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
SAMSUNG 850 PRO SSD PCMARK VANTAGE RESULTS
The Samsung 850 Pro returned a Total Point Score of 79336 with a high transfer speed of 446MB/s while testing in Windows Media center. More interesting though, is the fact that all but the last test result were in the SATA 3 result area. Our next closest SSD to this score was the SanDisk Pro SSD at 77555 points only a few weeks back.
Taking into consideration this Samsung result, we have a new ‘Top Dog’ on our SSD Hierarchy Chart, remembering of course that the only criteria that gets calculated here is the PCMark Vantage Total Score. Over time, we have come to confirm that this chart is ‘relatively’ accurate to SSD placement in the industry.
PCMARK 8 EXTENDED STORAGE WORKLOAD
For our last benchmark, we are using PCMark 8 Extended Storage Workload in order to determine steady state throughput of the Samsung 850 Pro 128GB SSD, as compared to the SanDisk Extreme Pro 240GB SSD.. This software is the longest in our battery of tests and takes just under 18 hours per SSD. As this is a specialized component of PCMark 8 Professional, its final result is void of any colorful graphs or charts typical of the normal online results and deciphering the resulting excel file into an easily understood result takes several more hours.
There are 18 phases of testing throughout the entire run, 8 runs of the Degradation Phase, 5 runs of the Steady State Phase and 5 runs of the Recovery Phase. In each phase, several performance tests are run of 10 different software programs; Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop Heavy and Photoshop Light, Microsoft Excel, Powerproint and Word, as well as Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft to cover the gaming element.
- PRECONDITIONING -The entire SSD is filled twice sequentially with random data of a 128KB file size. The second run accounts for overprovisioning that would have escaped the first;
- DEGRADATION PHASE – The SSD is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 10 minutes and then a single pass performance test is done of each application. The cycle is repeated 8 times, and with each time, the duration of random writes increases by 5 minutes;
- STEADY STATE PHASE – The drive is hit with random writes of between 4KB and 1MB for 45 minutes before each application is put through a performance test. This process is repeated 5 times;
- RECOVERY PHASE – The SSD is allowed to idle for 5 minutes before and between performance tests of all applications. This is repeated 5 times which accounts for garbage collection; and
- CLEANUP – The entire SSD is written with zero data at a write size of 128KB
In examining this chart initially, it appears that the SanDisk Extreme Pro is the clear winner, but this is a bit of a deception. In looking closely at the two drives, we need to take note that, not only is the SanDisk a larger capacity, but also, the SanDisk is a 240GB SSD, vice 256GB SSD, which alerts us that the SanDisk SSD has 7% over-provisioning, whereas the Samsung 850 Pro does not. This is very important as a main feature of over-provisioning is performance consistency as the drive fills; something that may not be evident in the Samsung 850 Pro as we see it here. We wanted to get this result posted as it represents the state of both SSDs as the consumer would have in hand, however, over-provisioning can be increased in Samsung SSDs with the Samsung SSD Magician. An unfortunate difficulty with PCMark 8 is the fact that these specific tests require an unpartitioned drive and, in the case of the Samsung SSD, this would be lost as it is a higher level ‘partition’ OP.
Even with this in mind, there is still a huge take away here for the Samsung 850 Pro. We have scoured the net for all PCMark 8 related testing and it appears that the 850 Pro is the clear performance winner in the recovery phases ( at least in Photoshop Heavy tests), or when the drive is allowed to do its garbage collection and TRIM is working properly. This particular scenario applies best to typical and enthusiast consumer scenarios, as well as that of media professionals. Stay tuned in the near future as we aim to provide the complete PCMark 8 test result picture, inclusive of all test applications and our cache of SSDs. For the complete picture of the Samsung 850 Pro 128GB SSD, check our detailed analysis at Technology X.
As a bit of an extra, we decided to test the new 850 Pro with Samsung’s own SSD Magician: