What is eMMC storage capacity in laptop?

If you’re looking for a cheap laptop, you’ve likely seen many Chromebooks come with eMMC memory, but what is eMMC memory? We explain what it is, why we don’t see it on more expensive laptops, and how it works.

We explain in a simple way what this eMMC memory used for data storage is. We usually see it in lower models of laptops, but it is not used in computers with SSD or HDD. At the moment we can say that this is a multimedia card.

What is eMMC and how does it work?

eMMC stands for Multimedia Media Card, which translates as multimedia media card or integrated multimedia card. This eMMC card consists of a flash memory, an MMC interface and a flash memory controller. Its simple structure ensures that it is not large in size as it is smaller than a stamp.

eMMC memory uses a type of BGA (Top Grid Array) socket, which means it is soldered to the motherboard of the equipment, just like in laptop processors or SoCs in smartphones. This makes it almost impossible to expand the memory, the same thing happens with some laptops with RAM soldered.

Because an eMMC consists of NAND SLC or MLC flash memory, its storage is very similar to a pen drive, SD cards or SSDs. This memory is connected directly to the motherboard of the device in parallel. The integrated controller takes care of placing the data in memory and frees the processor from this task.

It consumes very little battery. It is quite inexpensive to manufacture, and its small size allowed it to be soldered to smartphones, small laptops, Smart TVs, and even household appliances or cars.

We can see equipment with eMMC memory between 32 and 64 GB in stores; In the business environment, this memory can go up to 512 GB.

eMMC transfer rates

Transfer speeds aren’t bad at all, but it’s true that they’re far from what an SSD can deliver: They can reach 400MB/s in writes, but in practice they’re often lower. Therefore, it is better to expect a maximum write speed of 220 MB/s.

When purchasing a laptop with eMMC storage, you should look at which version it offers. eMMC is the latest version 5.1. If you buy a laptop with eMMC 5.1, it means you’ll enjoy a transfer speed of up to 400MB/s.

Because of this, eMMC memories are slower and have less capacity than storage alternatives found in any laptop. But this memory is still essential in smartphones and tablets where we can’t fit an SSD.

Advantages and disadvantages

We have come to the point where we need to analyze this type of storage and highlight its strengths and weaknesses.

We highlight this memory as silent, because HDDs cause a certain amount of noise due to their operation, apart from generating vibration. I also noted that not all eMMC memory is the same as there are versions with very slow speeds as well as versions with higher speeds.

eMMC usage areas and recommendations

The first recommendation is to buy a laptop or computer with the latest available eMMC memory (5.1). Thus, you will have a very good user experience thanks to the transfer speed close to 400 MB/s.

eMMC is cheap and low-range memory, and there’s a reason for that. If you have little money to buy a laptop and don’t need a lot of storage, then a laptop with eMMC is more than enough. Of course, don’t expect to use it heavily, rather it is a storage space that is useful in performing common tasks with the computer. You cannot make video games, design and develop.

The most common options are 32GB and 64GB, so our needs can’t be too much either. In the next step we already find 128GB or 256GB SSD as basic solutions but for more demanding needs.