Crucial MX500 1TB SSD Review

Posted 28 January 2018 20:19 CEST by Antonis Sapanidis

Power requirements and efficiency

Storage device manufacturers by law must provide power consumption specifications with their storage device products. Quite often these specifications are quite vague, and rarely, if ever, publish the power efficiency of their storage devices with regard to how much work a storage device can do for a given amount of energy consumed. In this article we will disclose with unprecedented precision, the energy efficiency of some popular storage devices. 

Myce has now secured a piece of ‘state of the art’ test equipment, which takes a sample every four micro-seconds, that I will be using to measure the power consumption of consumer grade SSDs and HDDs. I’m so very proud to be able to announce that Myce.com, in partnership with Quarch Technology, now aims to bring our readers the most comprehensive, and accurate, power consumption tests ever carried out on consumer grade storage devices, to be found anywhere on the Internet.

Myce’s Power Testing will be carried out using Quarch Technology products. More specifically we are privileged that Quarch has allowed us to use their latest Programmable Power Module (‘PPM’) and we would also like to take this opportunity to give a huge ‘thank you’ to Quarch for providing this equipment. The PPM is specifically designed for testing low power sleep states on modern SSDs and as such has a remarkably accurate low level current measurement, down to 100μA (micro amps, or millionths of an amp). Please click here for details.

Quarch Technology is a world leader in the supply of testing solutions for the data storage industry and if you would like any further information please visit their website by clicking here

Let’s take a closer look at the Quarch PPM box in a bit more detail.

Quarch Technology PPM

The Quarch Technology PPM is able to provide two power supply rails to the target SSD. A 12V (volt) rail is required for PCIe based SSDs, and also for SATA HDDs, SATA HDDs also require the 5V rail to function. All the power requirements of a SATA SSD are handled by the 5V rail.

The Quarch Technology PPM can switch between 5V and 3.3V on the secondary power output channel as required. So for SATA based SSDs it is set to 5V, and for PCIe based SSDs, it is set to 3.3V.  

On the right of the Quarch PPM, you can see the socket where the main power injection lead connects.

On the rear of the box (not shown) you will find a USB 2 socket, a power socket (to supply power to the unit) and a Torridon connection interface, for connecting to external equipment.

My setup.

Although the Quarch Technology PPM can be used on a single PC, which can act both as host and measurement system, I will be using two PCs to run the tests. One PC will handle the measurements, and the second PC will act both as a host for the target SSD, and will also be used to load the target SSD with data. This will allow me to do some pretty fancy power consumption tests.

 

 


 

I will first show the type of workload being used to load the SSD during the power consumption test. I will then present the power consumption graph, and power consumption statistics of the SSD.

I will display the results in the form of bar graphs, at the end of each test carried out in this article, so one can compare the results obtained on all the SSDs featured in this article.

I will use the following IOMeter test patterns to load the SSD or HDD.

  • 4K random read and write at a queue depth of 1 (to emulate a lightweight consumer workload).
  • 4K random read and write at a queue depth of 4 (to emulate a medium workload).
  • 4K random read and write at a queue depth of 32 (to emulate a heavy workload).
  • 512K sequential read (to emulate reading a sequential file from the storage device).
  • 512K sequential write (to emulate writing a sequential file to the storage device).

Power requirements for a lightweight consumer workload. – 4K random read and write QD1

A typical lightweight consumer workload will generally be at very low queue depths. Typically at a queue depth of one or less. I’m testing random data at a block size of 4 Kilobytes, as this block size of small random files is generally accepted as the most frequently occurring in the consumer environment.

I will show the chart generated by the Quarch PPM for the drive that I have tested. I will then show the results in the form of bar graphs, so one can easily compare with other recently tested SSDs.

There will actually be two bar graphs for each test. The first graph will show the average power consumption during the test run. The second graph, which is much more important, will indicate the power efficiency of the storage device, showing how much work the storage device can do for each Watt of energy it consumes.

4K Random Read – queue depth 1

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – 4K random read QD1

The average power consumption for the 4K QD1 random read test.

