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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 users who want to get a comprehensible evaluation of an SSD’s performance without delving into technicalities. And PCMark 7 corrects our first impression about the Vertex 4 series. Despite their excellent results in the synthetic benchmarks above, these SSDs are far from brilliant here. They are inferior to the fast SandForce-based SSDs as well as to the top-end products with the Marvell 88S9174 controller and take a medium position in the diagram.

So, firmware 1.5 isn’t of much help for the Vertex 4 series at real-life loads. The SandForce and Marvell 88S9174 controllers have also received firmware updates, so the overall situation has remained the same as in our previous review.

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 Vertex 4 series can’t boast the impressive results them showed in the synthetic benchmarks in any of the PCMark subtests. Unfortunately, they are not so good in real-life usage scenarios, according to PCMark. Let's see what the other benchmarks have to say.

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