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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.

This test is a multithreaded load and SSDs cope with it nicely. This time we see them enjoy a fivefold advantage over the HDD. The Corsair is the leader now. It is somewhat faster than the Intel SSDs, including the X25-E which proves to be the slowest model in this test.

The SSDs all deliver similar and very high results. These drives are going to be appreciated by gamers who don’t like waiting for the next game level to load up.

The SSDs are also good at adding photographs into a media gallery. The Intel X25-M models are somewhat better than the others here. HDDs are generally fast in this test, yet the SSDs are almost three times as fast as one of the best HDDs available.

The 80GB Intel X25-M falls behind the other SSDs when booting Windows Vista up, yet it is still six times as fast as the best 7200rpm HDD!

The drives are all different at movie making. The X25-E wins this test, the 160GB X25-M is second and the Corsair is third. The X25-M is the slowest of the SSDs and comparable to the HDD.

This test is highly sensitive to the caching algorithms, too. And it is one of the few tests where the HDD can compete with the SSDs. It is actually second, being only slower than the X25-E. The 160GB X25-M is the best of the MLC-based SSDs.

The standings are familiar here: the X25-E is first, followed by the Corsair. Next go the two X25-M series models (the model with newer firmware is somewhat faster). The HDD is much slower.

It is different in the Application Loading test: the 160GB Intel X25-M goes ahead of its 80GB cousin while the Corsair slows down. The HDD is only one tenth as fast as the SSDs here.

The Intel X25-E has the highest overall score, but the other standings differ from those of the previous version of the benchmark. The 160GB X25-M is second while the Corsair is third. The X25-M with older firmware is but slightly better than the HDD.

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