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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.

Interestingly, the best drive in this test, the Super Talent MasterDrive SX, needs only one third of the startup current of the worst one, which is the Super Talent UltraDrive GX with SLC memory. Overall, the MLC-memory models need less power but you should also note that the controllers differ in their power requirements, too. Anyway, the SSDs are comparable to modern 2.5-inch hard disk drives in this respect. Most of 2.5-inch HDDs need a startup current of about 1 ampere, too, although newer models try not to exceed this mark.

When idle, the SSDs split up into three groups varying in power consumption. The Super Talent MasterDrive SX on Samsung controller and the new Kingston V+ series on Toshiba controller need less than 0.3 watts here and win this test.

Next goes the group of Indilinx-based SSDs. The MLC-memory model consumes somewhat less power, but the difference is really negligible.

And finally, the Intel X25-M and the two JMicron-based products have the highest power consumption in idle mode. This must be due to voracious controllers they have inside. Well, they can only be called voracious in comparison with other flash memory storage but not with hard disk drives. The least economical SSD in this test needs about the same amount of power as the best of 5400RPM 2.5-inch HDDs!

It’s easy to see the general trend: every SSD’s power consumption at random writing is directly proportional to its consumption at reading. The ratio is roughly the same for every model excepting the Super Talent MasterDrive SX which is economical at reading but needs more power at writing and the Intel X25-M which demands quite a lot of power at reading but is economical at writing. It is only Kingston’s products that are generally more voracious than the others in this test, the new V+ series model requiring the most power of all.

Again we’d like to compare these SSDs with 2.5-inch hard disk drives. The flash-memory storage devices are more economical at reading, being up to four times as economical as the best of power-efficient HDDs. The difference is only twofold at writing, though, and there is even no difference at all if you take the least economical drives from both categories.

It is hard to name the most economical product at sequential operations, too. Perhaps the Super Talent MasterDrive SX and the Super Talent UltraDrive GX with MLC memory are just slightly better than the others. It is easy to see which drives consume the most: these are the two models from Kingston based on the JMicron controller, and the Intel X25-M. We really wonder why the Kingston V series drives need so much power for writing. What do they do with it if their writing performance is so low? Interestingly, the Kingston V+ series need less power than the other SSDs from the same brand but delivers higher performance.

 
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