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Reason to upgrade to SSD Hard Drives

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 by Paul White

Last Fall I built a new workstation which was badly due.  It has an Intel i7 quad core 2.6 Ghz.  And Dual 15K SAS drives in RAID 0.  However the SAS drives though fast are not the quietest things around, and they do consume a good amount of electricty, and make a lot of heat.  At the time I built my workstation the newer SSD drives were too new to consider.  So I instead went with the time tested SAS drives.  If its good enough for Mission Critical Servers, its good enough for me right : )

SATA and SSD Drives

That was Sept 2008, and its now Sept 2009.  The price for 15K 146 GB SAS drives has not dropped, but the price for SSD drives has.  Plus the newer ones have all the bugs work out of them.  So I have been trying to find an excuse to ditch my SAS drives for some SSD drives.  I think I have found it.

An article I found on AnandTech
has detailed charts showing the calculated energy consumption of both drives.  Granted these are more intended for data centers that run 24/7, but the numbers were amazing to say the least.  Also keep in mind that this article came out in March 2009.  And the prices of SSD drives have come down quite a bit.  The SSD they were focusing on was the Intel X25-E which holds 64GB and at the time cost $800.  A price check and we see that it still costs about that much on newegg

newegg newegg
view pic

Intel X25-E Extreme SSDSA2SH064G1 2.5" 64GB SATA II SLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - OEM

  • Sequential Access - Read:

    up to 250 MB/s
  • Sequential Access - Write:

    up to 170 MB/s
  • Features:

    SLC flash technology
  • Model #:

  • Item #:


  • Your Price:$799.00

But in the past 6 months Intel has released some newer drives with a cheaper price
newegg newegg
view pic

Great discount w/ SSD converter combo, limited offer

Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail

  • Sequential Access - Read:

    up to 250MB/s
  • Sequential Access - Write:

    up to 70MB/s
  • Power Consumption (Active):

    150 mW Typical
  • Power Consumption (Idle):

    0.06 W Typical
  • Max Shock Resistance:

    1,000 G/0.5 ms
  • Height:

  • MTBF:

    1,200,000 hours
  • Model #:

  • Item #:

Combo Special

  • Your Price:$379.99
Sure it doesn't have the kind of speeds for write, but the reads are awesome.
That and the energy consumption is only 150 mw when active.  Considering my Current SAS drives use 13 Watts when Idle this is a huge improvement.

So lets do a little math.
First let me state that I almost never turn my computer off.  So its safe to say that it stays on 24/7 365
This means that within a year my workstation is running for 8,760 Hours.
I currently have 2 SAS 15K 146GB Drives each which consumes 13 watts totally 26 watts when idle.
So we multiple the two (8,760 x 26 ) /1000 = 227 KWH.
At my electric rate of 13.9 Cents / KWH this costs me $31.65
But this doesn't take into account the cooling costs. which by the link on the website above would increase this cost by 50%,  bring the yearly cost to $47.48 ( I suspect the actual cost to keep these drives cool is much more ).  Now also take into account how much time you will save not waiting for your computer to do things like load programs, or save files ext.  Especially when I spend 16 hours / day on my computer. 

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