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WorldBench — Nero
Our storage reviews usually tap three components of the WorldBench suite. However, we've dropped the WinZip test here because it's not bottlenecked by the storage subsystem, at least on the systems we use for testing. The Photoshop test will take advantage of faster drives, but it has some consistency issues that give us pause. Photoshop is already included in our multitasking workloads, which are up in a moment, so we're sticking with just WorldBench's Nero test here.

The Nero test writes a DVD image file to disk, so it's basically one big sequential transfer. Seeing the mechanical drives at the front of the pack in our value-per-dollar bar graph should come as no surprise, then.

We've gotten used to seeing the SSDNow and RealSSD fare well with sequential transfers, and here they're at the head of the SSD class once more. The scatter plot makes a convincing argument for the C300, which costs only a little bit more per gigabyte than the V+ despite having a sizable performance advantage. Of course, the SSDNow isn't alone; it's closely shadowed by the SiliconEdge Blue, while the Nova and X25-M stalk from a distance.

These Nero results don't paint a pretty picture for the SandForce drives, which are either too slow or too expensive to be more attractive than the competition. The X25-V's slow write speeds hurt its value proposition, too.

System boot time
SSD users have long trumpeted boot times as an area where performance easily outstrips mechanical drives. We've not found that to be the case, perhaps because we measure boot times from the moment the power button is pressed. Motherboards take a while to initialize various storage controllers and other devices before the OS begins loading, and there's nothing an SSD can do to speed up that process.

Because the SSDs don't have much of a performance advantage in our boot time test, they have little hope of capturing the value crown. Our scatter plot looks decidedly different as a result, with the VelociRaptor inching dangerously close to that perfect sweet spot in the top-left corner. None of the SSDs look like good value here, although among them, it's between the X25-M, the RealSSD, and the SiliconEdge Blue.