Practical testsWe have at last decided to add other practical tests to our SSD tests, in particular so as to provide more useful data for those who want to work out if going for an SSD over their standard hard drive is worthwhile. For this we timed various operations on an other machine based on a P5QC, QX9770, GTX 280 and 2x2 GB of DDR2-1066.
- Windows Vista start-up
We measure the time needed to start up Windows Vista freshly installed with the drivers. The measurement is from running the bios (disappearance of P5QC logo) to full Windows desktop display with the cursor not showing the egg times.
- Installation of Service Pack 1
Here, the time needed to install Service Pack 1, the installation file itself being situated on the SSD.
-Start up of Windows Vista SP1+Kaspersky+Word+Excel+Outlook+Photoshop
After having installed Kapersky Antivirus 2009, the Office suite and Photoshop CS4, we put shortcuts to Word, Excel, Outlook and Photoshop in the Startup directory of the start menu. The time measured is from running the bios to the end of Photoshop CS4 launch.
-Loading of “Train” level in Crysis Warhead
After having installed and patched Crysis Warhead we launch it with the –DEVMODE option and load the train level from the consol with the “map train” command.
We weren’t able to carry out the tests on the 256 GB version of the Samsung PB22-J, as we no longer had this SSD.
There wasn’t a big difference between the SSDs in terms of starting up Vista. There truly is a big gap between standard hard drives, even a VelociRaptor, and the SSDs but not much difference between the SSDs themselves.
Installation of Vista Service Pack 1 does however show up some big differences. Although it isn’t very surprising to see the JMicron SSDs in last place, it is more so to see the MOBI 3500 so badly positioned. Next is the PB22-J behind the old generation Samsung PM410, while the SLC Samsung PS410 does well. The Vertex SSDs give the best installation time. Note that compared to standard hard drives, SSDs can be much slower here!
While simply starting up Vista didn’t reveal much difference between SSDs, things are quite different when launching heavy multiple applications. In the lead is the Samsung PS410, followed by the 2 Vertexes and the MOBI 3500. The MLC Samsungs are a little behind , the new generation faster than the old, and at the back of the field are the OCZ Apex and Core V2. These last two are however slightly in front of the VelociRaptor.
As you can see, going from an HDD to an SSD doesn’t necessarily change your life in terms of loading a games level. Of course, during loading there are read operations that are carried out on the storage device but also a lot of the time is linked to the creation of the environment by the processor from this data – this time can’t be cut down. The gain is therefore slight.