The SSD Power Consumption Hoax

Flash SSDs Tested

We looked at four different flash SSDs and added a 2.5” 7,200 RPM conventional hard drive for the sake of comparison. We deliberately selected this hard drive as it delivers high performance and also requires more power than most other drives. If we were to repeat this comparison and use a 5,400 RPM 2.5” drive instead, the flash based SSDs would probably look even worse.

Crucial SSD, 32 GB

Crucial’s SSD offering is called the CT32GBFAB0, and offers 32 GB or 64 GB of capacity within a 2.5” form factor. As you will see in the benchmarks, this isn’t the fastest flash SSD. Crucial sells the 32 GB version for $749.99 and the 64 GB model for $1,399.99. Both are SATA/150 drives and we found the 32 GB model to be an excellent performer: it reached a read throughput of 124 MB/s, which is even more than what Memoright delivers. However, write performance decreases to less than 60 MB/s, while Memoright maintains an impressive 120 MB/s — of course, the Memoright drives also are clearly more expensive. Crucial failed on us in the PCMark05 application benchmark, where it finished last when the benchmark simulates Windows XP startup.

Crucial provides a five-year warranty for this product, which gives you some comfort when spending so much money. However, the device only reached an average performance score in Mobilemark 07, and after replacing the Hitachi 7K200 7,200 RPM notebook hard drive by the Crucial SDD, our battery runtime decreased from seven hours and three minutes to six hours and three minutes.

Users who purchase this drive because of Crucial’s statements such as “low power consumption” and the product being ideal for “users who want longer battery life” will most likely be disappointed. While the total battery runtime certainly depends on the workload — we used Mobilemark 07 — the minimum and maximum power consumption measurements prove that Crucial’s statements of low power consumption are in fact wrong: 1.6 W idle power is more than any 2.5” notebook hard drive requires.