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Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD?

Real-World Benchmark System And Software

Beyond our normal synthetic benchmarks, we also wanted to add some real-world metrics. This time, we'll switch over to Windows 8 Professional 64-bit to contrive a handful of workloads that might apply to your daily life. Does data rate matter to these basic tasks?

Real-World Benchmarks

  1. Booting up Windows 8. The clock starts when the POST screen vanishes and stops when the Windows desktop appears.
  2. Shutting down Windows 8. After Windows 8 runs for three minutes, we shut it down and start the clock. The clock stops once the system powers off.
  3. Booting up Windows 8 and Adobe Photoshop. After Windows 8 boots up, a script starts the image editor Adobe Photoshop CS6 and loads a photo with a resolution of 15,000x7,266 pixels and a size of 15.7 MB. Once this is complete, Adobe Photoshop is closed. The clock starts after the POST screen and stops when Adobe Photoshop closes. We perform this benchmark five times.
  4. Five applications. After booting up Windows 8, a script starts five different applications. The clock starts when the first application launches and stops when the last one closes. We perform this benchmark five times as well.

Script for the Five-Application Benchmark

  • Load a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and then close Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Start the Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 command line renderer and render a picture with a resolution of 100x50 pixels. The picture is so small because we’re benchmarking the SSD, not the CPU.
  • Start the built-in ABBYY FineReader 11 benchmark and convert a test page.
  • Start the built-in MathWorks MATLAB benchmark and execute it once.
  • Start Adobe Photoshop CS6 and load the same picture used in the third real-world benchmark, but in the original TIF format with a resolution of 29,566x14,321 pixels and a size of 501 MB.

Real-World Benchmark System

Benchmark System Hardware
MotherboardIntel DX79SI, Chipset: Intel X79 Express, BIOS: 280B
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3690X Extreme Edition (32 nm Sandy Bridge-E), 6C/12T, 3.3 GHz, 6 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, 130 W TDP, 3.9 GHz max. Turbo Boost
Memory4 x 4 GB DDR3-1333, Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
SSD System DriveSamsung 840 Pro, 256 GB, Firmware DXM04B0Q, SATA 6 Gbit/s
Power SupplySeasonic X-760, SS-760KM Active PFC F3
Benchmark Software3ds Max 2013 FineReader 11 Matlab 2012b Photoshop CS6 PowerPoint 2010
Benchmark System Software and Drivers
Software / DriverDetails
Operating SystemWindows 8 x64 Pro