How to choose your disk space
There is a general belief that bigger is always better when it comes to space, but is that the case? People say you can never have too much space, but when it comes to hard drives, chances are you don’t need a huge amount of space. Let’s go.
What is disk space?
The maximum amount of data a disk can hold is disk space, disk storage, or storage capacity. Every time you save information (music, movies, files) to a disc, that information takes up space on that disc.
How is hard drive capacity calculated?
Space is calculated and displayed in bytes, but mostly in megabytes, gigabytes, and sometimes terabytes. There are certainly much larger sizes, like petabytes, but they are far too large for the average person to use.
These megabytes and other sizes often come from media that may contain information. Your phone, CD, USB drive, and SD card are all examples of devices capable of storing information, and they each come in different sizes.
When you fill up the storage space on a disc, like putting 4 gigabytes of movies on your 4 gigabyte SD card, you can’t store any more movies or other data in the memory. Full capacity has been reached. Storage capacity has been filled and you will need to delete some data before storing new data and accessing data on memory.
How much storage capacity do you need?
The answer to this question mainly lies in what storage you need. If you’re looking to install an operating system like Windows on your laptop, you’ll need a minimum of 20 gigabytes (GB) to 60 GB of free space just for installation.
Microsoft Office would require around 3GB of free space, and if you’re looking to get into image manipulation, Adobe Photoshop would also require an additional 3GB. Games, CAD programs, audio editing programs and other tools would need 4 GB to 100 GB of free space, especially for very large games.
So basically, if you need an operating system like Windows on your laptop, alongside Microsoft Office for work and a few games, you might need around 300GB.
How much storage space should you get?
People have many storage options with technology, including cloud storage services and external storage spaces like SD cards. If you’re looking to set up a new computer, but save most of your media externally, you can get by with a smaller hard drive to cut costs. Your new drive can just serve as a backup to prevent data loss, so it doesn’t need to have a large storage capacity.
120GB to 250GB would be perfect for work or school purposes, and other entertainment related data can be saved to external hard drive/storage.
However, if you can afford the cost and prefer to save all your data on one hard drive, you can get a large hard drive (1TB to 2TB) instead of having two drives with different storage capacities. . In most cases, a 512GB hard drive would suffice for most people except gamers.
How much space do documents and media files take up in hard drive storage?
The question of “how much content” or “how much space” is very vital, especially if you are trying to get a new computer. It is usually difficult to give an exact figure to the sizes required for documents in binary data, as well as for multimedia files.
They all vary in length, format, and what may be inside the file itself. Photo sizes will differ from video sizes, which will differ from movie sizes, which will also differ from audio sizes.
Here’s a generally helpful guide to how much data you expect to store on 2GB disk storage:
- 1 hour of MPEG-2 video
- 65 RAW images typical of the semi-professional camera
- 400 JPG files 3000x2000px
- 200-500 typical PDF files
- 5000 mp3 songs from 3 to 4 minutes
- 1,000 to 200,000 typical Excel files
- 8,000 to 200,000 typical Word files (without images)
Does speed matter with hard drives?
There are two main types of drives: hard drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). Both are inherently similar in that they typically have massive disk storage capacity in GB or terabytes (TB).
However, where they differ is in speed. A hard disk drive (HDD) is powered by spinning disks that spin at a particular speed, regardless of how much storage the hard drive contains.
The faster the hard disk spins, the more information it can read and write to the disk. Laptop hard drives often run slower than desktop computer hard drives because desktop computers can reach 15,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) while a laptop can only spin at around half that. If you use your computer for gaming or intensive work, consider getting a hard drive with fast-spinning discs to ensure high performance.
Slower hard drive or small space is unreliable and will definitely make your computer slow down with gaming and work and could slow you down.
Due to advancements in technology, today’s computer hard drives are SSDs, which do not have a motor that spins in revolutions per minute.
The SSD has no moving parts. Speed is measured in megabytes (MB) per second. Similarly, RPM does not affect the storage capacity of an HDD, MB/s does not affect the storage capacity of the SSD. With SDD, you can get a small space with very high speeds, or even a large capacity with lower speeds, depending on your preference.
So how much disk storage do you need?
As long as you put aside the basic 80 GB, you have to install large operating systems like Windows and other system programs. You should also free up space on your hard drive for the programs you will be working with.
If you like movie making or architectural design, you might need an extra 10-50 GB for software. If you’re studying for school, maybe just 5-10 GB, and if you’re a gamer, 500 GB might be enough.
So, would you use your device to store a lot of multimedia? If you store and watch movies on your device and each movie is around 2GB, you will need at least 300GB on your hard drive for around 150 movies. If you also plan to save a lot of photos and music on your PC, you may need to set aside additional 5GB for that.
Keep in mind that it is important to over-plan. If you need 120GB, it would be beneficial to get something much higher, like a 250GB hard drive, and there’s a reason for that. All hard drives work best when they have enough space. Whenever the capacity of your hard drive exceeds 80% of the used space, it will slow down noticeably.
Physical size constraints
Desktop computers generally have more storage capacity than laptops, which generally have more storage capacity than phones. Because desktop computers are large, it is possible to physically fit in a larger drive and even easily store multiple users’ data.
Laptops are smaller than desktops, and the largest disk capacity you’ll typically find for a (very large) laptop is 1TB. Physical space is smaller with laptops, so hard drives are also smaller.
Because the phones are so much smaller, you’d be hard-pressed to find phones with more than 500GB of built-in storage. So, depending on your device, the storage may differ.
Choosing the perfect storage space for your device means deciding what you’ll save on that space. If you need a lot of space and a lot of speed, using a desktop computer would be more beneficial and meet your storage needs.
Laptops are more portable, but they can have storage capacity constraints. However, most people don’t need more than 1TB of total capacity, which makes these portable devices very useful and popular. Phones are similar, with people mainly saving videos and other media, and since phones often offer external storage slots, it’s easy to get by.
External storage can include everything from cloud storage to your USB drive, as long as it can store information outside of a device. You may find that you can put large content on external storage spaces and leave your hard drive space to keep only your most important data.
Warning: This article is not the official guide to the disk space process but is based on the author’s research or his own personal experience.
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