OCZ Vertex 120GB SATA2 SSD
Vista Boot/Shutdown Time
Quite a simple and self explanatory test. We took each of the disks, installed a fresh copy of Windows Vista SP1 on to them and measured the time each took to boot into the Windows desktop and display a text file placed in the startup folder. To ensure that the tests were fair the results were averaged over initial reboots. Shutdown time was also recorded, although this generally happened so quick that accuracy was hard to obtain.
Reinforcing the results from PCMark, our slightly crude testing using a stop-watch also showed a significant advantage for the Vertex in Windows Vista startup times. Booting in just over 24 Seconds the Vertex managed a full 7 second lead over the Velociraptor and came within a whisker of beating the Samsung F1 drive by a whole 10 seconds.
Unfortunately no recordable difference was seen in the shutdown times - but at 8 seconds anyway, you can hardly complain that the process is slow.
Unreal Tournament 3 Level Loading
With a fresh copy of Vista installed on each hard disk, the final test was to find out if the Windows loading times seen above would also be applicable to the map loading time of a popular PC game. Once again, the test procedure was quite simple: Install Unreal Tournament III, load the game, select a map to play (ONS-Torlan) and measure the time taken from pressing the "Begin" button to the time the map is fully loaded. This procedure was repeated a total of three times on each of the hard disks, with a reboot in between each test to clear system memory.
Loading the Torlan map a full 10 seconds quicker than the Samsung F1 and WDC Caviar Black, the Vertex certainly gives you the opportunity to gloat at the poor performance of your friends PC's as you enter the next map while they're still staring at the loading screen. Admittedly the Velociraptor manages to hold its own tailing behind the Vertex by only 4 seconds, but still the winner is clear.