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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.

All modern high-speed SSDs are close to each other in Futuremark PCMark 7, which means that it’s going to be hard to feel any difference between flagship products from different brands in real-life usage scenarios. We can note that the OCZ Vector, although among the leaders, is inferior to the SandForce-based SSDs as well as to the Plextor M5 Pro which has been considered the fastest consumer-class SSD up till now. On the other hand, the Vector is faster than OCZ's previous solution Vertex 4 and makes a worthy addition to the company’s product line-up.

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 show that the OCZ Vector is a very fast SSD but can be slower than the Plextor flagship in certain situations. As for the SandForce-based SSDs, PCMark favors them by using compressible files. That’s why the high results of the Intel SSD 520 and Corsair Force GS should be regarded with some skepticism.

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