Benchmarks: 64-Bit XP, Vista, and Windows 7 Beta Compared

DeathFromBelow

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xpvista7qa8.jpg


I posted a thread a few days ago comparing 64-bit XP and 64-bit Vista as a response to a handful of people on this forum who were claiming that 64-bit XP was amazing and/or that Vista was bloated and slow. Now that the Windows 7 Beta is out I thought everyone might want to see it added to the mix.

Test Rig Specs:
Athlon 64 X2 4200 (2.2 GHz)
2GB DDR 400
ASUS A8N-VM CSM (nVidia nForce 4 Chipset)
All-In-Wonder X1800XL
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
250 GB HDD (Seagate ST325062)

I did a clean install of 64-Bit XP, installed drivers (I got the latest nForce/Catalyst/Audigy drivers from their respective websites), installed 64-Bit XP SP2, and installed all availible updates from Windows update. Then I ran the benchmarks. After that I wiped the drive, installed 64-Bit Vista Ultimate, installed drivers, SP1, updates, and did the benchmarks in the same order. I repeated the process again with the 64-bit Windows 7 Beta.

There was no tweaking, vlite'ing, etc. I left 7/Vista's UAC and all services like indexing/superfetch/etc on and in their default configuration.

systemproperties1280qx9.png

Microsoft seems to have revamped the Windows Experience Index. The possible scores now go beyond 5.9 and it rated my test system quite a bit lower than Vista did.

Lets get started then :
(In all the screenshots XP is on the left, Vista is centered, and 7 is on the right)

Install time (I paused the timer while entering info)
XP: 19:37.9
Vista: 25:36.1
7: 21.36.3

WinRAR Benchmark:
winrarsh4.png


Compressing 150 MB of Photos with 64-bit 7zip (I uninstalled WinRAR before installing 7zip):
XP: 0:50.2 seconds
Vista: 0:51.8 seconds
7: 0:53.8 seconds

TrueCrypt Benchmark:
truecrypt1280ix1.png

The most important figure is the first one (AES), and its dead even. Re-running the test multiple times shows that all the other benches appear to be a tie as well, with each OS alternating the lead by <1 MB/sec.

Create a 10 GB Encrypted Container in TrueCrypt:
XP: 3:00.9
Vista: 2:58.9
7: 2:58.4

Copy 10 GB Encrypted Container from Desktop to C:\
XP: 5:22.3
Vista: 6:47.8
7: 6:33.1

Transfer a 2GB file from my fileserver to the desktop:
XP: 1:37.3
Vista: 1:31.9
7: 1:14.0

3DMark06:
3dmark06lx8.png

Everyone's favorite game simply refused to run on the Windows 7 Beta.

PCMark05
pcmarkvn7.png

I'm not sure why Vista and 7 did so much better on PCMark, but running the test multiple times gave similar results.

World in Conflict Built-In Benchmark:
worldinconflict1280hz2.png

The game defaulted to slightly higher settings on Vista and Windows 7. I went through and changed all the settings to the levels it used on XP. (I took screenshots of the menus to make sure I didn't forget anything).

Crysis CPU Timedemo (64-Bit):
crysiscpuzs4.png

(Even with admin privileges and Vista compatibility mode the Crysis benchmarks refused to save the results under Windows 7, so I did my best to record the final average FPS of the last three runs)
27.2
27.3
29.1

Average FPS from last 3 runs:
XP: 24.02
Vista: 24.03
7: 27.9

Crysis GPU Timedemo (64-Bit):
crysisgpuqy8.png

Windows 7:
30.5
30.7
30.3

Average FPS from last 3 runs:
XP: 25.56
Vista: 29.06
7: 30.5

Both Crysis timedemos were done with all settings on medium.

Boot Time:
XP: 1:31.3
Vista: 1:11.0
7: 1:08.4

Shutdown Time
XP: 0:29.1
Vista: 0:14.3
7: 0:13.5

______________________________________

In summary, Vista and 7 outperformed or were even with XP in every test except 3DMark06, transferring files on the local drive, and (just barely) at compressing files with 64-bit 7zip.

Other than the greater disk space requirements 64-Bit Windows Vista and 7 are clearly better than 64-Bit XP. Driver support is very good for the 7 beta, as most Vista drivers work fine on 7. Overall the general impression that Windows 7 is Vista with some performance enhancements and polish is correct.

