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Psychotext
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(11-15-2008, 12:39 AM)
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Thanks to getting in the NXE preview I was able to update the Halo 3 results with an installed version comparison... Modified post below:

To do each test we went to the campaign screen and timed from pressing the button on the "Mission Start" option of each level until the loading was complete and the mission was ready to start. As we know, filling the HDD cache results in the initial load time being pretty long... but it's not something loading without the HDD attached suffers from. Also, once the cache is filled, loading the level a second time is much faster (faster than without the HDD attached). Until the cache is overwritten of course.

Results
Caching: DVD & HDD (Filling cache, first load)
Cached: DVD & HDD (Cache present, second load)
NXE 1: As caching, but with game installed to HDD (First load)
NXE 2: As cached, but with game installed to HDD (Second load)
DVD: DVD Only (No HDD attached to cache to, profile on memory card)

Code:

		Caching		NXE 1		Cached		NXE 2		DVD
Sierra 117	66.2s		109.8s		12.5s		12.3s		25.2s
Crows Nest	85.6s		140.4s		14.2s		14.5s		23.6s
Tsavo Highway	72.0s		121.7s		9.5s		9.8s		18.6s
The Storm	84.4s		135.9s		11.3s		11.4s		21.9s
Floodgate	80.6s		135.9s		12.3s		12.3s		25.2s
The Ark		88.2s		146.5s		13.4s		13.4s		28.5s
The Covenant	99.3s		168.8s		11.5s		11.3s		24.2s
Cortana		59.3s		98.6s		9.5s		9.2s		14.5s
Halo		81.3s		134.5s		12.7s		13.4s		22.1s
On the subject of the cache, from what I could tell it will only hold two levels, so if you load like this:

Sierra 117 -> Crows Nest -> Tsavo Highway

When you cache Tsavo Highway the cache for Sierra 117 is overwritten (This may vary depending on the size of the level, I don't know). To test the cached load times I did the loading / testing in the following order.

Sierra 117 - Ignored
Crows Nest - Ignored
Sierra 117 - Test 2
Tsavo Highway - Test 1
Crows Nest - Test 2
The Storm - Test 1
Tsavo Highway - Test 2
...
Sierra 117 - Test 1
Halo - Test 2
Crows Nest - Test 1

Conclusion... if you want to play your levels quickly (ignoring everything else) don't bother installing or playing it with a HDD attached. :lol