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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 HDDs from Western Digital and Hitachi are in the lead again.

The HDD from Western Digital wins the Gaming subtest. The Toshiba and Samsung are equals just like in the previous subtest.

The Hitachi copes best with loading image files. Loading something seems to be the job this drive likes the most. Take note that the Western Digital is in last place in this test, and the gap is quite large. So, there are some things this HDD cannot do well. We are not sneering. We just want to remind you that there are no perfect things in this imperfect world.

Booting up Windows Vista seems to be greatly different from booting up Windows XP. The ex-leader Hitachi has given way to the Western Digital here.

The Hitachi wins the Movie Maker subtest, though.

If you read our HDD related reviews often, you should know that this subtest is full of surprises as some drives manage to execute most of it within their cache buffer. This time it is the Samsung. Judging by the numbers, the drives from Western Digital and Hitachi processed some data of this test in their cache memory, too. Their results are not as high as that of the Samsung, though.

The Toshiba is surprisingly the best drive when loading files into Media Player.

This subtest seems to be revised greatly in this version of PCMark. The ex-leader Hitachi is only third now, and the Toshiba wins with a large advantage.

However, the Hitachi is the overall winner in PCMark Vantage, too. The Samsung and Western Digital share second place while the Toshiba has the lowest overall score.

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