The Boot Race

By SubKamran ยท 68 replies
Dec 25, 2003
Post New Reply
  1. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942


    Windows XP SP1 with all my super special tweaks
    Gentoo Linux 2.4.22
    Athlon XP @ 2800+ (2266mhz)
    512mb PC2700 CL2 Crucial
    WD 80GB / 8mb / 7200RPM / ATA133
    K7VTA3 Revision 8
    Fujitsu 40GB MPE Elite series, performance, 7200rpm

    Windows XP: 23 seconds to login screen, 32 seconds to desktop including inputting my password

    Gentoo: 49 seconds to login
  2. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Commodore 64 - 1 second.


    (primary system 54 seconds...)
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I got a new system a couple of days ago:

    AMD Barton 2600+ (1917 MHz @ 2126)
    512 MB DDR400

    the rest is the same what it was in my previous post in this thread.

    Now, self-made Linux from Scratch goes from cold boot to login prompt in 17 seconds. It boots to textmode by default, when I type 'startx', it takes 19 seconds for KDE to be ready.
  4. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    As per the NewEgg guy, my friend I met on IRC :)P) has a server computer with a WD Raptor 74GB and 1512MB of RAM and his starts up in 8 seconds approximately. He uses Windows Server 2003.

    I'll have to get the exact timing. Ah hah, found it, 10 seconds minus the RAM detection. (RAM detection is 11 seconds). He didn't have Quick POST enabled that time so that's why the RAM detection took so long.

    10 seconds baby, that's fast. Keep in mind all his drives are SATA (including DVD-rom drive).
  5. NoisySilence

    NoisySilence TS Rookie Posts: 98

    I doubt it, server OS take longer to boot due to the services starting & there's no such thing as SATA Cd/DVD-Roms.
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +455

    Not only do I doubt it SubKamran - I flat out don't believe him. I have a Dual 2.8 Xeon with 2 Gigs of RAM and a pair of U320 SCSI drives. I can't get near that time with hardly any apps even installed on the machine. No way you're gonna convince me that any IDE drive is going to be as fast as my SCSI drives. Not a shot at you, but I don't believe your buddy.
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    hmm, maybe 10 seconds for the desktop / login screen to appear? Like I said in my first post, Windows loads a lot of services after displaying those, and usually the system isn't even really usable during that time.
  8. Civilian

    Civilian TS Rookie

    Actually, SCSI is much slower than IDE at boot-up for some reason. I actually came here looking for answers why. Even my 1GHz Athlon will boot up WinXP faster than my P4 3GHz U320 15k RAID 0 system. I've also read of people complaining about SCSI's boot up time being so slow that they just decided to go IDE.

    I just build a system for someone using an Athlon 64 3000 and a Seagate 7200.7 on SATA 150 and it takes "3 cycles of the bar" on the WinXP splash screen at the most to get onto the desktop. My SCSI RAID 0 takes atleast 11 or 12, not to mention the full SCSI ID scan at the start. Do SCSI drives need time to "spool up"? Someone suggested that to me, but that doesn't seem likely to me, because, how would a SCSI HDD be able to read off the disc if it weren't spinning at a constant rate? Also, regardless of whether it's a reset, where the HDD is already up and running or a complete restart from cold, it takes just as long, so I'm at a loss to explain it. I can only guess that it has to do with SCSI drivers or the SCSI BIOS talking with the CPU over Sunday brunch?
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11


    I can't believe it's such a big deal if it takes half a minute longer to boot.

    How many times a day you (re)boot the computer?

    I have two computers here:

    One Apple iBook, boots to OSX in one minute. I reboot it only if I have to, after some OS updates, for example. Otherwise it just goes to sleep when I don't use it, and wakes up in about a second.

    One Celeron 466 MHz with 160 MB RAM, boots to Win2k in less than two minutes, I haven't counted. It runs 24/7 so I don't care about its boot time.
  10. Civilian

    Civilian TS Rookie

    Well, I would assume someone would get SCSI for the low seek times, low CPU overhead, and the long MTBF, meaning it's for a computer that's usually on for long periods of time, so reboot times aren't a huge issue. Having said that, however, I have to be honest in that, for a plain desktop, there is something in having a 10 second boot up time, from BIOS to desktop. It feels much more user friendly.

