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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 mean average of ten runs of each test. You can view the detailed tabled results here.

PCMark does not tell us anything new. Like in FC-Test, Western Digital's new products are beyond competition.

These three tests all fit into the same picture: Western Digital’s drives and the Barracuda XT are in the lead. The latter drive is only really fast on the ICH7 controller. For all its SATA 600 support, the Marvell 9123 looks bad. It even lowers the drive’s performance.

The same goes for the Virus Scan test which is highly sensitive to caching mechanisms. The power-efficient WD Caviar Green is poor in this test, losing not only to the models with 64MB cache but also to those that, like itself, have 32MB of cache memory.

The standings of this benchmark are different from what we have seen in FC-Test. Here, the HDDs are ranked according to their sequential speeds, but the Seagate Barracuda XT is somewhat better on the ICH7. If connected to the Marvell 9123 controller, that drive is somewhat slower than its 7200rpm opponents. The Hitachi 7K2000 does not betray that its recording density is lower than that of the other HDDs.

We see the same trio of leaders and are once again reminded of the fact that not all controllers are good in practical terms even if theoretically they are supposed to be faster.

 
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