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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 960 Pro boots at least as quickly as the 950 Pro, but not markedly quicker than your average SATA SSD. No surprises here.

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 960 Pro can add new records for LibreOffice and Visual Studio to its belt. These might be the least impressive ones, but a record is a record. Last, let's fire up some games.

Chalk up one last record to the 960 Pro for its speed in loading Tomb Raider, and we're done. Using a 960 Pro 2TB as a dedicated Steam library drive would be an unconscionable waste of money, but it would do the job perfectly well.

We're all out of tests for the 960 Pro to ace. Hit the next page for a breakdown of our test methods, or jump ahead to the conclusion if you like.