Laptop PC Storage Explained: HDD, SSD, Hybrid, eMMC

Laptop PC Storage - HDD, SSD, Hybrid HHDD - SSHD, eMMC

When buying a new laptop, 2-in-1, or tablet PC, its data storage capabilities are among the most important factors for your purchase decision. Your choice of internal data storage device will depend on performance and cost, but also on your storage capacity needs. In this article, we will explain the main differences between four storage types you can find in modern Windows-based laptops and other portable PCs – hard disk drives (HDD), solid state drives (SSD), hybrids (HHDD / SSHD), and eMMC storage. The article also contains a table of required space by various software and common user document and media files, so you can sum them up and calculate how much space you actually need.

Hard Disk Drive Storage (HDD)

Hard disk drives or HDDs are traditional storage devices for personal computers. You can find them in the vast majority of notebooks, especially inexpensive ones. They are based on rotating magnetic platters and reading heads. HDDs are the slowest kind of storage in modern PCs. In today’s era of fast processors and large system memory amounts, hard drive is oftentimes a system performance bottleneck. In comparison to solid state drives, hybrid drives, and eMMC storage, they’re characterized by longer system boot-up times, slower application and file loading, and slower file copy / paste command execution. On the positive side, HDD is the cheapest kind of storage.

Rotational speed of platters of 5,400 rounds-per-minute is the standard one for laptop-use hard drives. HDDs in select notebooks spin at 7,200 rpm, making read / write speeds and access to data somewhat quicker. However, 7,200 rpm HDDs for laptops are a rarity on the market and don’t improve overall performance much. Besides rotational speed, size of an HDD’s cache memory which is usually either 8 or 16MB, also affects performance.

Laptop hard drives come in the 2.5-inch form factor and are connected to the rest of the PC systems via the SATA III interface, which replaced SATA II years ago.

Since hard disk drives are mechanical devices and notebooks are meant to be carried around, manufacturers have to use enhanced HDD shock protection technologies to prevent data loses caused by accidental drops.

The most common hard drive capacity in today’s laptops is 1 Terabyte (TB) or 1,000 Gigabytes (GB). Many of the cheap laptops come with a smaller 500 GB hard drive, while 2 TB size is occasionally used in some more expensive notebooks.

Solid State Drive (SSD) Storage

Solid state drive-based storage is newer technology than the decades old hard drive storage. SSDs have no moving parts, since data is stored on Flash memory-based modules. Performance of different SSD models varies, but all available on the market are significantly faster than any laptop hard drive. For performance comparison of HDDs and SSDs, which are the most common types of storage in laptops on the market today, you can check out this test. Other advantages of solid state storage versus hard drives are completely silent operation, lower power consumption, and lower chances of data loss due to accidental drops.

SSDs in the latest notebooks come in two form factors:

  • 2.5-inch (same as 2.5″ HDDs but thinner in some cases) with traditional SATA storage interface and
  • smaller M.2 card format with its own interface, which can be faster than SATA, depending on notebook’s motherboard design.

While almost all notebooks have a 2.5″ storage bay, those supporting only M.2 format are select thin-and-light computers.

A relatively new technology on the storage market is NVMe. It enables extremely fast operation of NVMe-compatible M.2 solid state drives in laptops with NVMe support. In day-to-day home and office tasks, you probably wouldn’t notice NVMe speed boost over non-NVMe M.2 and 2.5″ SSDs. But NVMe will show its potential in some storage-intensive scenarios like copying a large number of files or editing large high-def videos.

Some laptops, primarily high-performance business and gaming class machines, combine different storage interfaces and bays. In these laptops, PC makers usually pair an empty 2.5” hard drive with an M.2 solid state drive with operating system and programs installed on it. This combination delivers both large storage space and fast OS boot-up and program loading speeds.

On the negative side, common capacities of solid state drives are generally smaller than capacities of mechanical hard drives. SSDs vary between 128 GB and 1 Terabyte and have a noticeably higher price per Gigabyte than hard drives.

Hybrid Hard Drive / Solid State Drive Storage (HHDD or SSHD)

Laptop-use hybrid hard disk drives (HHDD), also known as solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs), combine hard drive and solid state storage in a single 2.5″ device. They aren’t as widely adopted as pure HDDs and SSDs. Hybrid drives have all parts you can find in a classic HDD and include an SSD module on top of them. It’s hard to compare raw performance of HHDDs / SSHDs to HDDs, SSDs, and eMMC, because hybrids don’t load every stored file and installed program at a same speed. They boost loading only of software and files selected by their caching algorithms, based on your common computer usage scenarios. Software and files you most frequently use, including those required for booting up the operating system itself, are stored on the SSD portion for faster loading. Accessing the rest of the data stored on the HDD portion isn’t quicker than on comparable pure HDDs.

Common capacities of laptop-use hybrid storage devices are 500GB and 1TB on the hard disk platters, plus either 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of SSD memory.

Embedded Multimedia Card (eMMC) Storage

Embedded Multimedia Card or eMMC is more affordable and slower Flash-based storage than solid state drives. eMMC is usually found in smartphones and other consumer electronics devices, but it’s used in personal computers, too. In everyday use, performance of eMMC storage is somewhere between speed of HDDs and SSDs. In the PC segment, you can find eMMC soldered onto motherboards of some budget-class notebooks, tablet PCs, and 2-in-1 computers.

eMMC capacity provided by these PCs is either 32GB or 64GB, rarely 128GB. These are quite limited capacities by today’s standards. To make things easier, most of the eMMC-equipped laptops have a memory card slot in which you can insert a memory card (SD or microSD) to expand internal storage capacity. In addition, computer makers often bundle eMMC-based computers with free access to storage on a remote server, popularly known as cloud storage.

As same as SSDs, eMMCs are power-efficient and completely quiet.

How Much Storage Space You Need

Here’s a list of storage space required by Windows operating system, some popular software and game titles, and common users’ files such as movies, songs, and documents.

