We were surprised to see such diverse results. Keep in mind that the test notebook was the same in all three runs and that we used very comparable power schemes (balanced/portable). Windows XP with Service Pack 3 clearly provides the highest application performance, and Windows 7 doesn’t seem so superior anymore. We can only assume that Windows 7 tries to be conservative on performance in an effort to maximize battery life. Let’s look at the MobileMark 2007 runtime results now.
Our assumption seems to be true. Windows 7 does indeed provide the highest runtime of the three operating systems, while the fastest setup, based on Windows XP with SP3, actually provided the least endurance on battery. The difference isn’t really significant, but on a notebook like the one we used (with powerful 9-cell battery) the runtime variance between Windows XP and Windows 7 was as much as 28 minutes. This is quite a lot if you imagine trying to finalize a presentation on a transatlantic flight.