788T and 788T-SSD Power Consumption Comparison

There are many advantages to recording to solid-state hard drives (SSD), including improved mechanical robustness, faster transfer speeds, and silent operation. Additionally, the 788T-SSD has 96 GB of additional on-board of storage space versus the 788T. Regarding power consumption, the power consumption (and therefore run time) between the spinning hard drive in the hard drive-equipped 788T and the SSD in the 788T-SSD is nearly identical.

Test Results

The chart below shows a current draw comparison between the 788T and the 788T-SSD in three states. The identical recorder was tested, first with the supplied 160 GB hard drive (788T), then with the 256 GB SSD (788T-SSD). Current draw (in amps) was measured at the power supply, which provided 13 V to the unit's external DC connection. To rule out a variable source of power draw, the Li-Ion charging circuit, no battery was attached to the unit.

Setting or Action788T788T-SSD
Recording (24-bit, 48 kHz, 8-track)1.151.21
Playback (24-bit, 48 kHz, 8-track)0.96 ~ 1.04*0.94

*The 788T reads and writes files in bursts, resulting in the range shown above

Additional Testing Conditions

  • Firmware revision 1.71
  • Instrumentation-grade bench power supply at 13 V
  • All eight inputs on (no load attached), mic-level, input gain set to 41 dB
  • LCD Backlight and LED brightness at 50%

The results above highlight the small difference in power consumption between the two drive mechanisms. Other 788T usage factors have larger affect on power consumption and battery runtime, including:

  • Inputs - active inputs increase power consumption. If recording solely to one or two inputs, disable unused inputs to reduce power consumption. Analog inputs and their microphone preamps draw current whether they are idle or active. Inputs draw 1.5 W versus to deactivated inputs.
  • Drive Activity - when the unit is recording to or playing back from the internal drive, power consumption raises by approximately 2 W. Recording to CF only reduces power consumption.
  • Microphone Powering -  phantom powered microphones draw power for operation. Up to 4 W can be drawn from the phantom supply.
  • Battery Chargers - depending on the charge state of the on-board Li-ion, the charging circuit can draw ~10 W from external DC supplies.
  • Meter Brightness -the LED brightness can be lowered to conserve power.
  • LCD Backlight - changing the state of the LCD backlight has a more significant impact on power consumption than the change from hard drive to SSD.
  • CL-8 - the CL-8 draws its powering from the USB port of the 788T.
  • Bus-Powered FireWire Drives - the 788T is capable of bus-powering external FireWire drives such as the XL-DVDRAM when powered by external DC power.

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