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Thread: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?




  1. #1
    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    I curious why the Extreme6/4790K boots slower that the Z77 OC Formula/3770K. See signature below for each configuration. Basically, both machines are running the same software and are stable at the OC settings. One would think he Extreme6 would be the faster machine, which it is except for the initial cold boot?! The OC Formula takes ~17 seconds to get to the W8.1 final screen and the Extreme6 takes ~22 seconds! Is this normal or should I be looking for some BIOS setting that is causing the difference? Or...could it be the "latest and greatest" Crucial MX100 512GB vs the old Mushkin DX SSD? Or the Video card or the extra memory?
    Last edited by Ken429; 12-21-2014 at 08:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    When you say boot speed, are you talking about the entire PC start up process, which includes the POST process, or just the true OS boot phase, which starts after the POST is complete single short beep? It seems you are talking about the entire start up process, but I want to confirm that as well as make a point.

    That point is, the board's POST time is part of the start up process, and that time period can be (and is) different between boards, and also depends on the other hardware in the PC.

    The separate OS booting process time can also be different for many different reasons.

    The problem is there are so many different variables that can affect POST and OS boot time, that any evaluation of it is difficult.

    Since you use Windows 8.1 on both boards, have you ever looked at this display in Task Manager on both PCs?

    Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?-win8-bios-time-1-png

    Two things to compare, the "Last BIOS time" on the upper right, and the number of start up entries shown.

    This is only scratching the surface of the "whys", but is a good start, plus my main first question.

    Are you using the Windows 8 fast start up feature on both PCs?

    Many more questions to come...

  3. #3
    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    parsec,

    I was hoping my post would get your attention! I'm sure there are a bunch of things going on that affect boot times. Anyway, the times I stated above are from POWER ON to when the W8.1 desktop first appears. I am not using Fast Start in either system. Should I? I have attached a screen shot of the Task Manager Startup display for both systems. Like I said both systems are running about the same stuff. I was hoping someone could shed some light on what maybe the main issue. I really don't want to rip out pieces of hardware to determine what is going on if I don't have to.

    I think this is the first system that I have built with a faster processor and newer MB that boots slower that it's predecessor. Maybe the Z77 OC Formula is just a great BIOS/System?
    Attached Images Attached Images Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?-compare-startup-jpg 
    Last edited by Ken429; 12-22-2014 at 03:27 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    Use the Windows 8 fast start up feature? Why not? While it is only used from a cold boot/after a shutdown, it does shorten start up time.

    I see we are on the same page regarding start up time, which we both define as starting from pressing the power button to the Windows desktop appearing. So that includes both POST and the booting of Windows.

    I was surprised that the Z77 OC Formula system, with four HDDs (right?) and (is that?) two DVD drives, starts up faster than the Z97 Extreme 6 PC with two HDDs and I think one DVD drive? Normally HDDs slow down start up (POST) since they take longer to get going than SSDs do. Perhaps the Raptors start faster than the WD Black drive. DVD drives would be slow if they had disks in them, and I have thought they are also slow to start, but with no disk in them there is not much for them to get started. I'm rethinking that one...

    You mentioned earlier that, "... could it be the "latest and greatest" Crucial MX100 512GB vs the old Mushkin DX SSD", but I don't get that. The MX100 may be somewhat faster than the Mushkin, and the Mushkin is in the Z77 PC given your sig.

    Actually, booting an OS is not that stressful on a SSD, since they are so fast. I've always known a SandForce based SSD (like your Mushkin) are slower than my best SSDs (SanDisk EX Pros and EX IIs) since I use both as OS drives on and off, and while the MX100 is not a Hyper-class SSD, it should be at least equal to the Mushkin, if not better. The OS boot time difference is only two seconds.

    Are you using the Intel SATA III ports for your SSDs on both boards? The Z97 Extreme 6 board has two of the ASMedia so-called SATA III chipsets, so the top four SATA ports are ASMedia ports on the Z97 board.

    BTW, I have a Z97 Extreme 6 board, that is what the screenshot I posted is from. This may surprise you, but I have a Pentium G3258 in it now (4.2GHz), and when I took that screenshot. I have no HDDs or DVD/CD drives in that PC, only SSDs.

    One potential thing I see from your Task Manager screen shot, is that you are using the Intel IRST driver on both PCs, correct? I assume both PCs have the Intel SATA mode set to AHCI? I'll also assume you are using the Intel SATA III ports for your OS SSDs.

    The Z97 chipset has a feature available, when the IRST SATA driver is used, called Dynamic Storage Accelerator. This feature is not available on Z77 chipsets. It is actually a power saving feature for the drives, and has a UEFI/BIOS setting to enable or disable it, in the Storage Configuration screen.

    Do you have it enabled in the BIOS? If so, did you configure it in the IRST UI available in Windows? My point is it may be set to the lowest performance mode (high power saving), or on Auto (allows it to change between low, medium, and high performance) which may not switch to high performance during a boot. Since the Z77 board does not have this feature, it runs high performance all the time. OTOH, this feature may not even be active during the OS boot, so it may not matter.

    That's an example of how complex trying to analyze a PC's start up time is. There are many things we don't know, or overlook.

    For example, the Z97 Extreme 6 board has two ASMedia SATA chips that are checked for attached drives during POST. I have them disabled. Next it has two M.2 slots that are checked during POST, and probably the SATA Express connector too.

    The Z77 board has zero M.2 or SATA Express connections. It does have two Marvell SATA chips, so is probably equal with the Z97 board there.

    The Z97 board has two network chips/interfaces/inputs, the Z77 only one. Twice the NICs to check on the Z97.

    The Z97 board has three onboard graphics ports, the Z77 only one. The Z97 has a video card, that may take longer to become active than the onboard graphics you seem to use on the Z77 OC board?

    I could go on, and then there are things I don't know. We cannot assume POST takes the same time on all boards, even if they are stripped of added hardware. You believe the PCs are similar in their software, but are quite different in their hardware.

    Then we see things in your screenshots that are inconsistent. CCleaner is considered to have a high impact on start up time on the Z97 PC, but low impact on the Z77. The opposite is true for the Roboform Task Icon. All the same software versions on both boards?

    Sorry, but this is difficult to diagnose, assuming there is even something to diagnose. It is a very complex situation.

    Also ask yourself, do all your other PC's start up at the same speed? Is the POST time, power button push to single POST beep, the same length on all those PCs?

    CPU usage is not at 100% during POST or booting an OS, so processor speed differences between an IVB and Haswell processor are not a significant factor. Plus we are only using one core of the CPU during POST and booting an OS, since what process is assigning tasks to cores/threads at that time?

  5. #5
    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    Parsec,

    I lied, the Extreme6 system has a Crucial 512GB SSD with two equal partitions (C: and D:). It also has two 250GB WD Raptors and two 1TB WD Black drives. The OC Formula system has one 240GB SSD (C:), one 250GB WD Raptor (D:) and three 500GB WD Raptors.

    For what it’s worth the Crucial “score” on Atto is about the same as the Mushkin’s but the AS SSD Benchmark Score for the Crucial is 1109 versus 515 for the Mushkin drive.

    All of the drives on the Extreme6 system are using Intel SATA 6 ports by default. The Mushkin and one of the 250GB Raptors on the OCFormula system are using the Intel SATA 6 ports and the other two drives are using the Marvell SATA 6 ports. Everything is setup as AHCI.

    Don’t know why the Task Manager StartUp display is different between the two systems. The CCleaner and RoboForm software are the same versions on both systems.

    I went in and made the following BIOS changes:
    Enabled Fast Boot. Disabled the Serial Port, ASMedia SATA and USB3 Ports and the Intel Lan.

    I also turned on the OneDrive option to make files available even if not connected to the Internet. Did this to make the Extreme6 system same as the OC Formula system.

    For some reason I’ve never had a good experience with the Intel communication chip on the Extreme6 or an old ASUS MB! On the Extreme6 the Intel Icon in the tray sits with a red X for ~10 seconds or so at boot time?! The Realtek does not do that and neither does the Broadcom NIC on the OC Forumla MB. Making the change to the OneDrive option may have resolved the Intel red X problem, I'll play with that later.

    Bottom line the Extreme6 now shows 5.1 seconds in the Task Manager Startup display and the system boots from Power On to the W8.1 desktop display in ~14 seconds!

    I think I’m happy, the Z97 Extreme6 boots in ~14 seconds, the Z77 OC Formula boots in ~17 seconds, the Z77 Extreme4 boots in 20 seconds and the GA-EP45-UD3P boots in ~37 seconds. To be fair, the old GA-EP45-UD3P has an addon SATA 6 card that adds more than a few seconds.

    Thanks for making me clean up the settings in the Extreme6 BIOS. I would have never thought that enabling Fast Boot and disabling the unused stuff in the BIOS could add that much to the boot process. Got any other suggestions or did I overlook something you suggested?
    Last edited by Ken429; 12-22-2014 at 10:18 PM.

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    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    parsec,

    Add on to above -

    Yes "Advanced>Storage Configuration>Dynamic Storage Accelerator is/was(?) Enabled. I did have to go into IRST>Performance>Dynamic Storage Accelerator>Manual and select High Performance.

    Enabled the ASMedia SATA Controllers as AHCI - had to get my Blu-Ray Drive back and that added ~2 or 3 seconds to the Power On to the Windows Desktop cold boot up time!

    OK, I'll go buy a 240GB Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD now that the price has dropped. Googled the reviews and I got to try one! Just as soon a I get one the next generation of M.2 or whatever will appear and be twice as fast at a reasonable price - Murphy's Law.

  7. #7
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    Sorry, but I had to let you think about this and figure it out yourself, which you did!

    Now you can pass on the knowledge and the secrets, of the people with the fast start up or "booting" times. Disable some things, and optimize others. There are more things that can be done, but you probably don't want to have a stripped down PC whose main purpose is just to start fast for a YouTube video.

    Personally, I've never had an issue with the Intel network chips being slow to start. I know what you mean about the Windows networking icon showing the red '!' after the desktop appears, as I have seen that on other PCs. One FYI for you, it is possible to team the Intel and Realtek network chips on our board, if you have the Intel network driver installed, but just have the Windows network driver auto-install on the Realtek chip. You then use a simple network switch and run a cable to each network input on the board, create the team and choose Adaptive Load Balancing as the team type. Is it faster? Real world... at times I think it is.

    I have yet to find a good explanation of the Win 8 "BIOS time" number anywhere. What does it mean, what does it measure? Is it the POST time?

    If you enable the POST beep option in our board's UEFI, you can then estimate what the actual boot time is. The POST beep signifies the end of POST, and all was well. After that the OS is booting.

    If you restart a Win 8 installation, you'll notice it takes longer to boot, and I mean the time from the POST beep to desktop. The fast start up feature only works from a cold start. Try it yourself.

    I must say the following is using Windows 8 with fast start up enabled, from a cold start, which we can't compare to Win 7. With my SanDisk Extreme Pro's (or Extreme II's), my boot time is three seconds, from POST beep to desktop display. With an Intel 530 SSD (SandForce controller) it is five seconds. My Samsung 840 Pro's also do three second boots, and a Plextor M6e I tested for a bit also did three second Win 8 boot time. A Samsung 850 Pro or either 840 or 850 EVO will do that too.

    The three second OS booting seems to be a minimum with the best SSDs. One important thing to know about SSDs and booting is it is not the "500MB/s+" read speed that makes them fast booting an OS. It is the small file "4K" (as seen in AS SSD) performance that matters.

    All drives read and write different size files at different speeds. Large files (128K and above) can be read at 500MB/s, but small files (4K) are read much slower, from ~20MB/s to ~40MB/s with SSDs, and barely 1MB/s with HDDs. Booting an OS is reading many small to medium sized files, not one large one. Also, SSDs access (find) files much faster than HDDs, and those two aspects together are why SSDs are so much faster than HDDs. Yes, even Raptors cannot come anywhere near a SSD in small file read speed and access time.

    If you want to speed start up time even more, you can install Win 8 for true UEFI booting. That is another topic and is something I've been doing for a while now.

    Just for fun, this is what three SanDisk 240GB Extreme IIs in RAID 0 do in AS SSD. This RAID 0 array will not boot an OS faster than a single SanDisk 240GB Extreme II!
    Attached Images Attached Images Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?-ssd-sd-exii-x3-raid-0-z97-win-8-1-mbs-8-20-2014-png 

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    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    parsec,

    I just completed the setup for the Sandisk Extreme Pro 240GB boot drive to replace the Crucial MX100 512GB SSD. Wow...the Atto results for small files are great compared to the MX100 and better than the "old" Mushkin DX drives. The system now boots maybe a second faster but does seem to be more responsive. Probably subjective but I did notice the system become less responsive when I swapped out the Mushkin DX to the Crucial MX100?!
    Attached Images Attached Images Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?-atto_sandisk-extreme-pro_4790k-png 

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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    Nice! The SanDisk EX Pro is a great SSD, one of the few "Hyper Class" SSDs as they are categorized by Tweak Town.

    Sandforce based SSDs like your Mushkin can be very fast under certain circumstances. I have a 512GB MX100, but never used it as an OS drive, so I can't verify your observation. The MX100 is not marketed as a high performance SSD, although usually the differences between SSDs in normal use is small. But I don't doubt your feeling that the MX100 is not quite as fast as the Mushkin, although that may seem odd.

    You may be noticing the subtle differences in SSD firmware that is adjusted to perform better in certain circumstances. The SanDisk EX Pro is supposed to be optimized for low queue depth performance, which can be seen in your ATTO benchmark. The queue depth of four seen in your benchmark is low, and is what is normally experienced in PC usage and when booting an OS. Optimizing a consumer SSD for low queue depth performance makes sense and improves real world performance.

    Some SSD manufactures realized that by optimizing performance for high queue depth situations (32), the benchmark scores in AS SSD, that is used by most people, is much higher and appears better than other SSDs. In reality high queue depth IO situations never happen in PC usage, so that performance aspect does nothing to improve actual performance in PCs. Optimizing queue depth performance in a SSD is a tradeoff, you cannot have low and high queue depth performance optimized at the same time. The actual difference between the two will still be small in actual usage in a PC, but can be noticed as you did.

    Tweak Town has a review of the MX100, and it is included in many reviews of other SSDs, in graphs comparing performance in different tests. We might be able to identify why the MX100 does not perform as well in some circumstances.

    Regardless, it's nothing to worry about, SSD performance is affected by many things and can change over time. That's called steady state performance, and is just a reality that some users don't acknowledge.

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    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?

    parsec,

    It never ends! I purchased a second Sandisk Extreme Pro 240GB for my Z77 Extreme4/2600K system running at 4.5Hz. Much to my surprise the Atto results were somewhat different than the results posted for the Extreme Pro installed on the Z97 Extreme6/4790K system running at 4.6GHz. Especially on the smaller sizes and dramatically lower on the 16.0 reads?! I ran Atto a couple of times and got similar results. Before I the new SSD from the 2600K system and run it on the 4790K system, can you rationalize why the 2600K system is so "slow"? Is the Z97 chipset that much better or is the 4790K the difference or do I have a flawed drive?
    Attached Images Attached Images Boot times Z97 Extreme6 vs Z77 OC Formula?-atto_2600k-png 

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