    With IDE RAID 0 I've heard that the WinXP splash screen is up for about 1 second. That's pretty cool. Every time I build a system I'm tempted to go IDE RAID 0, and with WD Raptors having a 1 million hour MTBF it seems like a good idea, but I always somehow end up getting SCSI every time. Every time I think I'm out they pull me back in :cool:
  11. MYOB

    MYOB TS Rookie Posts: 492

    The SCSI time delay is the spin up time, enforced by the controller, to prevent disk access before the disks have got up to a safe operating speed.
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Not to mention that the computer has to separately load the SCSI BIOS from the controller.
  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I disagree for the reasons mentioned already in this thread - most operating systems continue to load things after displaying desktop, making the user think it's already loaded, but it's not, and therefore feels slow and not user-friendly. I've noticed that in Windows 2000 and XP it can take more than a minute after loading Windows Explorer for all services to stop initializing. But yes, this is just one opinion...
  14. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    windows xp is ~30 seconds to logon on my fastest machine. it takes a good 5 minutes for my resurrected pentium MMX-233 to start redhat linux 7, xserver and all. i used to leave my P4 on 24/7 but stopped awhile back, so the boot time is nice.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I'm not sure that there is a real fair comparison here. When I first installed XP to my new machine. A64 2800, 1 gig ram, it would end the splash screen for Windows ON the second pass of the dots thing. Then I installed some drivers (probably sound/video/lan) and then it went up to some crap like 8 passes.

    I have since installed XP 64 bit and Server 2003 64 bit (both legal) and those boot to desktop and usable WAY faster than my main install. But then again I don't have them loading other stuff. So I think this whole thread is useless for direct comparisons. It all depends on what hardware you have and what drivers are loading to support that.

    To make it the most fair it would have to be under these conditions:
    Fresh install of XPSP2 on the first reboot after the useable gui. That way there would be no chance for extra drivers installed. But nobody is going to wipe their install just to win some silly boot race. Its all about "Does your system satisfy you?" and if it does then you are already the winner.
  16. davids

    davids TS Rookie Posts: 96

    my boot time

    57 seconds from power on to login screen.
    My system is
    P4 3ghz
    512mb ram
    40gig sata
    and 80gig pata
    onboard graphics bla bla bla

    This post has got me interested in boot time though, so I might try and speed that up a bit.

    Any tips??
  17. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11


    15 seconds from pushing the power button to the boot menu, 15 more seconds from boot menu to desktop.

    AMD Opteron 165 @ 2.8 GHz
    3 GB DDR400 RAM
    Linux from Scratch installed to Gigabyte i-Ram 3 GB.

  18. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Mictlantecuhtli what distro are you using? Gentoo? When I installed it from scratch I was able to pull off 10 second boots into x-server, not counting POST, but with post it took something like 49 seconds :(.
  19. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Self-made, using Linux from Scratch instructions.

    I could probably boot (from boot menu, that is) to desktop in ten seconds if I wouldn't have to wait for an IP address.
  20. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I used to have a windows 95 pc with wide scsi2 in it and that moster took just 15 seconds to fully boot. Mind you, i did have some serious cooling and noise problems with it.:D
  21. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +455

    I'm guessing the majority of that 15 seconds was SCSI startup sequence.
  22. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    That only accounted for about 5 seconds, the other 10 was the mobo thinking " where the **** is the ide" lol.:D
  23. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Ok, I finally got around to rebooting and the results are in! 28 seconds from power to a fully usable desktop.

    This is on my lowly:
    P4 3.0 Ghz
    1 Gig DDR2
    160 Gig SATA II drive
  24. davids

    davids TS Rookie Posts: 96

    Boogityboo04 thats pretty quick boot time!
    Have you done much tweeking on that system?

    I know Dells are fast. I have a similar machine same spec, but on 512mb memory, mine boots in about 58 seconds:(
  25. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    I'm kind of OCD about services and things running at boot time :)

    So, yeah, I spend a lot of time tweaking

    Dells come preloaded with a lot of crap but mine came with a XP Pro disk for free for some reason, so I just reinstalled that when I first got it and it's been running like a charm.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...