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Performance in PCMark 2004/2005

PCMark 2005 has the same tests as the 2004 version (not only in names, but also in results as we have seen a lot of times), so we only use one test from PCMark 2004 which is not available in the 2005 version. It is called File Copying and measures the speed of copying some set of files.  The other tests are: Windows XP Startup is the typical disk subsystem load at system startup; Application Loading is the disk activity at sequential starting-up and closing of six popular applications; General Usage reflects the disk activity in a number of popular applications; File Write is about the speed of writing files; and Virus Scan benchmarks the disk’s performance at scanning the system for viruses. The final result of the average of ten runs of each test.

The results of the File Copying test from PCMark differ from what we have seen in FC-Test. Funnily enough, the top two places go to the 5400rpm drives, the older 1TB model being ahead of the newer 2TB one. Third place goes to the new Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 that is somewhat faster than the Western Digital Caviar Black.

The 7200rpm drives leave no chance to the 5400rpm models when launching Windows XP. The 2-platter Seagate is ahead of the Barracuda 7200.11 series models but cannot beat the WD Caviar Black. The latter’s quick heads are a weighty advantage in this test.

We’ve got a similar situation in the Application Loading test: the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 is second again. This time the 1.5TB drive from the Barracuda 7200.11 series is noticeably faster than its junior mate. There are no changes between the 5400rpm drives: the newer model is still slower than the older one.

The General Usage standings repeat those of the previous test.

Scanning for viruses is highly sensitive to both caching and recording density. As a result, the two new drives from Seagate take top places, the Barracuda 7200.12 being considerably faster. Interestingly, the 2TB Caviar Green beats not only its predecessor but also the 1TB Seagate.

The WD Caviar Black is suddenly too poor at writing files in PCMark. The other drives perform in accordance with the results of the test of sequential writing in large data blocks. The 1.5TB model is in the lead, followed by the Barracuda 7200.12 model. The 2TB Caviar Black is somewhat ahead of its lower-capacity predecessor.

Thanks to its very effective caching in the Virus Scan test and good results in the others, the Seagate 7200.12 comes up the overall winner in PCMark05. The 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 is second, outperforming the WD Caviar Black, whereas the 2TB Caviar Green has the lowest overall score. If we compare this to the results of our comparative test of 1TB drives, the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 is ahead of every model with lower-density platters while the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 follows close behind the leaders.

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