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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 results can be learned from the table. 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. See the detailed table here.

PCMark04 agrees with FC-Test that the Samsung F3 and the two Caviar Black drives from WD are the fastest of all. The other HDDs have similar results except for the P8 version Caviar Green and the WD10EARS which performs badly whether aligned or not.

This group of tests produce similar results. And they are explicit enough: the newcomers cannot throw the WD Caviar Black off the top. But we can note that Samsung’s HDDs have progressed: the F3 is more appealing than its predecessor. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about Hitachi’s products: the newer Hitachi is no better than the older one.

The WD10EARS is just as fast as its same-class opponents when aligned and very slow when unaligned.

Interestingly, the WD10EARS performs somewhat worse when unaligned even in this test which is highly sensitive to caching. It’s hard to tell anything about the leaders because they deliver similar results, yet the WD Caviar Black and Hitachi 7K1000.C are just a little faster than the others.

The Samsung F3 seems to be fond of writing files. Its performance is very good even for an HDD with 500GB platters. Otherwise, there are no surprises. The standings are exactly what we might expect after the previous tests.

Judging by the overall scores, the WD Caviar Black series remains in the lead although the Samsung F3 is a strong opponent to them when it comes to home applications. The Hitachi 1000.C is far from brilliant. It has not failed in this group of tests, but we’d like to see some progress from it.

The WD10EARS needs aligning. Otherwise, you’ll have a cripple barely coping with its job instead of a normal hard disk.

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