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.
Notwithstanding its predilection towards the SandForce platform, this benchmark puts the Plextor M5 Pro on the very top or the list. It means the new flagship SSD from Plextor is really very fast.
The rest of the Plextors go close to each other, following a pair of SF-2281 based drives. Thus, according to PCMark 7, they are good for real-life applications, beating such popular solutions as Corsair Neutron GTX, OCZ Vertex 4 and Samsung SSD 830. They are somewhat slower than the SandForce-based drives, though. Compared to the Crucial m4, which is similar to it in price and hardware components, the M5S delivers much higher performance.
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:
Take note that the Plextor SSDs are close to each other in most of the diagrams. Using similar hardware, they behave in a similar way. And this behavior seems to be optimal from a desktop user’s point of view. The Plextor SSDs take top places in the crucial Starting Applications scenario and are only second to the SF-2281 based solutions in the Gaming scenario. Of course, it is the new M5 Pro that is the fastest in the Plextor team, yet the M5S model is good, too. It is somewhat slower than its predecessors, but we shouldn’t forget that it is an affordable drive with common 25nm ONFI flash.