Hard Drives Types and Capacity Guide

Which Storage Solution Is Right for You?

Running out of file storage space on your computer? Need to back up your growing collection of digital photos, home videos and music? Then it's time for a new external or internal drive. Compare the types of drives and view capacity examples below to find the one that's right for your needs.

Storage Solution Types

High-capacity desktop models and compact, portable designs.

Fast, quiet, small and light. Ideal for ultrathin laptops, media computers and gaming PCs.

Increase the built-in storage space of your desktop or laptop.

Versatile storage options, ideal for cell phones and tablets.

Access files from anywhere over the Internet, store files centrally, or stream media to multiple devices.

Ultraportable designs for taking files on the go or sharing files between computers or devices.

Capacity Digital Photos
(JPG)*
Digital Photos
(RAW)*
Songs
(MP3)*
Songs
(Uncompressed)*
Digital Video
(DV)*
DVD-Quality Video* HD Video*
16GB 3,200 330 4,000 400 1 6 1
32GB 6,400 660 8,000 800 2 12 3
64GB 12,000 1,330 16,000 1,600 4 24 7
128GB 25,000 2,660 32,000 3,200 9 49 15
256GB 51,000 5,330 64,000 6,400 19 98 30
500GB 100,000 10,000 125,000 12,500 38 190 60
1TB (1,000GB) 200,000 20,000 250,000 25,000 76 380 120
1.5TB 300,000 31,000 375,000 37,000 110 570 180
2TB 400,000 41,000 500,000 50,000 150 770 240
4TB 800,000 83,000 1,000,000 100,000 300 1540 480
6TB 1,200,000 125,000 1,500,000 150,000 460 2300 720
8TB 1,600,000 166,000 2,000,000 200,000 610 3080 960
12TB 2,400,000 250,000 3,000,000 300,000 920 4620 1440

*JPG Photo: Figures represent the average number of photos taken with a 10-megapixel camera in high-resolution JPEG mode with an average file size of 5MB per photo. The actual number of images will vary by camera model and compression setting. 

RAW Photo: Figures represent the average number of photos taken with an average file size of 48MB per photo. The actual number of images will vary by camera model and compression setting.

MP3 Music: Capacity is based on 4 minutes per song with a 128 kbps bit rate and 11:1 audio compression ratio.

Uncompressed Music (CD): Capacity is based on 4 minutes per song. Uncompressed CD quality is based on 1:1 audio compression ratio.

Digital Video (DV): Based on 1 hour of video. The DV format, regardless of its mode (miniDV, DVCAM, DVC-Pro) has a data rate of approximately 25 Mbps (megabits per second). In storage terms, this translates to approximately 3.5 MB/s (megabytes per second) or 13GB/hr (gigabytes per hour).

DVD Video: Based on 1 hour of video. Calculated on a data rate of 5.5 Mbps (megabits per second), which translates to an average of 2.5 GB/hr (gigabytes per hour).

HD Video: Based on 1 hour of video. Calculated at 720p or 1080i video output with an GB/hr (gigabytes per hour) recording rate.