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Windows 10 Boot Times Showdown

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Feb 2, 2015
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I just finished up testing various boot time scenarios for Windows 10 Pro 64 on my system. I've been curious for well over a year now, since I installed W10, to see how much UEFI GOP boot would speed up my boot times. The thing is my graphics card didn't have a UEFI BIOS. So I flashed one on it today and ran some tests. And I came up with some pretty interesting results after testing with UEFI GOP boot and without it, in combination with other boot options enabled(On) or disabled(Off). All tests done with W10 installed on my WD Black 7200 rpm 64MB SATA-III HDD, my MSI Z77A-GC65 Gaming motherboard, and my MSI R9 280X Gaming OC 3GB graphics card.

The boot options in my motherboard UEFI/BIOS that I tested are:

UEFI GOP Boot(called Windows 8 Feature in my motherboard UEFI/BIOS) with Secure Boot disabled
MSI Fast Boot
Fast Boot with PS2 support enabled, SATA & USB support disabled
(each device type can be enabled or disabled for POST while using Fast Boot, allowing for faster boot times with more devices disabled for POST, or slower boot times with more devices enabled for POST)

Notes: MSI Fast Boot cannot be used with Fast Boot. You can only choose to run one or the other. I leave PS2 support enabled so I can use my PS2 keyboard delete key to access the BIOS after POST. If I disable PS2 support I lose that functionality. Even though it might cause my boot times to be a second or so slower by not disabling it. It's a trade-off.

The Windows 10 power options I tested are:

Fast Startup
Hibernation
Hybrid Sleep

Note: Fast Startup does not apply to Hibernation or Sleep scenarios.

I ran tests with the various options enabled(On) or disabled(Off), in a variety of configurations. I booted from a shut down with each configuration at least 3 times and recorded how long it took. Boot time started when I hit the power button and ended when the desktop background image was shown. I'm not particularly interested in average times or slowest times. I'm trying to figure out which way to configure the options that will give me the fastest boot time. All configurations varied slightly during separate runs. It's going to happen no matter what you do. So what's of real interest to me is which configuration is capable of being fastest. It doesn't have to be that fast every time. And I can guarantee it won't be anyway. So let's just look at the fastest times I was able to achieve with each configuration and call it good. :)

Starting with the slowest configuration, and ending with the fastest configuration:

UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: On
Fast Startup: Off
Best time = 2 minutes 17.29 seconds


UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
MSI Fast Boot: On
Fast Startup: Off
Best time = 2 minutes 14.04 seconds

Hybrid Sleep
Note: Hybrid Sleep is not working properly on my system, Non-Hybrid Sleep doesn't work at all
Best time = 1 minute 21.76 seconds


UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
MSI Fast Boot: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Off
Fast Startup: Off
Note: :"Just UEFI GOP Boot On" test
Best time = 1 minute 0.76 seconds

UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: On
Fast Startup: Off
Note: :"Just Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled On" test
Best time = 51.90 seconds


UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
MSI Fast Boot: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Off
Fast Startup: Off
Note: "Everything Off" test
Best time = 51.87 seconds

UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
MSI Fast Boot: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Off
Fast Startup: Off
Note: "Just MSI Fast Boot On" test
Best time = 51.17 seconds

UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
MSI Fast Boot: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Off
Fast Startup: On
Note: "Just Fast Startup On" test
Best time = 27.54 seconds

Hibernation
UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
MSI Fast Boot: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Off
Note: "Just Hibernation" test
Best time: 24.28 seconds


UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
MSI Fast Boot: On
Fast Startup: On
Best time = 23.66 seconds


UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
MSI Fast Boot: On
Fast Startup: On
Best time = 23.43 seconds


UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: On
Fast Startup: On
Best time = 22.75 seconds

UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: On
Fast Startup: On
Best time = 22.38 seconds

Hibernation
UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
MSI Fast Boot: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Off
Best time: 22.31 seconds

Hibernation
UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: On
Best time = 20.40 seconds

Hibernation
UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: Off
MSI Fast Boot: On
Best time = 19.87 seconds


Hibernation
UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
MSI Fast Boot: On
Best time: 18.69 seconds


