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.
For this review, we will run Vantage two 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 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.
OS Volume 75% full - Lightly Used
OS Volume 75% full - Steady State
Typically, we see a significant performance fall off when an array is in a steady state, but this is not the case with Seagate's 600 Series Pro. The Pro Series' generous overprovisioning is keeping performance high, despite the array's degraded write state.
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, but not a whole lot of difference between arrays of two to six drives when testing with Vantage.