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PCMark 7 And Power Consumption

Time To Upgrade: 10 SSDs Between 240 And 256 GB, Rounded Up
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PCMark 7’s Storage suite involves quite a bit of compressible data. As a result, the SandForce-based SSDs put up a pretty good fight.

However, the general performance hierarchy we like to use persists when it comes to categorizing NAND interfaces for a given controller. For example, the Adata SX900, Transcend SSD720, PNY XLR8 Pro, and SanDisk Extreme SSDs all jump to the front of the SandForce grouping thanks to either synchronous or Toggle NAND. Meanwhile, the drives equipped with asynchronous NAND fall to the bottom of the ladder, just as we'd expect.

It's also interesting to note that PCMark 7 puts Corsair's Neutron GTX right on par with those drives, beating out OCZ's Vertex 4.

Because SSDs are so fast, they sit idle most of the time. In almost our almost-30-minute virus scan, the SSD was only busy for 281 seconds. As a result, idle power consumption is the most important figure to consider in a desktop environment.

We've already seen Samsung's drives fare particularly well in idle power measurements, despite their beefy triple-core ARM-based controller. The 840 Pro is our top finisher, followed by a couple of different 830s.

The SandForce-based SSDs fall within a pretty tight range, though. Again, we expect this. Although SandForce's drive partners implement their own power circuitry designs, they're all engineered from a single reference.

It's interesting that the SSD 330 240 GB, which we're testing for the first time today, uses so much more power at idle than Intel's SSD 335 240 GB, which we reviewed in Intel SSD 335 240 GB Review: Driving Down Prices With 20 nm NAND. Perhaps this is a result of Intel's shift to 20 nm NAND, or maybe there really were some optimizations made to the power circuitry.

Corsair's Neutron drives, which we're looking at for the first time today, consume more than 1 W while idle in PCMark 7's Storage sub-test. They're better than OCZ's power-hungry Vertex and Agility 4 drives, but they more than triple the power use of Samsung's 840 Pro.

The power chart gets reshuffled a bit when each drive is hit with a workload, and there's less difference between opposite ends. PNY's 240 GB XLR8 drive consumes the most power of our SandForce-based models, though the 256 GB Vertex 4 is an even more egregious consumer.

Corsair's Neutron and Neutron GTX aren't far behind either XLR8 drive, or Intel's 240 GB SSD 330. That's the wrong end of our power measurements. Adata's XPG SP900 fares much better, even besting the improved 240 GB SSD 335.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , November 23, 2012 3:48 AM
    get the cheapest, biggest you possibly can. Benchmarks exaggerate the difference between SSD's.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , November 23, 2012 3:48 AM
    get the cheapest, biggest you possibly can. Benchmarks exaggerate the difference between SSD's.
  • 7 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 23, 2012 4:27 AM
    I agree. Unless if you're buying a glorified USB stick (there is a 128 GB stick) or an SSD with an OC'ed processor, the main factor that consumers should be concerned about is price per gigabyte.
  • 7 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 23, 2012 4:28 AM
    EDIT: And reliability.

    "In order to install a new firmware that significantly boost performance and stability, you must backup all of your data because it will be wiped."
  • 1 Hide
    Tanquen , November 23, 2012 4:41 AM
    Yea, it’s getting a little out of hand. For 90% of the things 90% of people do on their PC, 200MBs+ read and write speeds just don’t mean much. There are too many other bottle necks going on. I messed around with a RAM drive using most of my 64GB of RAM and the read and write speeds are fun to test (4000MBs or so) but games and VMware sessions I launched from the RAM disc saw no noticeable improvement in launch times or anything else. Same goes for my 830 SSD drive. It’s fast but games and software I use for SCADA development just don’t see any real benefit. They are cool if you want to open 10 sessions of MS Word and 15 Internet Explorer and a bunch of other stuff at the same time but if you just open one instance of Excel and use it and the Photo Shop and use it and then a web browser and use it, you’ll never really see the difference. You have to benchmark it or have two PCs setting right next to each other to see that something started or saved a split second faster.

    At least with my 64GB of RAM and actually get 64GB of RAM unlike HDs and SSDs.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , November 23, 2012 6:13 AM
    unless the sandforce drive is priced a lot cheaper than the similar capacity non-sandforce SDD. I always choose the non-sandforce SSD. 16GB is a big deal in SSD.
  • -9 Hide
    stoogie , November 23, 2012 8:16 AM
    until theres affordable 512gb ssd's then i wont get 1, my c drive is 360gb~ and i have 11tb
  • 2 Hide
    sna , November 23, 2012 8:31 AM
    TanquenYea, it’s getting a little out of hand. For 90% of the things 90% of people do on their PC, 200MBs+ read and write speeds just don’t mean much. There are too many other bottle necks going on. I messed around with a RAM drive using most of my 64GB of RAM and the read and write speeds are fun to test (4000MBs or so) but games and VMware sessions I launched from the RAM disc saw no noticeable improvement in launch times or anything else. Same goes for my 830 SSD drive. It’s fast but games and software I use for SCADA development just don’t see any real benefit. They are cool if you want to open 10 sessions of MS Word and 15 Internet Explorer and a bunch of other stuff at the same time but if you just open one instance of Excel and use it and the Photo Shop and use it and then a web browser and use it, you’ll never really see the difference. You have to benchmark it or have two PCs setting right next to each other to see that something started or saved a split second faster.At least with my 64GB of RAM and actually get 64GB of RAM unlike HDs and SSDs.


    to see the difference you will need to put the system itself on RAM Disk. not only the installed programs.


