PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/pcmark-vantage/
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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.
FutureMark has developed a good set of hard disk tests for their PCMark Vantage Suite. Windows users can count on Vantage to show them how a drive will perform in normal day to day usage scenarios. For most users these are the tests that matter since many of the old hat ways to measure performance have become ineffective to measure true Windows performance.
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
Now that we have cleared the synthetic tests that are a bit like the theory of how drives will perform, we can now get into some real world performance numbers that are representative of what you will experience in your Windows based computer.
To quote a SandForce rep from a conversation last week, "Nothing surprises me these days."
We were fully expecting to see the Vertex 2 take off in a few of these tests where 4K performance plays a large factor in the results, but the reality is that all of the SF-1200 drives play tit-for-tat with the benchmark results. One drive will take a bit of an advantage in one test, but lose ground to another drive in the next test. We have a good collection of firmware on these drives; some with pre-release FW and that explains why the results are all over the place in some tests. If you think the performance is set in stone at this stage of the game, think again; SandForce will have MP2 ready within a week of this article being published and the landscape will change again. You will have to check back in to see what changes a new, higher refined firmware will bring to the SandForce SF-1200 drives.
The real battle here, though, is between the Vertex 2 100GB retail sample with shipping FW and the Crucial RealSSD C300 with the latest 0002 FW in 128GB capacity. If you have your credit card out and are reading this to make a purchasing decision based solely on daily use Windows performance, this is what you need to look at.
In Windows Media Center and Application Loading the OCZ Vertex 2 walks way from the C300 by a wide margin, over 100MB/s in Application Loading. Once it really sat in as to exactly what I was seeing, nearly double the performance in this test, I retested both drives and sure enough the outcome was the same. If you are loading large programs like Photoshop or most modern games from any other developer other than PopCap, then you will experience a difference in load times.
With only 100 to 128GB of capacity you are not going to be loading very much music in Windows Media Center, so that test doesn't count as much. On the other side of the coin, the C300 128GB is dominant in Windows Photo Gallery. The same can be said here, though; with the limited space most users are not going to keep these types of media files in a quantity that will have a large effect on performance, so the Media Center and Photo Gallery tests cancel each other out leaving the second highest reason to purchase an SSD, application load time defining the victor for most users looking at a 100 to 128GB SSD.
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