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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.

We expected the MP500 to be similar to the Hellfire, but it's nevertheless uncanny how closely they sit in our results. Even the inevitable noise introduced by my thumb's stopwatch reflexes can't prevent these two from sticking together. The MP500 boots like lightning, as most SSDs do.

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.

Everything looks in order, other than a very strange GIMP data point. Fortunately it's strange in the right direction. I can't explain why the MP500 loads our test image 25% faster than the next fastest contender, but I can tell you that it happens very reliably. An unexpected but welcome win for the Corsair drive. Now what about games?

In line with expectations. The Hellfire is a competent place to put your games, so long as they can slip into 240GB of NAND.

With that, our test suite is complete. Click next to peruse our testing methods and setup, or skip ahead to digest the conclusion.