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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.

We have already got used to having the drive from Western Digital among the leaders but it is somewhat unusual to see the Seagate take first place. Its firmware may be no so bad after all. Besides high speed of sequential operations, it boasts optimizations for certain common types of load. The Toshiba and Samsung are on the losing side here.

Our tests change but the losers do not. The winners are the same, too. The drives from Western Digital and Fujitsu are the best in the Gaming test.

Photographers will probably prefer other drives, however, because the HDD from Western Digital sinks to last place in the Photo Gallery test. The Seagate is first, followed by the Fujitsu.

This time PCMark emulates Windows Vista, and there are no clear outsiders now. However, we’ve got a couple of drives that are somewhat faster than the others: these are the drives from Western Digital and Fujitsu.

The Movie Maker test seems to be a very specific load: the inconspicuous Hitachi manages to take second place, closely behind the leading Western Digital. This load is disliked by the fastidious Samsung as well as by the Fujitsu.

Once again we have to admit the odd peculiarity of this test. File caching plays an important role here, allowing some HDDs to pass the test at a speed higher than its sequential read speed. The winner Samsung is indicative of that. The second-best Seagate nearly achieves its sequential read speed, too. The Toshiba has its traditional last place again.

The Fujitsu copes best with adding files into the player. Having been an outsider throughout this test session, the Toshiba is as good as second here. The Seagate is the loser in this test.

The Application Loading test now contains new applications, which affects the HDDs’ standings. The Toshiba is first (it has waken up too late, though – the review is about to end soon), and the Samsung is the worst.

There are more subtests in the new benchmark and they are very different from the earlier versions’, but the HDDs from Fujitsu and Western Digital still have the highest overall ratings. The Samsung performed poorly here.

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