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.
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
This chart is quickly getting out of control, but a revised edition is in the works that will just show the total score as given by Vantage.
A large reason why we are not running a direct comparison between the Vertex 3 240GB drive we previewed a few weeks ago and the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 120GB is mainly due to what we found in this test. After running several more tests for SandForce things became even clearer. Our engineering sample OCZ Vertex 3 with pre-production firmware did not have working TRIM, at least not working as we would expect.
The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G really solidified SandForce's response to us, that this was a firmware issue that would be cleared up in the RC-1 firmware. Once data was deleted from the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G the performance was restored to near clean state levels within 10 to 20 seconds. Looking at the chart you can see the 75% Full and the Dirty / Empty numbers, the Dirty / Empty results were much higher.
That leaves us with the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G's performance when the drive is 25%, 50% and 75% full. Instead of looking at these results in full test by test detail, we will talk about the overall scores. The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G in a fairly clean state delivers a HDD score in PCMark Vantage of over 74,000. With the drive roughly 25% full that result dips to 55,508. The score drops even more at the 50% mark, down to 54,385 and the 75% full mark is 51,648.
When all of the data is deleted and the test ran one final time, the result goes back up to 71,248, very close to the original score (just over 74K).
The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G did take a performance hit when data was added to the drive and the performance loss went more significant as even more data was added. The performance was also recovered as data was removed and capacity was freed up, something the Vertex 3 couldn't do when we tested it with pre-release firmware. The significant portion, though, is that the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G never dipped to performance levels of the Corsair Performance 3 even when filled at just over 75% capacity.
As we start to add more products to this test group, the significance of this form of testing will become more apparent.