Does leaving free space on my HD prolong the life of my MBP? If so, how much?
I have a MBP with 500 GB hard drive.
1 - Will leaving more free memory prolong the life of the machine? Right now, i have about 50 free GB but I can delete a lot of the music files I have backed up elsewhere if it's better for the machine.
2 - If having more free space is better, what percentage should I aim for to keep the machine as long as possible?
There are two main moving parts in a hard drive that are prone to "mechanical failure" or wearing out:
- the spinning disks
- and the read/write heads.
If your computer is turned on & the hard disk is not set to "sleep"...then the hard drive disks are always spinning when the computer is "on"...and whether the hard drive is almost empty or almost full...this will not effect the amount of "spinning" of the hard drive.
The read/write heads move when you access the hard drive:
- open/close/modify a file
- open/close an application
- use the OS to do something
- or memory "swaps" with the virtual memory needs of the OS
Again...these read/write actions occur whenever the user does something or the OS does it on it's own. MAYBE...if a hard drive is more full...the read/write heads may have to travel a bit further than on a less full hard drive (outside of a disk platter to the very inside of a disk platter)...but I really don't think that this will make a tremendous difference in hard drive "life".
What is actually more important...is once a hard drive gets more than say 80-90% full...computer tasks may start to take longer due to limited hard drive space...which could be due to a less "organized" hard drive...and possibly the read/write heads needing to travel more distance.
I can guarantee you one way you can extend the life of your hard drive...is never use your computer!;)
As you mentioned Nick a full hard drive can slow the performance of a person's Mac. I think the OP either misinterpreted this statement or heard it from someone else who misinterpreted it. The OP knew something bad happens when the hard drive gets full.
In a way it does prolong a computer's life because when the hard drive gets full and slows down the performance the average user probably thinks they need a new computer.
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