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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 VX500 makes starting up Windows look easy. It shaves a few seconds off of the Vector 180 960GB's boot times, and that's enough to satisfy us.

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.

It loads up our productivity suite without issue. For the benefit of the less productive reader, we'll also see how quickly it loads up some Steam games.

The VX500 loads our trio of games as fast as anything else out there, including the PCIe competition. It even sets a new record for getting you into Middle-Earth, narrowly beating out the RD400. Don't waste your money on fancy PCIe drives if gaming is your primary concern.

That's it for our benchmarking suite, so read on for a breakdown of our test methods.