Laptop Buyer's Guide

How Much Storage Do I Need on My Laptop

How much storage do I need on my laptop
Written by Daniel levi

How much storage do I need on my laptop?

You want to be speedy or creaky? After reading this informative article, you will answer this question by yourself.

One day, I was out to buy a pen drive (USB) from computer accessories shop. I was discussing technically some issues with shopkeeper like is it 3.1 generation or 3.2? A lady (who was listening to our conversation) and was waiting for her turn. She approached me and asked, I want to buy a computer but I am not sure what to buy. I am unaware of technical details like how much ram do I need, screen size, laptop or desktop and if laptop then How much Storage Do I Need On My Laptop” etc.

There was a long discussion between us and I finally helped her choosing a laptop by answering all her questions. Since, these questions are all very important while buying laptop, so I decided to write an article on all those. But in this very article, I am going to focus on storage I need for my laptop.

How much storage do I need on my laptop?

Hard Disk is the basic component of laptop used for storing data. When talking about its usage, we analysed that most non-professional users are comfortable with 250-to-320 GB of storage. Do you know that 250GB can hold more than 30’000 average size photos and audio songs. But if you are planning on storing movies/ videos with HD quality, then you will find this inadequate. You will definitely need to upgrade your hard disk to at least 500GB or even 1TB.

For professional users who are in businesses like graphic editing, video editing, vloggers, programmers, designers, photographers, gamers etc, then you will need to go for disk space 1TB and beyond.

Task based Disk space I need?

Always type of tasks decide what type and size of hard drive you should get for your computer. Based on performance and application usage, we have different options to choose from.

Below is the small analysis chart:

  • Word Processing: 250GB and Higher, 5400 rpm
  • Web Surfing: 320GB and Higher, 7200 rpm
  • Digital Music: 750GB and Higher, 7200 rpm
  • Gaming: 1TB and Higher, 7200 rpm
  • Graphics Editing: 1.5TB and Higher, 7200 rpm
  • Digital Video: 2TB and Higher, 7200 rpm
ssd vs hdd

How To Choose a laptop Based On HDD or SSD

There are two types of internal storage .i.e. HDD and SSD. You can have either one of them in your laptop as a secondary storage.

Now, here opens a discussion for should I buy HDD or SSD?

Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

It is pretty familiar and common form of storage in laptops. It is the main plus largest data storage hardware device in computers and laptops. The operating system, software and many other files are stored here.

It is preferred due to its capacity and cheap cost as compared to primary storage (RAM). These are the faster spinning drives and their larger capacity tends to perform better while keep price in mind.

Laptop drives are usually 2.5” in size and can range from 160 GB storage to 4TB in capacity. For standard laptops the range varies between 320GB to 1TB.

How HDD works

Hard disk inside view

Hard drive keeps a hold on data even though if system is powered off (unlike RAM). This is the reason when you restart a system, kernal loads OS files from HDD to RAM and make data accessible to user.

On hard drive track, there are sectors which are stored on rotating platters. These platters have magnetic heads which helps in reading and writing of data to drive.

Solid State Drives(SSD)

If you are looking for modern and latest technology, Solid state drives are the best and upgraded form of storage, designed to replace Hard drives.

Working of SSD

It uses a series of flash memory modules to store data without any moving parts and information are stored in microchips.

It is just a card rather than a standard 2.5” size drive. These are more faster in performance, have high price and more capacity. Sometimes, to increase overall performance it is used as a form of caching and is available only in Intel-based desktops and 1st Smart Response Technology.

SSD are made-up of semiconductors and Its primary storage medium is through semiconductors rather than magnetic media such as hard drives.

Is just like a form of flash memory drives that we use to plug in USB port, so it is also termed as flash drive. This is partially true because both the SSD and USB flash drives works similarly and uses the same type of non-volatile memory chips which keeps information even when they have no power.

The only difference between the two are that USB is external and SSD are internally designed.

Why SSD is preferable:

It provides three distinct Features.

  1. Less Power Usage
  2. Faster Data Access
  3. Higher Reliability
how much storage do I need on my laptop

Comparison of SSD and HDD


Attributes

Solid State Drive (SSD)

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Size2.5 inch(s)2.5 to 3.5 inch(s)

Battery Life

Less power draw, 2-3 Watts

More power draw, 6-7 Watts. Consumes more battery.

Cost

Expensive

Cheap

Capacity

1TB for notebook size drives, 4TB max. For desktops

Between 500GB-t0-2TB for notebook size drives, 10 TB max for desktops

Operating system boot time

10-to-13 seconds boot time

30-to-40 seconds boot time

Noise

No moving part, no sound

Clicks and spinning can be heard

Vibration

No vibration

Spinning of platters causes vibration sometimes

Heat produced

Little heat produced

Do not produce much heat but in comparison to SSD, does heat up to some extent because of more power draw and moveable parts.

File Copy/Write speed

Above 200 MB/sec

Range can be anywhere from 50-120 MB/s depends on rpm/sec

Encryption

Fully Disk Encryption

Fully Disk Encryption

File opening speed

30 % faster than HDD

Less than SSD

Magnetism affected

Safe from any effects of magnetism

Magnets can erase data

Performance based on different applications

How much storage do I need on my laptop

Below articles will also help you choose/ use your laptop:

Your Questions Answered by Laptopsgeek “How Much storage Do I need on My Laptop”

Q. What is better SSD or HDD?

Ans.  If cost is something you are not worried about, then SSD is a clear winner.

Q. What is rpm in HDD?

Ans. RPM stands for Rotations per minute and determines the (reading and writing on drive) performance of har drive. The higher number suggests better performance.

Q. How do I increase storage on my laptop?

Ans: You can choose any option from below list and you will get extra storage.

1: Replace a hard drive or Solid State Drive with larger capacity

2: Choose an external drive, you can use SSD or HDD as external storage as well

3: Use cloud storage for rarely used data 

4: Network based storage device, in case you have multiple computers (best for offices)

Q. How do I free up storage on my Laptop?

Ans. Click on Disk Cleanup button in the disk properties window. Then go and select the types of files you want to delete and click OK. It  includes some temporary files, log files, files in your recycle bin and other unimportant files. Most importantly,  you can also clean up system files, which don’t appear in the list here and you will get free storage.

Q.What is the storage capacity of Laptop?

Ans. It ranges from 160GB to over 4TB. Most systems have between 500 GB and 1 TB of storage, which is more than enough for the standard laptop system.

Q. How many types are there of Hard Drives?

Ans. There are four types:

  • Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)
  • Serial ATA (SATA)
  • Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
  • Solid State Drives (SSD Latest technology)

Q. What is the price of a single storage drive?

Ans. Hard disk memory limit is up to 2TB and can cost from $50-$68, Whereas laptop can extend up to 4TB and may cost up to $100.

Bottom Line of all this discussion:

To sum up,  I always find it easy to select between two, when I compare them. I have written this article with a hope that you will find it worthy while deciding “How much storage do I need on my laptop” and “which type I need”.

For huge storage option you can also go for a choice between a laptop or desktop?

HDD might be the choice, if one needs a lot of storage in less price and don’t care for comparative performance. SSD might be choice, if you are willing to pay extra for fast performance.

Do comment below, How much storage do I need on my Laptop and your profession.

Peace out.

About the author

Daniel levi

How Much Storage Do I Need on My Laptop

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