Practical tests: Applications (cont.)Now we come to the loading of games. We used two games here, Crysis 2 and Civilization V.
As with the previous tests, there’s only a very slight difference in performance levels between the SSDs, with the gain over a standard hard drive less significant here. Loading data quickly is all well and good but you still have to process it and this is what takes most time when you load up a match already underway in a game. Once again the Intel SSD 320 is very slightly behind, while the Vertex 3, M4 and SSD 510 and C300 are all very close one to another. The RamDisk makes some difference in Crysis 2 but this is negligeable in Civilisation V. Of course SSDs do reduce any in-game load times, definitely a positive. In some games such as WoW, they also make quite a difference in terms of load times, but we weren’t able to include this title in our test because of the random nature of loads linked to the fact that the number of characters in a certain place can vary.
This brings us to the final test, a timed installation of Photoshop CS5 from the archive downloaded from the Adobe site. This installation is carried out in two stages: decompression from the archive and then the actual installation.
The advantage of the SSDs over the HDD is quite small and the HDD is actually faster than the slowest SSDs. Overall, there’s not a great difference in performance and the gains given by RamDisk remain limited.