Update at 1:30 p.m. PDT July 3, with additional comments from Micron Technology (at bottom).
Has the image of solid state drives as power misers been shattered? A recent review would seem to dispel the notion that these devices are more power efficient than the hard disk drives used in laptops.
In an article at Tom's Hardware titled "The SSD Power Consumption Hoax", the authors state: "We have discovered that the power savings aren't there: in fact, battery runtimes actually decrease if you use a flash (solid state drive)."
(Note: Tom's Hardware has posted a correction to its original report here.)
One of the key selling points of solid state drives has been that they use less power than hard disk drives. The claim has seemed plausible because solid state drives have no moving parts, while hard disk drives have a number of moving components.
The Tom's Hardware review, however, says: "While conventional hard drives may operate at relatively low power when little movement is required...flash based drives do not. They will draw their maximum power level constantly when in use, and as a consequence, simply spend more total time drawing maximum power than conventional drives."
The review goes on to test four solid state drives (SSDs) from Crucial (Micron Technology), Memoright, Sandisk, and Mtron. For example, in evaluating the Crucial CT32GBFAB0 32GB drive, the review states, "Users who purchase this drive because of Crucial's statements such as 'low power consumption' and the product being ideal for 'users who want longer battery life' will most likely be disappointed."
Though Intel's drives were not tested in the review, the chipmaker stated Wednesday that SSDs "can be architected to improve battery life." Intel is expected to bring out drives ranging in capacity from 80GB to 160GB later this year.… Read more