PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE
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
If you are new to testing and considering benchmark software, this is the best you can get because the program goes well beyond the results of simulated testing as we have already done. In comparing SATA 2.0 SSDs, we have reached the bandwidth limit and the performance of most new SATA 2 SSDs is as high as it can get with typical high sequential access speeds in the area of 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write.
We needed a way to differentiate these drives and to find a method that can actually put one drive above another and this is exactly what Vantage testing does. Its tests combined can provide an accurate comparison between drives and its tests individually can assist a smart shopper in finding the best SSD for their needs. Next to actual ‘true to life’ testing which can take an insurmountable length of time, PCMark Vantage is the only program that can compare any SSD, side by side, regardless of SATA interface or controller in use.
OWC MERCURY ACCELSIOR PCMARK VANTAGE TOTAL POINT SCORE
The PCMark Vantage Total Point Score of the Mercury Accelsior was 40637 with a high transfer speed of 296MB/s which we thought very unusual. As a result, we conducted the test a total of eight times on three different systems and all results were similar. This is not indicative of all the other results we have received except for one consistent factor which was the low 4k random write score. If this were the case, that would mean our culprit would be the Marvell RAID controller once again and definitely not the individual blade SSDs which we are sure would have been in the 60,000 point mark.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
It has been sometime in the making but the OWC Accelsior speaks to innovation in a big way and is definitely one of a kind. It is only the second PCIe SSD that is now on the market and available to the consumer and has already hit Amazon, although it can be purchased directly through OWC which I might recommend. It is definitely the first of it’s kind, in that, one can buy the 120GB and swap OWC ‘blade’ SSDs up to 960GB, as additional capacity is needed.
Of course performance remains constant regardless of size and the blades get a tad more expensive as capacity grows but one can’t fail to see the possibilities in such a device. Even today, OWC could easily strap on two more mPCIe interfaces on the back of this card and stretch the performance to the 1GB/s limit while, at the same time, making this a PCIe card capable of a high capacity of 1920GB. This is only possible as the Marvell 88SE9230 RAID controller supports four mPCIe devices, whereas only two are bing used in this configuration.
With respect to performance, it was nice to see the SSD stand up to it’s specifications of 780MB/s read and 648MB/s write performance but what was even better to see were the results of over 530MB/s when testing with incompressible data as one might see in music, movies and photographs. This enables recommendation to professionals that work in that type of media which cannot always be made with some of todays value minded solid state drives. Conversely, we definitely would have liked to see the low 4k random write score come in with higher performance as well.
There is something that we really like about this SSD and that is that is only took a second to click into an empty computer PCIe slot, reboot and it was ready to go, simple as that. There are no drivers needed as well as no need to dig into the bios for configuration concerns. Add to that the fact that it is equally compatible for both PC and Mac computers and things just look that much better. As for price and availability, we would have liked to see it a bit lower pulling it out of that ‘niche’ market, however, it is available for purchase now which is something few others can say. Excellent entry OWC!
The Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD is just too interesting not to present with our Innovation Award!