Windows OS and Programs GB*
Windows 10 64-bit 11.00
Microsoft Office 365 Personal 1.80
Chrome Web Browser 0.40
Chrome’s Temporary Internet Files (After 1 Month of Web Surfing) 0.70
VLC Media Player 0.10
Adobe Photoshop CS6 1.00
Adobe Acrobat Reader 0.15 Photo Editor 0.05
Skype for Desktop 0.05
Avast Security Software (with Virus Definitions Downloaded) 0.80
League of Legends Game 4.30
Minecraft Game (without Additional Mods and Texture Packs) 0.15
Counter Strike: Global Offensive Game 10.50
Skyrim Game 5.50
Battlefield 4 Game 42.00
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Game 49.00
User Files GB*
MP3 Song (5 minutes, 320Kbps) 0.01
Movie (1.5-Hour) Blu-Ray Rip Converted to 1080p H.264 File (File Size Depends on Selected Quality) 5.00
Movie (1.5-Hour) DVD Rip Converted to 720p H.264 File (File Size Depends on Selected Quality) 1.00
High-Res Picture Captured with DSLR Camera (File Size Depends on Selected Quality) 0.01
Five-Minute 1080p Video Clip Recorded with DSLR Camera (File Size Depends on Selected Quality) 0.45
Word Document with 5 Pages of Text and 2 Images 0.01
Excel Spreadsheet Document with 100 Rows and 3 Columns Populated + 1 Chart 0.01

*Values in the table are approximate.

You should keep in mind that some Windows features such as Windows Update and System Restore, as well as drivers for your hardware, require additional space. Also, manufacturers usually dedicate a portion of storage space to files needed for system recovery, therefore shrinking available space for users’ files and programs.

Note: This post was updated on 2/1/2019.

126 thoughts on “Laptop PC Storage Explained: HDD, SSD, Hybrid, eMMC”

  1. I really appreciate the breakdown of laptop storage options! Thank you for taking the time to explain it all!

    • Interesting article. From my experience, i prefer a double type of storage options in laptop i.e. hdd and ssd.

  2. What is the minimum and maximum memories a drive can have in a laptop.
    The memory that comes with the laptop.
    The one that I can buy or install by myself.
    I need details.
    Somebody changed my laptops.
    Thank you.

    • When it comes to gaming the more RAM the better. But keep in mind operating systems can have upper limits as to how much RAM they will see. Also system boards have upper limits that they will support. And there are also different speeds for how fast the clock (over simplification) in RAM will run AND what speeds of the RAM your system board will support. But generally speaking for computer gaming you want to buy the fastest, best brand and most RAM that you can afford and that your system board and operating system will support. But it’s NOT just RAM that gives you the best gaming experience. You also have to consider hard drive size and speed, video card and how much RAM it has on board and its speed. Also your internet connectivity because tons of games are on line multiplayer now a days. It’s not uncommon for some extreme gamers (like myself) to build a high end gaming computer and spend a couple thousand dollars. And amazingly the cost can even go much higher. I assemble my own gaming systems so I get the most “bang” for my bucks. I hope this helps a little.

    • Dan,
      Hi, I am Robin and I am hoping you can help me. I have to begin looking for a new laptop computer or tablet. While the one I currently have is still working, I purchased it in 2012. I don’t want to take chances it will stop working in this day and time.
      Currently, I do much of what I do on my phone, but still need my computer for things such as backing up photos, typing letters and such, Zoom, and telehealth appointments with doctors, amount other things.
      My problem is two fold, I am on a fixed somewhat low income with Social Security Disability and also needing to save for a car. Additionally, when I look at computers I know only the difference between brands, memory, and the size and the ones I can afford.
      Is there anyway you might be able to help me know better what I might need in a laptop or tablet? I’d really appreciate it.
      If not personally, perhaps some articles that can help me out.
      I really appreciate it.
      Thank you and Happy New Year to you.

  3. Hi I am computer illiterate and I want to buy a real good laptop for everyday use..massive photo storage as I love photography and taking flicks…want to get into video editing so enough storage for possibly that or some videos and other than those things some microsoft word usage and web browsing (usually have many pages open at once for days) My last two computers were horrible…freezing, blue screen, slow as crap…not even the most patient of people could sit around for hours waiting for the computer to respond to the click. I was referred to and have had my eye on Microsoft Surface …I dont like really light/thin computers in case it falls so Im ok with a bit thicker (Surface book?) any input on Microsoft Surface. They are very expensive..not sure what I’m paying for so my biggest concern is with memory and gb’s that come with..everything changes so quickly with whats on the market..if I will be paying over 1g I want to get something that will be reliable and wont give me issues for a long time.Costco and walmart always have lower priced models with 8gb, 256gb ssd –Im always confused by what that means exactly but do you think that is enough? I mean 8gb on the computer does not seem like alot at all…I have 64gb on my phone and I fill that up with my pictures and stuff. They have confused me in the past couple years with all the different models and specs…i have no idea what i will be getting for spending 1-2gs..I am looking to spend around 1g. Does it mean the computer memory is 8gb and the solid state drive memory another 256gb? I mean even the 8gb is $1200+ For example “Microsoft Surface Laptop3 15″ Windows Computer Ryzen R5 16GB DDR 256GB SSD Platinum” ?what should i be looking for?Then comes the question of Microsoft pro, microsoft book or mircosoft business..there is just so much to choose from..I just dont want to have memory or slow computer problems..reliability etc. Ive read alot of complaints even with the $2gs and over models of Microsoft Surface of them crashing or giving problems after only a couple of months. What is your advice and any experience with using Microsoft Surface? If not any other similar high rated and reliable laptops you would recommend? I dont understand how they get off on this pricing the sales paper I see MIcrosoft Surface laptop 4 13.5″ 8gb,256ssd for $850 and then i see Microsoft Surface laptop Go 12.4 same exact memory 8gb, 256ssd for 649.00 …$200 difference but same exact to offer..why? only difference I see is a slightly smaller screen by like 1″ -Obviously I need help understanding whats out there and what would be the best choice. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi, here are my personal specs minimums when buying a laptop today:

      – The display must have at least Full HD 1920×1080-pixel display resolution (for a sharp picture) and mandatory IPS technology (as opposed to TN technology with narrow viewing angles).
      – The storage device must be SSD, not a slow HDD which can ruin performance of a laptop, even ones with good processors (maybe that’s the main cause of your bad experience with laptops).
      – For everyday computing, the processor should be one of the Intel Core i5 / i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 / 7 series. If you want to edit videos regularly (more demanding than everyday home and office tasks), I recommend one of the processors among these with “H” suffix, like the Intel Core i7-11800H or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H.
      – RAM size should be at least 8GB, preferably 16GB (important for running multiple tasks at the same time.)
      – Storage space of 256GB (SSD) is quite decent, but videos are usually quite large files, so if you can get 512GB or 1000GB (1TB) that’s highly recommended (for storing videos).
      – For video editing, having a dedicated video card like the Nvidia GeForce GTX or RTX series can speed up a lot some operations within video editing programs. These cards, as well as H-series main processors, can be usually found in gaming laptops (there are multiple sub-$1000 models).

