How much SSD storage do I need on my Laptop?

SSD storage

This is one of the typical questions of the decade for tech enthusiasts and it does not have any straightforward answer, in fact, it is something you, yourself can answer. But in order to understand how much SSD storage you need in your laptop, you first need to understand the importance of an SSD in a Laptop.

SSDs Importance in a Laptop!

The importance of the storage option that you have on your laptop has increased and is not certainly limited to its size. With the introduction of SSD storage options, a laptop can read and write data at a much faster pace which results in the overall boost in the performance of the Laptop. Booting up your device, running applications happens in seconds.

Moving from a Laptop which uses a mechanical hard drive to a Laptop with SSD, can only help you realize the actual real-life difference that exists between these two storage options. We can go on and on comparing the speeds and performance of laptops with and without SSD, but until and unless you witness the difference in speed yourself, you won’t understand.

Just to put in in simple words, we can say that SSD’s are almost 5 to 10 times faster than most of the traditional Hard Drives included in laptops these days. Basically, even a slow SSDs are 3 – 4 times faster than the fastest and the speediest HDD.

Now, the only drawback that SSDs have, is the pricing. The more storage size you need the more money you will need to invest in this Storage option. When compared to hard drives, SSDs are quite expensive. However, there has been a significant price drop in the manufacturing costs of SSD in the last couple of years.

Now as we have some basic clarity lets dive into our main topic!

How much SSD storage do you actually need?

The HDD nowadays offer at least 1 TB space on every basic Laptop. While SSDs mostly have 128 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB storage options available. SSD are quite costlier than traditional HDD, so you need to make sure that you are utilizing the storage most efficiently.

To determine the right storage size for your Laptop, make sure you first determine the usability of the Laptop. If you are a student who has to perform lightweight activities, then even the 128 GB Storage will suffice. But when you need your Laptop to perform extraordinary tasks and handle multiple high-end applications at once, then you would require at least 512 GB SSD storage.

Similarly, if you have an older laptop with a preinstalled HDD of 512 GB or 1 TB then you can additionally install 256 GB or 512 GB storage to boost up your performance and expand your storage size.  

As mentioned earlier, only you can decide which type of storage you need for your Laptop.

Types of SSDs you can have in your Laptop!

There are multiple forms of SSDs available in the market which offers different levels of performance in terms of Read and Write speed. Most certainly you will encounter these three form factors of SSDs that will fit in your Laptop i.e. 2.5” SATA, M.2, and PCI – E.

SATA SSD

SATA drives are the most common and affordable type of SSDs that uses the SATA connector for power and transferring the data. These 2.5” SSDs are used mainly used as boot drives in desktops or in older laptops. If you are using a Laptop with a 2.5” CD Drive then you can replace that component and install your SATA SSD using a caddy that fits your laptop.

M.2 SSD

Next up we have M.2 SSDs which are now present in the latest generations of laptops. These SSDs come is various form sizes and uses SATA as well as the newer PCI – E connectors, because of multiple connection options you need to ensure that you are buying the right one. In comparison SSDs with PCI – E connectors perform faster than their SATA counterparts. Additionally, M.2 also supports NVMe, which gives it a performance boost to transfer data.

PCI SSD

The latest and the fastest type of SSD in the consumer market is the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) – Express SSDs. These forms of SSD are quite costlier than others but in terms of performance, they deliver the best results. With NVMe you can exploit the capabilities of PCI-e to accelerate the performance of your laptop. You can achieve a sequential read speed of up to 2600 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 1300 MB/s.

But all of this still leaves us with multiple open-ended questions which we will discuss further.


Some Frequently Asked Questions


1. Is 256 GB SSD enough for a Laptop?

Yes, 256 GB SSD Storage is enough to boost your performance, but not quite so, to provide you the primary storage capacity. So if you have a pre-installed HDD in your laptop and looking to upgrade it with a newer SSD, then 256 GB can be the best option.

But investing in a new laptop with 256 GB storage won’t be a feasible option for the long term and you may require to replace or upgrade the storage later on.

2. Is 256 GB SSD enough for programming?

Most certainly yes, for programming you can consider a 256 GB storage. As a programmer when are coding any applications and shifting through various files and folder, having an SSD gives you an advantage as it speeds up the process. You can run an application like Vagrant, Virtualbox, IntelliJ, Phpstorm, etc. with ease. Having external storage is recommended if you’ll be storing large files.

3. Is 512 GB SSD enough for gaming?

The 512 GB SSD is the minimum storage capacity that you can have as a gamer. As the size of games is increasing every year with more and more advanced graphics, the storage capacity also needs to be upgraded accordingly. With 512 GB storage you can have at least 5 – 10 games installed on your laptop, but to accommodate more you will have to uninstall the other games. Having an external storage device would be an add-on if you are not planning to expand the storage capacity any time soon.

SSD Pro Buying Tips!

If you are buying a new laptop, make sure that you have the latest storage options (SSD) available or at least the required expansion ports that support SATA or M.2 PCI-e connections. You can save some money by buying a laptop with a pre-installed SSD as most of the manufacturers charges more than what an actual SSD may cost you.

But if you are deciding to do so, ensure what kind of SSD can be installed (NVMe-PCI e or SATA, 2.5-inch, or M.2) on that particular laptop.

Also, it’s highly recommended to upgrade your older laptop, at least with a smaller sized SSD. I did the same with one of my old HP laptops which used to struggle even while booting up, but with a minimum of investment of Rs. 5,000, I upgraded it with Samsung EVO 860 SSD and now that laptop works like a charm. All you have to do is to install the operating system and important applications on the SSDs while others “not so important” files and folders in your already existing HDD.

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