Buying a gaming laptop? This is how much storage you really need

Gigabyte G6X 9KG 2024 review
(Image credit: Future)

Never settle for anything less than 1TB of storage. If you do, you’re wasting your money.

You heard me right — I don't care if you're buying a gaming laptop from that guy on an NYC corner selling counterfeit Gucci bags — never settle for anything less than 1TB of storage.

I reviewed the Gigabyte G6X 9KG 2024, and despite my unsavory feelings toward the laptop as a whole, it offered a 1TB SSD for a model priced under $1,000. An epiphany hit — manufacturers must step it up with the minimum storage offerings for gaming laptops.

Even the best cheap gaming laptops shouldn’t stick you with a 256GB or 512GB SSD and pass it off as good enough. Tech continues to grow and move forward, and as we’re seeing standard RAM offerings jump from 16GB to 32GB, it’s time to make the 1TB SSD a standard for all gaming laptops.

Why you need a 1TB SSD

I’m old enough to remember when the Xbox Series X and PS5 launched and gamers didn’t take too kindly to the notion of 1TB SSDs. Why? They’re too small.

Gigabyte G6X 9KG 2024 review

(Image credit: Future)

Modern AAA titles get bigger and bigger. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla launched at roughly the same time as the Xbox Series X. Guess what? Now Valhalla will put a 131GB-dent in your gaming device. Call of Duty, one of the most popular video games, requires you to give up 170GB of space. Are you kidding? You could maybe fit 5 to 8 AAA titles on a 1TB SSD, and it’s only getting worse.

Consoles are designed to last roughly 3 to 5 years before an improved model launches (not even next-gen consoles). This issue translates to gaming laptops as well. I mean, how often do you really buy a gaming laptop? In our guide to picking the right time to upgrade, we wrote that you could realistically keep your gaming laptop alive for 4 to 5 years.

Not to mention that gaming laptops support a completely different use case to consoles. You’re not just gaming on a laptop. You can use it for work, school, or anything else: Managing documents, video and photo editing, and juggling all kinds of software, like Discord, Slack, and Spotify.

I’ve got a 2TB SSD stuffed in my gaming PC and it still doesn’t feel like enough space. Sure, you’ll delete single-player games when you’re done, but what about the plethora of multiplayer games out there? Apex Legends (75GB), Fortnite (64GB), or Diablo 4 (90GB)? If you’ve got a 1TB SSD, that’s nearly a fourth of your storage space.

Do you notice a pattern? I’m complaining about devices with a 1TB SSD. This needs to be the ground floor, not the penthouse. Gigabyte proved that you can find a gaming laptop under $1,000 with a 1TB SSD. You can get the Gigabyte G6X 9KG 2024 with an Intel i7-13620H CPU, 16GB of RAM (yeah, I know), Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, and a 1TB SSD at Best Buy for $969.

Outlook

I can write sonnets to manufacturers about making 1TB the floor for gaming laptop storage, but let’s get into it. If you are someone who is remotely thinking about playing AAA games on a gaming laptop, go for the 1TB SSD.

You’ll soon see me writing about 2TB SSDs being the new floor. That’ll happen when next-gen gaming consoles launch since game developers look to consoles for PC requirements.

It’s clear that even one AAA title could knock a chunk off your storage, so when you’re hunting for your next gaming laptop, keep an eye out for the storage. Check out our best gaming laptop deals if you’re having trouble finding something affordable with high storage.

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Rami Tabari
Editor

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.