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
It doesn't get any more real world than tests designed to take accuracy to the next level. We feel that a drive shouldn't just be tested out of the box, but also with data on it as it would be used in your system. In looking to build the greatest test of real world, day to day task tests, we stumbled upon the clearest view that answers a frequently asked question; why does my SSD feel slower now than it did when I first installed it?
Most SSDs slow after data is added to the drive. They are still faster than mechanical drives, even when completely full and at their slowest. In order to cut costs and fill even more price points, many manufacturers have chosen to offer products with both synchronous flash like the Corsair Force GT and products with lower cost asynchronous flash, like the Force 3.
The stated performance differences come in the form of incompressible data performance. Synchronous flash is faster than asynchronous flash when dealing with data that is already compressed on SATA III SandForce drives. That is a true statement, but it isn't the full story.
In the chart we see the OCZ Agility 3 with asynchronous flash just before the Corsair Force GT with synchronous flash. The Force GT is much faster than the asynchronous flash equipped drives when data is present. If you are weighing your options between the Force 3 and Force GT, spend your money on the Force GT and walk away with the extra performance offered by synchronous flash when you have data on the drive.
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