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Fastest possible boot time

Hey all,

 

I've been kind of out of the loop since I built my PC about a year and a half ago, but I think by the end of this year it will be time to upgrade for me (Volta, Vega, and Ryzen should be out or at least have confirmed specs by then). Of course I want my games to run well and all of that good stuff, but I have another important goal in mind.

 

I want my boot time to be fast as shit, and I want to know how to accomplish this. Keep in mind this will be cold boot time, as I turn off fast boot in windows because I don't like it.

 

Clearly the first step to accomplishing this is to use an NVME PCIE SSD, preferably m.2 drive that supports up to x4. But I have some other questions to go along with it as that is only the first step.

 

 

First of all, will it be worth it to use a RAID 0 setup? Two fast NVME drives in RAID 0 would act as one really fast drive right? Though I'm not sure how or if this will affect my boot time, or by how much.

 

Second, is there any emerging tech that I should wait for? Something better than NVME? I know PCIE 4.0 isn't far off. Could that make a difference?

 

Third, what else should I consider? Would RAM/CPU frequency impact anything? CPU Cache? Cache of the drive itself? More RAM? I plan to use some sort of i7 or high end Ryzen CPU with 16 or 24gb of RAM.

 

Last, clearly motherboard choice is key here. I read somewhere that different MOBOs can have varying POST times, so obviously a MOBO with a fast POST time is ideal. But what other features should I look for? I was looking around and a PLX chip seems to be a cool thing to have since, if I'm understanding correctly, it will allow me to use a 4x SSD as well as a 16x GPU at the same time (and possibly even more), even with a 16 lane CPU.

 

 

tl;dr: I want to create the perfect storm in my PC to achieve the fastest possible boot time. What do I need to consider? No budget but be reasonable. I'm not about to buy a $9000 enterprise grade SSD just because it's crazy fast.

 

Thanks!

 

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Using a regular SATA SSD (Sumsung 850 Evo 120GB) I have found that my boot times are almost immeasurable. When things get this fast (as far as I know) its more about BIOS time. I would look at some high quality motherboards and see if they have any claims about making boot times faster. With more hardware it takes longer for the board to detect it all and actually start Windows, so having a ton of fast gear could actually make things slower. 

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From my experience, most of my boot time is spent in POST. So configuring your BIOS/UEFI to disable a bunch of unneeded peripherals and slots (if that's possible) will cut back on that.

 

However, regarding storage drives, OS loading/booting is both CPU and storage reliant, and the combination of the two makes diminishing returns hit hard. My NVMe SSD in my desktop does not boot the computer faster than my SATA SSD in my laptop.

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all of the above :P

 

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5 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

From my experience, most of my boot time is spent in POST. So configuring your BIOS/UEFI to disable a bunch of unneeded peripherals and slots (if that's possible) will cut back on that.

 

However, regarding storage drives, OS loading/booting is both CPU and storage reliant, and the combination of the two makes diminishing returns hit hard. My NVMe SSD in my desktop does not boot the computer faster than my SATA SSD in my laptop.

What do you mean by slots? I don't really know what else there is, besides the GPU, that I could disable. And clearly I can't disable the GPU because then I'd have sick boot times, but a black screen.

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1 minute ago, Virtual01 said:

What do you mean by slots? I don't really know what else there is, besides the GPU, that I could disable. And clearly I can't disable the GPU because then I'd have sick boot times, but a black screen.

The unused slots.

 

Any thing you have not in use and not explicitly disabled, the computer will still attempt to enumerate the port/slot/whatever for a device.

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52 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

The unused slots.

 

Any thing you have not in use and not explicitly disabled, the computer will still attempt to enumerate the port/slot/whatever for a device.

So basically just get a MOBO with a good POST time, streamline my BIOS, and be on my way?

 

Can you elaborate at all on the diminishing returns thing? Whats the technical reason why a drive 3 or 4 times faster than normal doesn't make a difference in boot time?

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33 minutes ago, Virtual01 said:

So basically just get a MOBO with a good POST time, streamline my BIOS, and be on my way?

This one may be hard to find because POST time is not a commonly benched metric, but otherwise that's the idea.

 

36 minutes ago, Virtual01 said:

Can you elaborate at all on the diminishing returns thing? Whats the technical reason why a drive 3 or 4 times faster than normal doesn't make a difference in boot time?

The process of "loading" a program isn't just "transfer data from storage to RAM." The program has to be initialized and the data has to be processed before it's considered usable. Think of it this way, what people think of as "loading" is just me handing you an IKEA furniture set. That furniture isn't usable, so you have to "initialize" it by building it. Only when the furniture is built is it considered usable.

 

Or if you want a computer example, let's take how Linux is booted:

  • The bootloader points to where to get the kernel, which is normally compressed
  • The kernel is loaded into RAM, decompressed, then it starts initializing itself.
  • Once the kernel is done initializing, it reads the system configuration and figures out what hardware environment it has to begin initializing
  • When the kernel figures that out, it starts loading device drivers and starts telling the hardware to initialize.
  • The kernel probably waits for essential hardware (like network and graphics, if any) to initialize
  • The kernel then starts initializing the desktop environment

Basically it's a lot of processing less so transferring data. If you want some measure of proof, this is what the CPU usage and storage usage looks like for booting Windows 7 from a VM:

windows7_average_cpu.pngwindows7_read_ops.pngwindows7_read_bandwidth.png

 

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Wow thanks for the detailed response.

 

I see now why read speed doesn't matter if the computer is peaking at 85 MB/s, a speed which any SSD will handily crush. Having a faster CPU cut down on time also aligns with your explanation that a lot of processing is going on.

 

It seems though that the biggest bottleneck is the OS itself. I'd really like to see a load time comparison between Windows 10, OSX, Chrome OS, and some sort of Linux build that was customized for a fast boot.

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If you want fast boot times use UEFI and a PCI-e NVMe card.

It doesn't really matter though as the boot time on any SSD is going to be within 5-15 seconds of the BIOS finishing initialization.

 

Who gives a shit really how long the machine takes to boot?  If you are constantly restarting it just to see how fast it boots then you have a personal problem lol ;)

Please quote or tag me if you need a reply

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4 hours ago, Falconevo said:

Who gives a shit really how long the machine takes to boot?  If you are constantly restarting it just to see how fast it boots then you have a personal problem lol ;)

Dude... gotta go fast.

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I really don't see real world differences between a SATA3 SSD and all the other more expensive solutions, PCI-e SSD concept amazes me but I doubt I will ever have one... maybe in certain computers for intensive professional work where you can gain time and effectiveness with the high write/read speeds that could somewhat justify but for a gaming rig or "light" workstation the SATA3 is all you need, anything other than that is already over kill... with the only argument I think of to get it would be "I can afford it any ways yolo lmao"

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