RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Norman Tan [03.03.06]
Manufactured by: Hitachi, Seagate


PCMark 05

PCMark 05 Professional comes with several different hard drive tests, all based on RankDisk. According to the whitepaper, various aspects affect the HDD workload. For example one task may consist of mostly writing a large file, whereas another task might be mostly reading small files on the disk. The PCMark05 HDD test suite has been created to include different workloads for the disk to widely cover the use.

Windows XP Startup

This is the Windows XP start trace, which contains disk activities occurring at operating system start-up. The test is 90% reading and 10% writes. This trace contains no user activity.

Application Loading

This is a trace containing disk activities from loading various applications. It includes opening and closing of the following applications:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 5
  • Windows Media Player
  • 3DMark2001SE
  • Leadtek Winfast DVD
  • Mozilla Internet Browser

The application loading trace is 83% reads and 17% writes.


General Hard Disk Drive Usage

This trace contains disk activities from using several common applications. These are:

Opening a Microsoft Word document, performing grammar check, saving and closing
Compression and decompression using Winzip
Encrypting and decrypting a file using PowerCrypt
Scanning files for viruses using F-Secure Antivirus.
Playing an MP3 file with Winamp
Playing a WAV file with Winamp
Playing a DivX video using DivX codec and Windows Media Player
Playing a WMV video file using Windows Media Player
Viewing pictures using Windows Picture Viewer
Browsing the internet using Microsoft Internet Explorer
Loading, playing and exiting a game using Ubisoft Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

The General Usage trace is 60% reads and 40% writes.

Virus Scanning

Virus scanning is a critical task in today’s PC usage. As the major bottleneck of scanning viruses is in hard disk activity, it is reasonable to include virus scanning as a HDD test. The test consists of HDD activity of scanning 600MB of files for viruses. The Virus Scanning test is mostly disk reading (99.5%).


File Write

This trace contains disk activities from writing 680MB files on the hard disk and no read operations are involved in this test.


Given the relatively close results in HDTach, the PCMark scores were a little surprising to say the least. Because of the huge disparity between the results, additional runs were done to ensure accuracy. It's not so much that the Seagate drives were slow, it was more a mater of the Hitachi drives being very fast.

Next Page: (IOMeter/Real World Tests; Conclusion)