  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2012 8:36 AM
    Where are Samsung SSDs ? Especialy model Samsung 830- 256GB which is on sale in Europe for 160-180€. That is best offer, reliable, faster than basic 840. Get some MB with Z77 chipset and you can RAID them with TRIM support. 2x256 for 330€ is so awesome with 1035Mb/s read in RAID 0. I tested it on Gigabyte Z77-UP4 TH, its a shame that there are only 2x6Gbit ports so 1x840 Pro + 2x830 in RAID 0 is impossible on this MB without SATA2 speed loss on remaining SATA ports. This was my scenario for fast gaming /500GB Steam inventory/ : Raptor, later RAID 0 HDDs, later Velociraptor, next 128GB SSD + 1GB Samsung HDD cached by OCZ Synapse 64GB /totaly unreliable/. So I ended up with 1x boot SSD + 2x SSD in RAID 0. Maybe I am little bit offtopic but any ideas how to "live" with increased Steam inventory and keep it fast enough ? Steamover SW is not reliable for me. Thanks for nice article.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , November 23, 2012 9:35 AM
    Quote:
    When Thomas, Don, and Paul prioritize the parts for their quarterly System Builder Marathon configurations (the next of which is coming soon, by the way)

    Wait, SBMs are fine, but where oh where went BestConfigs?
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , November 23, 2012 11:30 AM
    ^ not loading times. But booting times, specially with a heavy AV like Kaspersky installed.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , November 23, 2012 12:25 PM
    I would agree with RAID 0 for your old SSD than simply tossing it for a newer larger SSD. My problem is 1TB HDD's just aren't cutting it especially if you game and use Window's backup; seeing the red space indicator caught me by surprise. I have a 180GB (167GB) and I'm 2/3 full.

    I have a 2 year old SSD and my 2x faster SSD for 95% of the time is negligibly shower for my everyday use. It's all about 4K random R/W for your OS and most apps.

    Ideally, the 'best' arrangement is SSD's for your boot drive and HDD's for storage; it's seamless once you change your default locations (Documents, Music, etc).
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2012 12:35 PM
    why aren't there any Plextor SSD in the test area?
  • 8 Hide
    ssd_pro , November 23, 2012 1:17 PM
    Odd bottom of the barrel roundup here... Where are beasts like the Vertex 4 and 840 Pro?
  • 5 Hide
    azraa , November 23, 2012 2:15 PM
    Too bad this price differences are IRRELEVANT for people outside the states. Europe, Canada, those guys get decent prices, but here in South America, retailers are like 'Hey check at this new thing, its fast, and 200% the price of an equal SSD bought in the States!'. They still sell 64gb SSDs and even then, they show them as a novelty.

    That is some bullshit >:c
    What, they pay shipping on golden vessels? Jeez
  • 1 Hide
    rohitbaran , November 23, 2012 3:28 PM
    The biggest leap from an HDD is simply buying an SSD. The speed difference between SSD isn't that big as of now if one buys a current gen or even last gen SSD. I have a OCZ Vertex R2 240GB in my desktop and I can see how fast applications launch compared to the response time of the HDD in there for storing data.
  • 2 Hide
    horaciopz , November 23, 2012 3:31 PM
    azraaToo bad this price differences are IRRELEVANT for people outside the states. Europe, Canada, those guys get decent prices, but here in South America, retailers are like 'Hey check at this new thing, its fast, and 200% the price of an equal SSD bought in the States!'. They still sell 64gb SSDs and even then, they show them as a novelty.That is some bullshit >:cWhat, they pay shipping on golden vessels? Jeez



    I feel you bro. For me the shipping is about 2 times the product price, sadly I have found good reasons for high prices in my country, a government not allowing the entrance of merchandise to the country and bottlenecking the market just to a few in existence products.

    My next upgrade will be a SSD, but just a 128GB one.... Just for all that hassle.

    Good Review BTW :) 
  • 2 Hide
    nekromobo , November 23, 2012 4:53 PM
    Crucial M4 still shining in there with a very mature firmware..
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus52 , November 23, 2012 5:22 PM
    snato see the difference you will need to put the system itself on RAM Disk. not only the installed programs.


    Exactly.

    I haven't done the RAM drive thing because one that will truly benefit you requires the OS to be loaded on to it every time you start your computer, and I prefer to shut mine down when it's not in use (like, when I'm sleeping :)  ). This takes much longer than it does to start up a computer without a RAM drive.
  • 2 Hide
    dthx , November 23, 2012 5:36 PM
    mayankleoboy1get the cheapest, biggest you possibly can. Benchmarks exaggerate the difference between SSD's.

    You're quite right with this ... however, there are limits to that: I've had a crucial v4 drive that slowed down my PC to speeds worse than what I had with my old mechanical 7200rpm drive (sequential read was speedy, but all the rest was crap and PC was continuously freezing for a couple of seconds).
    It was cheap for a SSD, but still 3x the price of a 5 times bigger mechanical drive that works faster. The replacement v4 SSD was not working any better: it was not a defective drive, it's just that its crappy low-cost controller didn't like my motherboard. The good thing: Crucial's support was very responsive, quickly aknowledged the problem and offered me a refund. Their M4 256Gb model that was only 20% more expensive works now like a charm in the same PC and Windows flies like never before.
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