On the last page we saw the benefits of using the 320 during installations, now it's time to look at how it affects tasks within one of those applications. In these tests we have taken a demanding Office task and performed it on each of the drives. This task is a scan and repair of a large outlook PST file. That file, measuring 3.7GB and containing 8400 emails, has some damage and the tool provided by Microsoft scans it, then fixes.
This test shows us one of the main benefits of an SSD over mechanical drive; the performance difference in this task is huge as the drive is forced to scan our complex PST file. What we also see from office use is that with a decent sized PST file Outlook also opens noticeably faster on the 320 and searches on the inbox return results quicker.
For a large number of gamers the main way to obtain content is via digital distribution and the two main platforms for this are Valve's Steam and Blizzards Battle.net. Of course when we purchase games online reinstallation at any point can take a while with some games being over 20GB in size and so to save consumers from lengthy downloads both Valve and Blizzard allow us to validate and repair our game files, scanning them for problems and replacing any broken content.
Scanning games can be a time consuming task though so a fast storage device can have us up and running again more quickly. To show the impact each drive has on this task we have taken StarCraft 2 (Battle.net) and run its validation tool. This means a scan of over 9GB.
In terms of performance we once again see the Intel and SandForce based models trading blows. For Office maintenance we saw the F240 complete the task faster, StarCraft 2 the lead moves back to the 320.