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.
In terms of active idle power consumption, the three Ultra Plus SSDs end up in the middle. Still, they're significantly more energy efficient than the two LAMD-powered drives. Seagate's 600 and Corsair's Neutron GTX use twice as much juice as the more economical SanDisk SSDs. If you're thinking about adding solid-state storage to a laptop, you're better off grabbing something more miserly at idle.
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 the usage seen during a PCMark 7 run is pretty light.
The three drives appear to use similar amounts of power. There are a few transient spikes, particularly in the case of the 256 GB drive. But overall, each SSD averages well under 1 W through a PCMark 7 run.
Maximum Observed Power Consumption
There isn't much to say about maximum observed power consumption. It doesn't warrant much explanation, aside from the fact that few client workloads trigger these levels of use. It's a much more important metric in enterprise applications, where maximum consumption is a critical variable in total cost of ownership.
The smaller Ultra Plus drives demonstrate fairly conservative maximum power numbers. SanDisk's 256 GB Ultra Plus spikes as high as 4.3 W, though that's going to happen very seldom in a desktop or notebook deployment. We measured a similar spike over the course of a second in our PCMark 7 log, but again, that only happens once. Maximum power use just isn't a problem for mainstream SSDs.