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Boot times
Until now, all of our tests have been conducted with the SSDs connected as secondary storage. This next batch uses them as system drives. We've seen time and again that our boot and load testing tends to smooth out performance differences between all kinds of performers. We expect no less this time around.

We'll start with boot times measured two ways. The bare test depicts the time between hitting the power button and reaching the Windows desktop, while the loaded test adds the time needed to load four applications—Avidemux, LibreOffice, GIMP, and Visual Studio Express—automatically from the startup folder. Our old boot tests focused on the time required to load the OS, but these new ones cover the entire process, including drive initialization.

As always, Windows spins up seemingly without paying any heed to what it's booting from. Both versions of the SSD370 fall smack in the center of the very narrow performance range we've seen out of solid-state storage. You might notice we've added our trusty old Intel X25-M to the mix. It seems that not even a SATA 3Gbps handicap can make a noticeable difference in boot times.

Load times
Next, we'll tackle load times with two sets of tests. The first group focuses on the time required to load larger files in a collection of desktop applications. We open a 790MB 4K video in Avidemux, a 30MB spreadsheet in LibreOffice, and a 523MB image file in GIMP. In the Visual Studio Express test, we open a 159MB project containing source code for the LLVM toolchain. Thanks to Rui Figueira for providing the project code.

Yep. These drives can load applications with the best of 'em. In some of the tests the SSD370 comes out on top, in some it comes out near the bottom. Either way, all the drives in our dataset maintain only a trivial separation from each other in their application load times. Games are up next.

Despite what some marketing departments would have you believe, every SSD is a killer gaming drive. The SSD370 is no different, so load it up with your Steam library and rest easy.

Our IOMeter and RoboBench testing provided some clearly defined high and low points for the SSD370, but it sailed easily through our boot and load tests. Our primary storage testing is swiftly become a pass/fail affair. Hopefully someone fails soon, just to keep things interesting.

That's it for performance testing. Read on for a breakdown of our hardware and test methods.