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Intel 525 Series mSATA SSD Review: Five Capacities Tested - Benchmarks - Power Testing

Intel 525 Series mSATA SSD Review: Five Capacities Tested
Chris takes five Intel mSATA SSDs from the 525 Series for a spin. The mSATA standard is all around you in new products and you might not even know your new notebook has an open mSATA slot.
| SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 3, 2013 11:01 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Intel

Bapco MobileMark 2012 1.5

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2012 1.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

Test Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

 

MobileMark 2012 1.5 is an application-based benchmark that reflects usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation and media consumption. Unlike benchmarks that only measure battery life, MobileMark 2012 measures battery life and performance simultaneously, showing how well a system design addresses the inherent tradeoffs between performance and power management.

 

TweakTown image content/5/3/5314_65_intel_525_series_msata_ssd_review_five_capacities_tested.png

 

There is a very interesting battery life test here that we don't get to show very often. I have to bring you up to speed first, though.

 

The MyDigitalSSD BP4 controller is the current battery life champ in the 2.5" form factor. It will remain there until a Team SandForce partner bring a B02 controller to market. Interestingly enough, as I type this, I'm testing another B02 early sample in my test rig. Anyhow, lower power at idle and in use doesn't always equate to longer battery life in this test and in the real-world.

 

Let's look at the next chart.

 

 

PCMark Vantage HDD Tests - Power Draw

 

TweakTown image content/5/3/5314_66_intel_525_series_msata_ssd_review_five_capacities_tested.png

 

Here we see a power trace, the amps pulled during a PCMark Vantage run. MDSSD's BP4 uses less power at idle and less power under load than the Intel 525 Series 240GB. In the battery life chart, the Intel 525 Series 240GB outperformed the MDSSD BP4. The reason for this is disk busy time. You have to average the amount of power drawn for the entire time the system is on the battery. Since the 240GB 525 Series is faster, it's active less. The BP4 on the other hand is slower and it has to run at the higher power state for longer to accomplish the same tasks.

 

This is the first time since we started testing SSD power that we've been able to show this point crossing over. The Vantage run takes around 15 minutes and there are 2800 samples so it's difficult to show the affect here, but the battery test with these two drives takes around 290 minutes (for the 240GB 525 and 288 minutes for the BP4). The battery life test also spends more time writing data to the target drives than Vantage. This is why we chose to use this form of power testing instead of just listing maximum, average and minimum power draw. All of the mSATA drives were tested with the appropriate 3.3v power and not 5v thanks to Intel helping us modify a 2.5" to mSATA adapter.

 

To help with any confusion, the BP4 2.5" is much faster than the mSATA version. Even though the 2.5" uses 5v and the mSATA uses 3.3v, you get better battery life from the 2.5", also due to disk busy time.

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