Hibernation
UEFI GOP Boot with Secure Boot disabled: On
Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: On
Best time = 18.38 seconds


Conclusions:

UEFI GOP boot with Secure Boot disabled: Horrible when used with MSI Fast Boot or Fast Boot On and Fast Startup Off. Significantly, and surprisingly, less horrible when used on its own(with MSI Fast Boot or Fast Boot Off and Fast Startup Off). Apparently does nothing if MSI Fast Boot or Fast Boot is On and Fast Startup is On(when not used also with Hibernation). Good for at least 2 second faster boot times when used by itself with Hibernation, or ~6 second faster boot times when used with MSI Fast Boot or Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled On and Hibernation.

MSI Fast Boot: Works great with Fast Startup On. Shortened boot times by more than 50% compared with having just it On and Fast Startup Off. Horrible when used with just UEFI GOP Boot On(and Fast Startup Off). Apparently does nothing significant when used on its own(like with UEFI GOP Boot Off and Fast Startup Off). With less than 1 second difference between using it on its own and having "Everything Off". Good for ~2.5 seconds faster boot times when used by itself with Hibernation, or ~4 second faster boot times used with Hibernation and UEFI GOP Boot On.

Fast Boot with PS2 enabled, SATA & USB disabled: Basically same as MSI Fast Boot. Works great with Fast Startup On. Shortened boot times by more than 50% compared with having just it On and Fast Startup Off. Although ~ 3 seconds slower than MSI Fast Boot in the worst case scenario(like with UEFI GOP Boot also On and Fast Startup Off), it's ~.3 seconds faster in the best case scenario(like with Hibernation). Horrible when used with just UEFI GOP Boot On(and Fast Startup Off). Apparently does nothing significant when used on its own(like with UEFI GOP Boot Off and Fast Startup Off). With less than 1 second difference between using it on its own and having "Everything Off". Good for ~2 seconds faster boot times when used by itself with Hibernation, or ~3.5 second faster boot times used with Hibernation and UEFI GOP Boot On.

Fast Startup: THE GAME CHANGER!!! It can lower boot times by almost 2 minutes in worst case scenarios. And by at least 24 seconds in best case scenarios.

"Everything Off"(UEFI GOP Boot Off, MSI Fast Boot Off, Fast Boot Off, and Fast Startup Off): Strangely "pretty good by comparison" boot times. You can do much better, but surprisingly much much worse too.

Hybrid Sleep: Like I said...it doesn't work properly on my system. So YMMV. See one of my previous posts for a detailed explanation of what I mean by "doesn't work properly".

Hibernation: THE HANDS DOWN WINNER!!! Faster in every configuration scenario except when used by itself with all other options Off.

Tips:

Turn Hibernation On in Command Prompt (Admin)
Code:
powercfg -h on
Turn Hibernation Off in Command Prompt (Admin)
Code:
powercfg -h off
Further reading:

Windows 10: Turn On or Off Fast Startup in Windows 10
Windows 10: Specify Hiberfile Type as Full or Reduced in Windows 10
Windows 10: Check if Last Boot from Hybrid, Full, or Hibernate in Windows 8 and 10

EDIT: There's one other factor to consider too. Namely Superfetch. It's on by default and has a significant impact on boot times. I'd noticed some time ago that without Superfetch On boot times were a lot slower. And I just ran a bunch of tests with the other configurations shown above and Superfetch Off(since it was On for all of those tests). For the sake of brevity I'll just cut to the chase and give you the low down on it. In every test so far with SuperFetch disabled(Off) boot times have been slower. And I can't imagine a scenario where that might not be the case. That is of course unless you might be using a SSD instead of a HDD. Since I've heard that Superfetch can be bad for performance in general with a SDD(not sure about boot times, but I'd imagine the same applies). So, unless you're using a SSD as your boot drive, my recommendation is to have Superfetch enabled(On) for faster boot times. If not just for overall system performance. Which I've also noticed is slowed down without it enabled(using a HDD anyway).

More info on enabling or disabling Superfetch:

Windows 10, 8 & 7: Enable or Disable Superfetch
 
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