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Quick Look: Notebook Performance With Windows XP, Vista, And 7

Quick Look: Notebook Performance With Windows XP, Vista, And 7
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We’ve already looked into the performance differences between Windows Vista and Windows 7 in a desktop computing environment. Although many people would recommend using Windows 7 not only for new PCs, but also notebooks as well, it might not make sense to change the operating system on existing systems.

The notebook question was particularly interesting for us. Which of the latest Windows versions provides the best performance on notebooks? And does the Windows version have a noticeable impact on battery life? Both questions can be answered with a “yes.”

There should be little performance difference between similar operating system versions. Windows XP is popular because it is rather sleek and fast. Windows Vista has the opposite reputation, although it introduced several new features that potentially increase performance. For example, SuperFetch loads the most-wanted applications in the background, utilizing all available system RAM, to make them available quickly. ReadyBoost utilizes a fast USB 2.0 thumb drive to provide additional random access memory for applications. ReadyDrive introduced support for HHDDs (Hybrid Hard Drives), although this feature was never used.

And finally, there is Windows 7, which generally provides better performance.

We used a Dell Latitude D630 notebook and three identical 2.5” Seagate Momentus 7200.2 hard drives to install all three Windows versions: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Thus armed, it was time to run a little analysis.

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  • 19 Hide
    noob2222 , December 18, 2009 5:16 AM
    kinda short on the results... er rather very short ... too short.

    Most people would like to know wich apps crippled the results on windows versions instead of just posting the overall results in one graph.

    There may be a problem with one of the tested programs that still needs to be updated to work with windows 7 more smoothly (esp considering Vista scored better), but we can't see that with only the conclusion results.

    This article could be good, but with this little information provided, its rather useless.
  • 16 Hide
    acasel , December 18, 2009 5:49 AM
    Including a performance benchmark on gaming, normal usage like surfing downloading content on the internet ( any normal pc user usually does) on the 3 os would make this article much better.
  • 12 Hide
    cknobman , December 18, 2009 12:24 PM
    Damn just reading article and thought something was wrong when I reached the Conclusion page after a few short clicks!!!! Guess not. This is more of a teaser than an article.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    noob2222 , December 18, 2009 5:16 AM
    kinda short on the results... er rather very short ... too short.

    Most people would like to know wich apps crippled the results on windows versions instead of just posting the overall results in one graph.

    There may be a problem with one of the tested programs that still needs to be updated to work with windows 7 more smoothly (esp considering Vista scored better), but we can't see that with only the conclusion results.

    This article could be good, but with this little information provided, its rather useless.
  • 16 Hide
    acasel , December 18, 2009 5:49 AM
    Including a performance benchmark on gaming, normal usage like surfing downloading content on the internet ( any normal pc user usually does) on the 3 os would make this article much better.
  • -1 Hide
    drfelip , December 18, 2009 5:52 AM
    Good article. But I think many users are more concerned about how fast the system FEELS (program launch times and so).
  • 11 Hide
    frozenlead , December 18, 2009 6:28 AM
    I agree - not enough tests were run. Synthetics are not enough. Perhaps next time use an automated script to launch programs and such, to see how the batteries drain?

    drfelipGood article. But I think many users are more concerned about how fast the system FEELS (program launch times and so).

    Maybe. But you can't benchmark how a notebook feels. Launch times can be done, but that doesn't quite equate to how fast a notebook feels.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 18, 2009 6:30 AM
    This is called time wasting review. Most of the programs in MobileMark 2007 are out-dated, you need to test the system using more modern programs.

    If you are going to do something; do it properly, otherwise is best if you leave it out.

  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , December 18, 2009 7:07 AM
    Which of the latest Windows versions provides the best performance on notebooks? And does the Windows version have a noticeable impact on battery life? Both questions can be answered with a “yes.”

    Actually, only the second question can ^_^
  • 6 Hide
    nonoitall , December 18, 2009 7:35 AM
    Quote:
    Which of the latest Windows versions provides the best performance on notebooks? And does the Windows version have a noticeable impact on battery life? Both questions can be answered with a “yes.”

