Along with increased usability and adorable Avatars
, the New Xbox Experience
brings along with it a dream. That dream promises improved game performance and massively reduced loading times. We're talking, of course, about installing games to the hard drive. The question is just how well does it work, a question that Eurogamer decided to tackle in a recent article
. By comparing load times and in-game performance for several games running from both DVD and hard drive, Eurogamer was able to make some conclusions about just how much improvement installs offer.
Among some of the most improved games were The Orange Box
, which saw load times nearly cut in half (44.5 seconds vs 22.5 seconds for Half-Life 2
) and Fable II
, which saw not only improved load times but improved performance, particularly in the menu screens. Other games saw little benefit, including Gears of War 2
, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
, and GTAIV
. Curiously, Mass Effect
did see overall better performance, but the infamous elevator sequences saw no change at all.. The most interesting title tested is definitely Halo 3
which actually fared worse
when running from the hard drive. Eurogamer theorizes that the longer load time are the result of a heavy amount of caching.
Finally, it appears that installs running on a 120GB hard drive fare no better than those on an older (and heavily used) 20GB drive. The overall verdict, performance will vary on a game by game basis. Imagine that.