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Futuremark PCMark 7

The popular PCMark 7 contains an individual 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 completed in popular applications. Moreover, the disk access commands are not executed as a steady uninterrupted flow, but in a more realistic manner – with certain pauses caused by the need to process the data. The benchmark generates an overall disk subsystem performance rating as well as speed readings in MB/s in individual usage scenarios. Note that the absolute speed in these scenarios is not too high because of the above mentioned pauses between individual input/output operations. In other words, PCMark 7 shows you the speed of the disk subsystem from the application’s point of view. Numbers like that show us not only the pure performance of an SSD, but mostly how big of a performance gain a certain SSD can guarantee in real life.

We ran PCMark 7 on “steady” SSDs, which is what they are going to be in actual computer systems most of the time. 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.

The PCMark 7 score is a good guide for people who don’t want to delve into technicalities but need a simple illustration of relative performance of SSDs in typical desktop applications.

The junior desktop SSD from Kingston takes last place in this test but is very close to the Corsair Force 3. In fact, the SSDNow V+200 is very close to any SF-2281 with asynchronous memory in PCMark 7. The performance rating of the midrange HyperX 3K is almost as high as that of the other SandForce-based SSDs with synchronous memory but the less aggressive garbage collection slows that model down somewhat in real-life applications. The Kingston HyperX, in its turn, behaves like a typical fast SF-2281-based drive. Its performance rating is as high as that of the Corsair Force GT. It is the Intel SSD that takes first place in this test, though. Based on the same controller, its firmware is substantially optimized by Intel.

Now let’s check out the individual tests to get a more detailed picture of what our SSDs are capable of under various types of operational load:

The diagrams don’t show us anything unusual. The Kingston SSDs nearly always behave like typical second-generation SandForce-based products. The HyperX 3K and SSDNow V+200 are just a little slower than the reference solutions of the same design such as the HyperX which behaves exactly like any other SSD with the same hardware inside.

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