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Performance in PCMark Vantage

Now let’s check out the performance of our SSDs using the latest version of PCMark – the Vantage suite. Compared with the previous versions, the Vantage version of PCMark is more up-to-date and advanced in its selection of subtests as well as Windows Vista orientation. Each subtest runs ten times and the results of the ten runs are averaged for further analysis.

Here is a brief description of each subtest:

  • Windows Defender produces multithreaded load, one thread scanning files for malicious software.
  • Gaming emulates the typical load on the disk subsystem when the user is playing a video game.
  • Photo Gallery emulates loading of images from a photo gallery.
  • Vista Start Up emulates the disk subsystem load when booting up Windows Vista.
  • Movie Maker emulates video editing load.
  • Media Center. This is the load on the disk when the user is running Windows Media Center.
  • Media Player emulates the loading of files into Windows Media Player.
  • Application Loading shows the disk subsystem’s speed when loading popular applications.

Basing on these subtests, the drive’s overall performance rating is calculated.

Empire strikes back (c)! One thing I didn’t expect was the indisputable leadership of the Crucial m4. Well done! OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs are coming closely behind the leader, with the junior model being the fastest of the three this time. Also, I would like to point out a total fiasco of the Intel 510. Even with a SATA-600 controller these SSDs were completely destroyed by OCZ Vertex 2, not to mention the Vertex 3…

What a surprise! Crucial m4 wins the second sub-test in a row. Frankly speaking, taking the win from Vertex 3 in PCMark is an achievement. Intel SSDs are again a disappointment: they are slower than Vertex 2.

Now it looks like we’ve been praising Crucial m4 way too much: here it yielded one step to the largest Vertex 3 SSD. Intel drives improved their performance a little, although they are still inferior to all latest-generation products in the race.

And again Crucial m4 is ahead of everyone else, although the competitors are breathing down its neck. Intel, however, is again in the very end.

Vertex 3 SSDs are becoming a bigger part of the leading group, even though Crucial m4 still looks great.

Here Vertex 3 products take over the leadership pushing Crucial m4 to the fourth place.

The situation in this sub-test is very similar to what we have just seen in the Movie Maker scenario: the leaders have changed, while Crucial m4 still holds the third place. Intel SSDs remain at the bottom of the ranks.

The test for application loading time appoints Vertex 3 the winner. Crucial m4 remains in the fourth place, while its younger brother, C300, moved to the very bottom of the diagram. The only consolation for it is being next to Intel SSDs.

Final rendering test is won by Vertex 3, although its advantage over Crucial m4 is minimal. These two are in fact equally fast in this test, which is an obviously victory for Crucial.

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