How Much Storage Do I Need on My Laptop, the more storage space there is, won’t we then say that it’s better? Do you really need that extra space in your laptop? How much do we really need?
Storage is so important in our lives these days. Everyone has gotten used to walking around with their phones and laptops which means more and more people are wanting the biggest storage they can get, but what if we could be ok with less space on our laptops? The right amount of storage space is.
How much storage space do you need? SSD, HDD, SDD or hybrid drives are just some of the storage options available to choose from. Following a simple storage strategy will help optimize performance and minimize downtime.
Figuring Out How Much Storage You Need
How much storage you need in your laptop directly correlates with how you plan on using the device. Let’s review the following points to give you more clarity.
If you’re using your laptop for only light tasks, like answering emails, working on Microsoft Office documents and surfing the web, you fall under this category whether you realize it or not.
When you try to store a document that contains too many pictures, it can be cumbersome because it may turn out very large in size.
And so, you’d want something like, for example, a PowerPoint file that instead is easy to edit and can be made smaller or contain less upon request.
For making this laptop, definitely look for a computer that has a decent operating system installed, and other than that, the SSD is what you should be looking at primarily.
If you are a photography enthusiast and store thousands of photos, videos or even if you just love watching movies and TV shows, then your laptop needs to have enough storage space.
So, if you’re a multitasker extraordinaire, look for a computer with at least 500GB of storage space. We recommend SSD disks that’ll boost up your data transfer speeds as well.
If you are a hard-core gamer or professional video editor or graphic designer, you probably won’t take long to fill up a 500GB storage drive.
You can easily add hundreds of games in your inventory over the course of just a few months, high-resolution videos might also need their own storage drive, and your creative output could end up increasing your storage needs.
In this case, it’s best to go for a laptop with a 1TB (or bigger) hard drive. If you opt for a dual storage setup that offers you an SSD and HDD combo or get external hard drives.
Calculating Your Need
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to storage. You have consider your needs and at what capacity they arise:
- Average size of a Word document: 200KB
- Size of a photo: On average it’s around 2MP to 5MB, depending on the image quality. Photos taken by professional cameras can go a lot higher.
- Average size of a movie: ~320MB for a 720p, 3-hour long movie
- The average size of a music file: 3MB – 5MB
- Average size of older games (Mario, Road Rash, etc.): 50MB
- Size of modern games: Can range anywhere from 6GB to 300GB
So, for your example, if you had a 256 GB storage drive, then you could store about 800 movies or 51,200 photos, or 85,333 songs.
Bonus: How Much Storage Do You Need for a MacBook?
Let’s go over how you can find out the hard drive space that fits your laptop computer for those of you who are Apple fans like myself.
Is 256GB Storage Enough?
A 256GB MacBook Air M1 is perfect for a typical university student as it’s versatile, reliable and offers an efficient and seamless experience.
And if you’re not just using your MacBook Air for photo storage but to take photos as well, and you plan on uploading lots of videos too, then a 256GB storage might feel like it can become a little redundant. You could upgrade it to the 512GB model, if that’s what you need.
256GB vs 512GB vs 1TB MacBook Pro
The 256GB MacBook Pro costs around $1,627 and is suitable for light work or attending online classes. You can pair it up with external storage if you need more space in the future.
MacBooks last for a long time – which is one of the many reasons Apple laptops are so popular. We hope you decide to get one that has more than enough storage but remember, if you’d like to upgrade in the future, it’s always helpful to have an extra hard drive or two on hand.
The 512GB MacBook Pro costs around $1098 and it’s a huge time-saver for those who have to constantly delete old files in order to free up storage space.
If you’re someone who likes to store all your pictures, files and various documents from the past then 1TB of disk space might be just what you need to hold it all.
Now that you know what kind of storage you need, let’s see what storage kinds are available.
Let’s talk about the various storage types available for computers, and which one should be chosen.
Types of Storage for Laptops
Hard drives (HDD): Hard drives are in essence the storage devices that you currently find installed onto your home computer. The predominant form of HDD still today is 500GB, with some computers featuring up to 2 terabytes of storage space.
In the hard drive, there are floating heads. Although this technology was invented in 1952 – it’s still used in our PCs and Laptops even today! It’s slower than newer technologies but also cheaper.
SSD storage: SSD storage is an improved concept than the decade-old HDDs (Hard Disk Drives). Here, data is stored on Flash memory-based modules that have no moving parts. SSDs are significantly faster than traditional hard drives and deliver an entirely silent operation.
eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Controller): Some laptops or notebooks may include eMMC flash storage. Since this type of storage is directly soldered to your laptop’s motherboard, it cannot be upgraded.
If you’re not planning on requiring tons of storage in the long run this may be a good option for you.
Hybrids: A hybrid storage type uses two hard drives. Not only does this give you ample space for all your data, it also helps boot-up and load applications much more quickly than other devices on the market.
Alternatives: While not very convenient, alternative storage like a USB drive or an external hard drive can quench your extra need for storing all those movies and huge gaming files.
Cloud Storage: Still having trouble coping with the sheer number of files scattered all over your hard drive? Well, cloud-based file storage systems give you the chance to store all those photos, songs and documents on an external server.
If you need physical storage for your laptop or desktop computer, we recommend going with SSD, even if you choose a hybrid solution. The combination of an SDD and HDD is still better than just HDD alone.
What’s the Difference Between Laptop Storage & Memory?
It is common to get confused between memory and storage because sometimes the word ‘memory’ is used (incorrectly) for storage.
In computer science and information technology, RAM is a form of memory which only holds data while it is being used. Storage drives, like Solid State Drives (SSD) or Hard Disk Drives (HDD), save information that can be lost when the power is turned off and serve as long-term facilities for storing data files and software.
Here are some of the most common doubts that might arise in your head about whether you’ve chosen the right laptop for your company.
How to Add More Storage to a Laptop?
The first way to tackle the issue of upgrading your laptop’s storage capacity is to purchase an external hard drive of sufficient size. The second option is investing in a brand-new SSD drive you can add internally.
Is an SSD better than an HDD?
An SSD is undoubtedly faster than an HDD, making it a better option for you if you’re trying to speed up software load time on your computer.
If your laptop or desktop has an HDD and you’ve found that installing larger software, games, or video files have been taking longer to load than you’d like, investing in an SSD can help significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to get what you want out of your technology.
HDDs have moving parts that wear down over time causing the writing and reading speeds to slow down.
SSDs are more durable moving parts, making them better for laptops. They also do not slow down over time.
HDDs are cheaper per-unit storage, but with SSD prices falling, that factor is bound to also be wiped out soon.
Making the decision regarding the right amount of storage on your laptop is similar to choosing the right size for your app’s database.
To make an informed decision, you have to weigh up your needs with your budget. In my experience, it is always best not to go with less than 250GB of internal storage and if you can, definitely go bigger.
Of course, you could add more at a later date – but only if it doesn’t compromise the integrity of your project or get in the way of other upgrades.
Regardless of your storage needs, the best option is a solid-state drive (SSD) to keep all of your files and software right there on the go! You’ll be able to confidently store your data even if you find yourself without any space.
Let us know what you think about this article in the comments below to help us make sure that we’re giving you all the info we can or if you have any questions.
Cody is a passionate gamer, writer, and computer programmer who’s always looking for ways to optimize and automate everyday tasks. When he’s not immersed in prose and code, he’s busy tinkering with computers, automating his home, and spending time with his wife and kids.