The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:
- Windows Defender In Use
- Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
- Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
- Starting the Vista Operating System
- Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
- Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
- Cataloging a music library
- Starting applications
PCMark Vantage is the choice of most reviewers because, unlike other synthetic benchmark, it does not differentiate between SSDs that use (or do not use) compression in their storage. It simply tests through simulated typical usage scenarios and provides the maximum transfer speed reached in that activity. As well, the sample data utilized is not strictly compressible or incompressible, but rather, representative of what the typical user might use on a daily basis. In short, if there were any concerns with ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs, it would stand out like a sore thumb in the PCMark Vantage Total Point Chart below where all SSDs that we have tested are ranked according to their Vantage result.
CORSAIR FORCE SERIES GT 120GB SSD PCMARK VANTAGE SCORING
The Force GT Total Point score was 65324 points which placed it above the ever growing pack of similar ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs. Its transfer speeds were particularly high with respect to utilizing Media Center which consisted of video recording, time shifting and streaming from Media Center to an extender such as XBox. It placed second amongst all 120GB SSDs tested and below those ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs of the 240GB capacity which typically have results just a bit higher as a result of larger SSD capacity and over provisioning. Lets take a look at transfer speeds in comparison to the Force 3 in particular:
If you are thinking that these drives are very close, you would be right. I believe you are also remembering what we said about ‘typical consumer patterns’ and understand that Vantage is representative of just that. It does not do a particularly good job of showing us what is best for specific applications that use a great deal of incompressible data (ie photographers and video editors). The best we can do is rely on our newly gained knowledge and the Vantage Total Point Chart here:
At a time when other 120GB Sandforce Driven. SSDs seem to be taking comfort in the 62000 point mark of PCMark Vantage testing, the Force GT is one of the few to break from the pack and join the best of the best. Our curiosity is peaked as to whether the 240GB version can become our top runner and we have a note into Corsair requesting a 240GB sample for evaluation.
The Corsair Force GT SSD has hit the mark in all areas and shows itself well as a leader in enthusiast SSDs. It has the performance. Its competitively priced for an upper tier SSD. It has a solid SSD manufacturer in Corsair for warranty and support. It includes a 3.5 adapter which should be standard with every SSD by now and the exterior packaging and color of this SSD says, Buy me! Im fast!
DECIDING FACTORS FOR PURCHASE
I hope to have covered all the bases in this report but have intentionally left one unanswered. It happens to be the question heard most in determining which SSD is the best for the user¦
Will I notice a difference in performance between SSDs?
The truth is that even an expert cannot tell the difference between the best and worst SSD during typical computer use. Conversely, I dont know of anyone who cant see the visible upgrade when migrating from a hard drive to an SSD.
The sheer speed we see when using a SSD in normal computer use comes from the almost instantaneous disk access time, the SSD access time being approximately 90 times faster than a hard drive. The key to SSDs, however, is that most have very similar access times that are about 0.1ms to 0.2ms making them hard to differentiate in normal use.
The tale of the tape is shown in transfer speeds when moving small and large files as users and software applications push the SSD to complete its jobs quicker and more efficiently. As an example, I use a software program called Adobe Acrobat which has the ability to redact documents. Redacting is simply the covering up of sensitive information. Redacting a 3000 page document takes several minutes on a hard drive and many think their computer has locked up and they reboot. Ive been there. Depending on the SSD in use, it can lower the time to complete that task from 5 to 30 seconds.
The same scenarios can be drawn out by those using SSDs for video editing but suffice it to say that if you are looking for a SSD for everyday use, the Force 3 is an excellent choice. If, however, you are using the drive to regularly move large incompressible files, the Force GT is your best choice.
Page 1 – Introduction and Exterior Packaging
Page 2 – Interior Components & Test Protocol
Page 5 – HDTune Pro Testing