Poll: How much storage in your primary PC?

Although hard drive capacities aren’t growing at the rate they once were, the drives themselves are getting cheaper and cheaper. That’s made it easy to load up a desktop PC with multiple terabytes of storage capacity on the cheap, and without taking up too many drive bays. At the same time, however, the rising popularity of network-attached storage devices and home file servers has lessened the need for gobs of local storage. We already know how many of you are running network-attached storage devices. Now, we’re curious to see just how much capacity lurks inside your main rig.

This week’s poll question: How much storage capacity is in your primary PC? No need to debate GB versus GiB—for simplicity’s sake, just use the manufacturer-advertised capacities. You can cast your vote over on the right column on the front page or after clicking on the comment link below.

In last week’s poll, we asked for your ideal laptop size. 13″ systems led the way with 26% of the vote. 15-16″ laptops weren’t too far behind, garnering a 23% share of the pie. 18% think 14″ notebooks are just the right size, while 12% prefer 17″ or larger behemoths. The rest like ultraportables, with 11% favoring 12″ systems, 8% smitten with slightly smaller 11.6″ designs, and 3% in 9-10″ territory. Interestingly, there’s nearly an even split between those who prefer laptops 13″ or smaller (48%) and those who want something bigger (53%). Our poll doesn’t do decimals, which is why those numbers add up to more than 100%.

Comments closed
    • SVContrarian
    • 9 years ago

    1 x 64GB Kingston V+ SSD for OS, apps
    1 x 1TB WD Caviar Black for data, profiles

    • clone
    • 9 years ago

    500gb WD, would be smaller if smaller hdd’s were cheaper.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      That’s the thing. Buying the storage you need is generally not cost-effective. Might as well go for the BIG HONKING DRIVES when they’re $5-10 more than what you need. That’s why I have a 640GB in the desktop and not something half that size.

    • mattthemuppet
    • 9 years ago

    Primary (laptop): 80GB SSD
    Secondary (desktop): 640GB Caviar Green

    • Evan
    • 9 years ago

    C: – Intel X-25M (G2) 160GB
    D: – 2 x WD Caviar Green 2TB (RAID 1)
    E: – WD Caviar Green 1TB

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 9 years ago

    4 x 0.64 TB WD Caviar SE16 (RAID 1+0)
    1 x 1 TB WD Caviar Black

    • dwhess
    • 9 years ago

    4 x 750MB WD Black using an Areca 1210
    2 x 750MB Seagate 7200.10 SB750 RAID 1

    The Areca has a RAID 5 boot, RAID 5 data, and a RAID 10 swap volume so there are no 2TB file system issues. The system boot takes about 12 seconds to get to the Windows login. The Seagates are spare drives for the Areca and I just use them as scratch space.

    I originally had 4 Seagate 7200.11 drives for the Areca but Seagate was never able to resolve the firmware issues.

    • xii
    • 9 years ago

    I’m surprised by these relatively low numbers. My main desktop is a PIII 866mhz with only 512MB RAM (I kid you not… just barely usable with Linux) and I have almost 2TB storage in it. Or do most people here use laptops as their main PC now?

      • FuturePastNow
      • 9 years ago

      I suspect that many people here have NAS devices of one kind or another.

        • DrCR
        • 9 years ago

        NAS user here. The largest drive in a desktop is 320GB right now.

    • Hallucinosis
    • 9 years ago

    4x (+1 spare) WD RE2-500s in RAID 10 on a 3WARE 9650SE-8
    1x 750GB Seagate drive for backups
    1x 1TB WD Caviar Blue for videos.

    • Veerappan
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve got a 2x 640GB drive RAID-1 mirror in my desktop. I ended up counting that as 500GB-1TB since I can only use 640GB of space.

    My mythbox has 2x 1.5TB in a mirror, and my primarly laptop has a single 250GB drive (spare laptop has a 160GB).

    My desktop and primary laptop are also backed up to external drives on occasion to minimize the problems encountered if I accidentally delete something, get struck by lightning, or randomly corrupt my partitions. Eventually, I’ll probably start storing those backups off-site for fire/flood reasons.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    Not much storage in my primary system all in pretty much external NAS/iSCSI storage

    main system

    2x Intel X25-M 80GB RAID 0 = boot
    2x Raptors 150GB RAID 0 = games and apps

    external storage

    Theacus N5200Pro 5x 1.5TB WD Green = everything
    Theacus N5200Pro 5x 1TB WD Green = everything else

    • My Johnson
    • 9 years ago

    My main PC is my laptop, so I went with <500GB. But I have over a terabyte of storage on hand amongst all the various laptops and PC’s hanging around.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 9 years ago

    A Velociraptor 600GB boot drive, and a Caviar Black 2-platter 1TB storage drive. A 500GB Scorpio Blue in my ThinkPad (but getting tempted by the Seagate Momentus XT).

