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. As if summing up all the weak points of the Petrol, PCMark 7 puts it in last place, more than 15% behind the SandForce-based SSDs. This benchmark doesn’t seem to be impressed at all by the Petrol’s advantages, such as its good speed at sequential operations with incompressible data.
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 Petrol is competitive in usages scenarios involving multimedia content. It’s no wonder since video and audio files are typically large and cannot be compressed. The Petrol's performance in the other scenarios is rather poor.