How Much Laptop Memory do I Need?

Matthew F.

The amount of laptop memory needed by a laptop owner can depend on a lot of factors. Depending on the uses of your laptop, your budget, and the type of computer you are buying, the differences in memory can be vast. Whether your memory is for music, videos and other entertainment, or for school work or business work, the amount of gigabytes (GB) of memory needed can vary greatly.

Memory cards.
Memory cards.

For users filling their laptop memory with songs, television shows, pictures, and movies, the space may fill up fast. A memory around 125-150 GB may be necessary for users with large amount of entertainment. For MP3 players like the iPod and the Zune that offer 80 GB models, you can fill these with around 15,000 songs or a couple hundred hours of video. This is a lot of music and video for most users, but combining the media can add up quickly and may fill your MP3 player and come close to filling older computers with GB amount around 30-50.

Consider the type of media, including videos and music, you intend to store on your laptop when deciding how much memory it will need.
Consider the type of media, including videos and music, you intend to store on your laptop when deciding how much memory it will need.

Pictures on a computer amass space fairly slowly, and a computer of 25 GB can hold many thousands of photographs. Word files, likewise, generally take around 100 pages to even reach 1 GB, and so a computer with modest memory can hold many word documents, spreadsheets, or graphs.

Programs and software are features on a computer that should also be accounted for when considering how much memory you need on your laptop. Different media players, file sharing programs, readers, and other software can occupy up to 1-2 GB per program and can use up laptop memory quickly.

When combining school work with multiple recreational programs and large amounts of media, a computer around the size of 150 GB may be needed. For personal use, not many users need more laptop memory than 150 GB, and most can make do with half that amount. The casual music or video fan with a normal amount of school or business work on a computer can survive easily with around 50 GB. This smaller memory size can cut a computer price by as much as 10-15%.

For those who already own computers and are running out of laptop memory, there are ways of supplementing your hard drive space without having to buy a new laptop. External hard drives are available for a quarter of the price of most computers, and many of these offer at least 100 GB of memory. Many are made to be pocket size, and nearly all external hard drives can fit easily on a computer desk next to your laptop. In addition, memory cards and floppy or CD discs are popular ways to hold extra files or programs when your memory runs out.

Someone who streams videos or other presentations on their laptop will require more memory.
Someone who streams videos or other presentations on their laptop will require more memory.

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Discussion Comments


You are talking about storage not memory, which are two different things. You will confuse the uninitiated.


Unless you play a bunch of games or have tons and tons of music you really do not need a lot of memory these days.

My laptop came with 320 gigs on the hard drive and I have used up about 50 of them in three years. Memory has never been an issue at all.


How much is the average cost of a laptop memory upgrade? Is it smarter to have the memory installed in my computer, or invest in an external hard drive?

As cloud computing becomes more common and advanced I think there will be less and less need for massive amounts of storage space on our physical devices. It is already possible to get at least a few gigabytes of free space online and you can pay to get lots more. In the future I think the internet will handle most of our storage problems.

The Celeron is slower. The Pentium processor is the better choice between the two. If you take a look at prices with the Celeron processor, they are noticeably cheaper, but you get what you pay for in this instance.


My dad bought an external hard drive for more memory. This was much cheaper than buying a new computer and also pretty easy to figure out how to use.

I store all of my pictures on my laptop and keep them organized in files and folders. Even with all the pictures I have stored on there I still have a lot of memory left. My think my current laptop has 150 GB of memory and this is about right for my needs.


I use my laptop for both business and personal use, so like something that has a lot of memory. I would be in a world of hurt if I lost the information on my laptop, so try to keep the important things backed up on a memory card.

The next laptop I buy is going to have more memory than my current one. I am so used to storing everything from pictures, music, videos and documents that I don't like to think about running out of space.

My laptop also seems to run slower when it has so much stuff stored on it. I don't really know if it is because the memory is almost full or the computer needs to be cleaned up, but there is a big difference.


I never store that much information on my laptop so look for models that are cheaper and have less memory. There is no need for me to spend a bunch of money on a computer with a lot of memory. I mostly use my laptop to surf the internet and read my email.

This is my second laptop and I have never even come close to using up the memory that comes with the computer. About the only thing I store on there is a few pictures and a text document every now and then.


@anon92038 -- I feel the same way as you do. I put off buying a new computer as long as possible because I feel so overwhelmed with all the information. I have no idea what is considered a small or large amount of memory space. If someone told me a computer had 100 GB of memory, I would have no idea if that was a little or a lot.


I have a new HP Pavilion dv6 laptop computer. It's for home use, only. I would prefer an easy to install, easy to use, flash drive. I would like one with a lifetime warranty, with security features, etc. Which one should I purchase?


i am doubtful about the difference between the celeron and the pentium processor and which is the best between them, for speed?


For the computer illiterate shoppers out there, this write up was so beneficial. Thank you.

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