Power Management

Real-world client storage workloads leave SSDs idle most of the time, so the active power measurements presented earlier in this review only account for a small part of what determines a drive's suitability for battery-powered use. Especially under light use, the power efficiency of a SSD is determined mostly be how well it can save power when idle.

SATA SSDs are tested with SATA link power management disabled to measure their active idle power draw, and with it enabled for the deeper idle power consumption score and the idle wake-up latency test. Our testbed, like any ordinary desktop system, cannot trigger the deepest DevSleep idle state.

Idle power management for NVMe SSDs is far more complicated than for SATA SSDs. NVMe SSDs can support several different idle power states, and through the Autonomous Power State Transition (APST) feature the operating system can set a drive's policy for when to drop down to a lower power state. There is typically a tradeoff in that lower-power states take longer to enter and wake up from, so the choice about what power states to use may differ for desktop and notebooks.

We report two idle power measurements. Active idle is representative of a typical desktop, where none of the advanced PCIe link or NVMe power saving features are enabled and the drive is immediately ready to process new commands. The idle power consumption metric is measured with PCIe Active State Power Management L1.2 state enabled and NVMe APST enabled.

Active Idle Power Consumption (No LPM)Idle Power Consumption

Idle power usage seems to have taken a step backward from the Crucial MX300 to the Crucial MX500. Both the active idle and the slumber power state consumption are higher than most mainstream SATA SSDs, but it isn't one of the extreme outliers that has broken power management.

Idle Wake-Up Latency

The idle wake-up time for the Crucial MX500 of about 1ms is higher than many mainstream drives, but is a big improvement over the 3.3ms of the Crucial MX300. The Marvell-based drives from Western Digital/SanDisk seem to offer the best combination of low power consumption and quick wake-ups.

Mixed Read/Write Performance Conclusion


View All Comments

  • jjj - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    You seem to have a negative opinion on 3D TLC for no good reason while also not requiring much perf.
    If your current drive is from 2012, a Crucial m4 that was fashionable back then, has 72TB endurance while the this MX500 has 360TB for the 1TB version and 180TB for the 500GB.version.
  • StrangerGuy - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    Hey let's pay >3x/GB for SLC so we can have extra drive endurance where TLC already doesn't matter for 99.999% of the target market, of course he's the smart one and rest of us are teh dumbs.

    10TB written over 3.5 years on my M550 1TB, yup can't wait for the drive to finally die in 300 years if it was *only* 1000 writes/bit TLC so I can buy a new one. Because TLC endurance sux amirite?
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    TLC is pretty good these days compared to planar MLC from 2012. You probably wouldn't have anything to worry about since a drive like the MX500 would be obsolete before endurance becomes a problem. But if you're worried, there's the BX300 that's still for sale like MajGenRelativity suggested. Mushkin was also selling a 3D MLC drive, the Reactor Armor3D that was released in January-ish of this year. They have a 1TB model available and it uses the same Silicon Motion SM2258 controller so you'd probably see similar performance.

  • ddrіver - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    BS. This study proved SLC and MLC aren't actually meaningfully different. By inference TLC is good enough for almost anything. If you're the kind of person who can't do with TLC it's either overstating your usage scenarios or you're in the NAND destruction business.

  • mode_13h - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    I wouldn't get so hung up on # of bits per cell. What matters is performance, write endurance, and (for some use cases) power-off data retention. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    I'm really impressed with the QD1 random read performance of this drive. I didn't think you could achieve so many QD1 IOPS with SATA, or else Samsung probably would've done it. Reply
  • DoveOfTheSouth - Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - link

    The QD1 results are impressive in the tables but the charts seem to show lower figures (QD1 read: 44.7 v c. 35; write 164.2 v c. 146). Which is correct? Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - link

    The only thing that really matters is the 4K QD1 benchmark and that was extremely impressive for the asking price. Reply
  • shatteredx - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - link

    Agreed. MX500 hard to beat for the price now. Reply
  • LordConrad - Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - link

    "With the MX500 arriving at $259.99 for the same capacity but with a longer warranty..."

    The Samsung 850 EVO and Crucial MX500 both have a 5-year warranty.

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