    The file server, on the other hand, has 7.5TB….

    • moriz
    • 9 years ago

    500GB seagate barracuda
    640GB WD caviar green

    that’s of course, not counting the 1TB external.

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    I’m a bit behind! 320GB in the main PC (but it’s three years old now, but still works fine because I’m catching up on old games I’ve missed over the past few years (and they’re cheap to buy!), currently playing The Witcher). 250GB in the work MacBook Pro. 120GB in my HP 2133 netbook. 40GB in my ancient iBook which is still going. 200GB external HD for the iBook too. PS3 has 40GB. A few other computers will various, but not large, hard drives as well.

    • Derfer
    • 9 years ago

    1TB WD Black (sata3)
    1TB F3

    • mcforce0208
    • 9 years ago

    2 ocz vertexs 60gb in Raid 0 as system drive. The a WD 750gb and 640gb as storage!

    • Falanx
    • 9 years ago

    Boot drive: 1.74TB RAID-5 4 × WD Black 640GBs
    Documents/VM disk: 500GB RAID-1 2 × Seagate 7200.10s
    Swapdrive: 1TB 1 × Samsung F1
    Temp drive: 2TB 1 × Samsung F1

    All on a AMCC 9590SE

    The docs drive in time will be replaced by a RAID-5 in 2GB Samsungs F1s, of which one is already present 🙂

    ‘Nuff storagez?

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3
    1TB WD Caviar Green (dead after few months of purchase, gonna try RMA when i know how to do so)
    320GB 2.5″ External Storage Drive for back up of data..

    I only use 150GB partition for system.. 500GB for entertainment stuff like movie or songs, it’s filling up very quickly nowadays… the rest are reserved if i want to dual boot other OS…

    Well, I think I’m gonna need more storage soon… i dont think i’ve found the need for ssd yet… even more with the price as it is.. maybe next year.. maybe…

    • Pax-UX
    • 9 years ago

    Primary PC = uber fast drives that are comparatively small.

    Why are people still put large storage in their Primary PC??? That’s a job for an old banger or NAS! TB of space always on the network, guest has a password and read-only access, with a proper login to write data to the share.

      • sleeprae
      • 9 years ago

      Because sometimes gigabit ethernet is too slow, and 10GbE equipment is still way too pricey. I can do >500MB/s on my local arrays, nearly 5x with GbE can achieve.

      What meets one person’s needs does not necessarily meet everyone else’s.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        For most people gigabit ethernet is very viable. Not sure what you’re doing at 500MB/sec but you are probably not the norm.

        My 1.5TB drive is in the desktop because I’m too cheap to buy a NAS enclosure and reformat it to work. :p

      • burntham77
      • 9 years ago

      I need my porn as quickly as possible, because like Jack Bauer, THERE’S NO TIME!

      • StuffMaster
      • 9 years ago

      I’d love to have a NAS, but I just don’t need one. Why run an extra machine just to house hard drives that will fit in my computer?

    • Wintermane
    • 9 years ago

    I currently just have the 250 gig drive in my lappy. Plan to get an external 1 tb drive later on to expand it for gaming.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    1 x 320GB (boot)
    2 x 640GB (internal storage)
    1 x 1TB (external backup)
    1 x 250GB (portable…sort of)

    All Western Digital

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 9 years ago

    Inside my laptop is a 250GB hard drive. Externally I have 320GB and 1TB hard drives.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 9 years ago

    2 160GB drives. Seagate and WD each
    1 750 GB WD Caviar in external enclosure.

    • thermistor
    • 9 years ago

    4 x 500 Gb (3 Samsung F3’s + 1 WD Blue) in RAID10, 1x 800 Gb green for backup of my PC + certain directories around the network… got a lot of Disney/Cartoon Network shows stored, including the entire Kim Possible series…

    • sawickig
    • 9 years ago

    10 x 1TB in RAID 6 ~ 7.3TB usable

    • wingless
    • 9 years ago

    After formatting I have under 1.5TB. Before formatting I have 1.59GB. 3x30GB SSDs RAID-0, 2x750GB WD Caviar Blacks.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    recently upgraded to 4 wd 1tb black drives, 3 are in raid 0 that replaced 3 lousy seagate 7200.10’s with sorry @ss firmware. spliced 10% on each drive for first partition to get that extra performance out of them. the last wd 1tb is left for data backup and permanent data that is eventually transferred from the second partition in the raid array. its hard to find a good drive these days.

    • Kulith
    • 9 years ago

    60GB ssd in primary desktop.

    Don’t need any more than that… WHS used for everything else.

