So, which stove has the fastest boil time? Or does it even matter?
If you read my reviews, you'll notice that I don't normally list boil times. Why do you suppose that might be?
First, how important is it? Something in the neighborhood of 5 to 7 minutes to boil a liter is fine in my book. Waiting another 30 seconds or so for a boil makes no real difference to me. Now, if it were another 3 minutes, maybe then I'd worry about it, but half a minute either way isn't going to really affect how I cook or how I organize my time while backpacking. After all, isn't one of the reasons we go backpacking to get away from all of the arbitrary time pressures of "civilization?"
Second, don't forget the number one rule of stove fuel economy:
1. Turn it down! High heat = inefficient = wasted fuel.
2. Use a lid. Escaping steam = escaping heat = wasted fuel.
3. Use a windscreen. No windscreen = dispersed heat = wasted fuel.
Running a stove on high burns through more fuel than you really need; you can accomplish the same with less fuel if you just run it on a low to moderate flame. You are carrying that fuel on your aching back, aren't you? Shoot! Conserve it. Why worry about shaving 30 seconds off a boil when the price is to carry more fuel?
Third, how helpful is a boil time in comparing one stove to another? There are no standards for boil times. If there were a standard (e.g. 1 liter of water at 45F/7C, 5mph/8kph wind, plain aluminum pot with lid, 1 atmosphere pressure), then we could compare boil times stove to stove and perhaps have something meaningful. But there is no standard, so one stove company may be boiling water that is 45F/7C outdoors whereas another company may be boiling water that is 75F/24C in a windless laboratory. That's like comparing a diesel truck to a skateboard. One stove manufacturer may have its facility in Denver, Colorado (elevation about 5000'/1500m) whereas another may have its facility in Chicago, Illinois (elevation about 600'/180m). Comparison of boil times from those two locations isn't even close to relevant.
So, to my point of view, a boil time doesn't figure prominently as I evaluate a stove. Sure, it has to be within reason, but even 60 seconds either way wouldn't have any significant effect on my enjoyment of the outdoors. Not only that, if I start focusing on maximizing my boil times, I'm just burning through fuel -- fuel that I have to pack. And finally, since there is no set of standard conditions for boil times, they're of little use for comparing one stove to another. Don't forget that boil times vary even on the same stove. If one boil takes 4:45, 5:15 the next, 4:35 the next time, and then 5:05 on the boil after that, a stove company will probably pick the single fastest time and list that as their official boil time. Singularly useless.
To me at least, boil times are just the "macho" claims of stove advertisers. Within reason, boil times aren't really important to a guy sitting by a beautiful alpine lake trying to get away for a while. So, don't sweat the boil time. Look at how you cook, what you cook, and under what conditions you cook. How a stove serves you in the context of how you do things in the outdoors is going to matter a whole lot more than 30 seconds off your boil time.