Power Consumption: Idle
Fact: SSDs are so fast that they spend most of their time idle. During a recent virus scan benchmark we ran that lasted almost 30 minutes, the drive was only busy for 281 seconds. Consequently, idle SSD consumption is the most important power measurement to take in a desktop environment.
In our experience, the capacity of an SSD has almost no impact on its idle power consumption. And if past reviews taught us anything, it's that the same manufacturers tend to do well (or not) from one generation to the next, giving us a reason to get excited about the 840 Pro.
Samsung's 830 impressed us with its efficiency (high performance at low power). However, the 840 Pro takes things one step further. Not only does it best the competition, but it does so using the least amount of power at idle.
Power Consumption: PCMark
Power consumption during a workload is also a critical measurement, revealing a more complete picture of efficiency. It's impractical to log the energy use of an SSD over the hours it takes to run our Storage Bench v1.0. So, we're forced to rely on a shorter-duration run of PCMark 7. The results of this test mostly mirror what we saw in the first power chart, scaled up slightly. The difference this time is that capacity matters more. Larger models tend to consume slightly more power during use, though the outcome still largely lines up by brand.
Samsung impresses us yet again. The company's latest SSD consumes the least amount of power during idle and during use, all the while offering top-of-the-line performance. When it comes to power efficiency, Samsung's 840 Pro is the clear winner.