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Performance in PCMark04

We discussed the methodology of benchmarking hard disk drives with PCMark04 in the article called PCMark04: Benchmark for Hard Disk Drives?. We ran the benchmark ten times and averaged the results for each of the subtests.

The following diagram is built according to the HDD Score parameter and sorted in descending order.

The Hitachi HDS725050KLA360 drive has the highest performance score, but the WD drives aren’t far worse, taking second and fourth places. The Hitachi HDS725050KLAT80 finds itself in third place.

Now we can have a look at the results of each of the subtests.

This subtest measures the time it takes to boot up the operating system. To our surprise, it is the ATA drive from Hitachi that turns in the best result here. Until now this drive has only been good in the Workstation pattern. The WD5000YS is second. Next goes the drive from Seagate’s new series, and then goes a Maxtor. So, we’ve got one drive from each manufacturer in the top of the diagram. Surely, the manufacturers all pay attention to this operation mode (booting the OS up) when optimizing the performance of their products, but why only one drive from each brand?

The Hitachi drives are the best at loading applications. These drives know how to handle small files. The WD drives aren’t much slower, though. It’s rather funny to see such paired performances.

The new-generation 500GB drive from Seagate wins the subtest of copying files. The other drive from the 7200.10 series is close, too, residing in third position of the diagram. To our surprise the SATA drive from Hitachi has wedged in between them. We are surprised because that drive didn’t show a high copying speed in FC-Test. On the other hand, PCMark’s copying subtest doesn’t copy files. It just plays back on one hard drive a record of another hard drive’s activity.

The last test shows the average performance at general HDD usage. Hitachi’s SATA drive is an obvious leader here. Note also that we’ve got all the drives from Hitachi and WD at the top of the diagram again. The bottom of the diagram is occupied by the Seagate crowd.

 
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