Vista did outperform 7 on the World in Conflict benchmark (7 actually had the lowest minimum FPS of the three), but I think that's probably a driver maturity/optimization issue as 7 had the best average FPS in both Crysis timedemos and was nearly 4 FPS faster on the CPU timedemo.

The new media center, taskbar, and general look and feel to 7 are great and the OS seems to be coming along nicely. From what I've heard this will be the only Windows 7 Beta before Microsoft starts sending out release candidates. If there weren't compatibility issues with a handful of programs I use (Alcohol 120% in particular) I would switch to the Windows 7 Beta on my main desktop.

It may be too late to save Vista's "reputation," but it's hard to say when 7 will actually be released. If you know anyone who is building or buying a new computer and has to buy an OS you should steer them towards Vista or tell them to wait for 7 if they can.
 
Last edited:

bigdogchris

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You can't argue with the facts. I'd like to see a new Nvidia official 7 driver set soon. In a few months we'll probably start getting the real picture on how 7 is going to perform.
 

heatlesssun

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Interesting data. Thanks for the info.

I think that sometimes as consumers we get a little spoiled. While Windows 7 on the outside looks like Vista with just a little polish, let's not forget that thousands of people have worked for a couple of years on this project.

One feature that has me in awe is the new Tablet Input Panel. It's definately one of the coolest pieces of software I've even seen.

But ultimately I do agree with you, Windows 7 will be seen by most as a minor tweak to Vista.
 
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truly awesome post....

great data and testing, i applaud your work and give my sincere thanks....

edit: sure 7 looks faster than vista, but it isn't by much.... and i happen to find vista to be as fast/snappy as an OS can get (this coming from a fulltime BSD/Fluxbox user), so I will probably keep running vista as my main desktop until 7 is RTMed .... and even then, only transition to 7 if i can find a way to get it free...
 

firebane

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You say clearly better and I see a 1-2 sec difference or a 1-2 fps difference.. to me that is hardly a leap and bounds above better.

If I was to see 10 seconds or 10-15 fps then perhaps.. but as it stands.. for most people those benchmarks you ran you'd never really notice that difference.
 

Cali3350

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You say clearly better and I see a 1-2 sec difference or a 1-2 fps difference.. to me that is hardly a leap and bounds above better.

If I was to see 10 seconds or 10-15 fps then perhaps.. but as it stands.. for most people those benchmarks you ran you'd never really notice that difference.

True, but the UI and overall experience in Vista/7 is IMO (and many others) VASTLY superior to the one offered by XP.
 

firebane

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True, but the UI and overall experience in Vista/7 is IMO (and many others) VASTLY superior to the one offered by XP.

That is a very subjective subject and depends a lot on the person who uses that computer and what for.
 

DeathFromBelow

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You say clearly better and I see a 1-2 sec difference or a 1-2 fps difference.. to me that is hardly a leap and bounds above better.

If I was to see 10 seconds or 10-15 fps then perhaps.. but as it stands.. for most people those benchmarks you ran you'd never really notice that difference.

I never said Vista wins by leaps and bounds, by clearly better I mean that Vista/7 bests XP in just about every benchmark you throw at it. The XP fanboys have been calling Vista a bloated monster for years and that's simply not the case.

Add to that the additional security, features like Media Center, and the very nice GUI and I can't see why anyone would recommend 64-bit XP over 64-bit Vista/7.
 

firebane

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I never said Vista wins by leaps and bounds, by clearly better I mean that Vista/7 bests XP in just about every benchmark you throw at it.

Add to that the additional security, features like Media Center, and the very nice GUI and I can't see why anyone would recommend 64-bit XP over 64-bit Vista/7.

That GUI is as I stated VERY subjective.. not everyone likes it.

I know what the reason behind this was for.. but I still think it fails as it shows the difference between these 3 operating systems is so insignificant that it comes down to user preference to what one to run.
 

Joe Average

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There's a quick way to resolve the constant "better" nomenclature people keep tossing around:

Stop saying it, and say "faster" since technically that's what it means if Windows 7 or whatever OS happnens to complete a task first. So in many respects, Windows 7 is faster than XP or Vista... far more accurate terminology, causes less hassles and frustration, and gets the point across quite vividly without the "better" subjectivity getting tossed into it.

