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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'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.

In these tests, the RD400 far more closely resembles the 950 Pro than the 750 Series. This is without question a Good Thing, since the 750's boot times have long been its Achilles' heel (despite Intel targeting that weakness specifically with firmware updates).

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 the 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.

The RD400 performs admirably here. It doesn't blow our socks off, but neither does any other SSD, given how closely our real-world tests tend to cluster drives. If your already-SSD-equipped work computer is keeping you up at night because of how slowly it spins up productivity applications, the RD400 is not the answer to your prayers. Let's see what it does with games.

The RD400 sets a record for how quickly it gets you into Middle-Earth, but it's still only beating the rest of the field by a handful of percentage points. It may not be a cost-effective game library drive, but it does the job well.

We're all out of performance tests. Flip the page for a breakdown of our test methods.