LAPTOP Magazine: SSDs and Battery Life

Last week, we mentioned an article published on Tom’s Hardware that stated that flash memory-based Soild State Drives (SSDs) actually hurt your battery life rather than help it.

It caused quite a bit of controversy around the internet – SSDs have no moving parts and generate less heat than conventional (mechanical) hard drives, among other benefits. CNET published responses from Intel, STEC, and Micron, pointing out that some of the SSDs benchmarked were using first-generation SSD technology that was more inefficient than later models or were SSDs that wouldn’t be used by PC makers in production machines. Comments on various blogs pointed out that Tom’s Hardware wasn’t taking into account real world usage.

Over the weekend, Avram Piltch wrote an article on LAPTOP Magazine’s blog, stating that Tom’s Hardware was wrong, and proceeded to explain real world usage, as well as LAPTOP Magazine’s battery life test (which is very comprehensive and much more realistic than running the laptop with nonstop activity).

LAPTOP Magazine’s take:

Our conclusion is that, in real-world use, SSDs offer a small improvement in battery life. While this tiny improvement may not be enough to sell users on SSDs as power-saving devices, it is certainly enough to say that upgrading to SSD will not cost you any battery life and may provide you with more productive minutes as you wait shorter periods of time for programs to load or for your system to boot.

LAPTOP Magazine
CNET – response – Micron / Intel statements