      So that’s a short list regarding performance. Other features like screen size and design, they depend on your liking. As for durability, I think all newer laptop models are good, but if you want an extra durable chassis, take a look at some business class laptops, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad T or X series, HP EliteBook, or Dell Latitude 5000 / 7000 for example.

    • Hi my son has a HP Stream 14″, Intel Celeron 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, And wants to play halo on it. I was told I need to buy external storage in order for him to download and play. What external drive should I purchase? Which do you recommend for gaming for the type of laptop he has ? Thank you

      • Hi mj, it depends on which halo he is planning on downloading but 64 gb should be enough, but i can tell you that it will be impossible to even launch the game with a intel celeron. If you are planning on getting a laptop or pc or him I would recommend a amd rysen 5 5500u or 5500h and integrated graphics should be enough to get decent fps for mos games including the newest halo, halo infinite. A laptop or pc with 8 gb ram, a rysen 5 550u, and 128 gb of nvme storage (not listed in this article but a good storage option) should be around $600 american dollars.

  4. So, after all, reading this which laptop do you prefer with SSD storage? For normal usages like video rendering and development?

  5. I have a windows 10 64 bit 3090 Intel celeron laptop with only 64 gigs of storage and I was wondering if it is the right choice to get a 1tb ssd drive for It and was also wondering if this would ruin my laptop.

  6. Hello,
    I am computer illiterate. I just purchased an Asus R420ma, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 4 gb 14″ 64 GB eMMcmulti format card reader, VGA webcam, wi-fi intergrated 5 (80211 ac, interface 802.1/b/g/n, 2type A USB 3.0 (usb 3.1 Gen 1, 1 HDMI 1.4, 1 micro SD Card. Sorry, but I thought all that might help to have more.
    What I am trying to find out, is what hardware I need to improve the above. On a tight budget, but I want to increase storage, Will I be able to with an external HD, and do you know how high I can go on this particular model? Am I understanding 128 is as high as it will take? Also, a USB hub?
    I don’t know if you are familiar with genealogy programs (family history) but my main purpose to get this laptop/notebook is for using to store that and run the program. When I bought it I was not aware it is just a notebook. So I am just trying to make do with what I have, with any inexpensive add’l hardware.
    I appreciate your article and hope you can give me some advice.

    Thank you,
    Linda Snow Davis

    • I’m not a computer expert but in the past, I’ve purchased external hard drives and flash drives to expand storage. If there’s a usb available, you should be able to add external storage fairly easily and relatively cheaply. I hope this helps.

      Some laptops allow additional internal hard drives to be added but it depends and varies widely. There’s usually a finite amount you can add.

  7. The article has been really helpful.pls I have a Toshiba satellite c40-c-10Q with a 32g eMc storage as explained. Can it be upgraded for more storage space with internal SSD drives as I have need for it now and the memory card option won’t cut it for my purposes . I read the system specs and it said it has sata 111 connectors though I ve not opened it up to confirm . I thought the eMMc storage was a SSD drive when buying ,now I know better. Thanks

    • I truly feel that these laptop makers prey on the computer illiterate users. 32GB or even 64GB of eMMC is not enough to run bloatwear Windows 10, now I am not knocking windows 10 as I use it everyday for work and it is a solid operating system. what I am knocking is that these companies would fool users into thinking they are getting a great deal with the low price. I give anyone that purchase these systems 1 year before the are freaking out because their OS C:\ drive is full. Windows updates will fill that in no time at all. I have been in this business for 30 years and I want to tell people stay away, far away from the eMMC systems. Also your extra 128GB SSD card is not a hard drive it is a memory stick which is very slow. Please don’t be fooled or dragged into by the low price. Remember you get what you pay for…

      • Thanks so MUCH! What do u recommend for small budget- mainly using for streaming and Tiktok, writing/ running google services frequently and pictures…

        • @Mindy – Here are my personal minimum requirements: at least Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor, SSD drive (mandatory, HDDs are much slower), at least 8GB RAM, and IPS wide viewing angle display.

  8. Thank you so much for this article! I have a few specific needs and plan to upgrade later so I’m literally looking for the cheapest but most efficient laptop for the time being. I settled on a HP Laptop 15.6, however, I really want to have something smaller like the Lenovo 2in1 11.6″… I saw it for a really good price and wanted to snag it. Literally, going to return the HP after reading this article. The goal was to research before purchasing but nevertheless, this article has helped me understand my needs and my options! I only need to type via word document and view pdfs and slide presentations (Office 365). I need my laptop to be portable so I need to get rid of the HDDs in the event, I bump or drop the laptop (or run for the metro train, etc. I’m a mover). My only issue now is the storage space. Yes, I know I can get external hard drives and even SDs or microSDs, but I just want to understand just how much space is 32 eMMC compared to 500 GB??? Great article, very informative! Also, I can’t stand how the HP doesn’t have an accidental touch feature. This bugs me on laptops when they jump to different screens and change your placement when typing. Totally annoying. Thanks again!!

    • Hi, 32 Gigabytes is really small storage space for a Windows-based computer. On 32GB drives with Windows on it, there’s usually around only 15GB of free storage space for your files. That said, if you don’t plan to save large files on it (movies, large high-res images, etc) and don’t plan to install a lot of programs, 15GB can be enough.

      You can see in the table above amounts that programs and user files take on a drive. For instance, a Word Document (example) with 5 pages of text and 2 images can take up approximately 10 Megabytes or 0.01 GB.

