Current laptops have been fully equipped with solid state drives, which bring more powerful performance compared to traditional mechanical hard drives. We need a reliable hard drive to save and retrieve digital information. How much hard drive storage space do you need to buy a laptop to meet your daily work and study needs? Before you dive into the laptop market, let us show you the main ways to permanently store data on your laptop, how to choose a laptop based on storage capacity and help you make the best choice when buying a laptop.
There are 3 types of hard drives for laptops
When someone talks about permanent storage, they are referring to a non-volatile storage solution, which is a completely different storage model as opposed to RAM (a type of volatile storage).
SSD Laptop Hard Disk Drive
A solid-state drive is a non-volatile storage solution. At its base, it is a memory chip on a circuit board. It has an input/output interface, usually in the form of SATA or PCIe (more on this later), to provide data and transfer power.
SSDs use flash memory. Typically, NAND chips exist that use semiconductors to flip the array into different states of charge to store code.
They are relatively stable and can last for years. This type of storage drive is called “solid state” because there is no action other than electrical mode.
SSD technology has been around for many years. However, earlier versions were slower and more expensive to produce in high capacity. Even now, modern SSDs using newer NAND flash chips are more expensive than traditional hard disk drives in terms of capacity – but the cost has become more competitive.
Mechanical Hard Disk Drive (MHD)
This term is a storage solution we use to distinguish SSDs, which use mechanical components to read and write data. Mechanical hard drives (MHDs) are the oldest and most common form of permanent data storage.
The design was first proposed by IBM in 1956. The design of a mechanical hard drive is not unlike that of a jukebox: metal discs called “platters” sit on a spindle that typically spins at 5,400 to 7,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).
Spanning one or more of the discs is a metal arm called the “actuator” arm, the tip of which is called the “head” and sits nanometers above the discs, like the needle of a jukebox. Instead of playing music by feeling the grooves in the record, it reads/writes data.
Often referred to as a solid state hybrid drive (SSHD), it is a high-capacity computer storage solution that utilizes flash-based storage and hard drives. The goal is to speed up notebooks from SSDs to SSDs with cost-effective traditional MHD storage capacity.
Hybrid drives are available in two main configurations: a dual-drive hybrid system and a solid-state hybrid system of the same name.
Dual-drive hybrid system. In this system, a separate SSD and a separate MHD device are installed in the laptop. Optimization of data placement can be performed by the end user or automatically by the operating system by creating a hybrid logical device. The Apple Fusion Drive is a good example.
Solid State Hybrid System. Here, the SSD and MHD are integrated in a single unit. Data placement optimization can be performed entirely by the device in self-optimizing mode. Or through placement “prompts” provided by the operating system in host prompt mode. A good example of this is the Seagate SSHD.
SSHD is a marketing term pioneered by SEAGATE. This is just another way of labeling what is known as hybrid hard drive storage.
Again, in a hybrid drive, the standard MHD is PRIMARY storage. With systems such as Intel Smart Response Technology, performance can be improved by keeping the most commonly used files, such as operating system and program files, on a faster SSD that acts as a cache.
This laptop storage solution is shown as a single drive for the operating system. The firmware is responsible for deciding which files go on the SSD and which files go on the MHD.
Laptops with SSHDs have roughly the same capacity as laptops with traditional MHDs. However, SSHDs are slightly more expensive due to the addition of solid state cache and the firmware needed to control the cache processor.
How much hard drive storage space does a computer need
Most current mainstream models use a hybrid storage model with 128G/ 256GB SSD, or 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD.
Operating system data must be stored in the main hard drive SSD, you can faster data access, the use of the experience is certainly more enjoyable. More software and document video data can be stored in other hard drives, such as a second mechanical hard drive or external mobile hard drive.
In daily use, the Windows 10 operating system and the essential software installed on the computer will take up almost 60GB of hard drive capacity. For squirrel fetish users, if you need to store more movies, songs, pictures, games, or learning, work needs to use documents, 128GB capacity may soon be filled, usually need to pay attention to the data cleanup work.
So, when you buy a laptop, of course, from their own needs, within the budget range allows, the larger the hard drive capacity, the more worry-free to use. It is recommended to buy 256GB SSD, or 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD mainstream configuration.