Real World Tests - Game Level Load Times

We have changed our Game Level Loading Time test to include two of the latest games, Doom 3 and Half-Life 2. Because of their high resolution textures and the large levels, the loading time for the levels of each game are long enough to help show a difference between each drive.

We have also included an older strategy game Command & Conquer: Generals because of its longer level load times. Though the game is a couple years old it still proves to be a good measure of performance data loading performance.

Though 30.767 seconds may not seem like much of a performance boost from Seagate's Barracudas' ~32sec chart toppers, Western Digital's WD1600JS came in at first which is a huge improvement over its 10,000RPM Raptor cousin. And even with NCQ enabled, the HD160JJ and T7K250 were not able to keep up quite as well with 33-36sec loading times

The Barracudas still hang on to first place spots when loading Half-Life 2's d1_canals_01 map. Our SATA300 drives barely broke the 20sec mark.

Real World Tests - Application Load Times Multitasking Performance - Business Winstone 2004


View All Comments

  • fbottone - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    Hows about adding a Maxtor SATAII (like Maxline III 300GB) drive to the mix? The SATA-I maxtors do pretty well in certain tests but I'd like to see them compared with the three very good drives already there. Reply
  • BornStar18 - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    I'm confused by your conclusion on page 5 regarding Office Productivity. Your written statement doesn't support what I'm looking at in the graph. Does the text not refer to graph? Reply
  • 100proof - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    Would it be possible to get an update to this review showcasing some of the real benefits of SATA II?

    It seems pointless to test these drives individually as it's fairly obvious drives set at the 7200rpm speed will not improve much for indivdual performance.. Raid Arrays are necessary to guage how much of a performance boost the added bw of SATA300 factors into results. It would also be nice to see comparisons of these new SATA II drives in raid set against similar setups of SATA 150/ATA raid arrays. This might be asking too much though...
  • olly - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    When you select "Print this article", page 3 onwards the font is too big. Reply
  • Svenna - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    There is actually no good SATA NCQ conrollers around for the for the amd platform, yet. IMO only the new AHCI controller would be worth testing ncq on :( Reply
  • Aenslead - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    bah... what a fiasco. Reply
  • Googer - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    I think this says it all, Raptors are almost extinct. They need to be updated or they will die.

    The performance they show is poor when compaired to the latest 7200 drives.
  • greekfragma - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    couldnt agree more with zax7480.

    gyuz can u tell us what was wrong with nvidia driver package 6.54 and u tested with a driver that was publiced one year ago ?

    plus i like your comment at final words of the article
    '' In time, however, we should see improvements in drivers to help reach the true potentials for the new SATA standard.''

    thumbs down for this review
  • jax7480 - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    I would like to know the reason that make them install such and OLD driver for the Nvidia chipset. Driver 6.39 was released February 2004. This was the first chipset driver for Nforce 4. It was released together with Nforce 4 chipset.
    Couldn't they just DOWNLOAD a newer one? We are talking about NEW HDD drives here.
  • cryptonomicon - Sunday, June 26, 2005 - link

    hmm, i liked this review alot because i can see the performance of alot of common drives on the market today and see their performance in comparison to each other, regardless to what SATA2 is doing. Reply

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