An excellent result for the Crucial MX500 SSD in the IOPS per watt graph.

 

4K Random Write – queue depth 1

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – 4K random write QD1

The average power consumption for the 4K QD1 random write test.

 

An excellent result for the Crucial MX500 SSD.

 


 

Power requirements for a medium weight consumer workload. – 4K random read and write QD4

A typical medium weight consumer workload will generally be at a queue depth of four or lower. This workload would typically involve some multitasking, with perhaps two or three applications running, and processing data simultaneously.  I’m testing random data at a block size of 4 Kilobytes, as this block size of small random files is generally accepted as the most frequently occurring in the consumer environment.

I will show the charts generated by the Quarch PPM, for the drive that I have tested. I will then show the results in the form of bar graphs, so one can easily compare with other recently tested SSDs.

4K Random Read – queue depth 4

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – 4K random read QD4

The average power consumption for the 4K QD4 random read test.

Another excellent result for the Crucial SSD.

4K Random Write – queue depth 4

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – 4K random write QD4

The average power consumption for the 4K QD4 random write test.

Once again the Crucial MX500 SSD provides a very impressive result.

 


 

Power requirements for a heavyweight consumer workload. – 4K random read and write QD32

Whilst this workload is unlikely arise for the casual consumer PC user, it could well appear in a semi-professional consumer environment, such as in a graphics workstation. This workload would usually involve heavy multitasking, and having several processes running concurrently that require constant access to small files located on the storage device for input or output.

I’m testing random data at a block size of 4 Kilobytes, as this block size of small random files is generally accepted as the most frequently occurring in the consumer environment.

I will show the chart generated by the Quarch PPM, for the drive that I have tested. I will then show the results in the form of bar graphs, so one can easily compare with other recently tested SSDs.

4K Random Read – queue depth 32

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – 4K random read QD32

The average power consumption for the 4K QD32 random read test.

Another excellent result for the Crucial MX500 in this test.

4K Random Write – queue depth 32

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – 4K random write QD32

The average power consumption for the 4K QD32 random write test.

In the last chart we see the Crucial MX500 at the top.

 


 

Power requirements of a storage device when reading and writing sequential data

Not all of a consumer workload is based around the reading and writing of small random files. Many files are sequential in nature, and can vary in size from a few Kilobytes to several Gigabytes, so your storage device will spend a lot of time reading and writing sequential data.

I’m testing sequential data at a block size of 512 Kilobytes.

512KB Sequential read

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – Sequential read

The average power consumption for the 512K read test.

The result is impressive for the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD.

512KB Sequential write

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – Sequential write

The average power consumption for the 512K write test.

The write result for the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD is again excellent.

 


 

Power requirements of storage devices when they are idle and doing no work at all

The practical reality relating to power consumption is that it can be quite erratic and sometimes unpredictable. Some of us will invest in the most powerful PC we can afford, only to find that the PC can spend quite a lot of time running and doing absolutely nothing. Storage devices are no different.

Often we can be sitting idly pondering what to do next, or perhaps browsing the Internet. When we arrive at a page that interests us, we will read it, and that can take a fair amount of time to complete. During this period the storage device will most likely be idle, but still consuming energy.

In this test, I’m measuring how much energy the storage device consumes when doing no work at all and with link power management disabled.

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD – Drive idle

Crucial’s MX500  again shows very impressive power consumption when it is idle.

 


 

I will now show one more test, and this should be regarded as for information purposes only.

Power requirement trace of an SSD booting Windows 10, in real time.

This test is for interest only, and shows the power requirements of the review SSD booting Windows 10 to the desktop.

Crucial MX500 1TB – Real time trace of the drive booting Windows 10 to the desktop.

 

Summary

The Crucial MX500 SSD is a very impressive drive, for an SATA SSD, being able to keep up with the HyperX Predator and in some tests surpass it. Overall the drive has an excellent performance per watt.

Now let’s head to the next page where we will look at how the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD performs using Anvil’s Storage utilities….