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 PostPost subject: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista        Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:29 am 
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Improving performance is one of Microsoft's design goals with Windows 7, and many early reviewers (including ours) have said that the new OS seems peppier than Vista. But tests of the Windows 7 Release Candidate in our PC World Test Center found that while Windows 7 was slightly faster on our WorldBench 6 suite, the differences may be barely noticeable to users.

We loaded the Windows 7 Release Candidate on three systems (two desktops and a laptop) and then ran our WorldBench 6 suite. Afterward we compared the results with the WorldBench 6 numbers from the same three systems running Windows Vista. Each PC was slightly faster when running Windows 7, but in no case was the overall improvement greater than 5 percent, our threshold for when a performance change is noticeable to the average user.

The largest difference was 4 points--102 for Vista versus 106 for Windows 7 on an HP Pavillion a6710t desktop. Our other two test machines showed similarly minor performance improvements: A Maingear M4A79T Deluxe desktop improved by 1 point (from 138 on Vista to 139 on Windows 7), and a Dell Studio XPS 16 laptop improved by 2 points, from 97 on Vista to 99 on Windows 7.

WorldBench 6 consists of a number of tests involving ten common applications, including Microsoft Office, Firefox, and Photoshop. On the individual tests, the benchmark results were generally within a few percentage points of each other. One notable exception, however, was Nero 7 Ultra Edition, where Windows 7 made significant improvements, ranging from a 12 percent speedup to a 26 percent speedup, depending on the PC we used in our tests. Although we have yet to confirm it, PC World Test Center Director Jeff Kuta notes that this difference may be due to updated hard-disk drivers in Windows 7. Any improvements to Windows 7's disk support will be more noticeable in an application like Nero, which uses the hard drive heavily. The test involving WinZip, another hard-drive-dependent task, also showed marked improvement under Windows 7.

We also measured a noteworthy 7 percent speed increase in our Autodesk 3ds max 8.0 SP3 (DirectX) test on the HP Pavillion desktop, which had an nVidia GeForce 9300GE graphics board. nVidia's drivers appear to be better optimized for Windows 7 than Windows Vista.

In contrast, however, each of the systems took slightly longer to perform the tests in Microsoft Office and Firefox when they were running the new operating system than when they were running Vista.

Of course, it's important to remember that we performed these tests with the release candidate of Windows 7. Though the operating system's features likely won't change in the final version, Microsoft’s engineers may still find ways to tweak the code to improve performance.

If these test results remain consistent with those for the final version of Windows 7, the news will likely be disappointing to many Windows users. One of the major complaints about Windows Vista was the fact that it was consistently slower than Windows XP. If Windows 7 doesn’t significantly improve that situation, it may fail to convince people to move away from Windows XP.

That said, there may be other areas we didn't cover in our testing--such as startup times--where Windows 7 may outperform Windows Vista by a wider margin. The best way for you to get a feel for Windows 7's performance is to download the release candidate and take it for a test drive on your system.
How We Test

We used three PCs in our testing: a Maingear M4A79T Deluxe desktop, an HP Pavillion a6710t desktop, and a Dell Studio XPS 16 laptop. The powerful Maingear comes equipped with a 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition CPU overclocked to 3.71GHz, 4GB of memory, and dual ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics processors. The Pavilion, a mainstream desktop, features a 2.6GHz dual-core Pentium E5300 with 3GB of memory and an nVidia GeForce 930GE graphics chip. Lastly, the Dell Studio XPS 16 laptop packs a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory, and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670 graphics card. On all three systems, we ran our WorldBench 6 benchmark suite on a clean installation of the 32-bit edition of Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1 and repeated the process with the Windows 7 Ultimate release candidate (again, the 32-bit version). We made both operating systems current with Windows Update, and we installed the most current hardware drivers available.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/164485/w ... marks.html

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista        Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:51 am 
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Benchmarks are not a good way to test the 'performance' of an operating system. I'm know from experience that even on the lower end of things, in benchmarks, Vista is close to XP.

The 'performance' of an OS comes not from how it allocates resources for applications, such as benchmarks, but more how it operates itself. 7 is a huge step forward over Vista, being generally more responsive, using less RAM when idle (though really, Vista was never much of a problem in that area either, contrary to reports by people who didn't understand the concept of caching and superfetch) and booting or resuming from hibernation.

Indeed, as mentioned on the e7 blog, they're focusing on perceived performance. It's entirely possible for people to perceive that something is quicker when it's actually marginally slower. Vista really wasn't that slow an OS in general use, people just perceived it was, due to a combination of that being what they expected, and a lack of feedback meaning that the time between things happening on screen being longer, even if the overall time to complete the task is shorter.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista        Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:17 am 
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hounsell wrote:
Benchmarks are not a good way to test the 'performance' of an operating system. I'm know from experience that even on the lower end of things, in benchmarks, Vista is close to XP.

The 'performance' of an OS comes not from how it allocates resources for applications, such as benchmarks, but more how it operates itself. 7 is a huge step forward over Vista, being generally more responsive, using less RAM when idle (though really, Vista was never much of a problem in that area either, contrary to reports by people who didn't understand the concept of caching and superfetch) and booting or resuming from hibernation.

Indeed, as mentioned on the e7 blog, they're focusing on perceived performance. It's entirely possible for people to perceive that something is quicker when it's actually marginally slower. Vista really wasn't that slow an OS in general use, people just perceived it was, due to a combination of that being what they expected, and a lack of feedback meaning that the time between things happening on screen being longer, even if the overall time to complete the task is shorter.

I guess what you said is true. It may be just slightly faster in video encoding that vista, but it is not something you do everyday. Responsiveness is very important in a daily basis, but unfortunately it is difficult to do a benchmark on that. In Windows Vista, I click start but have to wait for start bar to open, but in Windows 7, it open right when I want it to.

Another thing that left me an impression is that Windows 7 improve the overall stability so application crash less often. In Windows Vista, Windows Explorer have tendencies to crash when a lot of windows is open but I have not had that issue in Windows 7.

When Windows Vista was release, it was very unresponsive and crashed constantly (I know from personal experience), but service pack 1 has since increase performance reliability significantly. What "turn off" people most, however, is the incompatibility at first. Unfortunately, many people who tried vista at first launch left the OS for XP never realize that an OS can change significantly as always believe that vista is a "black sheep" and other never even tried vista but just believe the common perception of vista. I downgrade to Windows XP x64 but only came back to Windows Vista after Microsoft released the vista performance and stability patch. Even if 7 is a mere clone if vista, the public perspective would be different.

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