Next we ran the five drives through a battery of tests in PCMark Vantage from Futuremark Corp. We specifically used only the HDD Test module of this benchmark suite to evaluate all of the drives we tested. Feel free to consult Futuremark's white paper on PCMark Vantage for an understanding of what each test component entails and how it calculates its measurements. For specific information on how the HDD Test module arrives at its performance measurements, we'd encourage you to read pages 35 and 36 of the white paper.
We really like PCMark Vantage's HDD Performance for its real-world application measurement approach to testing. From simple Windows Vista start-up performance to data streaming from a disk drive in a game engine and video editing with Windows Movie Maker, we feel confident that these tests best illustrate the real performance profile of our SSDs in an end user/consumer PC usage model.
So far we've witnessed Intel's 310 SSD run pretty much as advertised, which is to say it's about 50MB/s slower than the X25-M Gen2 80GB in read performance and identical in write speed. How does this play out in the real world? As PCMark Vantage demonstrates, the X25-M's additional read throughput pays dividends in a variety of tasks. Vista Startup time didn't take a big hit, but the 310 SSD just couldn't keep pace in the other subcategories, including Gaming, Windows Defender, and Windows Photo Gallery.
On a more positive note, Intel's puny (in stature) drive bested Kingston's SSDNow V Series in every area save for Windows Photo Gallery.