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Is it worth upgrading your notebook to an SSD drive? - Power consumption testing - HDD vs. SSD

We investigate moving a notebook's storage from mechanical to solid state to see if this is a logical step for users seeking optimal performance.

| Editorials in Storage | Posted: May 13, 2009 7:25 am

Power consumption testing - HDD vs. SSD

 

Our final test for the day pits both in the all important power usage stakes.

 

Is it worth upgrading your notebook to an SSD drive?

 

We have seen other media perform similar tests and claim that SSDs actually use more power than hard drives, but that just seems too hard to believe. Without even getting anywhere close to technical, SSDs use flash memory with no moving parts. HDDs are all about moving parts that spin very fast.

 

In the results below, we use a standard wall power measure to compare full system performance with each HDD and SSD installed.

 

Some notes - we tested maximum wattage during our HD Tune Pro test at roughly the same point. At this point the CPU was clocked at its maximum clock speed of 2500MHz. Wi-Fi was enabled for all tests. In idle mode on the desktop, the CPU used its speed step technology to clock down to 1197MHz. Power consumption was monitored for a total of five minutes for each test and the highest wattage number was recorded during that time.

 

Is it worth upgrading your notebook to an SSD drive?

 

As we can see from the results above, at idle loading the SSD uses 3.5 watts less than the HDD - that works out to be around 16% less.

 

When it comes to load testing, the results are not as impressive, but we still do see the SSD providing a 6% drop in power usage. We ran out of time to do battery life testing, but it is a subject we can explore in much more detail later on.

 

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