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, 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 relevant. 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.
Active idle power numbers are critical, especially when it comes to their impact on mobile platforms. Idle means different things on different systems, though. Pretty much every drive we're testing is capable of one or more low-power states, up to and including DevSleep. That last feature is a part of the SATA 3.2 host specification. And while it requires a capable SSD and a compatible platform, enabling it takes power consumption down to a very small number. This is why we test active idle; it's easy to identify, and is still where SSDs spend most of their time.
Despite using the Vector's controller, the Vector 150 demonstrates active idle power consumption identical to the Vertex 450. True, that's only eight-tenths of a watt, but that difference isn't an error in measurement. It's always there. And OCZ did tell us to expect ever so-slightly lower idle power, which is exactly what we see. This isn't on the same level as Samsung, Intel, SanDisk, and Plextor, which are even more conservative, but it's still a respectable outcome.
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. Maximum power may spike fiercely, but the usage seen during a PCMark 7 run is pretty light. You can see the drives fall back down to the idle "floor" between peaks of varying intensity.
Average power figures fall where we'd expect them, as the new Vector 150 and older Vertex 450 nearly tie. The former flagship Vector averages a few tenths higher.
Let's plot the log data for more detail.
At this scale, the minute idle power differences between drives aren't even noticeable. What we do see is that the original Vector uses more juice at various points than OCZ's SSDs with sub-25 nm NAND.
Maximum Observed Power Consumption
Sure enough, the Vector 150 shows us the lowest power consumption amongst OCZ's offerings at maximum load. This isn't as big of a win as you might think, though. It's not that maximum power use isn't important. But a client-oriented SSD spends so little time in that state. An extra watt or two every so often typically isn't going to make an appreciable different.