This paper represents a comparative analysis of two photovoltaic pumping systems. To study the performance of the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) system, two models were simulated using Matlab/Simulink and the performance of a directly connected photovoltaic (SPV) pumping system was compared to an MPPT connected SPV pumping system at various levels of solar irradiance. The MPPT system maximizes overall system efficiency, but makes the system complex compared to the directly connected SPV pumping system. Instead of the conventional boost converter the MPPT system contains a buck converter to maintain overall system voltage at the lower levels required by the permanent magnet DC (PMDC) motor. For simplicity, the MPPT controller follows the perturbation and observation (P & O) algorithm and controls the buck converter to maximize overall system efficiency at various levels of solar irradiance. The PMDC motor provides high weight-to-torque density, better speed control, low inertia, and lower losses compared to induction and the conventional DC motor. The comparative analysis shows that the MPPT connected SPV system is more efficient than the directly connected SPV system for water pumping purposes using a PMDC motor.