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Should You Get a 500GB or 1TB SSD?

Should You Get a 500GB or 1TB SSD?

If you are upgrading from an old HDD to a new SSD, getting a new laptop, or simply looking to expand your storage, you might need help choosing between purchasing 500 GB or 1 TB.

1 TB may sound like a lot, but it may be appropriate if you’re a heavy RAM user. Conversely, 500 GB may suffice if you use your device for simple office work.

In this article, you’ll learn the primary differences between 500 GB and 1 TB SDDs and which storage option suits your needs better.

500 GB vs. 1 TB SSD: Main Differences

Purchasing a laptop with a smaller SSD means you’ll probably have to upgrade in the future unless your usage habits dictate otherwise. Consider these differences when choosing between a 500 GB and a 1 TB drive.

1. Storage Space

The primary difference between these storage drives is the amount of space. In most cases, casual users who need laptops for internet browsing or streaming won’t need more than a 500 GB SSD.

For perspective, a 500 GB SSD will hold roughly 50 HD films, 64,000 HD photos, and 400 medium-use applications. Gaming-wise, a 500 GB SSD can support about eight heavy-use games, so you can rest assured that your copy of The Witcher will run fine. Thus, 500 GB SDDs are ideal for business purposes and data analytics.

However, a 500 GB SSD may not suffice for professional gamers or freelancers that require heavier applications. By comparison, a 1 TB SSD can conveniently store over 270,000 HD photos, 500 heavy-use applications, and run heavier games that take up more space, such as Red Dead Redemption (150 GB).

portable ssd

2. Speed

You may have heard that larger-capacity SSDs are faster than lower-capacity ones. Is this a myth? Sort of. You’ll get virtually identical reading and writing speeds when comparing the same model from the same brand.

As such, picking the right brand is essential for shoppers looking for speed. For the fastest option, the PNY XLR8 CS3030 drive reads up to 3,500 MB/s, roughly 500 MB/s higher than most other cards. Otherwise, brands like Samsung have highly dependable speeds regardless of storage space.

The bottom line is that speed differences lie in your chosen brand—not the space you need. You’ll just want to avoid using outdated HDDs with slower load and install times and high latency.

3. Price

Naturally, higher-capacity SSDs are more expensive than their lower-capacity counterparts. Fortunately, double the space does not equate double the dollar.

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A typical 500 GB SSD card will set you back between $50 and $100, while a 1 TB card will cost between $90 and $150.

IMPORTANT: For an SSD to operate at maximum performance, it is recommended to have around 10% of its capacity in free space.

When Do You Really Need a 1 TB SSD Over a 500 GB One?

As mentioned, a 500 GB drive might be enough for casual users. However, if you take many photos and videos and prefer to store them locally, you’ll be better off with a 1 TB drive.

1 TB SSDs are also better for gamers who prefer AAA titles, such as Call of Duty Modern Warfare, which requires a whopping 231 GB of space.

In addition, consider how much space you actually get with each disk. With a 500 GB SSD, your operating system drive will offer 400 GB of space. So, where does the rest go? Typically, 100 GB of disk space goes to running the operating system and other built-in applications.

If you have money to spare and want to play it safe, we recommend going for a 1 TB SSD. Peep our top-recommended 1 TB SSD from Samsung (click here to check it out—affiliate link) at a spectacular price!


In summary, 500 GB SSDs are often enough for average users who don’t run too many performance-intensive applications. However, app hoarders will find that 500 GB may run them dry, so you can opt for a 1 TB alternative or purchase some cloud space.

Ultimately, it’s up to your preferences. You can expect smooth sailing on most applications if you use an SSD, not an HDD.