PCMark vantage has a very good test suite to benchmark storage performance. The software will look at items you normally do with your PC and will try to measure what kind of an effect that has on your user experience by testing eight different segments stressing the storage unit.
Windows Vista startup
HDD1 - Spyware is very common on systems without protection against it, letting Windows Defender scan & protect your system is recommended.
HDD2 - Streaming data from an HDD in games allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action.
HDD3 - Importing digital photos to Windows Photo Gallery is where a high performance HDD shines.
HDD4 - Starting Windows Vista is a rather demanding task for the storage device, but a fast HDD will notably decrease the loading time.
The tests include a series of reads, writes and copies under a set of specific conditions and applications.
Now first off have a very good look at the traditional HDD drive, the Western Digital Velociraptor, it's totally trashed by the SSD drives.
But then notice how the Indilinx product (Corsair V128) performs and compare that to the S599 from A-DATA and the Vertex 2 from OCZ both with SandForce controller. That is just killer performance in what can be considered a test as close to real-world usage you can think of.
Let's fire up the second round of real-world performance tests:
Media Player Music Adding
HDD5 - Home video editing with Windows Movie Maker can be very time-consuming unless you have a high performance HDD.
HDD6 - Windows Media Center with a high performance HDD can handle simultaneous video recording, time-shifting, and streaming to an Extender for Windows Media Center, such as Xbox 360.
HDD7 - Cataloguing your music library is a breeze for fast and powerful HDDs.
HDD8 - Starting various applications can take a long time unless you have a high performance HDD.
In the past test 5 (video editing) and test 6 (MCE) we noticed the traditional mechanical Raptor drive lead the pack due to small file writing like little thumbnails and such. However, here's where the big 64MB/128MB caches on the new generation SSDs kick in so darn hard.
And sure, in test 5 to 8 we see the SandForce-1200 based SSDs kick ass. Look at application loading by the way (test 8), dang!
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