How Much SSD Storage Do I Need: 4 Things to Consider

James Wood
Do you know how much SSD storage space you'll need for your PC or laptop? Choose the right SSD size for your needs, from operating systems and software to video editing, gaming, and general storage. We will discuss what size SSD you need for your boot drive, scratch disk, games, photographs, and other purposes. Learn how to leave room for expansion and when to add a supplementary HDD.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are storage devices that use flash memory to store data. They are faster, more reliable, and more energy-efficient than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and have no moving parts. However, they are also more expensive per gigabyte (GB) storage capacity. When choosing an SSD, the required volume is one of the most important considerations.

Here are some tips on determining the right SSD size for your needs:

Table Of Contents

1. Consider your primary usage

Here lies one of the biggest motivations for acquiring an SSD drive and its capacity. The most crucial factor in determining SSD size is your primary computer usage. Let us dive deep and examine the different types of SSDs in terms of storage and how much one needs for what purpose.

2. Account for the operating system and programs

A typical Windows 10 installation takes around 20GB, while productivity suites like Microsoft Office can take up to 15 GB. Different operating systems require varying amounts of storage space for installation and updates. Moreover, newer versions of software applications often have increased storage demands. Therefore, any programs or software you need should align with the total SSD space. Leave at least 50-100GB for the Operating and apps.

Operating System Version Minimum Disk Space Recommended Disk Space RAM Other Parameters
Windows Windows 11 64GB 128GB 4GB UEFI mode, TPM 2.0
Windows Windows 10 32GB 64GB 2GB MBR or UEFI mode
Windows Windows 8/8.1 16GB 20GB 2GB MBR or UEFI mode
Windows Windows 7 16GB 20GB 1GB MBR mode
Linux Ubuntu 22.04 8GB 25GB 2GB Internet connection for updates
Linux Ubuntu 20.04 4GB 25GB 1GB Internet connection for updates
Linux Debian 11 2GB 10GB 512MB Supports multiple architectures
Linux CentOS 8 5GB 10GB 1GB Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

3. Is there enough room for growth?

Getting more space than you need to start with is always a good move. Storage needs often grow over time with continued usage, and you want to avoid migrating to a new SSD later on due to a lack of sufficient storage. Leaving storage space of at least 25-50% free space on the drive is recommended.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to add an additional SSD drive to a computer:

Follow these steps carefully and the additional SSD will be ready to use as added storage space or even as the primary boot drive. Make sure to back up important data first.

4. Consider cost

Larger SSDs come with higher price tags. Prioritize capacity for your OS, apps, and essential files first, then weigh the cost vs. benefit of the large SSDs for secondary data storage. An external HDD may be more cost-effective for media files and backups.

SSD NAND Type Read Speed Write Speed IOPS Price (USD/GB)
TLC 3D NAND 560MB/s 510MB/s 95K 0.22
QLC 3D NAND 540MB/s 480MB/s 75K 0.15
MLC 3D NAND 560MB/s 530MB/s 100K 0.37
SLC 3D NAND 580MB/s 560MB/s 120K 0.52
NVMe PCIe 3D TLC 3500MB/s 3000MB/s 500K 0.37
NVMe PCIe 4.0 TLC 5000MB/s 4400MB/s 800K 0.45

This table compares the price and performance of different 3D NAND chips like TLC, QLC, MLC, SLC, as well as PCIe NVMe interface chips.

TLC 3D NAND offers the best value as mainstream consumer-grade chips. SLC has the highest performance but also price. PCIe NVMe chips have significantly higher read/write speeds and IOPS compared to SATA interface.

Selecting different SSD NAND types based on actual needs and budget can achieve optimal price/performance ratio.


Q. How long will my SSD last?

SSDs are a familiar technology. They have recently become popular, so we need years of data to back up the answer. However, the average estimated lifespan of an SSD is around ten years, a step up from the five-year estimation of HDDs

Here are some common FAQs about how much SSD storage you need:

Q. How much SSD space do I need for essential use?

For light general use like web browsing, email, document writing, etc., a 128GB to 256GB SSD is usually enough. The operating system and programs will take up at most 50GB, leaving plenty of room for some files.

Q. How much SSD space do I need for gaming?

For gaming computers, a 512GB SSD is recommended at a minimum. Games can take up over 100GB per title for modern games. A 1TB or larger SSD will provide plenty of space for a healthy game library.

Q. Can I use an external SSD rather than an internal one?

External SSDs connect via USB, which is a slower interface. Internal SSDs connect via SATA for your PC's full speed. But for non-demanding uses like extra storage, external SSDs work great.

Q. Should I get one large SSD or two smaller ones?

One large SSD is preferable for simplicity. But two smaller SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration can offer enhanced speed and capacity. Consider your budget and performance needs.


SSDs have become very popular due to their reliability and speed. A 120GB -250GB SSD is a good starting point for most average users using their computers for web browsing, email, social media, and office work. Intermediate users who engage in demanding tasks like photo editing, video editing, or streaming will need a larger SSD of 500 GB or 1TB. Heavy Gamers and professionals may want a 2TB or larger capacity. It is crucial, therefore, to assess your specific needs based on your OS, software, and file storage requirements. With SSD prices declining over time, buying more capacity than you need today for greater flexibility down the road makes sense. I hope this article has helped you make an informed decision about how much SSD  you need.

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