Results: Power Consumption
Idle Power Consumption
Idle consumption is the most important power metric for consumer and client SSDs. After all, solid-state drives complete host commands quickly, and then drop back down to idle. Aside from the occasional background garbage collection and house keeping, a modern SSD spends most of its life doing very little. Enterprise-oriented drives are more frequently used at full tilt, making their idle power numbers far less important. But this just isn't the case on the desktop, where the demands of client and consumer computing leave most SSDs sitting on their hands for long stretches of time.
If there is one knock against the LAMD-equipped SSDs from Seagate and Corsair, it's here. Of all the drives benchmarked, none consume more power in an idle state than the two with LAMD controllers. The 600 and Neutron get reamed by the ever-so-frugal SSD510s and Samsung 830s of the world. As long as you're tossing the 600 in a desktop or a chunky notebook that doesn't stray too fall from a power outlet, then no problem. And if the high power consumption wasn't insult enough, the thermal demands placed upon an SSD in a super-slim laptop quickly get out of hand, too.
For a drive that'll ship in both 7 and 5 mm form factors for mobile computing, idle power use should be a bigger priority for Seagate. SandForce and Samsung have made this a rallying cry, while OCZ's Vector (which is far from terrible at idle anyway) is really more for hardcore desktop users. The Neutron GTX could be forgiven for this transgression given its enthusiast positioning and early release. But we have a harder time letting it slide from a product apparently tailored to mobile applications, you know, like Seagate's 600. These aren't the numbers we wanted to see.
PCMark 7 Average Power Consumption
If we log power consumption through a workload, even a relatively heavy one, we see that average use is still pretty close to the idle numbers. Max power may spike fiercely, but, on average, the usage seen during a PCMark 7 run is pretty light.
A more demanding application like PCMark 7 helps Seagate's (and Corsair's) plight slightly. The SSDs in the middle hand in averages around 1 W. The LAMD/Toshiba twins are just a couple of tenths higher than that.