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Power Consumption

You can refer to our article called Hard Disk Drive Power Consumption Measurements: X-bit’s Methodology In depth for details on this test. We will just list the specific modes we measure the power consumption in:

  • Start (the current the drive consumes when starting up)
  • Idle (the drive is not accessed at all, but it is turned on and ready to work)
  • Random Read and Write
  • Sequential Read and Write

Let’s check out each mode one by one.

The OCZ Summit differs from the others in terms of start-up current. The Samsung platform seems to have a very modest appetite. Interestingly, the updated Intel X25-M is in last place whereas its predecessor is second: a transition to a thinner tech process is usually associated with a reduction in power consumption.

The SSDs almost do not consume anything in idle mode at all. Intel’s SSDs are the most voracious in this mode but their power draw is less than 1 watt. The OCZ Summit needs even less than one third of a watt!

Intel’s drives require more power than the others at random loads, too. Their advanced controller needs quite a lot of power (in comparison with other SSDs, of course). We can note, however, that the second-generation X25-M has the same consumption at reading as the first-generation one but is much more economical at writing and doesn’t differ much from its opponents then. Take note that while HDDs need more power to do reading, SSDs need more power to do writing. It’s because flash memory has to do more operations and the controller is always busy.

There are two leaders at sequential operations: the OCZ Summit and the Vertex Mac Edition. It is hard to tell why but the other models with the same controller need more power at writing. The Vertex Turbo is the only SSD that needs more power at reading than at writing. We can only explain this by the increased frequencies of this SSD’s processor and memory.

As for Intel’s products, the second-generation SSD has a somewhat lower power draw.

Overall, SSDs are very economical and consume somewhat less power than 2.5-inch HDDs. They are obviously unrivalled in terms of efficiency per watt.

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