      • Hi Dan,

        I’m looking for a small portable laptop for writing books and watching movies, online meetings and stuff like this. What do you recommend? I have no idea how much GB I need.
        Thank you

        • If you don’t store movies and other large video files onto your laptop, then you don’t need large storage space. If these movies are streamed like Netflix etc and not stored locally, 256GB would most likely be sufficient for you. But make sure you get SSD as opposed to slow HDD storage. BTW, text writing doesn’t require large storage space.

  9. Ive been searching for a laptop or 2 n1 . I play games, pay bills, search, want touchscreen & ssd. Cant spend a lot, i need to know what size ram etc. I need?? You have great info

    • Depends On what type of games you want to play an alienware laptop the cheapest one would be the best for you

    • but the only thing is you don’t have a touchscreen so if this is definitely needed look at the specs of an Alienware laptop and get the same but with a touchscreen, eBay is probably the best place to buy or amazon

  10. How about to make a speed test of complete memory erase and complete rewrite of new data? And make this test for modern HDD and diferent types of SSDs (SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC, V-NAND, 3D-NAND). I think that would be an interesting test and new results. QLC NANDs are very slow in writing big data. The write of data is fast if data to be writen is smaller than the high speed buffer of the SSD. The buffer is made of fast flash memory – SLC usually. Then the data is bigger than the buffer, write speed dropps down to SSD’s NAND technologies speed. And if your SSD is made of QLC NAND the speed is not impressive and reliability is only about 500 rewrite cycles until memory fails.

  11. Hello Author,
    I read this article, you described so deeply. As you said “data storage capabilities are among the most important factors for your purchase decision. Your choice of internal data storage device will depend on performance and cost, but also on your storage capacity needs” It is right.
    The advantages of having an SSD Extremely short response times allow you to work very much quicker – booting the operating system and starting applications requires a fraction of the time needed by a hard disk. It is right because it does not have the moving part. But the hard drive failure generally happen.
    One more important thing is data loss. It may be several reason for that. As per concern data one more point, I would like to share about data recovery software. During research I found that there are software available online that are very helpful if some lost data during this update, they can recover easily. I read reviews and most of them suggested Stellar Data Recovery. I used free demo to check and found better result.
    But, I am happy to read this blog because of you described so well. Very useful article for me I personally believe. Thank you so much

  12. About 4 years back I bought a Toshiba Satellite Core i5, with 500GB HDD. Then upgraded it by replacing the HDD with a 120GB SDD. Removed the optical drive and installed the original HDD with a caddy in the optical bay. I work in software development with several ~20GB SQL databases. Everything worked great, high SO and software loading speed and a good amount of storage space. Now I want to buy a new laptop and it turns out that almost all available NB doesn’t have an optical drive (who needs one nowadays anyway?). The thing is, I cannot keep my storage config, wich I liked a lot, and maybe use the HDD as an external USB drive, wich sucks in my opinion. So my question is: Wht did the manufacturers do with all that interior space that once was occupied by the optical drive? What’s in there now? Just leave it available for a second drive, it wont hurt.

    • I think the manufacturers mostly do that to make the laptops slimmer and lighter. But, many users, including myself, would be OK with slightly thicker & heavier laptops but with greater flexibility. For instance, being able to insert a secondary drive like you did. Thankfully, there are some rare new laptop models with that flexibility. The HP Probook 470 G5 I currently use is exactly like that. It came with a 256GB M.2 SSD and has a free standard 2.5-inch HDD / SSD bay. The best of all is that the 2.5″ bay can be accessed by the user, without need to remove the whole bottom cover of the laptop. So I was able to just remove one screw on the bottom and put my old SSD inside for additional storage. So, If you are looking for a new laptop with that possibility, you can take a look at the Probook G5 business laptop series or some of the business-class or gaming laptop models with multiple storage options and easy upgradeablity. On the other hand, as you said, most of the mainstream laptops today don’t have that feature.

    • As at 2019, SSDs don’t scale up to the size you may want (2T), but are cost-effective for Windows, e.g. 240G.

      The hot setup would be an M.2 SSD for Windows and code, plus a 2.5″ internal S-ATA 2T hard drive. Then you can relocate shell folders off C: to always-present internal hard drive, and have the best of both worlds; speed (SSD) and space (HD).

      Once you get to a certain price point, you should expect normal-sized laptops to come with both M.2 and 2.5″ S-ATA for this setup, but there are a couple of “gotchas”; sealed-inside batteries that can’t be unplugged without first unplugging ribbon cables that run across them, and missing “caddy and cable” parts for the 2.5″ hard drive bay. With the latter in mind, I’d prefer a hard drive plus empty M.2 to an M.2 SSD and empty 2.5″ bay.

      Modern laptops will have limitations beyond no DVD drive… no Ethernet, forcing the use of WiFi; insufficient USB ports (typically 1 x Type C but that can mean one less “normal” USB), soldered-in RAM and even eMMC storage, and UEFI-only boot mode.

      These create maintenance headaches going forward, but there’s another problem; not knowing what a laptop is doing, if it is silent (fanless, no storage motor spindles) and what will happen if you open the lid and/or press the power button.

      Windows 10 duhfaults to “Fast Startup”, which means there’s no proper shutdown, so “startup” inherits the hibernated system state, bypassing several sanity-checks. This can be a disaster, e.g. if you’d resized storage partitions “from orbit” and the resumed runtime scribbles over where the partitions used to be!

  13. Thank you for the article. All other specs being equal, would you recommend a 240GB SSD or 1TB HD? Would use external hard drive with SSD for data. Running Windows 10, Adobe CC (Photoshop and Lightroom), Firefox and slide show maker (PhotoStage SlideShow Producer.)

    Thank You.

    • It would depend on the amount of data you have to carry on the laptop, but in general, 256 GB SSD is the better choice. It will make the laptop si GB significantly faster for its whole life, extending it’s useful life. We can always find ways to add storage (SD USB3 thumb drive or external disk), or move data on and off the laptop via the network.

  14. Hi Daniel,
    Thank you for your very helpful article. I have an external hard drive question. I backed up a home network’s worth of information onto a 5tb external hard drive. Now I no longer have the home network (divorce), but I do have a laptop and iPad that I’d like to back up. Can I use the same external hard drive to back up multiple devices and NOT lose what I have already backed up to the hard drive from the old network. or, do I need a different external hard drive for each device.? Thank you for your help.

