It doesn’t matter how good any of the synthetic suites are, the real meat of the testing has to be under absolute real world conditions. This proves difficult as to record results we have to narrow down fluctuation. Therefore while we would say these are the most useful results to get from this review, there is always going to be a slight margin for error – its not absolutely scientific.
Firstly we installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Edition onto each of the drives, no programs were installed, just the operating system and a clean update from Microsoft with all patches and security fixes. The machine was then shut down and once started up we recorded boot times – until we reached a working desktop. We used a digital watch for this and repeated the test five times for each drive – once we had these five results we averaged the results and took that for the final figure. We also included a standard £70 Western Digital 1TB hard drive for comparison purposes.
A system that previously took 68 seconds to boot on a standard 1TB drive, now takes 19 seconds with 4 of the Intel 40GB SSD’s in Raid 0. We are extremely impressed by this end result and while the graph doesnt show it, we noticed real world benefits when using the operating system also.
Yes, 1.5 seconds to open Adobe Photoshop CS5. Incredible is not the word ! To be fair, the Corsair F40 drives in dual Raid configuration were only marginally slower. Compare this to the 7 seconds it takes with a mechanical 1TB drive and you can see the benefits long term.
Stalker is a slow loading game at the best of times so rather than just measure Photoshop (which is fast regardless) we felt this was a worthwhile inclusion. Our fastest time was 14 seconds recorded with the Quad Raid 0 Intel solution, which was three seconds quicker than the dual Corsair F40 and five seconds faster than the 6GBps Crucial C300 256GB drive. This might not seem like much, but compare this to 34 seconds achieved with a 1TB drive and you begin to see the vast amount of time saved.