Does storage capacity affect battery life?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iPodJedi, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. iPodJedi macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2013
    Apple Store, USA
    I was wondering if you have a very full storage capacity of your iPhone or iPad, will it make your iPhones battery last a shorter amount of time. Or, if you have used a very low amount of your storage, will your battery last longer? I ask this because my iPad is nearly full and it does feel like it runs down kind of quick sometimes. But my iPhone seems to last a long time and it is less than halfway full of storage capacity. With my iPod touch, It was completely full and the battery was terrible, when I removed a ton of apps, I got the storage down to half, and the battery lasts longer.
  2. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    A nearly full phone CAN reduce performance and battery life somewhat, but you're not likely to notice the difference. It will be very small.

    The reason is, the more full you let your device become, the more the flash memory will become fragmented. This means that in order to write, a larger number of blocks has to be erased. Erasing and writing flash is energy-intensive and takes time, so the result is lower battery life and performance.

    This only makes a difference when writing. Reading is not affected. Personally, I like to keep at least 15-20% of flash free. Not only does it help avoid this issue, but it means I have plenty of room for photos and videos, especially when traveling.
  3. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    So the short answer is technically yes, but practically not really.

    If removing a lot of apps greatly improved battery life on your iPod, it's possible that one or more of those apps was running some background processes that were draining the battery.
  4. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    I don't think so. it might have an impact in booting time or any kind of checks but nothing that the user will notice on a daily and regular usage. I guess that having more open space allows for faster performance, and how that impacts the battery, the faster it works the more you do the more battery gets used long term. Again not really detrimental in my opinion.
  5. yeah, Jul 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014

    yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
    Luckily, flash memory is extremely fast, even on an iOS device, and you will notice slight degradation in performance/battery if the space is fragmented.
  6. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012

    Memory (RAM) is extremely fast. The iPhones flash storage is not however. Last time I saw an Anandtech test (which I admit has been awhile) it was around 20-30 mbs. Nothing compared to an SSD in a computer or even a HDD.
  7. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    This is more apt to be the answer.
  8. Narien macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I think zorinlynx's answer is the most correct one. A full memory (or very close) could draw a little extra.

    However, the actual effects are negligible at best, if you do that many writes, odds are you will be using the screen a lot as well, and that will drain power a lot faster.
  9. FatPuppy macrumors 68000


    Jul 14, 2012
    With 2 gigs of free memory I think every device is just fine. I keep my free space at 3.4 maximum cause than the stupid ios 7 starts to download.
  10. eelw macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2012
    LCD, cellular connection and GPS represents most of the battery consumption on phones. Power usage for storage is a very small fraction vs these 3 items.
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Not to slightly change the subject but does a 16gb device use power less than a 64gb device?
  12. Narien macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I think so yes, HOWEVER watching a youtube video for just a few sec would probably drain more.

    It really isn't a factor!
  13. Shuri macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2011
    I've seen my battery drain faster on my iphone 5 and on my fathers 4S, too when the Storage (not RAM) was almost used. Can be coincidence though.
    My Theory is, that iOS tries to move things when getting storage requests while being full, for example delete caches of photo stream or other things, which can be loaded again and haven't been used for a while. But I didn't check on this.

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