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Performance in PCMark Vantage

To make this part of our test session complete, we are going to run the latest version of PCMark called Vantage. Compared with the previous versions, the benchmark has become more up-to-date and advanced in its selection of subtests as well as Windows Vista orientation. Each subtest is run ten times and the results of the ten runs are averaged.

Here is a brief description of each subtest:

  • Windows Defender is when the HDD is under multithreaded load, one thread scanning files for malicious software.
  • Gaming emulates the typical load on the disk subsystem when the user is playing a video game.
  • Photo Gallery emulates loading of images from a photo gallery.
  • Vista Start Up emulates the disk subsystem load when booting up Windows Vista.
  • Movie Maker emulates video editing load.
  • Media Center. This is the load on the hard disk when the user is running Windows Media Center.
  • Media Player emulates the loading of files into Windows Media Player.
  • Application Loading shows the drive’s speed when loading popular applications.

Basing on these subtests, the drive’s overall performance rating is calculated.

When the load is multithreaded (one thread scanning files for viruses), the WD Caviar Black is still the best drive in this test but the new models from Seagate have accelerated, especially the 2-platter Barracuda 7200.12. The third new drive is far from brilliant here.

The Gaming load produces similar results: each new drive from Seagate is better than its predecessor but even the best of them cannot beat the WD Caviar Black.

Two HDDs are much better than the others at loading photos into a photo gallery. These are the WD Caviar Black and the new Seagate with 500GB platters.

The change of the OS into Windows Vista helps the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 outperform the WD Caviar Black, even though by a smallest margin.  The 5400rpm drives have got closer to the 7200rpm models, yet are still at the bottom of the table, the 2TB model being inferior to its predecessor.

The Movie Maker trace is very odd. It seems to have a lot of writing but is also sensitive to the peculiarities of the drive’s firmware. As a result, Western Digital’s products are better than their opponents here. The Barracuda 7200.12 is the only Seagate to do well in this test, but it can only outperform the worst of the WD drives, which is the 2TB newcomer.

This test shows the efficiency of caching on the HDD. Seagate’s new products are very good: the Barracuda 7200.12 is first while the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 is close to the second-best WD Caviar Black.

Like in most of the previous PCMark tests, the WD Caviar Black is first and followed by the new drives from Seagate.

The Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 outperforms the WD Caviar Black under the abstract load of Application Loading.

The newer version of PCMark running under a different OS change the overall standings somewhat. The WD Caviar Black is on top but the new HDDs from Seagate are close behind. The 2TB WD Caviar Green is always slower than its processor.

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