We have performed wide-band residual phase-noise measurements on semiconductor 40-GHz mode-locked lasers by employing electrical waveguide components for the radio-frequency circuit. The intrinsic timing jitters of lasers with one, two, and three quantum wells (QW) are compared and our design prediction, concerning noise versus number of QWs, for the first time corroborated by experiments. A minimum jitter of 44 fs is found, by extrapolating to the Nyquist frequency, for the one-QW device having nearly transform-limited pulses of 1.2 ps. This jitter is nearly three times lower than for a three-QW laser. There is good agreement between the measured results and existing theory.