PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests
Version and / or Patch Used: 188.8.131.52
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/pcmarkvantage
PCMark Vantage is the first objective hardware performance benchmark for PCs running 32, and 64 bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista. PCMark Vantage is perfectly suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista PC, from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops, to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Regardless of whether the benchmarker is an artist, or an IT Professional, PCMark Vantage shows the user where their system soars, or falls flat, and how to get the most performance possible out of their hardware. PCMark Vantage is easy enough for even the most casual enthusiast to use, yet supports in-depth, professional industry grade testing.
The reason we like PCMark Vantage, is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.
We run Vantage in three ways. The first run is with the OS drive/Array 75% full, to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount that we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State," utilizing SNIA's guidelines (Rev 1.1). Steady state testing simulates a drive/array's performance similar to that of a drive/array that has been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test, with the test drive/array attached as an empty, lightly used, secondary device.
OS Volume 75% full - Lightly Used
OS Volume 75% full - Steady State
Secondary Volume Empty - Lightly Used
As you can see, there's a big difference between an empty drive/array, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.
The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State," and "OS Volume 75% full". These two categories are most important, because they are indicative of typical of consumer based user states.
When a drive/array is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. There's a huge difference in performance between a single drive and a two drive array. This chart shows exactly why the 64GB SuperSSpeed S301 is affectionately known as the Giant Killer. Despite being severely capacity handicapped, our little SuperSSpeed array is the second fastest two drive SATA based array we've ever tested in a steady state.