    • sleeprae
    • 9 years ago

    20.8TB raw capacity. Primary PC only; servers, laptops, HTPC, and NAS increase the total by another 10TB or so (all home).
    2x80GB Intel G2 SSD in RAID0 (ICH10R)
    6x2TB Hitachi in RAID5 (Areca 1230)
    6x500GB WD in RAID5 (Areca 1230)
    8x500GB WD (one drive is actually a 640) in RAID5 (PERC6/i)
    2x750GB WD JBOD (ICH10R)

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    7.5 TB.
    Will be moving 4 TB to a NAS in my next build.

    • RickyTick
    • 9 years ago

    1 WD 640GB Caviar Black
    1 WD 500GB Caviar SE16

    • Ardrid
    • 9 years ago

    Since my upgrade a few months ago, I’m now utilizing 3 drives:

    Applications Drive – 300GB VelociRaptor
    Primary Storage – 1TB Caviar Black
    Backup Storage – 750GB Caviar Black

    Total: 2.05TB.

    • notfred
    • 9 years ago

    150GB Raptor. Don’t need anything bigger – Ubuntu is smaller than Windows, I don’t game and my media is on the fileserver.

      • wibeasley
      • 9 years ago

      What kind of file server? Something you built, or something like a pre-made withn an ARM cpu?

    • Deanjo
    • 9 years ago

    In my main desktop rig:
    14 TB total on that system

    6 x 2GB WD Black Caviars
    1 external 2GB WD Black Caviars

    Media server system has

    20 TB Total in the server
    8 x 2 GB WD Black Caviars
    4 x 1 GB WD Black Caviars

    with plans of replacing the 1TB drives with 2 TB drives

    • rUmX
    • 9 years ago

    Storage: 7.5TB – 5x 1.5TB WD Greens in RAID-5
    SSD: 60GB OCZ Vertex
    Speedy: 600GB – 2x 300GB Seagate RAID-0

    Yup… every SATA port on the motherboard has been put to good use… Though I’m running outta space… got less than 500gb free total.

    • Vaughn
    • 9 years ago

    I’m currently sitting in the 2-2.9 TB range

    Intel 160GB G2
    WD 1TB Black
    WD 640GB Blue
    WD 750GB Blue

    • Sir Sagamore
    • 9 years ago

    4.7 TB of Porn and a little over 5TB of HD space

    • CheetoPet
    • 9 years ago

    Almost like 2 questions – amount of drive space & sum of the drives in your system.

    I’ve got a 250G Windows drive, a 64G Linux SSD and a 2x WD640’s in RAID 10. Plus another 2T in RAID 5 on my backup server. I’ll upgrade my backup server when 2T drives start using less that 4 platters. That, or I figure out what to do with all the space I’ve currently got.

    • no51
    • 9 years ago

    2x 320gb in raid 0, both WD
    4x 500gb in raid 5, 1WD and 3 maxtors

    • xtalentx
    • 9 years ago

    6 2TB drives mirrored for 6TB of storage. With 2 64SSDs mirrored for system. I had catastrophic data loss a while back and am paranoid about it happening again. Mirror everything!!

    • Sanctusx2
    • 9 years ago

    One lone Seagate 500GB drive in my main rig. Don’t really need more than that with 2TB available on fileserver. Going to drop to 100GB on my new rig, which I’ll be building before the end of the year. Even with all my game and app installs, I really don’t need much in excess of 100GB unless I get really lazy about not uninstalling programs I don’t use.

    Everything else, to the fileserver or maybe an external.

      • Lans
      • 9 years ago

      Finally see someone with something closer to my setup… my primary is definitely less than 500GB. I don’t have any external drives though, just fileserver to supplement storage need/to do sharing.

    • jackbomb
    • 9 years ago

    1.0TB in main desktop.
    5.5TB in file server (2+2+1+.5)

    • travbrad
    • 9 years ago

    I have one of those WD 640GB drives, and an “old” WD 250GB drive, so about 900GB total. I don’t even have the 250GB drive plugged in a lot of the time though. I mainly just use it for backups now.

    • marvelous
    • 9 years ago

    WD 640gb Blue
    Hitachi 1 TB 7K1000.C

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    Wasn’t this a question not so long ago? Or am I getting delusions?

    • Shining Arcanine
    • 9 years ago

    My desktop has a 80GB Intel X25-M G2 SSD as its only drive.

    • ClickClick5
    • 9 years ago

    A Raptor X 150GB as my windows/program drive and a WD Caviar SE 320GB for my games/files.

    The question says PC, but I have a single WD 500GB in my mac.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 9 years ago

    a single 500 GB caviar black provides my storage…and it’s only 1/3 full. I apparently need to become a digital packrat?

