The Idea Dude


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More about hot laptops

There's a myth about why putting faster harddrives make your laptops / notebooks much hotter. Sure, the drive itself gets much warmer but not by more than a few degrees generally.

The harddrive is the bottleneck in your computer. Way slower than your RAM and CPU. So generally, the CPU waits for RAM and the RAM waits for the data to load from the harddrive. That's why a RAM upgrade is one of the most important ways to make your computer go faster.

What's really happening is that with a faster harddrive, the data bandwidth increases substantially meaning the disk controller is working harder, the RAM changes more often and the CPU is less idle than it was. Which all leads to the fact that the motherboard or logic components get much hotter and hence the temperature increase.

Since putting in a faster harddrive, my average temperature in the Mac has gone up but 5-10 degrees (subjective measure i.e. have the actual values from SMC fan controller but didn't do it perfect experimental benchmarks).

Which leads me back to my leadership ideas. We don't often spend enough time to see who is the weakest link or the biggest bottleneck in our organization.


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