Flash SSD Update: More Results, Answers

Test 3: DVD Video Playback

Most people demanded a workload that would put the HDDs or SSDs under a controlled and reproducible load, e.g. playing a video, which requires a constant stream. We took our Terminator 2 VOB file, which we’ve been using for many other articles, and added the VLC player to our test script. Second 1,000 to second 2,000 was used to measure the average power consumption of the drives.

ssd hard drive

Let’s talk about the exceptions first: The OCZ Flash SSD is the positive exception and it’s definitely the Flash SSD you want to have, as it delivers excellent performance at amazingly low power requirements. In this case, it only needs 0.3 W to deliver a constant stream for DVD video. The negative exception is the SanDisk drive, which also requires little power, but does not deliver really good performance.

Thanks to Hitachi’s low power idle mode, the Travelstar 7K200 is capable of playing DVD video at only 0.8 W, which is less than what the SSDs by Crucial, Mtron and even the new Super Talent drive require. The other hard drives require power in between their idle and peak power and they don’t do that badly.

We recorded the power requirement of all the drives during the 1,000 second DVD video playback period:

Clearly, the Hitachi drive spends most of the playback time in its low power idle state. Despite its peaks of over 3 W, is still provides very good efficiency during video playback. The new OCZ drive and the San Disk SSD5000 require less power, though.