Macbook Pros and SSD drives

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by esmachope, May 2, 2010.

  1. esmachope macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    Hi. I have a problem that's probably pretty unique among users of this forum; but since many of you here seem so knowledgable, I thought that perhaps you could provide me with some info/advice that would be relevant to my particular situation.

    Ever since I "migrated" from using a 2001-model Gateway desktop (with a 15" CRT monitor) to using a 2003/2004-model laptop (a Dell Latitude D600, which I started using in 2008) - I've noticed that I've become quite "electrosensitive". I get various unpleasant, harmful, possibly-damaging symptoms (some pretty serious and/or long-lasting) when I'm around certain electromagnetic devices - particularly this Dell laptop. Since it's taking all of my energy to just type up this post - I don't have the energy to try to convince you that my (and so many other sufferers') electrosensitivity is real and legitimate. Try to trust me that it is. If you want to find out more about this condition, you can Google or "Youtube" the topic.

    From what I've learned, many laptops - particularly those that use "WiFi" - give off a strong electromagnetic field that contain certain frequencies that can bother sensitive people. Some laptops are better than others, though - and I'm trying to decide whether a Macbook Pro (using an ethernet connection rather than WiFi) would be a tolerable, less-harmful computer experience for me. (Macbooks generally have a reputation for having less "emissions" and for being "better" for electrosensitive people than many other laptops - but they can still bother a lot of electrosensitive people.)

    I'm trying to figure out what laptop "specs" might lead to less of a electromagetic field. From my experiences with this Dell, it seems that, in some ways - the "hotter" the computer gets - the more bothersome it is. (I'm not sure how strong of an actual relationship there is between comptuer warmth and the strength of its electromagnetic field - but my real-life experience seems to indicate a relationship.) Several of my symptoms seem to get (much) worse whenever my laptop's fans turn on; the longer the fan is on or the "faster" it runs, the worse I seem to feel. I'm sure many other factors come into play, though - such as the "build" of the laptop, how it's structured, how the heat is dissipated, etc. But my experience indicates that I want to avoid heat build-up/fan-activity in a laptop as much as possible.

    This leads me to my main question - would getting a SSD drive for my Macbook Pro be worth the (huge) expense for someone like me? There is the belief among people that SSD drives would give off less electromagnetic emissions than HDDs - because SSDs have no moving/spinning parts. Do SSDs lead to a "cooler" computer? Do SSDs lead to less activity from the laptop's fans?

    I guess to answer this question as thoroughly as possible - it would help if I knew just how much the hard-disk drive is active/engaged during a typical computing session (I really don't have a good grasp on how computers actually work). The vast majority of the time that I'm on the computer - I'm simply surfing the web. Although I may get into some occassional "light" video-editing in the future (as well as some DVD burning) - for now, at least, 99% of my time is spent using the Internet. The most demanding thing I do is watch several YouTube videos back to back, or watch something on Hulu - or do live (or archived) streaming audio. How active is the hard disk drive during such activities?

    It seems that whenever I put my hand on the area of my laptop below which the hardrive rests - I feel a constant vibration, and this area can "heat up" pretty good. Does this indicate that the harddrive is constantly in some state of activity - or does it indicate that the activity/heat from the CPU is "bleeding" over into the hard-disk area?

    Also, is it better to buy a larger-model laptop for heat-dissipation purposes? Do 15" Macbook Pros run cooler than 13" MBPs - and do 17" MBPs run the coolest of all? I just wonder if larger MBPs give off less electromagnetic radiation, and would be worth the extra expense.

    Thanks so much for any insight and/or advice you can give.

    P.S. - I just put my ear close to the harddrive area of my laptop, and I definitely hear some type of noise - a "whirring" noise (even some occassional "squeaking"). Could it be the sound of the harddrive spinning? Or is it the sound of the fan operating at a very low level? All I am doing at this time is typing this post; I have five "windows" open in Internet Explorer 8, along with a low-level word-processing program.

    Then again - if I put my ear over the keyboard area (technically a different location than that hard-disk area), I hear the same whirring noise. Where is this noise originating from?
  2. esmachope thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2010
    *bump* So noone has any type of knowledge in this area that could be helpful?

    I know that there has been a fair bit of discussion about SSD drives on this forum - but those dicussions almost exclusively focus on performance specs - i.e. how much faster it is than a HDD. I'm more interested in how much cooler SSDs make the laptop, and how much they may reduce the computer's electromagnetic field.

    And can anyone answer this question for me? Do older laptops, such as my Dell Latitude D600 - "spin down" their harddrives when there is little/no use for them? My Dell Latitude has a EIDE-ATA-100 harddrive (which, IIRC, is basically another word for a parallel ATA drive - ) - and its operating system is Windows XP. Does my harddrive ever "spin down" - or does it remain just as active as it does when it is actually performing a task (like booting up the computer)?

    I'm just trying to figure out how much less "efficient" my "old" lapptop runs vs. the newer models (particularly the Macbooks). Less efficient may translate into more electromagnetic emissions.
  3. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    An sdd uses less electricity and dosent move at all. I cant say for sure but i think it would be worth the upgrade for you.
  4. polysicks macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2010
    I'm afraid I can't offer helpful advice, but thought I'd pipe up that it may be helpful to include "Electrosensitivity" in the thread title (I think you can edit to change this).
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    I assume you've turned off Bluetooth, but you should also turn off wi-fi and get a very long ethernet cable. An SSD is a great upgrade. With judicious use, you don't need a very large one. 80GB should work. that's just a bit over $200
  6. nrajack macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2009
    Trenton, NJ
    To the op:
    I did take your advice and Googled electrosensitivity and the results were not encouraging to your caues/situation. Here's just two I found:
    and this one:

    It seems like a lot of what passes for studies on this phenomena have basic methodology problems and some couldn't even be replicated by the priginal researchers. Some people couldn't differentiate between when a real em field was energized and when it wasn't. Classic placebo effect - if you believe something will work even when it's later revealed it was just the proverbial sugar pill then it will work. Believe me - if you are THIS sensitive to em fields - don't ever live near overhead high voltage power lines, don't sit next to a crt screen and don't sit close to anything with a transformer. Just sit inside a Faraday cage all day.

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