Simple.
 

devil22

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Copy 10 GB Encrypted Container from Desktop to C:\
XP: 5:22.3
Vista: 6:47.8
7: 6:33.1

This is a bit misleading, I'm sure it's unintentional, but Vista (and almost certainly Win7) have a modified copy routine, that doesn't 'cheat' like XP's copy routine. XP will count a copy/move operation as complete before the cache is emptied, and Windows Vista will wait for the cache to empty before telling the user the operation is complete. At least that is what I remember MS saying on this issue when it was raised. I'm not sure of any fair way to compare a plain copy operation in this case, I would just use regular disk benchmarking software instead.

Tossing out this errant 'benchmark' and Vista is certainly faster than XP, if you were to average percentages out for all benchmarks, perhaps faster even with this faulty benchmark.
 

Attean

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Well, he's probably pretty safe. Microsoft isn't going to go after someone giving them fantastic press. :)
 
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i'd have to say, my experience has been consistent with your numbers. Windows 7 really rocks!... and to think; this is just the beta!
 

bigdogchris

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There's a quick way to resolve the constant "better" nomenclature people keep tossing around:

Stop saying it, and say "faster" since technically that's what it means if Windows 7 or whatever OS happnens to complete a task first. So in many respects, Windows 7 is faster than XP or Vista... far more accurate terminology, causes less hassles and frustration, and gets the point across quite vividly without the "better" subjectivity getting tossed into it.

Simple.
Windows 7 'speed' is only relative to the hardware it's running on. It would be abysmal on a 500mhz PII with 128MB of ram, which XP runs on. Technically 7 is not faster. I think we can agree that Vista/7 just take more advantage of newer hardware than XP does, which results in a faster overall performance. The overhead is much less on XP than Vista or 7 but faster CPU's, Memory and Disk speed of modern hardware negate that with 7.
If I was to see 10 seconds or 10-15 fps then perhaps.. but as it stands.. for most people those benchmarks you ran you'd never really notice that difference.
That simply will never happen with an OS upgrade. I mean, it could going from 300 FPS to 315FPS but at that point it doesn't matter anymore because XP probably has 400 FPS. It's all about when the work really counts, between 27 and 60 FPS.
 
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Hate to burst your bubble, but posting benchmarks of the Win7 Beta is blatantly in violation of the EULA.

whoooo cares..... we wont be seeing any of the major sites running benchmarks, so its nice to see one of our own putting in so much effort to post some....

DeathFromBelow's benches are enough to make me not feel so bad anymore about dumping the 7 Beta and stick with Vista full time until RTM too, seeing as how the performance difference between the two is so tiny...
 

Arainach

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whoooo cares.....
The [H] Rules said:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=760666

(14) Do not post MATERIAL where you do not have permission to distribute it electronically or otherwise. This includes posting images directly from a website (Bandwidth Theft) Images are to be hosted personally or by a third party host.

(15) Observe all COPYRIGHT LAWS, TOS's and NDA's when posting copyrighted material. If the material belongs to someone else, credit the original author. Do not post messages that violate Federal, State, or Local laws which include, but are not limited to, anything that violates a copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or is bound by NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement).

(18) You will not discuss, suggest, engage, or encourage any ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. Links provided to locations that deal with any such activity are also expressly forbidden.
The site, apparently. 3 separate rules that address the situation isn't exactly insignificant.
 

devil22

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Windows 7 'speed' is only relative to the hardware it's running on. It would be abysmal on a 500mhz PII with 128MB of ram, which XP runs on. Technically 7 is not faster. I think we can agree that Vista/7 just take more advantage of newer hardware than XP does, which results in a faster overall performance. The overhead is much less on XP than Vista or 7 but faster CPU's, Memory and Disk speed of modern hardware negate that with 7.That simply will never happen with an OS upgrade. I mean, it could going from 300 FPS to 315FPS but at that point it doesn't matter anymore because XP probably has 400 FPS. It's all about when the work really counts, between 27 and 60 FPS.

I don't get where you're coming from with the statement that "XP probably has 400 FPS" where vista and win7 have 300 and 315. Did you read the OPs benchmarks, Vista gets more FPS than XP... Or am I misunderstanding you?
 
