Q&A: Will replacing my laptop’s hard drive with an SSD make it run hotter?

intel-520-series-solid-state-drive-120gbQuestion from Michael:  I have a Toshiba laptop that runs a bit on the hot side. It always has, ever since I first took it out of the box.

I guess it’s just a “hot” computer because the fan runs as it should and there are no air obstructions that I can find.

I’d love to replace the existing 320 GB hard drive with an SSD, but I’m afraid it will cause the laptop to overheat. Do you think there’s a chance that it might?

Rick’s answer:  I think replacing the hard drive with an SSD is a great idea Michael, and right now is the perfect time to do it. Why? Because Amazon has dropped the price of a great Intel 520 Series 120GB SSD to a low price that’s pretty close to amazing!

But to answer your question, the answer is no simply because solid state drives tend to actually run cooler and consume a lot less energy than traditional hard drives. In short, installing an SSD in place of the hard disk should actually make your laptop run a little cooler than it does right now.

My recommendation would be to go for it, then spend a few bucks for an external USB hard drive enclosure and turn your existing hard drive into an external USB drive after the upgrade has been completed. This post explains how to do that.

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