One Design, Two Products: The SanDisk Ultra 3D (1TB) and WD Blue 3D (1TB) SSD Reviews, with BiCS 3D NANDby Billy Tallis on September 14, 2017 9:00 AM EST
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.
Orange is for the new drives, Blue is for the previous generation models
Not much has changed with the power management situation for the WD and SanDisk drives; they're still using the same Marvell 88SS1074 controller, and the choice of NAND doesn't have much effect on idle power. Both active idle and slumber state idle power draw are good.
The idle wake-up latency of the WD/SanDisk drives is plenty quick, but not quite as fast as the Phison-based drives. The drives that most often outperform the WD Blue 3D NAND and SanDisk Ultra 3D all take several times longer to wake up from idle.