Yawn: CPU and GPU Intensive Tasks Show No Benefit

If you happen to run a test that does very in the way of little hard drive accesses, obviously a faster storage subsystem isn't going to help. Here are results from a few other standard application benchmarks we run, as well as battery life. If you thought a "low powered" SSD would dramatically boost battery life, the results say otherwise. Laptop HDDs just don't use that much power, especially if you're using the Power Saver profile, as we'll see below. (Note that other SSDs may do slightly better in power requirements as well, though we're still talking about a difference of 10% or less at best.)

The CPU intensive tasks like 3D rendering and video encoding score essentially the same with or without an SSD. Likewise, 3DMark is unaffected by the faster storage array. If you're looking to spend $300 and you want better CPU performance or faster graphics performance, you'll be better off with a faster CPU or GPU—no surprises here.

Battery life is one area where we expected to see more benefit. Idle battery life went up 7%, which is decent, but Internet battery life actually dropped slightly. The margin of error with battery life testing tends to be around 2%, so in general we don't think an SSD will reduce battery life, but unless you have a very power hungry HDD there's a good chance things won't improve much.

The Good News: General OS and Application Performance Gaming: No Change, so Let's Update the Drivers
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Hrel - Monday, June 7, 2010 - link

    If someone could do a review on the laptop that I currently suspect is the best "bang for your buck" out there. It's made by compal, and available on Cyberpower.com who's machines you've reviewed before. If you'd like it configured like I did, which I think is the best bang for buck, do this: Go to the website. mouse over 15.6" Laptops and click on the $999 Xplorer X6-8500. It has a 1080p screen. (I'm not sure why the people who run this site do this, but even though the other configurations use the same chassis when personalized they come out to cost more than this one; annoying since it makes me configure all 3 or 4 machines built on the same base chassis to figure out which one is cheapest/best for me.) Then I configured it with the Core i7-620M CPU. (to get it over 1K so I can take advantage of the 5% off.) 4GB 0DDR3-1333, hopefully 7-7-7-21, probably not, but hopefully. ATI MR HD5650 1GB GDDR3 320GB 7200rpm HDD (I did this cause I'm gonna take that HDD out and use the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB, thanks for that review!!) Everything else on that page I left untouched. The only thing I did on page 2 was switch to Intel wifi with bluetooth; Though I'm curious if the MSI option is equal/better; 17 bucks isn't nothing. It has HDMI out and a fingerprint reader. This page says 3 USB ports, the specs sheet says 4USB ports; not sure which is true. (I do wish they were USB 3.0 ports, but I was hoping you guys would test some stuff and tell me if that even matters for use with an external hard drive, mechanical disk 7200rpm. Transferring large files like movies and games mostly.) On page 3 I select "none, format only" for the OS. And select "LCD perfect assurance" cause even 1 dead pixel is unacceptable to me. This brings the total to $1008.90 after 5% off, or $992.75 if you get the MSI network card. So yeah, I really hope you guys can get a hold of one of these for review; as a loner or given as a review unit or maybe someone will just buy one and review it cause it's really tempting me right now... like a lot! If you're review is good I'm gonna start saving up and hopefully be able to buy it around Christmas. Thanks guys! A loyal reader. - Brian
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 7, 2010 - link

    We can ask around... Anyway, I want to do a comment system test, so I'm doing it here. The following is a list of items that should be on separate lines: 1) Line one 2) Another line 3) And the third line. I'm pretty sure the system isn't giving anyone <br> tags now.
  • JohnNyceis - Monday, June 7, 2010 - link

    this is a test

    line breaks should be working now

  • brundlefly - Friday, June 25, 2010 - link

    I have used SSDs on my notebooks for 3 years and can't go back.

    Benchmarks just do not reflect how well these improve my everyday computing.

    Like getting a larger monitor, its cool for a while, then you get used to it and its not big deal, then when you use a computer with a smaller monitor (or mechanical hard drive) its excruciating - if its well tuned you might need to use it for 5 minutes before you start realizing its a hard drive, but it will happen, and the enabling of fans and even the slightest noise is grinding and foreign.

    It is *very* hard dealing with the storage issues on a notebook. I shove all of my media off onto a Synology NAS, and have moved all of my mail and office apps onto web services.

    This last bit was one of the best things I have ever done for my productivity. I used to have outlooks and entourages running all over the place, plus syncing and duplicates and all that nonsense - no more.

    Everything is on Google, and my iPhone has Google Sync (which is actually Exchange, so its push and there are never conversion issues like duplicates).
  • Amazing Sathu - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the good article Jarred. A revisit review of a product is awesome and something not done normally. But such reviews help in giving mid life boost to slightly older products and save some $$ in the process. I would like to add 3 things I did to my Asus UJ30C over the last 1 week and it now is like a completely different animal. Between the iPads, tablets, my office laptop etc, UJ30C was somewhat getting neglected. But recently taking advantage of some good pricies of components I decided to upgrade the UJ30C. Three upgrades were done
    1. Upgrade RAM from 4GB to 8 GB (PNY 2x4GB) - $31
    2. Upgrade the OEM WD Blue 5400RMP 500GB HDD to Seagate Momentus Hybrid 7200 RPM 750GB Drive - $125 (Used Acronis cloning SW - Trial version)
    3. Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro ($39)
    Total cost - $195 plus 4 hours of weekend time.(cloning takes the maximum time here)
    Result: System is screaming fast - take 15 secs to boot up from cold to get to Windows 8 Metro screen. (prior to that it took full 3 minutes for the laptop to boot on Win 7, Upgrading the RAM and SSD cut it down to 30 Seconds, Win 8 reduced it further)

    Issues so far:
    1. WiDi is broke after the upgrade. Major dampener. Reasons I got here was googling for a fix and came across this review. Sharing this for others who may benefit and be aware of the WiDi issue on Win8.

    Thanks all for reading. Comments are welcome.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now