Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

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Will 500 GB SSD Hybrid 2.5" HD decrease battery life?

I want to upgrade my MBP hard-drive (320 MB @ 5400 RPM; 4 GB RAM) as the original HD is flaking out (it's now painfully slow). I don't need a ton of HD space, so 500 GB is fine. Battery life is more important to me, as I'm on the road quite a bit.

I am considering installing the Seagate 500 GB SSD Hybrid 2.5" HD (iFixIt Product code: IF107-098-3). From what I've read, speed will be improved somewhat, but at the cost of using up battery life.

Alternatively I could up upgrade to 8 GB RAM and replace the HD with Toshiba 500 GB 5400 RPM 2.5" Hard Drive (iFixIt IF107-060-1). The cost would (roughly) be the same as above scenario.

Which of the two scenarios is better for battery life? Hybrid SSD/SATA HD? Or Increased RAM with standard SATA HD?

Thanks!

Bill

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Fantastic feedback, everyone. My budget is limited--and I'm holding onto my MBP for as long as I can, as it does everything I need it to—so I'll likely upgrade to hybrid hard drive now, and later upgrade the RAM to the max (8 GB).

Thanks, everyone, for your input. Much appreciated!

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There might be a very slight difference in power consumption, but from what I've read, and from what I've experienced personally with hybrid drives and SSDs, it's so small as to be negligible. Upgrading RAM in theory may actually increase your battery life, because if your laptop can do all its work in RAM instead of writing to disk constantly, that should (again, in theory) take less power. I would not weigh the power consumption issue as a factor at all, personally.

It's one of those topics that people go around in circles about endlessly, and everyone has an opinion that is (usually) based on next to no evidence. Here's a thread that presents some actual testing and is fairly interesting:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/328...

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Option C ;-}

Go with the hybrid drive AND up the RAM. If you can't swing both do the drive first.

The amount of added power usage is not enough to worry about.

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Without the exact drive model there is no way to find out the exact wattage each drive uses. (I wish iFixit printed drive specs like OWC does.) I tried to find the specs sheets for each, and it looks like the Hybrid use a bit more power — between half a watt and a watt depending on activity (active 2.5W vs 1.5–2W) and about half a watt more while idle (.9W vs. .55W). It could be ~5% less battery life with the Hybrid. So, over 5Hours that would be about 15m less operating time. (This is assuming I found the right specs sheets.)

If this is the seagate hybrid you are considering. it uses more power all around:

http://origin-www.seagate.com/files/www-...

Toshiba MQ01ABD Specs

http://storage.toshiba.com/storagesoluti...

FYI: I had this model MBP and upped the RAM to 16GB, and the performance difference was significant. I recommend everyone running 10.7 & up to upgrade to 16GB if they can. I use my race horse in a box analogy: the box is how far the horse can extend its legs in one stride: with 8GB it cannot extend its legs fully. With 4GB it is like 30% of it full stride, while 8GB is about 60% of its full stride, and 16GB would be larger than its full stride. Real world this does not translate to a 40% increase (thanks to overhead and how the programs are written) — more like 25%–30%. However, the less the CPU has to hit the VRAM (HD), the faster the machine responds. If you run a lot of apps concurrently, then more RAM allows more of them to stay resident in memory at one time and switching between them is more fluid and avoids a trip to the HD which also saves a bit of time and power.

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Sadly this model only goes to 8GB of RAM. I agree adding RAM helps a lot. In fact it can lower the amount of I/O to storage lowering the straight HD or SSD usage (saving power).

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As to SSHD drives, the difference in the power used is so little when you look at the rest of the picture you can't really see a measurable difference here when you put it against a regular SSD and HD combo setup. Here the SSD caching of the SSHD will lower the reads/writes to the HD drive part of the SSHD which lowers the power used by the HD side of the hybrid drive. Basically it uses less power than the read/writes to the dual SSD and HD device setup. So measuring as close to an Apples to Apples setup as possible doesn't show a loss only a gain. But if you are trying to compare a SSHD Vs a HD yes there is a power use difference. I don't think the few minutes difference here is enough to rule out the over all gains of performance the SSHD offers.

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Which is why I recommended going with the Hybrid drive (SSHD) and upping the RAM to the max.

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check everymac.com for your model because some macs rated at 8GB max by Apple can actually handle 16GB. I’m pretty sure this is the case with your Mac because I had a 2009 13" Unibody MBP & 16GB worked great.

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