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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 discuss 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 PCMark 2004 results can be learned from the table below. The PCMark 2005 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 is the average of ten runs of each test are available here.

This test agrees with the results of FC-Test but a couple of things must be mentioned specifically. First, the new WD Caviar Black series enjoys a considerable advantage over their opponents. And second, the firmware update helps the Hitachi drive quite a lot, raising its performance to an acceptable level.

These different disk subsystem loads produce the same result: WD’s 1-terabyte Caviar Black series can only be challenged by the Barracuda XT. The Hitachi with updated firmware does not look hopeless, yet its performance is still not high enough to compete with the leaders. Take note of the WD Caviar Green: it is quite competitive to the other power-efficient products, being overall better than the Samsung F3.

Seagate’s 7200RPM drives win the Virus Scan test which is highly sensitive to caching. The Samsung EcoGreen F3 is on the losing side, again.

PCMark 2005 seems to use large files for the copying test: the results are very close to the maximum speeds these HDDs can deliver. The Samsung should be noted for its excellent performance here: it is ahead of the other power-efficient products as well as of WD’s 3-platter Caviar Black models.

The Seagate Barracuda XT boasts the highest overall score. Its server-oriented cousin Constellation ES is third. Second place goes to the WD Caviar Black with 64MB cache.

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