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Performance in PCMark04/05/Vantage

I will use three benchmarks from Futuremark for this review because each of them has something original about itself, some special subtest. It may also be interesting for you to watch how Futuremark’s approach to benchmarking hard disk drives is evolving over time.

The point of Futuremark’s approach is in taking a certain reference HDD and running applications on it. A special program is recording a log of disk accesses. This log is referred to as a trace. This trace is then replayed on another HDD and the difference between the average response time of the reference and tested HDD is indicative of how much faster or slower the tested HDD is in comparison with the reference one. This approach is not without downsides, but it’s not the time or place to talk about them.

PCMark04

I will begin with one of the oldest benchmarking suites, PCMark04:

The first subtest is about booting the OS up. The HDDs from Samsung and Hitachi are on top with a considerable lead over the others. The Samsung is faster on the new testbed than on the older one. Until this test the change of the controller only affected the drive’s performance under linear loads but this test is IOps-oriented.

The Hitachi drives are superb at loading applications. The hard drive from Western Digital is also very good, competing with the Seagate drives.

The Samsung leaves no chance to the others at copying files. It is especially good on the new testbed. Once again we can see how sensitive this HDD is to the SATA controller’s bandwidth.

The Hitachi team are the best in the General Usage test. Their low response time at both random reading and writing helps cope with such a complex trace.

 
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