Next we ran the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro 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 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 reasonably illustrate the performance profile of SSDs in an end-user/consumer PC usage model.
Interestingly, for starters, there was a dramatic performance variation between the 80GB first gen Intel X25-M SSD and the second gen 160GB X25-M. For a bit of background, we always let the test system settle at idle on the desktop before running this test, so that disk activity can be minimized before we engage the benchmark. This also allows the SSDs that support it to work with the Windows 7 TRIM functionality to clean up the drive (although it was already blank), maintaining its performance, even though we are starting from a fresh, OS-level format each time. Since the 80GB gen 1 Intel X25-M SSDs don't support TRIM and a recent firmware update added trim an enhanced the performance of the Gen 2 drive, this likely somewhat explains the delta in performance between the two. Beyond that, the OCZ Vertex 2 Pro Sandforce 1500-based SSD shows a performance result somewhere in between the 80GB first generation Intel SSD and the 160GB second generation drive. However, we'll point out that the tests from this subset of PCMark Vantage are comprised of largely read intensive requests. Let's take a look at a more balanced set of read/write transactions next.