    • Hi. Yes, you can back up multiple computing devices on a single storage device, such as an external hard drive. Of course, under condition that you have enough free storage space on the external hard drive. For instance, if you have 500GB of data you want to back up from your laptop and 50GB of data from your Ipad, then you’ll need at least 550GB of free space on your external hard drive.

  15. Boa noite, Danjiel. Excelente suas opiniões/orientações, que nos ajudam demais. Estou querendo comprar um notebook e gostaria de saber sua opinião sobre algumas opções. Se possivel, classifique do melhor para o pior:

    1) NB Compaq CQ17 Intel Celeron N3050 14″ 4GB HD 500 GB Windows por R$ 1.200,00;

    2) NB Positivo XC5631 Intel Pentium N3710 14″ 4GB SSD 32 GB Windows 10 Home por R$ 1.270,00;

    3) NB Lenovo Ideapad 320 Intel Core i3 6006U 15,6″ 4GB HD 1 TB por R$ 1.619,00;

    4) NB Lenovo 320 Intel Core i5 7200U 14″ 4GB HD 500 GB Windows 10 7ª Geração por R$ 1.804,00;

    5) NB Samsung x22 Intel Core i5 7200U 15,6″ 8GB HD 1 TB Windows 10 por R$ 1.950,00;

    6) NB Vaio VJC141F11X-B1011L Intel Core i3 6006U 14″ 4GB SSD 128 GB por R$ 1.979,00;

    7) comprar NB Lenovo 320 Intel Core i5 7200U 15,6″ 8GB HD 1 TB Windows 10 7ª Geração por R$ 2.050,00.

    Muito obrigado pela ajuda.

  16. hi!
    Recently i bought HP Stream 14 Ax0xx which have 32gb emmc ,4gb ram + Intel Celeron 1.6ghz processor.
    i wanted to know that did it run Visual studio , Sql Sever and android studio without legging and hanging ? not all at the same time but one program at one time.
    i bought it for my university purpose .

    • Hi, do you know what Celeron model is in the laptop? Such as N3060 or other? Generally, Celerons are good only for the basic tasks like web browsing, movie playback, etc.

      As far as I know, the latest SQL Server requires a 64-bit processor and OS, so the Celeron and OS have to be 64-bit. Also, for accelerated emulator in Android Studio you have to have 64-bit and support for virtualization on the CPU. Visual Studio on the other side requires at least 1.8GHz CPU, according to the system requirements. Also, you should take into consideration small storage space of 32GB, because SQL server will maybe require a large portion of storage. Android Studio, too. And Windows installation takes up around half of the available storage.

    • chrome and Android studio will slow down system when both are running, but ddr4 ram 4gb will work unless you don’t run the emulator. I suggest an upgrade to 8 gigs of ram

      • P.s. you need 50gbs of space for all of the softwares mentioned to be installed. I suggest you buy either a ssd of 128 gb or a 512hdd or else this laptop is useless for your tasks

  17. Daniel
    Your reviews and guide are very helpful.
    I am planning to buy laptop for my home use.
    Googled and found many laptops of many manufactures.
    Found laptops with AMD processors are cheaper than Intel processors.
    What is the difference between AMD and Intel processors performance wise?
    Can I buy AMD based processor laptop?
    Bhasker Raj

    • Hi, yes, AMD laptops are generally cheaper than their Intel counterparts. But, there are many AMD processors and some of them are quite slow, such as AMD E-series and select A4 and A6 series. Also, some (older) AMD processors consume more power than Intel chips with comparable computing performance.

      I would recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 processors, since they are quite similar (or even better in some tasks) to the Intel’s excellent 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 and somewhat cheaper at the same time.

      But still, it all depends on a particular processor model and your computing tasks.

  18. Thank you at least now I know what to buy. currently i am using a zed air h2 laptop. with emmc of 32 GB and HDD of 500 GB

  19. Hi there,
    Thanks for the info.
    I want to buy a notebook laptop that has a 32eMMC and 500GB HDD. I want to know whether a notebook laptop can feature both types of storage specs. Thank you

    • Yes, it can. I remember that about 2 years ago there were some cheap 14″ laptops with both eMMC and a hard drive bay on the market. I can’t remember what models were these in particular. If you’re interested I can take a look at that and let you know. But yes , a laptop can have both eMMC and HDD.

    • I bought an HP Stream 32 GB eMMC two weeks ago. It glitches and I was told by HP support that I have too much on it. We emptied it until we had 5.69 GB free of 27.8 GB and it still glitches. If I am supposed to have 32GB it should not be glitching. The bars in the blue and not the red anymore. Are they pulling my leg. And should I demand they fix it? Thank you so much

      • Hi, totally agree you should demand them to fix it if it’s malfunctioning, but there are some things you can check before that. If you haven’t tried it already, you can press on your keyboard CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys simultaneously to enter Task Manager where you can see if there is some program that takes too much of processor resources. If some software takes too much, like 70 % or more, of processor power, than that’s the problem. And if your Stream is based on the Intel Celeron processor series, your processing resources are quite limited by default. Also, how much RAM do you have and how much of it is in use (you can also see that in Task Manager)? If you have only 2GB of RAM and it’s all in use, that also can be a problem. Full storage device can also be a problem, but with 5.7GB of free space on your drive I doubt that’s the case here.

        These are some of the possible causes of glitches such as major slowdowns, but if you are getting blue screens, unwanted system restarts, and similar problems, then you should definitely contact HP.

  20. I want to buy a notebook but according to the slecs it has a 32eMMC +500GB storage. I wanted to ask whether a notebookcan feature both kinds of storage

  21. I quote: “….capacity provided by these PCs is either 32GB or 64GB. These are quite limited capacities by today’s standards.”

    I don’t get it? Why don’t tablets and hybrid laptop manufacturers have 256gb – 500gb as the standard or minimum storage amount?

    • You get what you pay for. The tablets and 2-in-1 PCs you’re talking about use emmc storage because it’s faster than hard drives, more reliable, and cheaper, but limited in size. Opt for an HDD and you’ll get higher capacity for super slow speed, and shorter lifespan, but get more space. Or look for one with an SSD, get speed and space, and pay full price.

