When we took OCZ’s Vertex 3 SSD for a spin last month, there was no other way to sum up our thoughts than ‘blown-away’. How could such a drive get even better? With tweaked firmware and a doubling-up of NAND chips, of course. Let’s take a look at the Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition and see if its price premium is justified.
Synthetic: PCMark 7
Futuremark’s PCMark benchmarking suite should need no introduction as it has been a staple of PC benchmarks for the better half of a decade. PCMark offers a range of tests to gauge every aspect of a computer’s performance and presents it in a neat simple final result. Thankfully it also breaks down the overall score with individual subsystem scores (such as Memory, Storage, etc) in addition to given individual test results.
With the latest 2011 release of PCMark 7 we should hopefully see quite a few changes to how SSDs are handled, and the resulting scores computed, as previously, results were biased towards sequential read and write performance. With its Windows 7 focus PCMark 7 offers a variety of storage system tests, such as simulating a Windows Defender scan and using Windows Media Center to using other built-in programs for video and music file manipulation. But for those that just want a nice overarching score, it has those too.
PCMark 7 is a welcome refresh of the well-known PCMark series and brings with it optimizations to better handle SSDs when computing scores. This results in a much flatter spread of SSDs in both the overarching score and the final storage system score.
Just as with the Vertex 3, the Max IOPS drive pulls away from the pack through its superior application load times and strong 4KB file operations. The Max IOPS ties or edges out the V3 in every test except one, showing that the drives are still very close to one another in overall performance.