by Robert Tanner on September 19, 2011 in Solid-State Drives
Kingston may of been fashionably late to the SandForce party, but its explanation for wanting to avoid the issues that have (and still) plague other manufacturers is sound. Its first SandForce offerings appropriately fall under the HyperX branding, and offer speeds to take full advantage of the new SATA 6Gb/s bus.
For the boot test we perform a cold boot, with the stopwatch starting the moment the power button is pressed until the last systray icon has finished loading. A large number of factors can change how fast a computer starts, from the motherboard to the BIOS/EFI configuration, so these times should not be used as an expectation of how fast the SSD will boot in your respective system. Thanks to motherboards replacing the BIOS with UEFI boot times have dropped significantly in many cases.
The HyperX achieves a respectable boot time of 32.1 seconds, but is just barely edged out by the other SandForce drives in our graphs. With Microsoft recently announcing that Windows 8 should deliver near ten second boot times with a fast SSD, the HyperX should definitely be on the short list. All SSDs here will boot Windows 7 in about a third the time of a mechanical drive.
Game Level Loading
Last but certainly not least of our benchmarks are the game level-load times. SSDs are great at decreasing load intervals, and having an SSD can appreciably improve game immersion by minimizing load delays. It may not seem like much, but after a few levels, having the load times decrease by even a third compared to a hard drive adds up fast.
For our new regimen we chose Portal 2 and Civilization V. Portal 2 is already a very well optimized game and isn’t particularly demanding, and Civilization V is anything but either of those. For Portal 2 we chose to load the larger sp_a3_03 chapter, while with Civ V we loaded a save game file from late in a large game.
With game load times the HyperX is good, but not quite at the top of the charts. But when it comes down to a fraction of one second, it’s pretty clear any SSD will tangibly decrease load times for most games and subsequent level loads within the game as compared to a hard disk drive.