Futuremark PCMark 7
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 users who want to see how SSDs perform in typical applications without delving into technical details. According to this benchmark the fastest SSD on Marvell 88SS9174 controller is Corsair Performance Pro. It manages to almost fully catch up with the best SandForce SF-2281 based SSDs built with synchronous memory. A slower drive, Plextor M3S appears to fall somewhere in the middle between SandForce based products with synchronous and asynchronous flash memory. And Crucial m4 is the last but one of the testing participants being just a little bit faster than Corsair Force 3 built with slow and inexpensive asynchronous memory.
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:
We see almost the same overall ranking practically in all test scenarios as we have just seen in the total score diagram. The only exception is the “Starting applications” test where SSD with Marvell 88SS9174 controllers do a little better than everyone else.