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Benchmark Results: PCMark Vantage Storage Test

OCZ's Vertex 3 Pro: Second-Gen SandForce Perf Preview

PCMark Vantage comes as close as we get to approximating real-world performance using a synthetic benchmark. The Application Loading metric measures disk drive performance while loading Microsoft Word 2007, Adobe Photoshop CS2, Internet Explorer 7, and Outlook 2007.

This is just the beginning of the trend, but notice that both disk drives fall to the back of the line. Even Western Digital's VelociRaptor can't keep pace.

While PCMark Vantage is the closest thing to showing real-world performance, it has its own flaws. When we were testing the Vertex 3 Pro, we discovered about a 5000 point variance in the final score (50 000-55 000 PCMarks). When we examined the scores of the individual tests, we noticed that the drive would either perform outstanding in Windows Defender or Application Loading, but never both. We have seen variances with PCMark in the past and this is well within those tolerances, but it is something we wanted to mention for those curious about our numbers.

Using >99% streaming reads, Vertex 3 Pro shows its dominance in the gaming throughput test, though it doesn't come anywhere near its rated specifications.

The video editing test is split more evenly between reads and writes. This time all three SandForce drives top the chart, though the Vertex 3 Pro still leads by a healthy margin.

A Windows Defender scan in Windows Vista shows a small improvement for the Vertex 3 Pro.

The Windows Media Center test runs SD video playback, SD video streaming to an extender, and records an SD video concurrently, yielding an even split between reads and writes. Here, we see OCZ's Vertex 3 Pro exceed the cap that would have been imposed by 3 Gb/s SATA, trouncing the other drives in this test.

Hot off of that victory, we're faced with a situation where the Vertex 3's read performance should allow it to shine in this predominantly read-based test. Instead, the X25-M leads the pack this time. We can only assume that the data involved in this metric is not handled well by specific versions of SandForce’s firmware.

The photo import test is also mostly read-based, so it isn't a surprise to see the newest SandForce drive lead the pack again considering how well it performed in CrystalMark.

OCZ tops the chart again. Remember that this is naturally almost all read-based.

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  • 1 Hide
    karma831 , February 18, 2011 4:08 AM
    Performance looks great but I don't think the price will be.
  • 0 Hide
    Bigmac80 , February 18, 2011 4:18 AM
    This is why i haven't bought a SSD yet. One it's freakin expensive 2 not enough capacity 3 it's freakin expensive! It'll go down next year when the world ends in 2012.
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , February 18, 2011 4:33 AM
    Price is lower then last generation. A shrink in die size means cheaper manufacturing costs, lower power usage, and better performance. Thats what happens when every hardware company shrinks their chips.
    Considering this is going to have the same amount of space, its going to be a cheaper SSD.
  • 1 Hide
    Scanlia , February 18, 2011 5:03 AM
    500MB/s... wow
  • 0 Hide
    aaron88_7 , February 18, 2011 5:53 AM
    These are for enterprise use, that's why they are priced so high. They have features average consumers don't need. In other words, you're wasting your money if you are putting these into your home computer.
  • 0 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , February 18, 2011 6:31 AM
    OCZ Vertex 3 Pro MSRP Pricing:
    100GB: $525, $5.35 per GB
    200GB: $775, $3.88 per GB
    400GB: $1350, $3.38 per GB

    Getting cheaper, but still far outside my price range given their relative capacities. Even taking their amazing performance into account, it's still going to be a difficult sell for all but the most passionate enthusiasts, pros with heavy server workloads, or hardcore idiots. You're definitely not going to be getting your moneys worth putting one of these into your gaming rig. Enterprise type applications experience the largest benefits from these types of drives, and it's probably the only application where the performance benefits balance out the higher costs.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 18, 2011 9:15 AM
    The article made it perfectly clear the drive is not a drive that will be offered to consumers, gamers, and pc enthusiasts. How is OCZ going to reduce prices for consumer drives? Reduce features? Cut corners? Replace high quality components with lesser quality components? On answer is OCZ will reduc features. I'd like to know what else OCZ is going to do.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 18, 2011 9:34 AM
    Please add a TrueCrypt benchmark to your SSD evaluations, for two reasons. First, the difficulty of truly erasing data on a flash drive makes data security more important. Second, there are drives (like Sandforce) that use compression and may behave differently when storing encrypted (high entropy) data.
  • 0 Hide
    nikorr , February 18, 2011 9:36 AM
    About time
  • -1 Hide
    Miharu , February 18, 2011 10:51 AM
    Presently Plextor M2-M2S offer 370-420MB/s read for what... (64gb)150$-(128gb)250$. Vextor 3 price is out of the loop, it's too expensive. At this price I can buy 2 Plextor and put them in RAID 0.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , February 18, 2011 10:58 AM

    you finaly put normal hdds in a ssd review with tests, its nice to see the comparison.

    now i do hate to ask this... but until SATA 6 Gb/s hit the market big, can we get the drive also tested in a SATA 3 Gb/s configuration? this would be largely bennifitial to people to know. because im assuming that even with the 3's limited bandwidth, some operations will still be faster between the two
  • 0 Hide
    sirmaster , February 18, 2011 12:43 PM
    I just got a 256GB Mushkin IO SSD directly from the Mushkin store for $200.

    It sold out pretty fast though.

    But it was under $1 per GB finally. It's not blazing like this drive but its about 250MB/s read and 180MB/s write with 20,000 IOPS. Considering it's 4x cheaper for the capacity compared to this drive I think it was worth it.
  • 0 Hide
    dimar , February 18, 2011 12:46 PM
    Didn't see the new Plextor drives when I was ordering Corsair Performance 3 128GB SSD at newEgg. Well... I'm pretty happy with it anyway. Hope the day comes soon when regular HDDs will be remember as much as music tapes today :-) and where 2TB 1GB/s SSDs are standard :) 
  • 0 Hide
    saint19 , February 18, 2011 1:05 PM
    uhmm where is the C300?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 18, 2011 1:12 PM
    You have to multiply the power (watts) by the time it took in order to get a meaningful, comparable number (energy).
  • 0 Hide
    Figaro56 , February 18, 2011 1:24 PM
    Why did the review have comparison against the other top SATA 6 drive out there today, EG, Crucial C300? Very odd.
  • 0 Hide
    Figaro56 , February 18, 2011 1:27 PM
    I agree, where is the Crucial C300. Go to Anandtech, they show the C300 in their review. If you own a C300 you will happy to see that it is still a relevant SSD. The Vertex 3 doesn't blow it away.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , February 18, 2011 1:42 PM
    I second ChrisHF. Power is free. It's energy that costs money and raises temperatures inside a PC case. Please include either Joules (1 Watt = 1 Joule / second), Wh (3600 Joules) or kWh (3.6 M Joules) in your discussions about energy consumption. You always end up having to note that something uses more power but finishes faster... by graphing the relative energy consumption rather than the power consumption, you automatically resolve this confusion.

    Other than that, thanks for the article. If anything, hopefully the faster high-end devices will cause lower-end devices to reduce in price just like what happens with CPUs. I can only hope.
  • 1 Hide
    dark_lord69 , February 18, 2011 2:10 PM
    I really like the performance specs but those prices are painful!
  • 0 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , February 18, 2011 4:09 PM
    The diagram of flash transistor is missing the SiO2 layer
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