    I'm tired but it seems to me that only the second question could be answered with a "yes"...
  • 3 Hide
    nonoitall , December 18, 2009 7:37 AM
    Haha - guess I should have refreshed the page to see the latest comments before I said that.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 18, 2009 7:38 AM
    Using old programs such as winzip 10 and cs2 versions of adobe creative suite apps wont give you comparable performance on win7 and probably vista...They arent supported....
  • -1 Hide
    shubham1401 , December 18, 2009 8:07 AM
    Merry Christmas and Very Happy New Year to All of you!!
  • 1 Hide
    shuffman37 , December 18, 2009 8:47 AM
    That was almost a pointless article. How about some gaming information or specifics in more than one simple benchmark. Winzip...etc
  • -1 Hide
    werfu , December 18, 2009 11:07 AM
    I've installed Windows 7 on my sister notebook which is a Dell Latitude D610. For a laptop of that age, performances are incredibly smooth. I tuned the OS: deactivated restore point, indexing, lots of services... anything that could eat lots of HD transfert and background CPU power and that was unneeded. Now the laptop feel as smooth as a new Pentium Dual Core would do while its an old Pentium M. What is funny is that Windows XP SP3 was sometime jerky and would froze for seconds.
  • 2 Hide
    excalibur1814 , December 18, 2009 11:48 AM
    As above. I have it on a HP tc1100, 1.1Mhz Pentium M machine and it runs fine AFTER tuning and turning things off.

    I wish MS would release a config app that turns off crap at the press of a button.
  • 12 Hide
    cknobman , December 18, 2009 12:24 PM
    Damn just reading article and thought something was wrong when I reached the Conclusion page after a few short clicks!!!! Guess not. This is more of a teaser than an article.
  • 0 Hide
    blackthorne , December 18, 2009 12:53 PM
    would be intersting to see bootup shutdown and standby times for xp vs windows 7. Also would be interesting to see the benchmarks on a netbook to see how win 7 handles it.
  • -1 Hide
    doron , December 18, 2009 2:43 PM
    You only used one synthetic benchmark?? That's like a half real-life bench...

    I had windows xp, vista and 7 for a considerable amount of time (had windows 7 since build 7100) and can say that windows 7 is the ultimate combination of stability, performance and user-interface, even when comparing the build version (which is the same as RTM only with slightly LESS performance-tweaks).
  • 7 Hide
    mitch074 , December 18, 2009 2:46 PM
    ACPI problems with WinXP? don't you mean AHCI, which is COMPLETELY different and ENTIRELY unrelated?
  • 0 Hide
    TechDicky , December 18, 2009 3:05 PM
    I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in this article, particularly given the very nice job done on the simlar article referenced at the begining of this one. (Windows 7 And Windows Vista: Performance Compared). I would have loved to have seen shutdown, startup, hibernation, sleep, and wake times compared, as it was done in the other article. Additionally running a variety of benchmarks and comparisons provides much more information and value.

    One other thing I would personally LOVE to see. A comparison of all three OS's on a comperably equipped Dell Latitude D630 and Dell Latitude E6400. We still use Windows XP and we recently made the switch from the D series to the E series at my company. The performance of things like shutdown and startup TANKED with the new model. It is taking considerably longer. Users dont seem to care what the performance is like after they log in. As long as it is acceptable it doesnt matter if one is much faster or not. However how long it takes to start and shutdown? WOW, they get worked up about that and they HATE the new model. I am very curious to know if newer OS's have similar issues on newer models, or if this is some unexpected penalty for running a 9 year old operating system on a 6 month old platform.
  • -1 Hide
    CBaca , December 18, 2009 4:16 PM
    I would have liked to have seen how fast the bootup time of Windows 7 vs Vista and how fast programs load. I have a HP laptop with an AMD Turion64 and 3GB ram and running Vista 32 bit. I can't tell from this review if it is worth the money to upgrade to Win7.
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