HDD Suite and Final Thoughts
Tests in the HDD Suite are a combination of tests covering the common HDD usage. HDD results use the new 4K block size. HDD Suite gives a separate PCMark HDD Score which does not affect the overall PCMark Score.

Spyware is very common on systems without protection against it, letting Windows Defender scan & protect your system is recommended. Streaming data from an HDD in games – such as Alan Wake – allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action. Importing digital photos to Windows Photo Gallery is where a high performance HDD shines. Starting Windows Vista is a rather demanding task for the storage device, but a fast HDD will notably decrease the loading time. Home video editing with Windows Movie Maker can be very time-consuming – unless you have a high performance HDD. Windows Media Center with a high performance HDD can handle simultaneous video recording, time-shifting, and streaming to an Extender for Windows Media Center, such as Xbox 360. Cataloguing your music library is a breeze for fast and powerful HDDs. Starting various applications can take a long time – unless you have a high performance HDD.

HDD Suite includes the following tests:
  • HDD 1
    • HDD: Windows Defender
  • HDD 2
    • HDD: game HDD
  • HDD 3
    • HDD: importing pictures
  • HDD 4
    • HDD: Windows Vista start-up
  • HDD 5
    • HDD: video editing
  • HDD 6
    • HDD: Media Center
  • HDD 7
    • HDD: Adding music to Windows Media Player
  • HDD 8
    • HDD: application loading

Futuremark PCMark Vantage Benchmark Overview - General Tech 19

Well, as we kind of expected, the results in the PCMark Vantage HDD suite of tests is pretty much a wash – the gap between the highest and lowest scores is only 4% with the win going to the Athlon 64 6000+ on the AMD 690G chipset! 

PCMark Vantage Results

In much the same way the 3DMark06 and PCMark05 presented a neat and clean summary of all the testing results, so does the new PC Mark Vantage.  You can get as detailed of a breakdown in results as you’d like: you can see only the overall PCMark score, the scores from each of the testing suites I detailed along the previous pages or even get into the individual steps that each suite takes through the entire process. 

Futuremark PCMark Vantage Benchmark Overview - General Tech 20

One interesting new addition to the Vantage software is an updated scores comparison site where you can clearly see how your system stacks up against the competition.  

Futuremark PCMark Vantage Benchmark Overview - General Tech 21

This screenshot is from the 3DMark06 ORB (online results browser) but should offer the same and some expanded functionality as the PCMark Vantage software filters down through the masses. 

There are couple of quick caveats to this new revision such as users that download the free copy will only be permitted to run the test ONCE on their system and then will have to pay the base rate of $6.95 for results viewing or $19.95 for the Advanced version for off-line viewing and to enable the entirety of the testing suite. 

Summary and Final Thoughts

If you wanted to, you could even breakdown all of these individual testing suites by the results for each separate test and get results based on the time, frames per second, etc.  We may dive into that when we have some more time to play with the new PCMark Vantage software but for now the results we have are pretty interesting.

I applaud Futuremark for going after a more application-based and real-world-centric testing configuration this time around with PCMark Vantage.  They quite obviously spent a lot of time on the new software suite and it shows – there are many more tests with more specific tasks in mind than we have ever seen in a Futuremark benchmark. 

The testing scenarios are both useful and seem to be fairly accurate for normal users and how they utilize their systems.  Image manipulation, video encoding and editing, music encoding, gaming, productivity: they are all covered.  If you have a specific usage model that you think fits into your lifestyle, then you can focus your search for performance results on that testing suite to pick the right components for you and to find which ones create the biggest gains. 

In the end, I look forward to using the new PCMark Vantage software in our upcoming processor and platform reviews to help us distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of each.  My thanks go to PCMark for providing an extremely useful tool for the hardware enthusiast community!

PCMark Vantage and other great Futuremark software products can be downloaded from the Futuremark.com website or from our friends at FileShack.


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