Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,521 Reviews & Articles | 65,849 News Posts

Best SSDs for Notebooks - A Two-Year Study (Page 3)

By Chris Ramseyer from Jan 4, 2019 @ 10:00 CST

NVMe SSD Test Results

256GB Class NVMe


Moving over to PCI Express-based storage with the low latency NVMe protocol, we start to see the average battery-life decrease slightly. PCIe SSDs don't use DEVSLP like the SATA SSDs but use a different low-power mode called L1.2.

Again, we see an OEM model at the top of the chart, but the low-performance models don't dominate the NVMe battery life like many of the SATA charts on the previous page.

In this chart, we included the 250GB 960 EVO with both the Microsoft and Samsung custom NVMe driver. For the notebook battery life test, we only use the Microsoft driver in modern reviews because the custom drivers hurt performance in this test.

512GB Class NVMe


At this point, we can see that Samsung products usually score high on each chart, but not every drive from the company is at the top. There really isn't a pattern nor a dominant controller architecture, or flash generation.

1TB Class NVMe


In some of the charts, we see the Plextor M8Pe series near the top. This series uses an early Marvell NVMe controller that we never saw as a low-power part. The drive also uses MLC flash, just like the SM961 1TB that sits at the top of this chart. MLC flash has been at or near the top in many of the charts.

The reason why is because one of the most power consuming tasks for SSDs is data management. SSD reviewers in simple 4-corner power measurements do often not test this, and that's why we prefer to take the long route and test actual notebook battery life. Data management usually draws as much power as a 4KB random write but can take several seconds to complete the task before allowing the drive to move back to a low power state.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, we're closing in on the final days with the Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 system and MobileMark 2014 v. 1.5. The combination served us well over the last two year, but it's time to move on with updated hardware and the latest software suite. We will continue to use this combination while ramping up the new combination and possibly overlapping tests for a short period.


Between the retail and reference design SSDs, we've tested over 200 in the last two years. The number only increases with the SSHD and hard disk drives, even though we've only tested a few with this combination.

We're excited to see what the new MobileMark (2018) brings. The software just arrived a few days ago, but it does add some new performance elements that will increase the amount of data we present in the review. Expect the updated coverage to start showing up in February or March with the new SSDs coming to market just after CES.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags