OCZ's Vertex 2 Pro Preview: The Fastest MLC SSD We've Ever Testedby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 31, 2009 12:00 AM EST
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PCMark Vantage - A New Leader
The Vertex 2 Pro’s dominance doesn’t stop in the synthetic tests - we have a new winner in PCMark Vantage.
While I don’t like Vantage much as a CPU benchmark, it is one of the best real world indicators of SSD performance. Far better than a lot of the synthetic tests that are used by most. Performance in Vantage isn’t all that matters, but as a part of a suite it’s very important.
Luckily for OCZ and SandForce, the Vertex 2 Pro doesn’t disappoint here either. As a testament to how much they have their act together, I didn’t have to tell SandForce what their Vantage scores were - they already use it as a part of their internal test suite. This is in stark contrast to other newcomers to the SSD market that were surprised when I told them that their drives don’t perform well in the real world.
The Vertex 2 Pro is 6% faster than the X25-M G2 in the overall PCMark Vantage test and 12% faster in the HDD specific suite. It’s at the borderline for what’s noticeable in the real world for most users but the advantage is there.
The memories suite includes a test involving importing pictures into Windows Photo Gallery and editing them, a fairly benign task that easily falls into the category of being very influenced by disk performance.
The TV and Movies tests focus on on video transcoding which is mostly CPU bound, but one of the tests involves Windows Media Center which tends to be disk bound.
The gaming tests are very well suited to SSDs since they spend a good portion of their time focusing on reading textures and loading level data. All of the SSDs dominate here, but as you'll see later on in my gaming tests the benefits of an SSD really vary depending on the game. Take these results as a best case scenario of what can happen, not the norm.
In the Music suite the main test is a multitasking scenario: the test simulates surfing the web in IE7, transcoding an audio file and adding music to Windows Media Player (the most disk intensive portion of the test).
The Communications suite is made up of two tests, both involving light multitasking. The first test simulates data encryption/decryption while running message rules in Windows Mail. The second test simulates web surfing (including opening/closing tabs) in IE7, data decryption and running Windows Defender.
I love PCMark's Productivity test; in this test there are four tasks going on at once, searching through Windows contacts, searching through Windows Mail, browsing multiple webpages in IE7 and loading applications. This is as real world of a scenario as you get and it happens to be representative of one of the most frustrating HDD usage models - trying to do multiple things at once. There's nothing more annoying than trying to launch a simple application while you're doing other things in the background and have the load take forever.
The final PCMark Vantage suite is HDD specific and this is where you'll see the biggest differences between the drives: