Apple Macbook Pro (16-inch, M2 Pro 2023) has the longest recorded battery life. It can do up to 22 hours of Apple TV app movie playback. On wireless web, you can expect near around 15 hours of wireless web. This all is happening due to the circuits becoming more microscopic. Apply optimized everything in order to achieve these amazing numbers. Yes, they have their own SSDs which are optimized to achieve this kind of long battery life.
In this article, we are going to know whether an SSD impacts the battery life of a laptop.
SSDs are clearly pretty power-efficient. A 7200 RPM Hard drive will consume between 2 to 6 watts when idle and between 6 to 8 watts when reading or writing.
A SATA 2.5″ SSD, on the other hand, will consume just between 0.3 to 2 watts when idle and 2 to 4 watts when reading or writing. So, there is going to be a clear difference in the battery consumption when we accumulate this power consumption over time.
In this article, I am going to help you understand why devices running on HDD consume more power. Next, I am also going to share with you if switching to SSD improves the battery life. Lastly, I will address the difference between the power consumption of an HDD device and an SSD-powered device. This information will help you understand the difference between the two and make a wise decision based on this information.
Read the complete SSD Power Consumption Comparison.
Why does HDD consume more battery life?
It is a scientifically proven fact that laptops with HDD consume more power than ones with SSD storage. Let us understand the reason that causes devices with HDD a high power consumption. A Hard disk drive is a mechanical drive with several essential parts. The major components of an HDD visible to the naked eye consist of a platter, a spindle, and a read/write arm. Among these parts, the read/write arm is the element that is constantly working during any functioning.
The read/write arm, also known as the spinning arm, is always moving to read or write data on the different platters. The continuous movement of this arm requires electrical power. This power is derived from the battery or any other power outlet connected to the device. This phenomenon results in devices running on HDD requiring more electricity than SSD-supported laptops.
See this table:
|Storage Type||Idle (W)||Read/Write (W)|
|7200 RPM HDD||0.3 – 1.2||6.0 – 8.0|
|SATA SSD||0.3 – 2.0||2.0 – 4.0|
|NVMe SSD||0.3 – 1.5||3.5 – 6.5|
|Hybrid Drive||0.4 – 1.8||4.5 – 7.5|
These numbers are not exact and are not to be used for any calculation because each drive and system is different. However, you can see the difference in the consumption.
Will an upgrade to SSD improve my laptop’s battery life?
Upgrading your device to an SSD has many benefits, one of which is the significant improvement in battery life. SSD being an integrated circuit chip uses flash memory to identify the data stored. The identification of previously stored data and entry of new data is through a flash process. There is no mechanical or electrical energy involved in the process. Therefore the consumption of power for SSD is less compared to an HDD.
As we saw in the numbers above, upgrading to an SSD will show you a big difference in battery usage. Especially if your work includes reading and writing huge files, you will be amazed by how much money and time you save after this upgrade.
When does an SSD consume a lot of battery?
One might ask, will upgrading to an SSD boost the battery life of their laptop? The answer is yes to a large extent. However, the usage of the device will also impact your battery performance. Upgrading to SSD does not mean that your laptop battery will last throughout the day without getting depleted. An upgrade to SSD will help in improving the battery life of your device. Say, for example, if the laptop had a life of 4 hours running on an HDD. Then by upgrading to an SSD, you will enjoy a battery life of around 5 to 6 hours, depending on your usage.
If you use your device for running high-tech applications or playing games with high amounts of graphics or animation, then your battery will drain eventually. This time limit, however, will be longer than the period when it functioned on an HDD. However, using complex software and programs that require more RAM will ultimately drain the battery of any laptop running on an HDD or SSD.
So irrespective of whether you use an SSD laptop or an HDD-powered device, the programs used on your device will also play an important role. If you use your device for editing high-resolution photos and videos, playing graphics-oriented games, or creating videos or films, it is highly likely that your battery will drain faster than others. So before making a switch to SSD, always identify the apps that consume high power. These statistics will help you answer will an SSD improve your battery life?
Power Consumption of different SSDs
The overall power consumed by an SSD or any other storage device will depend on the usage and various other factors. But, if you are curious to know the actual values, below is that information for you.
How much difference can you see in the overall power consumption?
Another relevant question that needs addressing is the difference between the power consumption on an SSD laptop and an HDD laptop. SSD is a pricey component, and I would not recommend the upgrade when the power consumption between them is negligible.
Before making an upgrade, identify the apps and programs that use the highest amount of power by going to Settings. Here is some statistical data that will demonstrate the power consumption with both SSD and HDD under various conditions.
A SATA SSD of 512 GB capacity will have a power consumption of about 0.75 to 0.9 Watts. On the other hand, a mechanical hard drive of the same capacity will consume up to 6.8 Watts. The traditional 3.5-inch hard disk drives will have a power consumption of 4.1 watts during active use and up to 3 watts during idle time. SSD, on the other hand, will consume only 66 percent of the power of an HDD during active usage. The idle time usage of an SSD is as low as 0.5 percent of the HDD consumption and can lay as low as 0.05 Watts.
In a nutshell, there is no big difference you can see in your battery life. However, the difference is there. If you often use your data storage device for regular data reading and writing, the HDDs are going to consume a lot of battery because of their physical nature. However, the SSDs are going to give you an advantage here with their lower power consumption.
Situations Where SSD Might Not Help
Despite the technical marvel that SSDs are, there are scenarios where the advantage diminishes. For example, during intensive tasks that leverage the CPU or GPU heavily, the energy consumption might overshadow the benefits derived from the SSD, barely impacting the battery life. In such cases, the battery consumption pattern remains largely unchanged, attributing to the higher demand from other components.
Beyond the SSD, several other factors hold a decisive role in determining the battery lifespan of a laptop. The screen brightness, the efficiency of the CPU, and the background applications running can significantly affect the battery performance.
If you are hoping to extend the battery life of your laptop, consider upgrading to an SSD. By upgrading from an HDD to an SSD, you can enjoy various benefits for your laptop. It includes boosting the performance of your processor to provide a noise-free device. A switch to SSD will also help in increasing the overall performance of your laptop.
So if you are looking for an overall solution for a laptop, I would recommend an SSD over HDD. You can also use a combination of both to achieve an excellent internal and external storage combination. After the upgrade, you will enjoy a faster-performance laptop that consumes very little power.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, different types of SSDs, such as SATA SSDs and NVMe SSDs, can have varying impacts on battery life due to their distinct operational efficiencies and power consumption patterns. NVMe generally consumes more power than the slower SATA drives.
Incorporating an SSD can indeed enhance the battery life of older laptops to an extent. However, the overall improvement might be limited due to other aging components in the system.
Generally, the capacity of an SSD doesn’t have a direct substantial impact on the battery life. However, larger SSDs can sometimes consume more power due to a higher number of chips, but the difference is usually marginal.