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How Much Laptop Storage Do You Actually Need?

laptop storage

When purchasing a laptop, one of the vital decisions you must make is how much storage you need to perform the tasks you intend to. Laptops with higher storage have higher prices and those with lower storage are cheap. For example, the newest MacBook Air from the Apple company can be designed with an internal storage of either 256 or 512GBs and if you intend to purchase a higher-end type, it will cost you an additional 200 dollars. Meanwhile, Microsoft laptops are designed with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and one terabyte varieties. How much storage do you really require? Of course, there is no exact answer for this. There are a lot of things to know. When clients are purchasing a new laptop, one of the frequently asked questions is inquiring how much internal storage you are going to require on it. Currently, laptops are manufactured with different sizes of storage volumes and there are different methodologies you can use to keep files on your device. Sometimes you might need to buy external storage devices as extra storage for your laptop.

Laptop Storage for Daily Use

If you are purchasing a laptop for daily use, 256GB storage is enough. This storage capacity can support everyday computing, permitting you to stream videos, play usual computer games and easily take photos. The condition becomes quite different if you need a laptop for professional tasks. In such situations, a laptop with a storage capacity of 512GB-1TB is a good alternative. Although they are quite expensive than ordinary 256GB notebooks, they will offer you the speed and capacity you require for certified tasks. In such instances, a laptop with 512GB to 1TB of storage space is a good option. Even though they are more expensive than standard 256GB laptops, they will provide you with the capacity and speed you want for professional work. This article is going to explore the different volumes of storage that you might need to have on your laptop. The amount of storage you require on your laptop depends on your condition. Commonly, many quality laptops like Hp, Lenovo, Dell XPS, and MacBook start with 256GB storage capacity. For numerous individuals, this laptop storage is adequate storage for consistent use.

Chromebook Storage

You can sometimes find a new laptop with a storage capacity of 1TB, although in rare cases. This is particularly real if you choose a Chromebook or another OS to Windows because you can rely mostly on cloud storage than that of the laptop. You won't require over 256GB of storage on your laptop if you only watch movies and browse the internet. If you only need a laptop to do simple duties like storing pictures and songs, you don't need laptop storage of above 128GB. The confusion of whether you require more storage capacity or not applies when the files to be stored on your laptop storage are larger. For example, a movie will possibly take about 1-2GB of laptop storage. Conversely, a complete television series.

Memory Hungry Software

Adobe programs like Photoshop, if used, can take at least 1GB each. Microsoft Office Suite (Word and Excel) occupy a little storage of less than 2GB. These programs can also have large files. Most laptops nowadays come with a minimum of 256GB of storage. This is more than enough for a large number of individuals. Nevertheless, if you have to store large files on your laptop, you might require more storage, and therefore advisable to opt for a 1TB or 512 GB laptop.

Some of the Misunderstandings on Laptop Storage

RAM or Random Access Memory is short-term memory on your laptop that supports running multiple apps and tasks simultaneously. When you run software on your laptop, it gets transferred from your storage to the Random Access Memory for easy accessibility. It also helps the program run faster. Your RAM automatically clears when you shut down your device. Nothing is permanently stored on ram. Nowadays, when we talk of laptop storage, we mainly talk about Solid State Drive, commonly known as SSD. An SSD is a memory that stores media files and programs when you turn off your laptop. RAM is nonvolatile. This means all programs will automatically close after shutting down your computer. RAM saves data even without being powered, something good to the users.

How Much Laptop Storage Do I Need on My Laptop for Creative Use or Gaming?

Storage is essential for creative users such as editors/bloggers and gamers. These individuals require more storage space on their laptops to keep their large files, software, and games. For these individuals, a 1TB laptop storage is sufficient. These laptops are appropriate for prolonged gaming sittings or editing. They also need a standard quality visuals card. Any storage less than 1TB will make their programs run slower than expected. Some brands of laptops also come with laptop storage of 2TB.

How Much Storage Does a Student Need on a Laptop?

