'll need Apple's developer package which is rather large I believe.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm not a minimalist, so you can use my data for reference. Size of key directories under /:

7.7G    /Library
5.4G    /Applications
2.6G    /System
1.2G    /Developer
3.4G    /usr

I've had this MBP for about a year and I've used about 130G of my 320G drive. Over 100G of that, however, is under /Users -- Music, Movies, Documents, Downloads.

If this SSD is meant as an additional drive, 64G should be plenty. If it'll be the only drive you have, go with 128G.

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My old PowerBook had a 80 GB hard drive with OS X and the complete set of developer tools running on it with more than half the disk left empty, so I think a 64 GB SSD would be sufficient (though if I can afford it I would still get a 128 GB one).

"Swapping the superdrive for an ssd": So you are removing the optical drive, right? If so, having 64 GB SSD concurrently with whatever hard drive that came with the MacBook Pro should be more than enough.

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BTW, when you install Mac OS X, be sure to de-select everything you don't want, i.e. printer drivers, extra languages, etc. saves a TON of space. – hpy Aug 20 '10 at 13:49
To save more space, check out: It is still useful, even in Snow Leopard. – hpy Aug 20 '10 at 13:50

The smaller SSDs are typically 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Some manufacturers make 30s, but they are not as common as 32s. For comfort and future expansion, I'd recommend getting an 80GB drive though. It sounds like a lot, but Intel has a fairly priced X25-M in that category for $199, currently shipped free on newegg. This is one of the better MLC drives out there right now, and an SSD is definitely not something you want to skimp on.

Personally, I'd save up and go for Intel's X25-E. You may not end up being the type that can fair with only 32GB space though. I tend to save documents on external drives and only my OS and applications would reside on the SSD.

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if your mbp has an express card slot - you can get a 48gb express card for just a boot volume. it works great for me

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