Tom’s Hardware’s findings that SSD drives don’t actually save you any power is pretty surprising to me, especially following the experiment last week comparing an HDD Eee to a high-performance SSD Eee. Logic and reason seem to indicate that a passive drive solution with no moving parts would almost certainly have not just minor savings power-wise but possibly orders of magnitude.
Unfortunately, that seems not to be the case. The tests they’ve run are pretty reliable. Apparently there is still a lot of optimization to be done to reduce idle power consumption; years of work on HDDs have made them as efficient as they’re going to get, while energy saving techniques for SSDs are still in their infancy. Furthermore, many of the drives offered little in the way of performance increases. I think the takeaway message here is not that SSDs suck or anything, more that there’s still a lot to do to make them better, and that they’re not a panacea for your performance and battery life worries.