If the laptop to be purchased is for a student whose primary purpose is educational work, they can buy a beginner-level laptop. A 512GB laptop storage is good for them. This laptop provides them with adequate space to keep their photos, assignments, documents, and private information. Students who require more storage can opt for 512GB or 1TB. Students pursuing science-related fields and other technical subjects will require a laptop with more storage. In this case, a laptop with 1TB storage is good for them. In some cases, these students will require external storage. Again, engineering scholars repeatedly need to carry out compound drawings or computer programming. They will therefore need enough computer storage space to accommodate their assignments.

How Much Laptop Storage Is Needed for Professionals Use?

Here storage may vary. Mostly, laptops purchased vary from 512GB-1TB. Normal office work requires little storage. These offices store small-sized documents that don't take up much space. Such professionals can purchase a laptop with a storage of 512GB. Again, other professionals like Doctorates, architects, and engineers can opt for laptops with 1TB and above storage capacity. This enables the users to run programs and access specific documents with ease. On the other hand, professionals like engineers, architects, and professors can go for 1TB laptop storage to run the specialized programs or regularly access many documents. The same also applies to designers and bloggers or editors.

Additional Necessities for Laptop Storage

Besides their skilled requirements, customers too need to consider their refreshments needs. Numerous individuals nowadays use laptops to stream important content, listen to music, watch videos and gaming, etc. 1TB laptop storage is ideal if you plan to stream online content like movies or to play high-quality games. Using a laptop with such storage will provide you with adequate space to save your films and games. It will also provide you with a high-quality graphic experience.

Varieties of Laptop Storage

Whenever an individual talks about lasting storage, they actually mean non-volatile storage. This is very different from RAM. Below are examples of volatile laptop storage detailed with their advantages and disadvantages.

Solid-State Drive

This drive has been in use for several years. Unlike other mechanical drives, SSD have no moving parts. On its primary level is a memory mark on a motherboard. So it's just like a thumb drive, SSD uses flash memory. PCIe or SATA are standard interfaces for data transfer at higher speeds than IDE hard disks.


  • It is faster in its operations. Even the slowest SSD provides a more high-speed experience than MHD. The loading of apps and booting is lightning quick
  • The SSD has no moving parts. This ensures that there is no tear. This feature makes your laptop more durable since there is nothing to damage.
  • They use a segment of the MHDs power. Non-moving portions conduct less heat. This means that your laptop won't overheat during operations and prevents discomforts produced by a hot laptop.
  • SSDs have no fragmentation, unlike MHDs. Fragmentation slows down a computer and you manually defragment using software but with SSDs, you won't experience this problem.
  • They are slim and light, enabling laptop manufacturers to design more portable models.
  • SSDs have features like ECC, which makes them have less failure rate than MHD, which has higher failure rates.


  • Current drives are expensive.
  • They have no life span limitation.
  • Mechanical Hard Drive

This is the most common and oldest method of permanent storage. They cheaply store data and this feature has made the fav for a long time. MHD (Mechanical Hard Drive technique was introduced in 1956 by IBM. Usually, disks with higher storage perform better than those with less storage space. Although faster drives consume a lot of power, they tend to be more responsive compared to slower ones.


  • The primary reason MHDs are popular is because of their large storage capacity. They are designed with 160GB-2TB. In most laptops, MHDs come with storage of 500GB-1TB.
  • Its storage is cheaper and of good quality than that of SSDs, which has been lowering every time. If you're on a budget, MHDs are pocket-friendly.
  • MHDs are still the commonly used technique of storage in laptops.


  • MHD is delicate and when exposed to magnetic material, the data on the disk is erased or damaged.
  • MHD has Moving parts that conduct heat which is not healthy for a laptop.
  • MHD storage is very delicate and prone to failure due to its moving parts. This feature endangers the stored information. The information is at the risk of being lost and most times, MHD is not an efficient storage device for your laptop.

MHD List

This storage device provides cheaper high storage capacity. SSD is faster than top-end MHD models. MHD is a kind of storage that is highly prone to loss of data. If you accidentally drop your laptop, the spinning disk cracks and all your saved information is gone. Despite being the most prone type of storage, MHDs are ideal in case you have a lot of information to keep or backup. Speed and capacity are the two primary considerations to think about here. Below is a list of the finest hard drive varieties to opt for when purchasing a new laptop.


