When purchasing a new laptop, one of the most common question people tend to ask is how much storage do I need on my laptop. Do you go with a hard disk drive or a solid-state drive? Will 512GB of SSD storage be enough for you? Nowadays, laptops offer a varied amount of storage capacities. There are also various different methods that you can store files on the laptop.
Sometimes, you can purchase external storage to add to the storage of your laptop.
Let’s take a look at the different amounts of storage that you can have on your laptop. Hopefully, this will help you understand how much storage you should have on your laptop.
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Required storage for normal use
Your needs and situation will determine how much storage you should have on your laptop. In general, most premium laptops, such as the Lenovo Thinkpad, the Dell XPS series, and Macbooks, will start with 256GB of storage space. For most users, this is probably enough storage to keep them going.
If you are going to use your laptop for browsing the internet and streaming videos, then 256GB of storage should be enough storage on your laptop. You even probably won’t require more than 128GB of storage on your device if you are just going to use your laptop for simple tasks.
Required storage for large files, photos, and high-demanding software
The question of whether you require more storage space on your laptop arises if you are going to be packing your laptop with larger files. For example, if a file takes around 1GB to 2GB of space, and there will be many files like that on your laptop, then you are going to need more space. If you use high demanding software such as the Adobe programs or other photoshop programs, then you should know that they can take up a minimum of 1 GB each. All of these different programs and files add up. So, while deciding on your laptop’s storage, you should always think about all the space these files and programs will take up combined.
For most people, 256GB of storage should be good enough. However, this is the minimum storage for most laptops nowadays. So, it is a good enough storage for most people.
However, if you do heavy working on your laptops, such as a photo or video editing, and you will need to keep a lot of files in store, then you may need more storage than this. So, you would be better off with a laptop that offers 512GB or 1TB of storage.
Confusion about laptop storage
Typically, one of the most common misunderstandings with the storage comes with confusion about RAM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, which is the short term memory of your laptop. When you run a program, it will move from your storage to the RAM, which will make it easily accessible, and it will run faster.
Technically, the RAM is a place where programs are stored on a laptop, but that is temporary. The RAM is volatile, which means it will clear up when you turn off your laptop. So, the RAM will not save anything permanently.
Nowadays, when we refer to laptop storage, we mostly talk about SSD. SSD stands for Solid State Drive. Let’s see what other types of laptop storage are there:
Types of Laptop Storage
There are different types of laptop storage in the market. Although they are all used to store data on your laptop, they have their differences. Let’s take a look at the different methods to store data.
A. SSD (Solid State Drive)
If you are looking for a laptop to buy, it is most likely that it uses an SSD. For instance, Macbook Pros made in 2012 comes with an SSD. Before this, they used to come with HDD. The reason for this is generally because an SSD works much quicker than the alternative. Plus, they are more reliable. SSD store data in flash memory. This makes them almost weightless as well.
B. eMMC (Embedded Multimedia Card)
eMMC storage is also used in some brands of laptops instead of the SSD. An eMMC card is directly soldered onto the motherboard of the laptop, so it is not upgradable later. Primarily, it is used in tablets and phones. However, you may sometimes find it to be used in smaller notebooks and laptops. It is only good for people who will not require a ton of storage space. So, you might be better off with an SSD. eMMC is also a form of flash storage, just like an SSD.
C. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
A Hard Disk Drive or HDD is traditionally what one would think of when they think of laptop storage. However, if in a modern laptop, you were to use an HDD, then it would slow your laptop down a lot. Nowadays, using Hard Disk Drive might be a good idea if you are planning on using external storage that you can connect to your PC. But if you are thinking about your main storage that you will use every day, then an SSD will be a better choice.
Sometimes, you will come across a device that offers a combination of both an HDD and SSD. An example of such kind is an SSHD, which is a combination of both storage types. This is made to offer you the best of both worlds – the capacity of a hard disk drive along with the speed of a solid state drive.
Although they are not really used much anymore, it is worth knowing that USBs and regular Compact Disks are also types of laptop storage. Of course, CDs are now pretty much irrelevant in this modern time, because they offer very little size considering their size.
F. Cloud Storage
This doesn’t fall into the actual category of laptop storage, but it is worth considering. When you are pondering on how much storage do you need on your laptop, you can count the Cloud Storage as well. If you will store a lot of your files in the cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive, then you might not require as much storage on the laptop as you think.
The aforementioned are the different types of hard drives, plus some alternative forms of storage as well. They all allow you to save photos, videos, files, and whatever other documents you may have.
Advantages of SSDs over HDDs
In recent times, almost all laptop uses an SSD. So, if you are wondering why they are so much better than HDDs, read below to learn a few reasons why an SSD is better.
1. They are faster
In simple words, the primary reason SSD is used today in the majority of laptops is because they are just faster than HDD. If SSD can do a task in 10 seconds, the same function could take about 1 minute to complete for a Hard Disk Drive.
SSDs don’t have any moving parts, and they don’t make any noise. But when you are using an HDD, it will make noise. Typically, the sound will be like a grinding noise or a motor spinning.
3. Battery Life
An SSD will help your laptop to have a better battery life than the one with HDD. This is possible because they consume significantly less power, resulting in less battery being consumed.
An HDD would be affected if your laptop is being moved around a lot, while an SSD is shock resistant and is less likely to be affected if your laptop were to drop from your hand. This helps to make sure that there is no data failure if the aforementioned incident happens.
When comparing to an HDD, the only real disadvantage of an SSD is the price. The HDDs are still some of the affordable storage space that you can get. That is why in some cases if you need something to store a ton of files, it might be a better idea to purchase an external hard drive.
Overall, for most users – everyday users, students, etc., the highest storage capacity is not necessary. They can probably go for a laptop with the lowest storage capacity. This is mainly because these are generally the most cost-effective options. On the other hand, if spending money is not an issue for you, then you can go for a laptop that offers a higher storage capacity.
However, for most people who are looking for something to store all of their files and programs, a 256GB of storage is going to be enough. With this amount of storage, it is unlikely that you will be needing or running out of space any time soon. And when you take Could storage, such as Google Drive, into consideration where you will probably store some of your documents, then this space will probably be more than enough for your use. And in a scenario where you do need more space, you can always get an external hard drive.