Futuremark PCMark 8
Futuremark PCMark 8 contains a special disk subsystem benchmark. It is not a synthetic test but is based on real-life applications. This benchmark reproduces typical disk usage scenarios and measures how fast they are performed. Compared to PCMark 7, it features more scenarios based on Adobe and Microsoft applications as well as games. The result is calculated as the average speed across all of the subtests.
We run PCMark 8 on steady-state SSDs, just as they are going to be used in actual computers. Their performance in this case is affected not only by their controller or flash memory speed but also by the efficiency of their internal algorithms that fight performance degradation.
As opposed to the synthetic benchmarks, PCMark 8 simulates real-life loads by reproducing prerecorded disk activity traces. This test is indicative of what impression the user will get from a particular SSD in practice. And it looks like Crucial's new drives are very good in practical applications. They are ahead of their main opponent Samsung 840 EVO and aren't much slower than the flagship Samsung 840 Pro.
It must be noted that the 256GB M550 is indeed fast. It is just as good as its larger-capacity cousins, beating the same-capacity M500 by 35%. The 512GB and 1TB versions of the M550 are over 20% faster than the M500.
The overall PCMark 8 results are the average of the individual subtests, so let’s check the latter out, too.
The new Crucial M550 series takes leading positions in a number of applications, including Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word. It is good that there is no subtest where the M550 drives fail completely. They are optimal for any real-life applications.