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I'm trying to come up with a case for replacing our laptop HDDs with SSDs in our IT dept. Besides saving a lot of developer time, is there any data out there to support my argument that they are more environmentally friendly? Esp. with regard to construction and power consumption. Can you think of any thing that I'm missing?

Update1: I am routinely slowed down by my HDD. I'm on a laptop so my swap file is sitting on a 5400 rpm hdd. I typically sit at 80% memory used when developing so I hit the swap a lot. I have the option of going to a 64b OS (minimal gain really, considering I only have 1 mem slot free) or upgrading to an SSD. So I'm losing time already all the time. So assuming I will replace the drives, is there an environmental bonus over the long term to replacing the drive?

Update2: What about power over a year? How much power would a laptop consume being used 40 hours a week and hitting the swap very frequently on a HDD vs. SSD?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 15 '11 at 2:26

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The green thing is not to replace the HDD's. You already bought them. –  Henk Feb 14 '11 at 23:18
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I wonder how much developer time you will save. Developers are seldom slown down by their hard discs. SSD's are more environment-friendly. They're made of less metal (more silicium), and less material in total, but above all they generate less heat and consume less energy. And they're more quiet too. –  GolezTrol Feb 14 '11 at 23:18
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I want to +10000 @Henk. –  chmullig Feb 14 '11 at 23:23
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@GolezTrol yeah, developers are slowed down much more by stackoverflow.com, engadget.com, lifehacker.com, etc, etc :-D –  zourtney Feb 14 '11 at 23:26
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RAM, RAM - as much as you can. –  Linker3000 Feb 16 '11 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

No; they don't save (as much) power as you might expect. See Tom's Hardware's analysis on SSD vs. HD power specifically this page. At least for laptops under Windows.

Update 12/2011: "A disk-based drive will always consume more power absolutely. At the system level, an SSD increases power consumption because CPU and memory utilization rises in response to increased I/O activity (they're not sitting there, waiting on a hard drive to send data)".

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I've read that article before. It's 2+ yrs old. Back then SSDs were so new that I don't really consider its data valid anymore. –  jcollum Feb 24 '11 at 23:47
    
Guess this one wins by default. –  jcollum Dec 23 '11 at 18:12
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@jcollum That article is simply stating that faster hard drives in general will use more power because the system has to be actively managing IO rather than just letting it queue and waiting for the drive.... Unless SSD's become slower or we fundamentally change how PC's work than that article will only be more relevant as time goes on and SSD's get faster. –  Kyle Dec 29 '11 at 18:19

If you are hitting swap, then I would suggest the SSD. But that is an expensive endeavorer and is a tough case to take on. SSDs are very expensive and only provide benefits through speeding up the page file and compiling time. The rest of the time, the benefits sit idle.

The best alternative is an actual workstation, with a bigger monitor. The bigger monitor is probably the best productivity boost you'll get and desktops are just faster overall.

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Get multiple monitors instead of a bigger one if you really want to increase productivity. More screen space isn't what you need, higher resolution lets you fit more work in front of your eyes at a time. –  Shinrai Feb 15 '11 at 15:26
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Expensive? Debatable. SSD prices have dropped a lot over the past year. You can get a suitable main drive replacement for about $150 bucks. You won't have a ton of space on it, but it's plenty for development work. I'm currently using a total of 45GB on my main drive, so any drive over 90GB should be adequate. –  jcollum Feb 15 '11 at 17:36

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