How Much Storage Do I Need on My Laptop?

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A laptop's Storage Hard Drive

When you head towards the market to buy yourself a new laptop, there are many factors that you keep in mind. These factors mostly comprise the processor’s power, processor’s speed, RAM capacity, screen size, etc. These specifications directly contribute to our needs and liking and define how many specs we require for our laptop.

 However, there are certain important factors that most people ignore, (or underestimate). Those factors play a huge role in choosing a laptop. And that factor is none other than choosing the amount of storage you need in your laptop.

Choosing the right amount of storage can be hectic in a lot of ways. This choice depends on your requirement, your budget, your professional level, your amount of data, etc. Speed is also a factor that can be considered in choosing the right storage. Speed like choosing an SSD over an HDD and vice versa. 

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So before you make your final decision, let me walk you through a number of requirements per individual, about laptop storage and its sufficiency in their needs.

  1. Beginner’s footsteps (128GB – 256GB):

This category is fundamentally the very first option you get when choosing the laptop’s storage. Any number below this is either outdated or literally of no use. So basically, here is the step where the storage game starts.

Typically, this amount of storage is ideal for children’s laptops. Or for the people who have almost nothing to store on their laptops. As the number of online activities (e.g. online classes, assignments, homework, etc.) is increasing due to the pandemic. This much space is ideal for children who have nothing special to do on their laptops except to join classes, watch videos, and do their regular homework. This special storage choice is categorized especially for them as they don’t even have to use Microsoft Office.

  1. Student-friendly (256GB – 512GB):

The second category ideally sits perfectly for the students who have nothing much to do on their laptops. Although their requirement depends on the type of education they’re getting, the average school/college student needs not much than 512 GB storage.

This much storage covers the needs of regular Microsoft Office usage, for example, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. Again, depending upon the type of education, a regular college student with such mild activities will get along with this perfectly. However, the students with computer science, art and media, medical, and engineering course might need some bigger space for their complex projects and activities.

Furthermore, if you are a mass communication student, an engineering student, a medical student, or a nursing student, I have the best suggestions for choosing the right laptop for yourself. You can follow up by clicking on the highlighted links.

  1.  Daily Life’s Companion (512GB – 1TB):

This amount of storage is ideal for people with either casual activities or formal work handling. By latter category, I mean by managing office work.

So if you are looking for a family laptop that goes around and gets its hands on everyone in the house, this might be the best storage bet. This storage can handle all the family needs like storing family photos and videos, kids’ assignments and homework, elder’s business-related stuff, and the list goes on and on. 

However, if we talk about the business here, this much storage is known sufficient for storing business-related software such as Microsoft Office, etc. You can store your documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and much more along with some specialized programs that aid in your work.

Furthermore, if you’re an accountant and looking for a perfect laptop for your job, I have an interesting article ready and you can read it by clicking here. It’ll cut a great amount of stress off your shoulders by helping your choose the best in the business!

A man using his laptop in his office
  1. Gaming Enthusiast (1TB – 3TB):

After all the regular usage is put aside, under 1 TB of storage, it’s time to level up the game and dedicate this much storage for gamers. Believe it or not, gaming needs a lot of space, no matter how heavy or light the game is, it requires a tremendous amount of storage space. This much space is used to store its setup, installation, and even saved games data.

However, there are still plenty of games such as Minecraft, that require lesser installation space but grows into a massive data storing space. And in contrast, there are games such as Call of Duty that require massive installation space but little data storage.

So that’s how it is important to choose a good amount of storage if you prefer gaming on your laptop. And better to be on the safe side, it’s best to choose something above 1 TB. 

  1. Media Editors/ Professionals (4TB Plus):

This category is by far, the most ‘storage hungry’ category I can ever associate. This storage amount is dedicated to photo and video editing specialists that require a lot of storage in order to cater to their professional needs. Even the programs that support such editing eat up a lot of storage. 

The main concern that arises in this situation is that this much storage space gets eaten up under the user’s nose. We can relate to this situation by observing the freed-up space when we clear out useless selfies from our phone’s gallery. So the amount of data required to stack up all those edited photos and videos take a lot of storage. So it’s better to be on the safer side and go for the maximum option available.

Although I have mentioned the basic categories up above, there are certain factors that are still worth considering when you’re choosing the right storage for your laptop.

Moreover, if you are a professional game developer and are looking for the overall best laptop for your work, You can read an article by clicking here where I have compiled an article that helps you choose the best laptop for your job.

Your Dream Brand:

Choosing the right laptop brand, or your dream brand also has a great impact on the storage factor. For example, if you are a big fan of Apple products and looking forward to getting yourself a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air, you’ll only be able to score space of about 256GB or 512GB. This is because MacBook overall is an expensive device and the storage comes with this aspect along with it. Although you can upgrade the storage later, it is too, an expensive alternative. 

But if you are a Microsoft fan and are looking to buy a Microsoft Surface laptop for yourself, you can easily get a storage space of more than 1TB within the same price range. So, the choice of brand and model deeply affects your available storage options as well.

Also, there’s another category that synchronizes to this heading by introducing refurbished laptops. So if you are keen to know more about the refurbished ones, click here to read an entire article about it.

Data Processing Speed:

This aspect carries a good amount of consideration because here, you choose how much data processing speed you want. In other words, how fast you want to read and write your data in your storage device. So, in order to serve that purpose, there are two types of storage drives available for a computer. One is HDD and the other is SSD. 

Hard Disk Drive, or HDD, on the first hand, involves typical technology running around the globe for decades. It’s the conventional hard drive that comprises a small needle that runs across a metallic spinning disk for the read and write purpose. 

An HDD is a heavy storage device that has a slower processing speed. Its characteristics make it ideal for storing data such as images, videos, movies, etc. One of the reasons most people choose an HDD is because it costs less money.

A Solid State Drive, or an SSD, on the other hand, is a more ‘modern’ storage solution. Unlike HDD’s mechanical spinning disks, an SSD consists of memory chips embedded inside a circuit board. This advancement reduces a lot of factors such as noise, fragmentation, data loss, and storage failure. However, these facilities come with a price and that’s why SSDs are known to be expensive. 

Budget:

This is ultimately one of the most vital factors you should consider when getting the right storage for your laptop. Your budget defines everything and it’ll also define how much storage you can afford. This parameter should be considered because the storage itself can cost you a lot of money. So it’s good to take a wise decision in this regard.

The usual HDD will cost you less and will provide you with more storage but it will come with a catch. You will compromise with its outdated technology and its slower processing speed. On the other end, an SSD will give you a relatively faster read and write speed, compact in size, and fast response. However, it will cost you quite more than the HDD. By more, it can affect your budget to a good extent. So no matter what category you fall in, you should always consider going for that storage amount that your money can buy.

Money with Piles of Cash

Conclusion:

So in order to get yourself a laptop with a perfect storage size, observe and analyze your regular routine with the laptop. You will get to know how much work you do on average, how much data you store, and how much data you process. Then after calculating, it’s better to go for the option that goes ‘slightly above’ than the usual requirement. This is to ensure the safety factor and to ensure you don’t really run out of space in the nick of time. 

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