PCMark 7 Performance

If our earlier application based results were the best case scenario for the Momentus XT and our trace based Storage Bench results were the worst case, PCMark 7 is somewhere in between. Its tests are lighter than our Storage Bench but they still show a distinct difference between the Momentus XT and an SSD.

PCMark 7 - Overall

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - System Storage

Overall performance is pretty much where you'd expect it for a light client workload. The new drive is faster than its predecessor and faster than any other mechanical hard drive we've compared it to. There's still a noticeable advantage in moving to an SSD however, which remains my preference if you can manage it.

AnandTech Storage Bench 2011 Desktop Iometer Performance
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  • wagsbags - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Is that even a niche market anymore? Lots of people use laptops for their primary systems now (most?) and not very many sport 2 drive bays (unfortunately) without taking out the optical drive. Looking at the benchmarks these drives are getting close enough to SSDs for casual use that we may soon get to the point where it's simply not worth the effort to set up a SSD+HDD system. $245 is a bummer though.
  • Alien959 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    You are right, if you have place to put two hard drives, but most notebooks/netbooks have just one HD bay so there is a market for this kind of technology. Also there are media boxes, network appliances granted they can be serviced with regular hard drive but more performance is always good :))).
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    The price point on the new drive is the big issue I think. If you've only got ONE 2.5" drive and you need 500 GB or more and the budget is under the $700+ that would likely cost for an SSD then what else are you going to buy? Honestly the main reason I think they put the price where the did instead of something that seems more reasonable for a HDD seasoned lightly with NAND is because the gulf between HDD and SSD prices is so huge there's plenty of room for them to expand into.
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I'm guessing that ultimately the Raptor drives will be more consistent in random read and write performance purely due to the 10K RPM speed?

    I'm still stuck with a Raptor here as I need the space, my personal files simply cannot fit or be easily partitioned onto my separate RAID array for media storage. That is until SSD prices come down so I can afford a larger SSD to replace the raptor.

    How far has 7200RPM compared to the 10K drives? I'm talking about random read/write workloads. I'm guessing that once the XT gets write caching, it may be a contender?
  • erple2 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Every performance number I've seen for random read/write on the fastest spindle drives (random, not sequential) shows that the Raptors (and the like ~ 1.5 MB/s) are approximately 2x as fast as a "normal" mechanical drive (at around 0.8 MB/s). Looking at the numbers above, that means you can expect >5x slower performance than an SSD (>80 MB/s), at least in things like random write performance. As a result, you can see that the performance of a 10k drive is "crummy" compared with any modern SSD.

    Personally, I always thought the performance increase of the Raptor wasn't worth it over the standard (well-designed) 7200 RPM drive. Doubling the cost per gigabyte to buy a 10% improvement in performance just didn't seem to be worthwhile. Is an SSD worth it? I dunno. But I can say that I enjoy using my laptop (with an SSD) over my wifes (without an SSD). Hers has stronger hardware (other than the SSD). It was the best "$50" upgrade I've ever spent...
  • tipoo - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    The raptor takes the space of a 3.5' drive though, this is a 2.5 inch 9mm high drive. They aren't really direct competitors.
  • SonicIce - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand, do you expect hard drive prices to lower after the nearly 3x hike?
  • zanon - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Naturally having it all be together can both decrease cost and, not unimportantly, mean the drive can fit in a single bay. However, even on many notebooks there are often multiple 2.5" bays available (either directly or through an add-on like the OptiBay), which opens the door to software hybrid approaches like what ZFS offers (an SSD can be added to a pool and designated as cache). There are a lot of different approaches racing right now, and it will be interesting to watch how it plays out. Will the cost of SSDs and capacity improve fast enough to simply mostly do away with mechanical before anything else really gets going, or will we see a few different hybrid approaches develop?
  • james.jwb - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Surely the price is affected by to flooding issues, no? I didn't see thismentioned in the review, so just checking.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Maybe. That was my first guess; but the 500GB model is selling for $139/159 on newegg, the 750 is $239. For comparison, 2.5" 7200 RPM 500GB drives are $99-$149, and 750 GB models are listed at $149/159/229.

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