Cubieboard power usage with SATA

I have installed lubuntu to my Cubieboard2 and I have also connected a 2.5” SATA HDD. I wanted to know if my power supply is providing enough power so I tried to measure current output from 5V power supply.

I used cheap small USB power meter (find also some on eBay for less then 5€).

charger doctor - USB volat and amper meter

My results varies according to HDD usage:

  • HDD not attached     0.25     –  0.4A
  • HDD not spinning     0.46A
  • HDD not utilized        0.65A
  • HDD utilized               0.9       –  1.14A

Each measurement is depicted in next chapters. You can see that no other device is connected to cubieboard nor SD card.

Cubieboard2 without SATA

HDD is not attached and no running jobs were processed in cubieboard so the current was ~0,3A si aksi 500mA 5V power supply should be enough to power cubieboard2 without HDD and load.


Cubieboard2 with SATA drive not spinning

With attached HDD but with configuration that enabled spinnig down the HDD (by command  sudo hdparm -S 25 /dev/sda), The power consumption increased and measured current was ~0.5A.

sudo hdparm -C /dev/sda
   drive state is:  standby

Cubieboard2 with SATA drive  spinning but not accessed

While the drive was spinning the measured current increased to ~0.7A when the drive was not accessed by any process.

sudo hdparm -C /dev/sda
    drive state is:  active/idle

Cubieboard2 with SATA drive copying file

Finally I started to copy large file and the measured current increased to ~1.1A. Still much bellow my power supply that has maximum current of 2.1A.


The load was generated by SCP and CPU utilization was 100% according to htop:

That’s all.. If you have some other measurements please leave a comment.

If you want to use your 2.5” HDD with cubieboard2 this guide will help you.