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I am debating between purchasing the 32 vs. 64 GB iPod touch.

I would lean toward a smaller hard drive if there is an effect of size on speed or battery life. Aside from cost, are there any reasons not to get the larger memory? Specifically, is there any effect of hard drive size on speed or battery life?

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There might be a small (insignificant?) effect on battery life for more memory, but the bigger effect will be on your wallet or bank account. :) – JW8 Dec 6 '11 at 18:01

It shouldn't have any impact on performance or battery life.

I believe the same number of flash memory chips are used in the 32 GB and 64 GB models, just in different capacities, so the power drain would be almost identical. Either way, flash memory takes up very little power compared to things like the screen and wireless radios, so any impact would almost certainly be unnoticeable.

As for performance, I haven't seen any metrics on it, but iOS performance isn't really affected by device capacity. The possible exception here is when you have very little free space, but that's just a guess.

Bottom line, I would suggest not worrying about it - just buy the capacity based on your budget and needs.

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Do note that more RAM has to take more power to keep it awake compared to the equivalent chipset in a smaller capacity. What we don't know is whether the 16 version is using less expensive / more power hungry chips than the 32/64 or of it's just not something that is noticeable in real life. Yes, you might get X less days of standby (with 64 instead of 16) but if you recharge the device every other day, you may never notice the small but everpresent extra power drain. You can also power off the device when it will be idle to counteract the increased usage more RAM causes when the device sleeps – bmike Dec 6 '11 at 19:08

Flash storage only consumes power to read and write data, so the only conceivable manner in which storage capacity could draw more power from the battery would be that you didn't run out of storage space and could keep writing data from the network onto storage.

Apple's iOS devices all have the same RAM between generations - so that would have a marginal power draw say if one model had 1 GB of RAM and the other had 2 GB of RAM - but within a model line - the storage capacities have identical other components except for main flash storage.

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