  22. I don’t understand why so many people go GaGa over tablets when they come with such inadequate storage. Before tablets arrived most laptops had reached about 500gb to 1 TB of storage and 6-gb RAM. Which is what consumers wanted.
    So why are tablets generally offered with only 32gb or 64 gb? Windows 10 would gobble up all the storage. Now I noticed that the “hybrid” (2 in 1) laptop I’m hoping to buy also comes with only 32gb or 64 gb. When I find one with 500gb or 320gb or 256gb then it’s not the size I want or is too expensive. Very frustrating. Ahhhhhhh!!!

    • I agree. 32 and 64 GB seem too small nowadays. Yes, these sizes are included in cheap laptops, but still… too small. An exception here is the latest Dell 3185 2-in-1. It starts at $300 and offers a 500GB hard drive and 128GB eMMC drive options, besides the basic 32GB option. You an find a 500GB configuration for around $300 on Amazon.
      On the other hand, the display on it is TN type with narrow viewing angles. That’s a kind of a deal-breaker for me although the 2-in-1 is affordable.

  23. Good evening, I purchased a Lenovo N22 winbook with a 32g hard drive. It constantly tells me I do not have enough storage for the windows software update. If I add a larger drive to the internal slot, will that increase my storage to allow the update to install.

    • Hi, is your OS Windows 10? If that’s the case, then adding an SD / microSD card can help. Your Windows Update will ask you in “Windows needs more space” window to select your card as additional storage for the update. The card must have at least 14GB of free space.

      But before that, you can try to delete all files that you don’t need from your internal 32GB storage and empty the Recycle Bin to free up space. If you manage to free enough space that way, then you won’t need the SD / microSD card.

  24. Good Afternoon Darling;

    I enjoyed your article, even though I’m not techy. I REALLY could use your HELP! I have been researching for a good 6-months on how to ‘Update’ my laptop…Problem…

    It was purchased in Dec 2016 (as a present). Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14 1-431 SNID# 62700708723 He miss understood (or understanding) that the 1-TB it came with was not INTERAL, cloud based only, you had to purchase the monthly plan in order to have it.

    So, from the minute it came out of the box it could NOT update, as it ONLY CAME WITH 2-GB…and I still had to put anit-veirus/ware on her.

    I have called Acer, Googled and been on one fourm or another attempting to figure out how to up-date her. She does have a SD slot as well as a mirco one (don’t know how to use that one), yes, also 1-USB port and a HDMI.

    I was told by acer to use an SD card, but that did not work, and don’t know why? How do I know if I have the eMMC? I typed it into search (on my laptop) but nothing came up :-/

    So, what do I need (besides purchasing an expensive monthly plan with the ‘cloud’) to have more memory recognized by my laptop?

    I was going to purchase an External ‘Passport’ HD and was hoping that would help, but don’t want to spend the money (I back up on a 128-GB USB thumbdrive) if I don’t have to (My main PC has an External 3-TB tosibia for backup).

    Will my Acer allow me (acer co.doesn’t know) to update to an External HD so it will run properly. My pages crash every time I open one. I know I have drives way out dated on here. PLEASE HELP!!!

    Sincerely, Much Apperciated and Thank you ! :-)

    • In the official specs of your laptop it says the laptop has 32GB of SSD storage, but that’s actually eMMC storage. So you have 32GB of eMMC storage. If the laptop’s hardware isn’t faulty and drivers are installed properly (can be seen in Control Panel / Device Manager), then you can put an SD memory card in the SD card slot. That should work as a storage expansion. But, it’s hard to tell what’s the problem in your case. If the SD card doesn’t work in your machine then it’s either faulty SD card reader, card, or Windows drivers. The same applies to the external HDD. Have you tried a clean install of Windows via a bootable USB drive?

      • No, not as of yet. I am going to get an external ‘passport’ to back her up than I’m going to do a factory reset.

        I found the maunal for her yesterday on line (acer co. didn’t have it). Yes, she has eMMC 32 GB and 2 GB of DDR3 L of Memory. Even a 3.0 USB port. BUT only 2 GB didn’t leave any room to update her out of the box :-/

        I don’t have (it didn’t come with a windows bootable anything) a windows USB Drive.

        My drives are VERY outdated. Don’t know about the internal hardware.

        The SD card i’m looking at, is the SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card (SDSDXXG-064G-GN4IN), or 128 GB, either one, off of Amazon.

        What do you think a good card to go with? Reviews are good. I wanted a card that would last several years and hold up to the speeds needed download,etc.

        I really apperciate you answering back so quickly, that was very sweet of you.


        Naturally Me

        • Hi, in my experience RAM size (2GB) shouldn’t be a problem when upgrading / updating Windows operating system. But storage size of 32GB (eMMC) can be a problem if there isn’t enough space to download new OS version and prepare it for installation. I don’t have full how-to instructions for upgrading Windows on a device without enough disk space, but here’s what you should work in general:

          – download Windows (10) and make a bootable USB Flash drive with it which will be used for installation

          – when you get “Windows needs more space” message during the installation process, you will have to select the SD card or external hard drive. Windows will use that drive for temporary installation files and should continue the installation.

          As for SD card recommendation, the Extreme Pro seems to be a good option (btw I’m not SD card expert). But please check first in the specs of the laptop whether the SD card reader in your laptop supports large SD cards like 64GB or larger. Some readers don’t support large SD cards.

          • Thank you so much for helping me out with this :-) From what I have read, up to a 64 GB, but not higher. I did a lot of research on SD cards lol

            This would not have been my first choice for a laptop. I had purchased a Toshiba Satellite in 2002 and still had it in 2015 :-) Slow, but running lol

            When I get the money again I’m going to purchase that one. Out of all the laptops she was the BEST one hands down!

            Thank you again sweetheart. Your time and expertis is Much Apperciated! Happy Holidays!


            Naturally Me

  25. Hola…acabo de comprar una lenovo n22 con windows 10, 4gb ram y eMMC 32 gb. Al iniciar con la instalación de fabrica veo que solo tengo cerca de 2gb de espacio. Obviamente el equipo está destinado a comprar office 2016 y pagar por su licencia. Que puedo hacer para instalar el 2013 que ocupa libres 3 gb de espacio? Muchas gracias

  26. Hi I was wondering if you could tell me if for example a 64gb ssd would hold more than a 64gb hdd? I’m having trouble finding a comparison guide. I understand the fundamental difference between the two but I need 1T of hdd storage or equivalent in sdd, which I’d prefer to get. Thanks!

