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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 tasks. Starting with version 1.4.0, the PCMark 7 disk subsystem test generates raw performance results which do not take into account any pauses in the requests queue. New results are thus incompatible with old ones, but the differences between the performance numbers of different SSDs have now become more obvious. That’s why we decided to switch to the new version of the test from now on.

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 SanDisk Ultra Plus is very good here. In fact, it is only inferior to the flagship products like Samsung 840 Pro, OCZ Vector and Plextor M5 Pro (we don’t count in the high results of the SandForce-based SSDs, which reflect the specifics of PCMark 7 rather than their real-life performance). So although SanDisk positions the Ultra Plus as an inexpensive solution, it is actually faster than the majority of products of its class, at least according to PCMark 7, which tries to simulate real-life disk usage scenarios.

Let’s figure out what happened. The total PCMark 7 score is a more generalized performance metric. We will 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’ve mentioned above that SanDisk recommends its new SSD for multimedia applications. We don’t quite agree with that recommendation. The Ultra Plus doesn’t show anything exceptional with multimedia files. It is only good in the sense that the alternative SanDisk Extreme is based on the SandForce platform and slows down on incompressible data. As opposed to it, the Ultra Plus delivers consistent performance across all of the tests. Its performance is only lower than we might expect in the Starting Applications and Gaming tests which are important for home users. It is slower than the inexpensive Plextor M5S in both cases.

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