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Does using a USB flash drive help battery life?

Message #1 - Posted 2006/09/21 - eponymous cowherd

Some people claim that puting commonly used files on a USB flash drive while using a laptop will increase battery life due to the HDD being used less. Is there really a difference and if so, how large is it?

If I am writing some crap in textedit I usually get 3 hours from my battery. If I bought a USB flash drive, put textedit and the document on the drive, how much extra battery life might I get?

If I bought an 8GB iPod nano and ran the OS, textedit and the crap I was writing from the nano, would my battery last some absurd amount of time?

Message #2 - Posted 2006/09/22 - Stan Horwitz

Previously, eponymous cowherd wrote:

Some people claim that puting commonly used files on a USB flash drive while using a laptop will increase battery life due to the HDD being used less. Is there really a difference and if so, how large is it?

If I am writing some crap in textedit I usually get 3 hours from my battery. If I bought a USB flash drive, put textedit and the document on the drive, how much extra battery life might I get?

If I bought an 8GB iPod nano and ran the OS, textedit and the crap I was writing from the nano, would my battery last some absurd amount of time?

I doubt it would make a difference because in all likelihood, Text Edit and the document you are working on are loaded entirely into memory. The biggest factor in battery life in any laptop is the intensity of the screen. Dim the screen as much as possible to get more life out of your battery. Also, if you don't need bluetooth or airport, turn those off too because they also drain power from the battery.

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