PC from 2020 will boot faster than Commodore C64

People used to quip that the old computers booted up faster than the modern PC. It was used to demonstrate how bulky and bloated the modern PC computer really is.

But the times are sure changing fast!

About a month ago we built this PC for my sister. It boots up in roughly 20 seconds.

The boot-up speed depends mostly on the disk loading speed. This PC has a modern SATA SSD drive with 500MB/read and write.

I really didn't do much anything to get this computer to boot up fast. It even waits few seconds in the menu. Even then it boots up quite fast. It's the Fedora 26 that shows up in the boot screen btw. Though it's not booting up noticeably faster than Windows 10.

Still not fast enough to boot up faster than C64 though. Here's the Commodore C64 for comparison, it boots up in 3 seconds.

Unfortunately the Konmari hype landed into Finland and it eventually murdered my C64. So I could not boot both in the single video.

Now we built the above PC setup quite cheaply. If we had bothered to look around a bit more and put in 100$ more, we could have put in the Samsung 950 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD. This card is 42mm long and goes directly into a connector on your motherboard:

Samsung 950 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD

It has 2500MB/s read speed. I would likely get my sister's PC boot up in 7 seconds with this little bastard.

I'm predicting that the newly bought PC in 2020 boots up in under 3 seconds.


The M.2 connector combines SATA, USB and PCIe together. The four-laned PCIe 3.0 it holds can provide up to 3.9GB/s of bandwidth. Comparing it with the 20sec bootup time of the 500MB/s drive you could predict that the system that reaches the capacity will take about 2.5 seconds to boot.

If it's not enough, the PCIe 4.0 will provide 7.8GB/s bandwidth for 4 lanes.

No severe technical limitations have been reported that would limit the transfer rate of SSD down to 2.5GB/s. Of course this doesn't mean that there wouldn't be any limitations to it.

If it doesn't happen in 3 years, it'll happen eventually. The recent development proposes that the need to boot up a PC from power-off state would eventually entirely vanish as computer RAM will become nonvolatile.

And when the bootup times get to 3 seconds, the next thing that slows down your bootup is the ASUS display splashscreen that opens up when you start up your display.


That part of the nostalgy is about to be gone. Your old retro computer won't boot faster than a modern PC in few years.