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Can Bargain SSDs Give Windows A Quantum Performance Leap?
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Like majoring in Philosophy, synthetic benchmarks will only get you so far in life. Eventually, you need to join the real world and make some real observations about how things work. As much as I like PCMark’s app loading test, I figured it couldn’t get more real than apps and data off my own main system.

Still, it’s important to have a baseline. With little more than a handful of drivers loading in the background, I created a Windows 7 image with only one startup item, a .txt file containing the single word “Done.” All I wanted to start with was a load time spanning from the end of the POST process to that text document flashing onto the screen.

In these tests, lower times are obviously better. Even coming in fourth place, a 20-second boot for the VelociRaptor is still spectacular for a hard drive. Kingston manages the slowest hibernation time of the group, but how much this matters will depend on your usage. Personally, I never manually hibernate, instead telling Windows to do it automatically after 30 minutes of inactivity (I have Sleep mode kick in after five minutes). Transcend’s showing here is particularly impressive, tying Intel on both boot time and shutdown and trailing by only two seconds on hibernating.

Overall, I’m not sure this test tells us anything conclusive. Looking at it, you’d probably think the VelociRaptor was good enough, especially after figuring the price and capacity variables. Now let’s pile on the work.

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