The Origin of Speed: Origin's Genesis Gaming System
Next, we ran the test systems through Futuremark’s latest system performance metric built especially for Windows Vista, PCMark Vantage. This benchmark suite runs through a host of different usage scenarios to simulate different types of workloads including High Definition TV and movie playback and manipulation, gaming, image editing and manipulation, music compression, communications, and productivity. We like the fact that most of the tests are multi-threaded as well, in order to exploit the additional resources offered by quad-core processors. We used the 64-bit version of the benchmark and defragmented the hard drive immediately prior to running it. The test was looped 3x. One thing to keep in mind when comparing PCMark Vantage results is that the benchmark's margin of error is fairly wide—we'd estimate 5-7 percent. Relevant factors include whether or not the hard drive was defragmented immediately prior to the run and whether Vantage was run immediately following OS+driver installation, or only after a full suite of tests and other benchmarks had been run.
Since the Origin PC used an Intel SSD instead of a standard hard drive, we avoided defragging the drive in favor of using Intel's TRIM utility.
PCMark Vantage includes a number of subtests that ostensibly isolate and focus on different types of workloads, but it's obvious that storage access speeds and transfer rates have an inordinate effect on the benchmark's results. The performance gap the benchmark's results imply aren't apparent in subjective real-world use; the Origin PC doesn't "feel" twice as fast as the Digital Storm Core i5 system we reviewed last month.
We're not implying that there's anything wrong with Vantage, per se, but it's important to know what's being measured and what the measurement means, particularly when a delta this size becomes apparent.