Is it fair to accuse the 1.0 generation of SSDs of being power hungry? A magazine test I mentioned a few days ago did just that. Now one SSD vendor, Micron, has responded to us on the claim.

“The controllers analysed in the Tom’s Hardware review are early-generation, multi-chip and in some cases even use FPGA's, which can be quite power hungry. As with many other first and second generation drives, these drives are not delivering on the full potential of the NAND and are not delivering properly on the performance promise,” said Dean Klein, vice president of memory system development for Micron, in an email sent to us.

He also mentioned factors such as the way that SSDs and CPUs interact to increase main-processor power consumption in some circumstances, and the fact that applications are operating systems (Vista included) are not optimised to use SSDs. Caching algorithms and techniques are based on hard disk storage parameters.

Of course, the problem here isn’t just about power consumption – all new technologies tend to have rough edges – more the hype put out by vendors, keen to see a quick return for the investment they are making in a new storage segment nobody knows much about.

SSDs are faster than HDDs, but it’s now apparent that generation 1.0 probably uses as much and sometimes more power than hard drives under real-world conditions. SSDs also cost more and come in lower and less convenient capacities. All three issues can be addressed but it will take time.
Another advance to store away for Windows 7.

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