PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage is the latest benchmark available from Futuremark, and it is only for use with Windows Vista. Similar to the venerable PCMark05 in its makeup, Vantage modernizes the criteria and test methodology to reflect what users may encounter when running the new Windows OS and current applications. For the HD test suite, the white paper breaks the tests down as follows:

  • Windows Defender: Windows Defender performs a scan operation, resulting in a read-intensive (99.5% read, 0.5% write) benchmark reflecting a common task in Windows Vista.
  • Gaming Performance: Streaming performance is measured using actual game mechanics found in Alan Wake. This test is nearly all read (99.95% read, 0.05% write) in nature.
  • Windows Photo Gallery: A large collection of images is imported into Windows Photo Gallery. This is the first of the tests which bring write performance into account in a meaningful way, with a roughly 84% read, 16% write ratio.
  • Windows Vista Startup: Simulates Windows Vista startup operations, producing a test that breaks down to roughly 85% read and 15% write operations.
  • Windows Movie Maker: The first of the Vantage tests which comes close to equally dividing read and write operations (54% read, 46% write), concurrent video performance is tested both for video read and skip performance, as well as video write operations.
  • Windows Media Center: Performing three distinct tasks:
    • SDTV video playback
    • SDTV video streaming to Extender for Windows Media Center
    • SDTV video recording
  • Windows Media Player: Adds music to Windows Media Player. This test reverts to favoring read operations (78% read, 22% write).
  • Application Loading: The following applications are loaded:
    • Microsoft Word 2007
    • Adobe Photoshop CS2
    • Internet Explorer 7
    • Outlook 2007

The total benchmark is roughly 87% reads and 13% writes in nature. We run each test five times per drive, producing a median score that we use for comparison in our charts.

Drive Performance - PCMark Vantage

Drive Performance - PCMark Vantage

Drive Performance - PCMark Vantage

The VelociRaptor just decimates the competition in our overall score results, unless you count the almost ridiculous benchmark scores of the Mtron SSD drive.

Hitting the Wall Vantage Once Again


View All Comments

  • DeepThought86 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    Why oh why do you people insist on using new benchmarks all the time? How stupid is it that I can't go to your review of the Seagate 500GB from just last year and be able to compare performance with this new Velociraptor.

  • Zak - Sunday, April 27, 2008 - link

    Hm, so I guess this is not going to fit in a Mac Pro due to non-standard connector position. I bet there will be 3rd party replacements, but will this void the warranty?

  • mvrx - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    I still find it strange that a drive only has 32MB of cache.. I'd think a gig or two would be on some high end drives.. Reply
  • Xean - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Is it suitable for laptops? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    As they mentioned, only ones that accept unusually tall 2.5 inch drives. Reply
  • Fricardo - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    What happened to the hard drive review article that was supposed to come out a month or so ago? I'd really like to see a full comparison, especially of the new WD and Samsung drives. Reply
  • Deusfaux - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    #1. Tech Report says:

    "Western Digital says it's also working on a single-platter version of the drive, but that's not ready yet."

    Gary can you verify this one way or another? What would the timeframe be?

    #2. I have a couple spike drops when I bench one of my 2 Raptors with HDTach/HDTune. They're not right at the start, but they're there all the same.

    What do they mean? I don't have them on my other Raptor.
  • Araemo - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    Haven't all raptors(and indeed, most 10k and 15k rpm drives) used 2.5" platters in their large casings? I thought that most/all high-end drive manufacturers used 2.5" platters due to the high angular velocities and vibration.

    In that case - the smaller drive size shouldn't have any negative impact on performance at all.
  • GhandiInstinct - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    In 2008, for their next generation Raptor, only 16MB Cache? Reply
  • CK804 - Monday, April 28, 2008 - link

    Do people read anymore? The explanation is given on the second page:

    While the hot option on the latest 750GB~1TB drives is a 32MB buffer, WD is once again staying the course with a highly optimized 16MB cache. WD states they did not see any advantages to a 32MB cache on this drive and instead spent their engineering resources on optimizing the cache algorithms.

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