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Comparing DVD Drives: Samsung Wins With 3.5 Watts Consumed

Do-It-Yourself Solar-Powered PC: Hardware

We were determined to use a SATA-attached DVD drive in our solar-powered PC, because it represents the state of the current optical drive art. This didn't really leave us with a huge number of choices, so we went with the most popular among them - namely, the Samsung SH-D163 - because it's so widely available.

Samsung SH-D163 DVD drive

This drive offers SATA data and power connectors

Nevertheless, we tested the energy consumption of various optical drives. Here again, energy consumption among various makes and models varies widely. We found one drive that consumed only 0.47 watts at idle, whereas our SATA version consumed 3.7 Watts. An MSI IDE model consumed an astonishing 5.5 Watts when idle!

Energy Consumption of DVD drives at idle and full load

Among the drives that we examined, we picked the one that did best while in active use - namely, the Samsung unit.

12 Volt Solar-PC-System
Component Idle Max load
PSU 5.00 W 14.20 W
CPU 8.49 W 38.66 W
Cooler 1.00 W 1.00W
Motherboard 7.78 W 19.71 W
RAM 6.06 W 6.23 W
HD 5.93 W 7.59 W
DVD 3.68 W 4.92 W
Total: 61.23 W 115.60 W
max. 160 Watt Custom PSU
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