Upgrading the laptop made it 10x faster, using 30% less power

The biggest surprise was how much electricity my laptop used, mainly because it would often be on for up to 16 hours a day. While the fridge uses 0.425kWh in 24 hours in normal use, the laptop was using 0.720kWh over 16 hours at 45W/h!

Yes, the hard drive was packing up and both the drive and fan were on a lot of the time and this eventually forced me to do something. An iPad Pro seemed a really attractive alternative, using only about 12W/h but R30,000 plus… plus, after adding a keyboard, mouse and buying Apple applications to replace the Windows applications, just seemed too much.

The decision to replace the hard drive with a solid state disk (SSD) was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The SSD cost just on R2,000 from Takealot — and the shopping experience exceeded all expectations. And the laptop became a laptop-on-steroids! Power usage dropped from 45W/h to between 25 and 35W/h.

Comparison of speeds for different applications between HDD and SDD

Comparison of speeds for different applications between HDD and SDD

I used the opportunity to do a clean install of Windows 10 and that provided a far superior user experience than the old Windows upgrade I’d done over a year before. Turning the laptop on and off is almost instantaneous. So I’ve also learned to close the laptop’s lid when I’m not using it, putting it into sleep mode which uses a tiny amount of power. I’m sure daily power usage is now about one-third of what it was before.

Click here to read the full story on replacing the hard drive and the benefits.

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