We are continuing to use the new PCMark 7 software since they have updated it to version 7 which is specifcially designed for Windows 7. It measures the performance of the latest PC hardware across a variety of common scenarios. PCMark Vantage 7 supports both system level and component level benchmarking and comprises several different test suites but for the purposes of this review, we employed the secondary storage suite. The nice thing about it is that you can submit your scores online and compare against others.
Benchmark Results: In the PCMark 7 tests, additional runs of the benchmark yielded better results although after the second time through, the numbers plateaued. Similar results were seen with the original 500GB XT drive and the RevoDrive Hybrid in terms of gains through subsequent runs. So, while some data appears to have cached and read from the SSD portion, not enough to make a huge difference.
One of the most common operations performed on a PC is moving/copying files. Using a free application called Teracopy, we copied large numbers of two file types from one folder to another on the same drive. Teracopy allows us to objectively measure the time of transfer and using the same drive prevents other devices from tainting the outcome. The operation requires the drive to perform both sustained read and writes simultaneously. The first set of files is a 5GB collection of JPG’s of variable size and compression levels with a few movie (.MOV) files thrown in for good measure since most cameras now take video as well as stills. The second is a collection of MP3 files of various sizes which totals 5GB collectively. These file types were chosen due to their wide use and mixture of file sizes and compression levels.
Windows start up/shutdown time is always something people are interested in and we haven’t done it in a while because there was little variation with the majority of the SSDs. However, on the hybrid drives, things are a little different. This test was performed with manual timing via stopwatch and should also carry a half second +/- margin of error. The methodology employed was to force the BIOS to allow user selection of startup drive after load and begin timing from the time the enter button is pressed until the Windows desktop appears on the screen. All of the instances of Windows were identical and freshly installed with only the video driver installed.
Install Results: Boot times were surprisingly fast on the very first boot as you can see compared to that of the non-SSD enhanced Momentus. After the third boot, there were no significant improvements in the boot time but at 16.40 seconds, it’s not far off that of the SSD and slightly better than the RevoDrive Hybrid although the deviation is within the +/- margin of error in the timing process. This is definitely an area where improvements were felt!