Before timing a couple of real-world applications, we first have to load the OS. We can measure how long that takes by checking the Windows 7 boot duration using the operating system's performance-monitoring tools. This is actually the first test in which we're booting Windows off each drive; up until this point, our testing has been hosted by an OS housed on a separate system drive.
Level load times
Modern games lack built-in timing tests to measure level loads, so we busted out a stopwatch with a couple of reasonably recent titles.
Adding an SSD will greatly reduce load times compared to a mechanical hard drive. However, the difference in load times between the SSDs we've tested is pretty minimal. The Samsung 840 Pro Series may not sit at the top of the charts, but it's never more than a few tenths of a second off the fastest time in each test.
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 processing Windows 7's idle tasks on an empty desktop.
With the latest firmware revisions, the Samsung 840 Series and 840 Pro consume much more power at idle than they did with the initial production releases. Their one-watt idle power draw isn't alarmingly high, but the increase is surprising. I suspect our measurements are being taken before the new TRIM policy has finished cleaning up after Win7's idle task processing. Longer idle periods do bring the 840 Pro's power consumption down to the 0.3W with the updated firmware.
The new firmware doesn't change the 840 Series' power consumption under load, but it does cause the 840 Pro to draw an additional watt. Even so, the 840 Pro remains one of the most power-efficient drives under load.