Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 Speed Test

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Ever since testing the first Consumer Release of Windows 8, we were amazed on how fast it seemed compared to Windows 7. Of course, we were skeptical because our Windows 7 system had a multitude of programs installed. All you know that if you have a clean install with very little other programs running at startup, most systems run pretty darn quick.

Well, to test we used a 6 year old tablet (yes, tablets existed many, many years ago). This was a Fujitsu Stylistic 5032D with Windows XP Tablet Edition installed. Over the years it was a favorite to take to customers to show a proposal on. However, it had been wiped clean and wasn’t doing much except testing legacy versions of IE, Chrome, Firefox and other browsers. So we reinstalled a clean boot of Windows 7 and patched it. Then we setup a dual boot with Windows 8 RTM, the one that is in all the Windows 8 PCs that were launched today. Then it was time for the test.

First, some specs (Only those that matter, we didn’t include the weight, audio, HD size, etc.)

Fujitsu_ST5032DOriginal Operating System: Genuine Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
Processor: Intel® Pentium® M Processor Ultra Low Voltage 753 (1.20 GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 400 MHz FSB)
Display: 12.1" XGA TFT indoor/outdoor (Transmissive) display with greater than 160° viewing angles
Video Chipset: Intel® 915GM
System Memory: 2 GB (1 GB x 2)
Memory Type: DDR2 400 MHz; 200-pin SO DIMM
Video Controller: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900. Maximum internal display resolution of 1024 x 768, 16M colors

Disclaimer: While Windows 8 does run on this hardware, there a plenty of things it won’t do. Not because it can’t, but because any hardware manufacturer in their right mind isn’t going to spend any time writing new drivers just so people can keep systems that are VERY outdated hardware. It would be like a transmission manufacturer retooling all the transmissions in the cars already sold and at no cost. Not gonna happen. For example, on this system, Window 7 is running the Intel 915 video drivers that allow multiple screens, rotating tablet display, etc. The Windows 8 installation is running the Generic Windows driver that comes with Windows 8. No bells, no whistles, nada.

So, on to the video.

We filmed the tablet booting from scratch with both Windows 7 and Windows 8. We then combined the videos into a single one with Picture-in-Picture so you can see the un-edited timeline for each system booting. Other than Windows 8 having a longer password to type, the systems had no difference in installed software or login procedures.

We simply booted and logged in. Once the system was available, we immediately clicked on Internet Explorer to launch a web session. We then clicked on a couple of headlines at MSN to show that the system was truly up and running. Sure, some services might have been still starting up, but we were able to use Windows 8 very quickly, much quicker than Windows 7.

See for yourself!!!


We also have installed Windows 8 on our internal development systems to test. These are much more robust systems, including one with an I7 Quad Core. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 running really fast AND the video drivers are exactly the same. Although you may not visually see much difference in speed, the Windows 8 boot runs all of our development software very fast.

Unlike the video chipset on the old tablet, we have not run into any compatibility issues with our newer systems. As long as there are drivers out there, everything works as advertised.

We are going to add some more Windows 8 information in the coming days, so standby to get some help. You advanced users may not need it, so we are going to focus on the basic things first.


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