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Best SSDs for Notebooks - A Two-Year Study (Page 1)

Best SSDs for Notebooks - A Two-Year Study

What SSD gives you the longest battery life? Today we combine two years' worth of results.

By: Chris Ramseyer from Jan 4, 2019 @ 10:00 CST

Introduction

Two years ago, we received out first Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 gaming notebook. Although it is common now, this system was one of the first with both 2.5" and M.2 storage provisions. The Y700 allowed us to unify the two form factors in our Notebook Battery Life test.

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The test itself has also stayed the same over the past two years. The suite comes from BAPCo, MobileMark 2014 version 1.5, but the software is the same that you run on your PC at home. Software like Word, Excel, Outlook, Acrobat, and WinZip makes up the superior test that came to market in an age when battery life measurements were from playing movies or running a script that browsed websites. The MobileMark suite brought a realistic approach to notebook battery life testing.

It's time to retire the Ideapad Y700 and MobileMark 2014 v. 1.5. That doesn't mean the Notebook Battery Life storage test will drop off the list in storage reviews. We're working with Lenovo to find a modern platform with a more efficient 8th Generation Core processor and dual 2.5" and M.2 capabilities. BAPCo also just announced the new MobileMark 2018 with updated applications to pair with our new hardware. Before we move to the new platform and test, we will look back at two years of data and show what the best SSD is for notebook battery life.

Lenovo Ideapad Y700 -17 Specifications

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Lenovo discontinued the system in early 2018, but we still see them for sale from time to time. Prices have dropped significantly over time.

I purchased the first system for my son in 2016. The night before Christmas, I popped the cover to install the fastest storage available at the time. That's when I found the dual-drive configuration. That night I emailed Lenovo about getting several sample systems in to run our Notebook Battery Life test. The company would eventually send us four systems, and I would later buy another one for my other son a year later. Yes, there are six of these in our house at all times.

The reason why we plan to retire the Y700-17 platform is also what makes it the most expensive test we run. Taking the battery from 100% to 0% in just a few hours is destructive. This exact scenario kills batteries and reduces the amount of charge they can take. Each battery only lasts for a handful of tests before it loses the ability to charge to the same level as a new part. Lenovo has at least three battery suppliers and the one we chose to use for out test has become difficult to source. We have a small stockpile of new batteries but will run out of this exact battery in a few months.

BAPCo MobileMark 2014 v. 1.5

The MobileMark 2014 v. 1.5 descriptions is simply, "MobileMark 2014 1.5 is an application based, battery life benchmark designed to assist users in making PC purchasing decisions."

The company built the software suite to test on different notebooks to compare results. We repurposed the suite to use to the same notebook to test different components to deliver equal environment results to determine what storage product delivers the best battery life.

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The application runs on a simple install of Windows 10 Pro. We install the MobileMark Suite and make a base run before recording the results with a small capacity SSD. Then we use Acronis True Image HD to make a one-to-one copy. We use the cloned image on each drive we test ensuring an equal environment for each result.

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