  27. Hi i was considering getting a new laptop for photoshop, video editing and white board animation but am on a budget,and i found this notebook online. Onda Windows 10 14.1 Inch Notebook Quad Core 1.1GHz 4GB RAM 64GB HDMI Camera Bluetooth 4.0
    does this mean that it doesnt have a single HDD memory space at all and i have to buy a memory card for it ? thank you

    • Hi, 64GB you mentioned is internal storage space. Not a HDD but eMMC type, but their data storing purpose is the same. Additionally you can add a memory card to expand the 64GB internal drive. As a side note, if the quad-core CPU you mentioned is one of the Intel Atom chips, then I’m afraid that overall performance of the laptop won’t be suitable for video editing and similar heavy tasks. Also 64GB is a quite small storage space, especially if you plan to keep large video files on it.

  28. Hi, I purchased an Acer TravelMate B117-MP-C2G3 Laptop PC with an Intel Celeron N3060 1.6GHz, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB eMMC, 11.6″ Touchscreen 1366×768 (HD), Intel HD Graphics 400, Webcam, Bluetooth, Win 10 Pro 64-bit (NX.VCXAA.002). I had read in the reviews that another customer purchased a Crucial MX300 and installed it as an addition to the 32GB eMMC in this model laptop. Problem is I cannot find any instructions or directions on how to accomplish this install. I did purchase a SD card to supplement the 32GB, but I would prefer something a bit more permanent and protected. Do you have any advice or resources I could use to accomplish a SSD install on this device? I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

    • Hi, I don’t own this model, but I can advise you to check if the notebook has a removable plate on the bottom of the chassis. As far as I know the B117 series does have a removable maintenance plate on the bottom, held by one or two screws. If the plate is there, can you open it and check if there’s an empty storage bay? If there is, then you just need to connect the drive to the available SATA and power ports and maybe handle a couple of screws. According to Crucial’s website the B117 supports 2.5″ SSDs with SATA interface like the MX300 2.5″ SATA version (not M.2 version).

  29. hello, i’m wondering if you can help me, which storage would be good for me to use to have applications on stock exchange trading, is emmc storage would be sufficient? if it isn’t, what would you recommend? Thank you

  30. hi
    I have brought a ZED NOTE 14i( 2 in 1) of 2GB RAM and storage of 64GB EMMC .can I upgrade my storage with RAM ?

    • I’m not familiar with the Zed 2-in-1 model, but if it features the Intel Bay Trial Z3735 processor chances are 99% that storage and RAM aren’t upgradeable. You can only expand storage by using a memory card if it has a built-in memory card reader. Or use a USB storage device like Flash memory etc.

  31. Hi
    I’ve been thinking of buying a :
    Zed Air Mini – 10.6″ Notebook – Intel Quad Core 1.8 Ghz – 2GB RAM – 32GB SSD – Windows 10 – Pink
    Am a little bit worried about the storage. What is it’s equivalent storage in a HDD?

    • Yes, 32GB storage is really small and around half of that is occupied by Windows itself, so you basically have only around 15GB for your programs and user files. I don’t quite understand your question about HDD equivalent storage. But I can give you a size comparison if that was your question.

      Standard HDD size on today’s laptop market has 1,000 Gigabytes (or 1Terabyte), while the drive in the Zed Air has only 32 Gigabytes. The difference is huge, but even 32GB can be used if you don’t install many programs and don’t save large files on it.

      The smallest HDD you can find in modern laptops is 500GB.

  32. Hi, i’m thinking of purchasing a notebook.
    These are the specifications:
    OS: Windows 10 Pro
    CPU: Intel Cherry Trail X5-Z8350
    Core: 1.92GHz,Quad Core
    RAM: 4GB
    ROM: 64GB SSD

    It’s the most available within my budget but i’m not sure about the memory. Do you think it’s a good buy?

    • It should serve well only for the basic home and office tasks – web surf, word processing, web chats etc, since the processor is an entry-level one. System memory size of 4GB is capacious enough for running a couple of usual programs like MS Word, web browser, etc simultaneously. As for data storage, 64GB is usable only if you avoid storing big files on it, like videos and music or large photos. For comparison, today’s standard storage size on the laptop market is 1TB (~1,000GB) .

  33. Hi, great write up. But what would you recommend? HDD or eMMC? Upgrading my laptop and not sure whether to go HAD it eMMC . I’ll be doing mostly college work. Internet browsing and Google drive. Just don’t want to make the mistake of picking small storage and having to upgrade again.

    • I’m not sure if you want to upgrade your laptop by buying a storage device for it, or you want to buy a new one… Anyway, eMMCs are usually 32GB, which is really small storage space and should be avoided in my opinion. You can’t buy an eMMC drive separately. It comes embedded on laptops’ motherboards and isn’t replaceable. 64GB eMMCs are rarer and they are still small for comfortable work for longer periods. The best options are SSDs since they are much faster than HDDs. Getting a 256GB or larger SSD (or a laptop with it) is sufficient for college work if it doesn’t include storing large videos or other large files. HDDs are generally larger and cheaper, but much slower than SSDs.

  34. Thanks a lot for information
    But I have a question, does Windows 10 fit with 32 GB eMMC and how much memory space does it spend
    Thanks in advance

    • Windows 10 can be installed on a 32GB eMMC drive. The last time I did a clean Win 10 Home installation a couple of months ago, it took around 14GB. But keep in mind that over time Windows 10 install can grow due to system updates or use of features such as System Restore Points. Of course, not counting installed apps and user’s files.

  35. hey, i forgot my alcatel’s 10 plus 2 in 1 password. every time i power the tablet on after the alcatel logo, it asks for a passcode and that last 8 digit lte keyboard imei doesnt work either. what should i do, am locked out here

  36. Great info. I only wish I had this information B 4 I BOUGHT MY HP Stream 360 with a maximum of 2G. I am now at almost 0 space and everyday something is needing more space. On top of it, I bought it to write my book (been working on it for 5 yrs). Help. Will an external hard drivehelp me?

      • Yes, you can connect an external hard drive to your laptop and use it for storing files. Also, installing a memory card into your laptop’s memory slot is a common way for expanding storage on notebooks like the HP Stream. It’s best to install programs on existing internal storage and store your documents and other files on an external HDD / SSD / memory card or Flash memory drive.

