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Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T: An Atom-Based Windows 8 Tablet

PCMark 7: A Look At Storage Performance

PCMark 7
Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T (Clover Trail)Lenovo ThinkPad X230T(Ivy Bridge)Asus Eee Slate(Arrandale)Samsung Series 711.6" Slate(Sandy Bridge)
System Drive64 GB eMMCHitachi 320 GB (HTS723232A7A364)SanDisk P4 SSD 64 GBSamsung 470 mSATA SSD 64 GB
PCMark Overall1261 PCMarks2773 PCMarks1508 PCMarks2566 PCMarks
Lightweight Score813 PCMarks1318 PCMarks1287 PCMarks1994 PCMarks
Productivity Score591 PCMarks941 PCMarks1100 PCMarks1409 PCMarks
System Storage: Gaming10.36 MB/s3.71 MB/s10.62 MB/s13.44 MB/s
System Storage: Importing Pictures3.56 MB/s5.38 MB/s4.69 MB/s22.52 MB/s
System Storage: Windows Defender4.39 MB/s1.27 MB/s4.20 MB/s5.03 MB/s
System Storage: Adding Music1.19 MB/s1.18 MB/s1.22 MB/s1.38 MB/s
System Storage: Starting Applications12.25 MB/s2.06 MB/s12.16 MB/s30.98 MB/s

The ATIV Smart PC 500T is a tablet with notebook-like aspirations. Its IA-32-based brains and Windows 8 heart mean you can install whatever you want, even if you probably shouldn't. How much slower is an Atom-based platform than one of Intel's Core processors? If you were to believe PCMark 7, it's not altogether than bad, coming close to Asus' Eee Slate with an Arrandale-based CPU. As we'll see on the next page, though, real-world apps don't reflect the same closeness.

But processor, memory, and graphics performance are only part of the story. Storage plays a big role too, and Samsung's tablet is interesting in that it allows us to benchmark an eMMC-based SSD under Windows 8.

If you're not already familiar with the differences between eMMC and the regular NAND found in SSDs, check out page 11 of The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed, where we break them down. In short, eMMC puts block management and ECC onto the NAND itself, which you can see in the slide above.

The storage numbers show us that, in some cases, the 500T's eMMC-based storage can be substantially faster than a mechanical hard disk. That test is full of random reads, though. There are other storage subtests where the 500T is actually slower than the mechanical drive. In short, there are workloads where the Smart PC's storage performance is fairly impressive, and others where it's downright slow.