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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.

The MX300 boots up quickly and without fuss. As we've been saying for years, getting any SSD at all is about as much as you can do to improve startup times. The MX300 would do nicely if any of you are somehow still plodding along on spinning platters.

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.

Again, nothing out of the ordinary here. Application load times are absurdly predictable across all manner of SSDs. Let's check how quickly the MX300 launches some of our Steam games.

Middlingly quickly, it turns out. Game loading time has never been a great way to tease out differences in SSD performance, and today is not the day it becomes one.

That's all of our tests. Hit the next page for a breakdown of our test setup. Or skip right ahead to the conclusion.