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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 Toshiba THNSNH is unexpectedly fast in PCMark 7. We just couldn’t have predicted that from the results of our synthetic benchmarks. In fact, the Toshiba THNSNH256GCST is only second to the fastest SSD of our time, Samsung 840 Pro, beating all the rest. It even outperforms the Intel 520 which has been traditionally strong in PCMark 7 thanks to its data compression algorithms.

This indicates that Toshiba engineers have put much effort into optimizing their drive for real-life desktop PC loads. While synthetic benchmarks make the tested SSD perform a set of same-type operations in sequence, real-life applications produce much more variegated loads. And the Toshiba THNSNH series is just perfect for that. It doesn't slow down as much as the other drives at loads which include both reading and writing.

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:

The Toshiba is just brilliant, delivering high performance in nearly any practical task. It is either first or second in every PCMark 7 trace, with the only exception of the antivirus scanning. That’s quite a surprising performance, so let’s see if the other tests agree with PCMark 7.

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