SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading times?

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SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading times?

Postby Austin » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:36 pm

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Wake up everyone, it's time for science!

So today Nintendo released a small Wii U firmware update, and since then I've seen a few outlets claim that it "seems" like the update has sped things up on their consoles. Unfortunately, "seeming" isn't good enough for me, and since I hadn't taken it upon myself to update my console yet, I decided to test some load times both before and after the update to see how they compared. A few things to note: Firstly, the update auto-triggered (without giving me the option to opt out) halfway through my testing so I couldn't get as many readings as I wanted in the "before" category. Secondly, I eliminated two results that were clearly technical outliers (a 35 second post-update "Miiverse" load and a 39 second pre-update "Settings" load) because that's how statistics work.

Here's what I found:

Startup

What: Time from hitting the power button to when users are selectable.
Pre-Update: 19.6s
Post-Update: 25.4s, 25.6s, 25.2s
Conclusion: Hard to say since the update auto-triggered before I could test more than one pre-update startup time. It would seem that things have gotten worse though.

Miiverse

What: Time from hitting the Miiverse icon to when things become selectable within Miiverse.
Pre-Update: 14.5s, 24.1s, 21.7s
Post-Update: 13.7s, 11.7s, 11.4s
Conclusion: While still not perfect, there is a noticeable improvement in the loading times of Miiverse after the update.

eShop

What: Time from hitting the eShop icon to when things become selectable within the eShop.
Pre-Update: 21.7s, 23.5s, 35.5s, 37.9s, 19.0s
Post-Update: 22.6s, 17.5s, 16.0s, 16.0s, 21.8s
Conclusion: Overall, a noticeable improvement. It's much more consistent than the load times pre-update.

Settings

What: Time from hitting the "Settings" app icon to when things become selectable within "Settings"
Pre-Update: 18.1s, 20.8s, 24.1s
Post-Update: 16.6s, 16.0s, 16.0s
Conclusion: Again, a noticeable improvement. Nothing mindblowing, but an appreciated speed-up. And significantly more consistent.

Returning to the Home Menu

What: Time from hitting "Close" in "Settings" to when things were selectable on the Home Menu.
Pre-Update: 23.3s, 24.0s
Post-Update: 23.4s, 23.4s, 22.9s
Conclusion: No appreciable change.

Make of this data what you please! It's hardly 100% science-proof, but it's about as good as I've seen so far.

~Austin
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SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading times?

Postby KokiriHylian » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:04 pm

While the load times may have been improved (I couldn't really tell most of the time), they're still nowhere near an acceptable level. Let's hope the April update addresses this more noticeably.
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SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading times?

Postby SquareSide » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:20 am

Thanks for this info.
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SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading times?

Postby Disco » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:57 am

The update was probably just a small patch to prepare for the upcoming update. Something that's going to essentially speed up the entire OS needs a little prep before they can drop the big update.

You'll notice Sony and Microsoft often do this with their system updates as well. This is quite normal.
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Re: SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading ti

Postby thomas » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:32 am

Offline menu load times should be around 5 seconds, I see no excuse for this
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