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Intel X25-M, round 2 : 10 SSDs compared
by Marc Prieur
Published on August 27, 2009

Practical tests
We 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 in the lab.

The X25-M is the fastest on starting up a "new" Vista, though the differences are very small between the different SSDs.

The installation of SP1 is to the advantage of the X25-M, giving it a better score than the Vertexes.

While there were no major differences with just the start-up of Vista, it was different when we launched very heavy multi applications. The X25-M is in the leading group along with the OCZ Vertexes, the Mtron MOBI 3500, and the Samsung PS410 is out in front.

As you can see, moving from an HDD to an SSD doesn’t necessarily change much in terms of loading of games. 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. Therefore, even if there is a gain it is slight and the X25-M is well placed.

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