14-Way SSD Hard Drive Roundup

Crucial 32 GB Solid State Drive 2.5”: Reads Fast

We had our first contact with the Crucial 32 GB Solid State Drive in late June, when we put some flash SSDs to the test on a notebook to compare the battery life of popular SSDs versus a conventional hard drive. This is a good example of a MLC-based flash drive that reaches excellent read throughput of up to 125 MB/s, but with write performance limited to less than 60 MB/s. Access times are very quick, too. For average desktop or notebook solutions this still seems like a good product.

However, this particular model doesn’t deliver the great power efficiency that many people associate with flash SSDs, leaving it a bad choice for mobile users. An average power requirement of 2.1 W when playing a low-bandwidth DVD stream is clearly too high. We found that some efficient mechanical hard drives deliver better efficiency under controlled performance requirements. The same applies to idle power, which doesn’t drop below 1.6 W, and the workstation-type I/O performance and efficiency of this drive wasn’t glorious either.

Crucial also has a 64 GB version, which seems to deliver less write throughput, according to the data sheet.