PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing
For a complete breakdown on the Drives with Data Testing please read this article. You will be able to perform this test at home with the files provided in the article - full instructions are included.
- Brief Methodology
SSDs perform differently when used for a period of time and when data is already present on the drive. The purpose of the Drives with Data testing is to show how a drive performs in these 'dirty' states. SSDs also need time to recover, either with TRIM or onboard garbage collection methods.
Drives with Data Testing - 25%, 50%, 75% Full States and Dirty / Empty Test
Files needed for 60 (64GB), 120 (128GB), 240 (256GB)
60GB Fill - 15GB, 30GB, 45GB
120GB Fill - 30GB, 60GB, 90GB
240GB Fill - 60GB, 120GB, 160GB
Empty but Dirty - a test run just after the fill tests and shows if a drive needs time to recover or if performance is instantly restored.
HDD1 - Windows Defender
HDD2 - Gaming
HDD3 - Windows Photo Gallery
HDD4 - Vista Startup
HDD5 - Windows Movie Maker
HDD6 - Windows Media Center
HDD7 - Windows Media Player
HDD8 - Application Loading
Last week I had a really good question sent to me over email about this benchmark. The reader wanted to know the focus of this test, basically how to tell if a drive is doing what it should be doing. In some cases we get a reverse stair step that shows the drive slowing as increasing amounts of data are added to the drive. The Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB is a classic example. The Vertex 4 512GB with the new 1.4 firmware acts a little different.
With the 512GB and the new firmware, you take your performance hit and the drive retains its speed even when populated with more data. Ideally we would like to see a 0 performance hit when data is added to the drive, the second best result we could ask for is steady performance like what we see in the 512GB V4 with fw 1.4. If you are a professional working with data and are relying on a steady flow it doesn't get much better than that. A/V professionals are one group who will find benefits from constant performance.
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