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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 EVOs are among the faster drives to boot that we've tested, but so are the 850 EVOs. All that new hotness doesn't translate to a faster arrival at the Windows desktop.

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.

As usual, the drives land willy-nilly in the productivity load test rankings. Let's see if games turn up anything interesting.

Nope, nothing interesting. 960 EVOs work just fine as game library drives, but so do 850 EVOs. Or Trion 150s. Or Intel X25s. Get my drift?

That wraps up our test suite. Click next to read about our test methods, or skip straight ahead to the conclusion.