Toshiba used to be a popular laptop brand, but they have since fallen behind. Toshiba's product, such as the X300 performance hard drive, was a favorite of many gamers partly because it had a processing speed of 7200RPM.


Seagate gets rated the best all-time hard drive, which offers a reasonable fraction of a gigabyte per dollar. For example, The BarraCuda team offers over 2TB of storage with 7200RPM dishes.

WD Technologies

Known as western digital, these are basically top-end hard drives for individuals who like playing games. The dishes on the VelociRaptor sequences turn at an unheeded of 10,000RPMs to quickly load and launch games. The best thing is that you can purchase a storage device with up to 1TB of storage to house all of them.


The solid-state hybrid disk is a promotion term first created by Seagate. This is the most practical type of data storage. For instance, a laptop with a storage volume of 2TB MHD and 8GB SSD will cost less than its replica with 256GB. Most gaming laptops are manufactured with both MHD and SSD. MHD provides extra storage space while SSD enables faster data transfer and boosts application performance. This storage solution is scarce because of its unique thin design. A computer with a combined drive is cheaper than that with a solid drive by 5 to 26%. This is because of the costly NAND memory pins needed to thrust an SSD.

Comparison Between Mhd and Ssd Laptop Storages

Currently, most attractive and well-selling laptops use SSD. Generally, SSD is better than HDDs because of the following reasons.

  • SSDs are faster than MHDs. SSDs are commonly used in laptops because what an SSD can do within a second will take a minute on MHD.
  • SSDs do not produce unnecessary sounds. This is because they don't have moving parts.
  • SSD will also enable your Laptop to have long battery life. This is because they use minimal power compared to HDD. Less power consumption means less battery power used.
  • SSD is resistant to shock while HDD isn't. SSD won't be affected if you accidentally drop your laptop, but HDD will be affected.

Sometimes you might find it difficult to store all your files on the same drive. In case you need extra space, you might think of acquiring external storage. HDD is cheaper than SSD.when your laptop runs short of storage and starts to operate slowly. For this reason, the user is left with no other option than to purchase an SSD for his laptop.

Things to Know About Sshd Laptop Storage

  • You will have to manually move files from one storage drive to another.
  • You have to uninstall a program then reinstall to another drive if a need arises.
  • You will not realize the advantage of a laptop with combined storage related to an MHD instantly. But its speed will improve with time.
  • Combined programs work in unity; therefore, if either MHD or SSD fails to function, the entire device doesn't function. However, there are failsafe measures to ensure that a failure on one disk does not affect another's performance.
  • Recovery of data on SSHD is more complex than what it would be if it was on either SSD or MHD.

It will be hard to make a decision on this technology since it is new in the market and most people have not interacted with it.

What to Conclude About Laptop Storage?

Before purchasing a new laptop, the storage volume differs from one user to another according to how they intend to use the computer. E.g., if you like to use a laptop for an even task, you can choose a laptop with above 512GB of storage. If you need to perform complex tasks that require huge volumes of storage, a notebook with 1TB storage is perfect for you. In the event of storage types, you can choose between SSDs or HDDs. SSDs are more reliable and faster. This feature makes them expensive. Contrary, HDDs are affordable. Before purchasing a laptop, you need to select the storage according to your individual budget and labor preference. There are numerous models of storage drives available. You can purchase a model that serves your needs well. Students and individuals who do not perform huge tasks should opt for laptops with the least storage volumes. This is because these laptops are cheap to acquire and easy to operate. In cases where the individual has enough money, they can opt for laptops with higher storage capacity. Cloud storage such as Google Drive are alternatives for data storage. These opt-in cases whereby you have run short of storage. If you need more storage, you can opt for external storage devices like SSDs. Before purchasing any laptop, ensure that it meets all your needs. Seek resolutions that you can afford. Laptop storage should be your number one option.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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