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 9 years ago

    120GB agility 2 SSD
    320gb x2 , 720gb, 1.5 tb

    • gerbilspy
    • 9 years ago

    500 GB in Dell e6510
    500 GB Ext HDD

    • bLaNG
    • 9 years ago

    1x 250GB and 2x WD Caviar Green 640GB

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    300GB Raptor
    150GB Raptor
    1.5TB Seagate
    1TB WD Black
    750GB Seag
    640GB Seag *2

    Something approaching 4.5TB.

    Got 4*1.5TB in the HP WHS machine, and 4*500GB in the homebrew WHS.

    That’s just the main machine and the main WHSes. There’s plenty other PCs and Macs to bring the averages down.

    • Captain Ned
    • 9 years ago

    2TB WD Caviar Green WD20EARS
    1TB WD Caviar Green WD10EACS
    750GB WD Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS
    500GB Samsung Spinpoint HD501LJ

      • Buzzard44
      • 9 years ago

      Once you’ve got 3TB of Caviar Greens, it seems like you would consider <1GB HDDs obsolete.

        • Captain Ned
        • 9 years ago

        Oops. Fixed. Still remember the day when moving from a 60MB to a 240MB drive. Thought there was no way I could ever fill that (in 1994).

        The perils of aging. I still think first in MB rather than GB.

      • albundy
      • 9 years ago

      ouch! how are those green drives treating you? EARS has a plethora of performance problems as I have read on WD’s community site.

        • Captain Ned
        • 9 years ago

        The 2.0TB EARS is a read-only drive and those looking to read it are limited to 40 KB/sec. I shan’t go further than that.

        • boing
        • 9 years ago

        Huh? I missed that. Mine that are working just fine, TeraCopy reports 70 MB/s moving data across my Green EARS series.

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    i consider my main system a Win7 VM on my home server. in that box i have:

    8 x 1TB (7 in RAID6, 1 hot spare) = ~4.7TB usable

    3 x 400GB in RAID5 = ~750 GB usable

    2x 500GB Mirrored = ~470GB usable

    1x 320GB = ~300GB usable

    Total = ~6.2 TB of mostly redundant storage

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    150 in my laptop, 4TB in the WHS.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    80GB SSD and 640GB HDD, plus a temporary 300GB drive until I work out a server issue.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 9 years ago

    I really need to get more storage. I find myself having to uninstall games, which is something I don’t like to do.

    • MHzTweaker
    • 9 years ago

    Main rig: 16.6 tb total
    internal drives
    120gb 2 Vertex 2’s in RAID 0
    4 x 1.5 tb drives
    3 x 2 tb drives
    external drives
    single 1.5tb and single 2tb in Vantec USB cases

    Backup server: backs up main rig data 14 tb total
    Internal drives
    1.5 tb x 3
    2 tb x 4
    1 tb

      • Dashak
      • 9 years ago

      I’m concurrently appalled and amazed.

      • marvelous
      • 9 years ago

      My first PC didn’t have a hard drive. 😛 I upgraded later and got a ISA 40mb harddrive on a card since my motherboard didn’t even support a hard drive or at least proprietary which cost arm and a leg. My mouth dropped after I upgraded. Everything was so fast compared to my 1.44 floppy.

    • sironomus
    • 9 years ago

    7 TB in 6 drives + 80 gig SSD

    • ShadowTiger
    • 9 years ago

    I have 1 640 main and 1 TB for storage… but I slowed down my consumption so I won’t get another 1 TB for a while.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 9 years ago

    4TB in 3 drives here.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    640+1.5GB in my Phenom II desktop.

    • continuum
    • 9 years ago

    SSD plus six ES.2 1TB’s in RAID6 on an Areca ARC-1680 (hot-swap, of course).

    Trying to find some way to justify switching to Constellation ES 2TB’s or 3TB’s but man, the cost math is ugly (even if I sell all of the ES.2 1TB’s including the cold spares). 🙁

    External HDD’s dedicated to the main box are a pair of 2TB drives (used for backup only), plus a stack of ES.2 1TB’s as cold spares.

    • Synchromesh
    • 9 years ago

    In the process of upgrading to a 2TB drive. Add to that a 160GB SSD and we have approx 2160GB.

    • lilrabbit129
    • 9 years ago

    1TB for my main machine. But a few TB’s in a few RAID5 NAS’s on the network.

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    1.5TB Barracuda of Doom (non-borked firmware)
    320GB for backup
    120GB IDE drive for scratch use; eventually I’ll put WinXP on it so I can play Silent Hunter III again.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    “primary PC” being my laptop for work (<150 GBytes) or my home PC, which serves as a HTPC and has the 2 TB drive to match?

      • dmjifn
      • 9 years ago

      Vote once from work and once from home!

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    500GB in my Vostrotosh 3400. 400GB for OS X and 100GB for Win.


    • clhensle
    • 9 years ago

    2x WD 640 Black RAID 0, 90GB used 😛

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