PC Components

How Much Storage Do You Need on Your Laptop

Laptop Storage

The market is flooded with options when it comes to choosing your digital devices. Finding the perfect fit takes knowing what you need and pairing it with what’s out there, both of which we’re here to help you with.

Below, we’ll take a look at different types of laptop storage both internal and external, and provide you with pointers on how to find how much you really need.

Defining your Use

Everyone uses their devices differently. While some only surf the web and open up Microsoft Word, others have extensive programs and partake in gaming that requires lots of RAM and space for saving spots.

Before deciding how much storage you will need, it’s a good idea to first define your use.

For Students

Students are on the go constantly, so it’s best for them to have a laptop that’s light and portable. For storage, they may not use much, making the standard 512 GB perfect for their needs. Some of the items they may save on their computer include:

  • Saved papers
  • Photos or screenshots
  • Videos
  • Apps and software

For Professionals

Not all professionals are created equally, some using up lots more space than others. While some can get away with the standard 512GB, others with a tech-type job may need something up to 1TB. Those who work in an office may not need anything so powerful.

However, those with jobs on the go or professionals that rely on technology will need to bump their storage up.

For Gamers

We created a special category for gamers because most are looking for max storage and max speed. It’s a good idea to keep what you need professionally apart from what you need for gaming, making sure that you can get the most out of your computer.

Gamers might need 1TB or more depending on what type of gaming they’re doing and whether or not they’re streaming along with friends. The more often they’re gaming, the larger amount of storage space they will need.

Types of Laptop Storage

Your laptop has different kinds of storage. We’ve listed a few below, helping you get a better idea of what kind of storage you’re working with.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

HDDs are one of the most common forms of storage though also the slowest. They are removable and upgradeable, which can add a glimmer of hope to anyone looking to rebuild their computer.

Solid State Drive (SSD)

SSD storage is considered a newer type of storage for laptops, though most on the market will have them. SSDs are mostly not removable and are renowned for their speed. While they are more expensive, they do provide users with more of what they’re looking for when it comes to storage. 

SSD vs. HDD

When you’re out shopping for a laptop, these are likely the two types of storage that you will find. There are a few major differences between the two and knowing about them can help you better choose.

The Price

It should come as no surprise that the HDD beats SSD in price. They have been on the market longer and have sort of become a standard, which has lowered their cost significantly. It could be an option if storage is not the only thing you’re looking for.

The Lifetime

Part of the reason why HDDs have been on the market for such a long time has to do with their durability. They tend to last a long time, in most part due to their less complicated technologies. Though they last long, they are heavier and bulkier, both of which make them more vulnerable to wear and tear.

SSDs are smaller and stay locked in place within the computer. This keeps them from getting damaged and wearing out quickly.

Their Capacity

We’re talking about storage here, so of course, capacity counts! Here, it’s the more modern version that takes the win. SSDs are much smaller and can pack more data into them than HDDs.

Speed

Again, the more modern versions of technology tend to be faster. All evolutions of technology are moving to smaller, faster, more efficient technologies, so SSD wins again. SSDs are a common choice for those who are avid gamers, meaning that they can keep up with quick load times.

Data Encryption

In the days of the web, cybersecurity is a growing threat. Protecting yourself at every angle is necessary, especially if you tend to connect to the web often. SSDs are better at encrypting data than HDDs, as they offer full disk data encryption.

HDDs only offer FDisk data encryption, which is becoming obsolete.

Power Consumption

HDDs work within the computer to process and store data. In doing so, there are a lot of processes involved, which means that they tend to drain your battery. SSDs have found a way around that and do not typically leave you on empty for light computer use.

Noise

Though you might not think about it now, we promise this is something you should consider. HDDs make a lot of noise. When they start to overwork, they can really get noisy, something that could bother you if you’re sensitive to noise.

SSDs on the other hand are very quiet, no matter how much you’re working them. This is just another kink that has been worked out over the years.

Heat Emission

Heating is a major problem with laptops, one that can lead them to an early death. Because of all of the things happening with an HDD while saving, your computer can heat up and do so pretty quick, releasing a lot of excess heat.

SSDs work much differently and do not usually produce a lot of heat. Again, it’s these improvements that have revolutionized the world of storage on the go, including mobile phones and laptops.

How Much Storage Do You Need?

Knowing about the different types of storage out there is one way that you can start to narrow down your storage. When it comes down to finally deciding how much storage you need on your laptop, here are some key things to consider.

Your Habits

First thing’s first, you should think about how you use your computer. It could be worth it to keep track by writing down what you’re doing with your laptop day-to-day. Do this for about a week and estimate what you will need.

Some key things that will change the amount that you need include your job and your habits.

Your Budget

Having unlimited data seems nice until you see the cost. The cost can be extremely high for large amounts of storage, which is not worth it if it’s not something you need. Don’t pay more than you can afford and really think about how much you have before you decide to buy.

Your Goals

Maybe you’re in a transition period in your career and want something that’s adaptable. For example, maybe you’re a student that’s about to land their first job. In that case, you may not need so much storage now but you will likely need more later.

In this case, you could go for 750GB, adding more later if you find that your job creates the need for it. It’s about assessing your situation and deciding what you will need now and what you think you might need in the very near future.

If You’re a Gamer

Gamers are probably going to need the most storage, which is why they should go big when it comes to choosing. 1TB is probably the best, as it’s abundant and quick with processing things like graphics and upload speeds.

If You’re a Digital Creator

Software used by those who do graphic designing and other designing on the web has some pretty hefty storage needs. Depending on the amount you use your computer and what kinds of tasks you’re doing daily, you may need 1TB as well.

If You’re a Blogger

Bloggers do a lot of writing, all of which they save on their devices. Apart from that, some also design their webpage, create eye-pleasing documents, and add videos or photos. They will need a good amount of storage but nothing like gamers or digital creators, able to use anywhere from 512GB and up.

If You’re a Student

Students might need a laptop for assignments and access to the internet. Other than that, they may not use much storage, which is why they can get away with 512GB. Not only are these devices lighter and more portable, but they are also more affordable.

If you’re a Business Professional

If your laptop is part of your daily job and is always on the go with you, then you’ll need a decent amount of storage. A good place to start is around 750GB of storage, increasing by adding additional storage or using external storage to help out.

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