PCMark 7 And Power Consumption
PCMark 7 places the various Marvell-based SSDs in the order we might have expected, with small performance separating most models, with no breakaway performance leader.
The enthusiast-oriented 128 GB M3 Pro and 128 GB Performance Pro top the chart, with Plextor's mainstream M3s following close behind. Note the SandForce-based 120 GB Vertex 3 falls into the middle of the pack of Marvell-based SSDs, as the m4s and OCZ's Octane bring up the rear. One might expect the 120 GB Vertex 3 to top this chart, given its strong performance in our random and sequential tests. However, PCMark 7 includes several video-based tests that involve incompressible data, a notable weakness of SandForce-based SSDs.
SSDs respond to I/O commands so quickly that they're idle for much of the time they spend powered up. In our almost 30-minute virus scan, the SSD is only busy for 281 seconds. As a result, idle power consumption is the most important component of energy use to consider in a desktop environment.
Plextor and Corsair do exceptionally well in our idle measurement. Though all the Marvell-based SSDs reviewed here employ the same controller, the 64 GB M3, 128 GB M3, 128 GB M3 Pro, and 128 GB Performance Pro only consume 0.34 W during idle. In contrast, both Crucial m4s consume almost twice as much power and OCZ's Octane almost triples their power use.
Corsair's Performance Pro takes the lead in power efficiency when subjected to a workload; both of the M3s and the M3 Pro fall just behind. In comparison, both m4s consume about 15% more power.
But OCZ's Octane is the real power hog here, requiring twice as much energy for the same workload.