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SSD vs. HDD Boot Time Comparison

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philip April 24, 2012

What difference does an SSD make to OS boot times? Check out the video below to see. We used the configuration from our gaming build video to demonstrate the difference.

Both sides are shown real-time and share identical configurations except for the hard drive.

Type Item
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card
Case Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply Antec 650W ATX12V Power Supply


For the SSD based build: Crucial M4 64GB SSD

For the HDD based build: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM

Both drives have been imaged with the same base windows installation (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit). The HDD disk has also been defragmented prior to running to ensure it boots as fast as possible.

As you can see from the video, the SSD solidly trounces the HDD in boot performance (~22 seconds vs ~42 seconds, of which almost 9 seconds is waiting for the BIOS screen to show). The tradeoff is limited storage space (64GB vs 1TB) and a higher price per gigabyte. To get the best of both worlds, use an SSD as the main boot drive and add a traditional hard drive for extra storage space.

Comments Sorted by:

Dasani 1 point 62 months ago

Wow!!! Such as big difference!!! Thank you for info... I know where I am going to install my OS!

Winterra 1 point 34 months ago


I have a laptop with a 5400 RPM hard drive that I've managed to tweak so the boot time is 12 seconds. How is this possible?

GentlemanShark 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

Good HDD?

[comment deleted by staff]