Moving your desktop's OS and applications from a mechanical hard drive to an SSD is unlikely to produce substantial savings on your monthly electric bill. However, the low power consumption offered by solid-state storage is important for notebook users looking to squeeze as much run time as possible out of their systems' batteries. We tested power consumption under load with IOMeter's workstation access pattern chewing through 32 concurrent I/O requests. Idle power consumption was probed one minute after we stopped the IOMeter load.
The Intel 320 Series' power consumption isn't the lowest of the bunch, but the drive does draw a little less wattage than some of its rivals—especially if you consider watts per gigabyte. I'm a little surprised to see such low idle power draw out of the Intel 510 Series. The Vertex 3's relatively high power consumption is also curious, although the OCZ drive is the fastest overall. SandForce tells us that the pre-production Vertex 3 we used for testing has higher power consumption than final hardware, which we should have in our hands soon.
If you're interested in seeing how SSD power consumption compares to a wider range of mechanical hard drives, including notebook models, check out this page of our Scorpio Black 750GB review. The load numbers in that review come from a different IOMeter config, so they're not directly comparable to the ones above.