  37. Have a dell inspiring 14 with 32eMMC bought right before new year. What type hard drive can I use to get more storage for program data to load a rogram called Band in a box. Any hep will be appreciated

    • Do you know the exact model name of your Inspiron 14, like i3452 or something? Anyway, eMMC storage is soldered onto the motherboard and is not upgradeable. Laptops with eMMC rarely have an empty bay for hard drive. However, most of modern laptops have an SD or microSD card reader, in which you can put a memory card to expand internal storage.

    • I have read that eMMC (embedded multi-media chip) memory is soldered to the motherboard, so the answer would be “no” we cannot upgrade the eMMC “drive”. You can add micro-SD memory up to 128 GB on most devices, which will show up as a D: drive. You can add a terabyte or two of external hard drive (Seagate, WD, etc) via USB-3.0 but this would show up as a high letter drive like E: if you already have the SD drive installed. So, with an SD-based D: drive and an external HD-based E: drive, if you put all program data on the added drives, you might ask whether you will run out of room on the two data drives (D: and E:) and my answer is “you betcha”.

  38. Hello I was hoping to get some advice. I am looking to buy a laptop/notebook/tablet 2 in 1 and am stuck.
    What I will be using it for: typing, google docs/drive, word, web search, work(sales rep), email, adobe stuff and shopping.
    Needs: WiFi connect ability, to be convertible/transforming/2in1/fold backwards and some type of external memory port, 10-14″.
    Would like: usb port(s), PC not tablet, HDMI port.
    Prefer It Not to have Detachable key bord/screen
    Don’t want apple product
    $ BUDGET: low end but I Am looking on eBay and

    • Hi. Since you’ll be using it for typing, a good keyboard is necessary, I assume. The best one among 2-in-1 laptops I’ve used is the keyboard of the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga series, but these 2-in-1s (with band-back design) are somewhat expensive. If you find a good deal on the ThinkPad Yogas, they’re a really good choice. Other 2-in-1 PCs and laptops in general have very shallow keyboards… Also, all models in the ThinkPad Yoga series have IPS screen technology, which is necessary if you want to have a good picture in all viewing angles, and have excellent Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and SSD drives for great computing performance. All modern laptops have Wi-Fi and USB built-in and only rare models lack memory card slots for external memory cards. If you don’t find any ThinkPad Yoga model and really want an affordable device, I would recommend some of the Dell Inspiron 13 3000 2-in-1 PCs. They’re inexpensive and have good build quality. But make sure your chosen model has IPS and Intel Core “i” instead of “m”.

  39. I just bought a HP X2 210 hybrid laptop with windows 10 Pro OS, 4 GB ram and 64 GB EMMC Storage. It has 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 ports. I have an 1 TB external HDD. Can I use it with my new laptop?

    • If the ext. HDD has USB connectivity, you just need to plug the USB cable into the HP laptop. It should automatically recognize the HDD.

  40. Will this work for minecraft and roblox…Gift for a 8yr old…She will not be using it for anything else..
    Acer Aspire ES1-533-C3VD 15.6″ Laptop, Windows 10 Home, Intel Celeron N3350 Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive


  41. I’m buying a laptop, confused. I’m looking at the Dell inspiron i5 17.3″ Intel core i7-7500U , 16 gram 2TB hard

    • I think you should buy toshiba chromebook cb35 c3350 if you are looking for a personal pc for daily purpose……
      But if you want one really tough then you should instead get a look through hp stream and spectre

  42. Can both be used at the same time (emmc & hdd) in the asus eee book?
    A bit confused on which laptop to buy, kindly recommend me some good ones , for daily use

  43. This is very useful information I could have used before buying my laptop: poor research (and too much excitement) on my part i guess, thank you very much to the writer.
    Want to know if i can expand/upgrade the memory on an HP Stream 11′ Laptop, with 32gb eMMC

    • You can expand your internal eMMC storage via the SD memory card slot on your laptop. If you own the latest Stream 11, it has a slot for microSD card format so you can by a microSD card and insert it.

      If you were asking for RAM memory upgrade, the Stream laptops don’t allow it.

  44. I have a 100S Lenovo laptop there have a 32GB emmc drive so I want to use external 500GB HDD drive I can use or not ? Kindly let me know

    • Yes, if it’s a USB hard drive. You just need to plug in the drive into one of the laptop’s USB ports.

  45. Hi great info, i could do with some advice on how i should set up my laptop as i’m about to do a reinstall and the drives are a bit of a jumble.
    So a clean windows 10 install, steam and a media archive for photos and such. i have at the mo c: 256GB sandisk x110 msata (windows here) d: 1TB hitchi sata3 hdd (media storage) and e: 110GB ssd g: 935GB hdd (1TB wd black2 hybrid) steam and apps

  46. I have been trying to do my research as I am looking for a miniature laptop. I am so stuck. Every time I think it’s the right one, I will find a review site slating it.
    Any help would be immensely appreciated. I, basically looking at the Argos website, all reversible/detachable laptops under 12″. I won’t be gaming on it. But will use it for work, word, excel, Internet, some films etc.
    The ones I have whittled down either has 32gb solid state, 32gb eMMC, 500gb SATA, 500gb eMMC, or 500gb SATA III.
    My mind is bogged.

    • Try looking for the Asus E200AH, just purchased as is ideal for web browsing, e-mail and word. Very slim and light, 32gb emmc 2g ram, quad core processor, quiet and 14 hour battery life, looks good too got mine in gold. Windows 10 Home Brilliant.

  47. I frequently look for information in explaining thr difference between these two subjects. These are probably the best explaination for the difference between the eMMC & the SD cards.

  48. Very informative and descriptive. Thanks to the author. Old SD cards are still being used? I understand that eMMC are used in digital devices such as phones and cameras. When you say MicroSD, it is different from eMMC? How popular is eMMC memory cards compared to SSD

    thanks in advance,

  49. What i find interesting to know, is the difference between them when installing fresh new copy of OS, meaning usually formatting the disk/flash, either full formating, cleaning the disk, or simply deleting etc. Usually repeating those tasks may affect the performance.
    Thank you!


Leave a Comment