bit-tech.net

SSDs do increase battery life

SSDs do increase battery life

If you're in the market for an SSD, Tom's Hardware has shown that the OCZ unit has unbeatable PPW figures.

If you've been following the debate over solid-state device energy efficiency, you'll be interested to hear that the battle is finally over – with SSDs taking their rightful place at the top of the battery-friendly chart.

Tom's Hardware made the headlines recently when contributors Patrick Schmid and Achim Roos ran a group test comparing no-moving-parts SSDs designed for notebook computers with their traditional mechanical counterparts. The rather surprising result of the test was that the SSDs showed a marked loss of runtime when on battery power, with the researchers concluding that due to a higher idle power consumption the SSDs would actually reduce battery life – pretty much the opposite of what SSD manufacturers have been trying to sell us.

Laptop Magazine caught wind of the rather counter-intuitive results and ran its own tests, with a different test methodology. Whereas Tom's Hardware had relied on the MobileMark test suite, Laptop Magazine used a shell script that simulated daily web browsing habits for a more 'real-world' result. The conclusion was that SSDs at worst made no difference to battery life, and at best could improve the time spent between charges.

Despite the confidence shown by Tom's Hardware in the original test – in which a paragraph under the heading “Could Tom's Hardware be Wrong?” the researchers stated that “our results are definitely correct” – the tech blog has seen fit to print a correction as a result of new testing. According to the new article, the test procedure produced inaccurate results due to varying workload between tests, as a direct result of the improved performance of the SSD units. As Laptop Magazine concluded in their article, the SSDs were being penalised for their increased speed compared to the mechanical units on test.

Although Tom's Hardware is sticking to its guns, stating that “the conclusion, however, that Flash SSDs are often misleadingly presented as energy savers [...] is not invalidated,” it's hard to see this latest article as anything other than an admission of poor testing procedure – especially when the correction states “[this is] precisely what our initial article should have said: most of the Flash SSD just aren't that much better [than mechanical drives],” which is quite some way from the conclusion drawn originally. While SSDs aren't going to give you ten-hour runtimes quite yet, the latest figures demonstrate that they are more than capable of competing with their longer-established mechanical brethren – and as the technology matures, the gap is only going to widen in favour of SSD.

If these latest figures have convinced you to go down the SSD route, Tom's Hardware's latest test has highlighted the best of the bunch: the OCZ SATA II 2.5” SSD showed a performance-per-watt (PPW) in the region of five to six times better than the traditional spinning-platter drives it was compared to, making it a clear winner if you want the best possible runtime from your notebook.

Are you pleased to see SSD vindicated, or will you be sticking with mechanical drive until the price drops to a more comparable level? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
wuyanxu 16th July 2008, 10:15 Quote
so less than an hour of extra laptop battery time for how much more premium you have to pay?

the question now is: is it worth it? (don't forget the tiny space)
Joeymac 16th July 2008, 10:25 Quote
"Is it worth it?"

Well depends on your circumstances. If your only machine is the laptop and it sits plugged in on a desk most of the time ....and you keep all your music and movies on it. Then the storage is probably more important. If however it's a smaller, more portable laptop; and it's a second machine. Then the storage won't matter as much and you can spend the cash if you want to have faster booting and a more snappy OS etc.
wuyanxu 16th July 2008, 10:32 Quote
how about the Ultra-portable class, EEE 901 vs a similar priced HDD with similar spec
p3n 16th July 2008, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
so less than an hour of extra laptop battery time for how much more premium you have to pay?

the question now is: is it worth it? (don't forget the tiny space)

SSDs are pretty cheap (and similar in size to other laptopdrives) now...
BlackMage23 16th July 2008, 10:52 Quote
I'll be intrested when I can get a 120GB SSD at a good price
Awoken 16th July 2008, 12:29 Quote
Once they reach 400-500GB then I'll sit up and pay attention, until then...meh!
Hamish 16th July 2008, 12:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
so less than an hour of extra laptop battery time for how much more premium you have to pay?

the question now is: is it worth it? (don't forget the tiny space)

theres more to it than battery life, SSDs are nearly indestructible compared to a traditional hard drive which is especially important in a mobile device like a laptop
they'll also outperform a traditional laptop disk

most laptops also come with relatively small disks anyway, so the capacity difference isnt as big a deal as it is on the desktop
although i do think people are kinda missing the point of SSDs when they whine about not being able to get 500gig ones
naokaji 16th July 2008, 15:18 Quote
dont forget that ssd's are far faster than the crappy low rpm drives you usually find in laptops, dont look at the numbers several raptors on a areca put out, the ssd's also produce almost no heat, have no moving parts and weight less on top of the lower power consumption... really pretty much an allway round win except for capacity and price, but how much storage do you need on the go? just have some extra storage at home and only carry the data you actually need and the size isnt an issue leaving the price as the only downside.

seriously, what hdd manufacturer paid TH for the original article? make the step to the future and try ssd..
1ad7 16th July 2008, 16:22 Quote
well its not worth it to most people just like Sli and crossfire, but it can add to your epenis and if your a business man or woman who flies alot this could really help you, an hour is usually long enough to get to an outlet.
TreeDude 16th July 2008, 17:30 Quote
The 64GB OCZ is over $1,000. The 32GB is $450. These things are damn pricey.
Veles 16th July 2008, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
the question now is: is it worth it? (don't forget the tiny space)

Yes, because regular HDDs are slow as hell, even high speed ones.
kingdavies 16th July 2008, 19:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeDude
The 64GB OCZ is over $1,000. The 32GB is $450. These things are damn pricey.

ROFL where are you shoping? The 64GB costs £184
sleepyhollow 16th July 2008, 19:21 Quote
Quite frankly i dont give a dam. In two months times my new laptop will support dual HDD's. Windows will be on a 64 CB SDD and all my progs n games will be on a 7200 HDD. Now if that dont cut it im off to a gimps party dungon where mistress whips me all day long ha ha
FvD 16th July 2008, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingdavies
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeDude
The 64GB OCZ is over $1,000. The 32GB is $450. These things are damn pricey.

ROFL where are you shoping? The 64GB costs £184

Actually OCZ SSDs come in two versions: "OCZ SATA II 2.5" SSD" (expensive ones, bout 750EUR per 64GB) and "OCZ Core Series SATA II 2.5" SSD" (cheapos for bout 190EUR per 64GB)

On a sidenote: are SSDs actually measured in GiB or rip-off GB?
Manufactureres should realy l2- binaryprefix or should be forced to :D
Furymouse 16th July 2008, 21:46 Quote
What about the limited amount of writes/rewrites? Thats whats putting me off( especially seeing as my sd card just died with all my pics on it )
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums