In our final test comparing Vista SP1 and Vista SP2 RC, we decided to do some manual tests with Apple iPhone 3G stop watch in hand. What a handy little thing it is.
Our first test is operating system boot time and we measure from the point we turn on the system until it reaches the desktop and the hour glass cursor disappears.
The second test is game level loading times and we used Far Cry 2 (Ranch Long benchmark demo). We time from the point of hitting the benchmark button in the built-in FC2 benchmarking application till when the benchmark begins.
For each set of tests, we ran the tests three times and averaged out the results, but surprisingly the results were rather consistent. We also removed half a second (0.5) from the final result to factor in human delay with the stop watch.
If you were paying attention to our hard disk drive read tests under HD Tune Pro, you will remember SP1 was well ahead in this area.
As we can see here, it seems evident that the slower HDD performance under SP2 also affects loading times by quite a margin.
This will need to be sorted out before users even consider moving up to SP2 from SP1 or others.