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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.

The Seagate 7200.4 enjoys a substantial advantage under this multithreaded load. The HDDs from Western Digital and Fujitsu stand out among the 5400rpm products. Both drives from Samsung are on the losing side here.

The Seagate 7200.4 is good at gaming, topping the same trio of leaders as in the previous test. The Hitachi 5K500 and Toshiba are now as slow as the drives from Samsung.

The Seagate 7200.4 seems to be the best choice for photographers as well. The Western Digital doesn’t like this load for some reason and falls to last place.

The standings return to normal in the Windows Vista Startup test. We see the familiar trios of winners and losers.

There are some considerable changes in the Movie Maker test. The Hitachi 5K500.B takes first place although it has delivered average performance in the previous tests. Second place goes to the Western Digital. Interestingly, the HDDs from Seagate have similar results and are slower than their opponents.

This is yet another test in which the efficiency of caching is tested. The leaders are now the Hitachi 5K500.B, Seagate 7200.4 and Fujitsu. The 3-platter Hitachi 5K500 is only half as fast as the newer version. The HDDs from Samsung and Western Digital have low results, too.

It looks like we’ve got a trio of leaders that work best with multimedia content. The Seagate 7200.4, Fujitsu and Hitachi 5K500.B are again definitely faster than the others. Take note that there are no downright slow drives in this test, save for the 3-platter Samsung M6.

Seagate’s HDDs take two top places when loading applications, the 7200rpm model being considerably faster. Samsung’s HDDs are at the bottom of the diagram again.

Funnily, the standings of PCMark Vantage differ greatly from the standings we have seen in the previous version of this benchmark. This may be the effect of the new OS and new loads, yet it serves to prove once again that you should compare HDDs basing on a number of benchmarks or under some specific loads. Anyway, first place still goes to the Seagate 7200.4 whereas the Fujitsu and the Hitachi 5K500.B compete for second. Besides the 3-platter models, the Samsung M7 is among the losers here.

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