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Both right in certain cases. Generally speaking, more codes require more executions, but more codes can utilize more instructions if it was written properly. This statement applies to Windows world, because kernel isn't modular. Since, Windows rely on legacy layer of Monolithic kernel. Now, things are more hybrid layer. There are combinations of different things. Since, many people just guess how their kernels are handle, it is hard to say. So, generally the statement can be both ways.
 

bonsai

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The XP fanboys have been calling Vista a bloated monster for years and that's simply not the case.

I suppose the fact that XP (pretty much) matches the Vista benchmarks but does it with a much, much smaller install footprint and using far less memory has nothing to do with it. :rolleyes:
 

heatlesssun

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Windows 7 'speed' is only relative to the hardware it's running on. It would be abysmal on a 500mhz PII with 128MB of ram, which XP runs on. Technically 7 is not faster.

First off why would a software developer be concerned with performance of a desktop OS on what by today's standards is the equivalent of a mobile phone? Secondly, without any testing you're just making a guess. You don't really have any idea how well Windows 7 might scale down on that level of hardware.

I would tend to believe that you're right in that XP would probably run better than 7, but on that hardware even XP would probably suck so it's not like a great victory for XP.
 

devil22

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Windows allows you to change themes? :p

As long as the theme is signed, yes. In reality that means themes released by MS or that come with programs like Windows Blinds. The reason for this is so that malware/annoyware and/or clueless users don't screw up the GUI. Advanced users can just patch the theme .dlls and install whatever they like. I heard Win7 would change this policy to allow users to install any theme they like, but that may be outdated information.
 

DeathFromBelow

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I suppose the fact that XP (pretty much) matches the Vista benchmarks but does it with a much, much smaller install footprint and using far less memory has nothing to do with it. :rolleyes:

Its pretty amazing that after being out for years there are still people who don't understand Vista's memory management.

Vista and XP both run fine on 1 GB of RAM, the minimum I would install in any machine. With 4 GB DDRII 800 kits around $40 and hard drives down to ~$0.10-0.15 per GB I really don't think its an issue.

Lets not forget that XP had a rather large install footprint on a common 20 GB hard drive back in 2001.
 

bonsai

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Its pretty amazing that after being out for years there are still people who don't understand Vista's memory management.

Memory management has nothing to do with it.

Vista and XP both run fine on 1 GB of RAM, the minimum I would install in any machine.
Vista on 1gb of RAM? You're kidding right? Most users around here recommend 4gb. I'd be curious to see your benchmarks on all 3 OSes with 1gb of ram.

Lets not forget that XP had a rather large install footprint on a common 20 GB hard drive back in 2001.

That doesn't change the fact the Vista is still bloated.
 
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Memory management has nothing to do with it.

Vista on 1gb of RAM? You're kidding right? Most users around here recommend 4gb.


That doesn't change the fact the Vista is still bloated.

vista can run on 1gb, and can run quite well as long as it isnt raped by OEM bloatware and kept relatively clean of shovelware ....
 

DeathFromBelow

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Memory management has nothing to do with it.
Vista introduced superfetch. Basically, it caches frequently used applications to RAM, improving performance. If an application needs that RAM it will release it.

A lot of people had a fit when Vista first came out before they realized this. Get with the times.

Vista on 1gb of RAM? You're kidding right? Most users around here recommend 4gb. I'd be curious to see your benchmarks on all 3 OSes with 1gb of ram.

I had a roommate with a 1.7 GHz Pentium M tablet with 1 GB of RAM and a Radeon mobility x550. It runs Vista and will even play a few relatively modern games like Age of Empires III just fine.
 

bonsai

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vista can run on 1gb, and can run quite well as long as it isnt raped by OEM bloatware and kept relatively clean of shovelware ....

Not in my personal experience. I ran it for a long time with 2gb and that was a struggle at times. I've also used it on other people's PCs with 1gb and it was abysmal. XP however flys on 1gb.
 

bonsai

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Vista introduced superfetch. Basically, it caches frequently used applications to RAM, improving performance. If an application needs that RAM it will release it.

A lot of people had a fit when Vista first came out before they realized this. Get with the times.

No shit sherlock. This doesn't change the fact that you can run XP extremely well on 1gb of RAM and Vista crawls on anything less than 2gb, I personally wouldn't recommend less than 3 or 4gb.
 

devil22

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No shit sherlock. This doesn't change the fact that you can run XP extremely well on 1gb of RAM and Vista crawls on anything less than 2gb, I personally wouldn't recommend less than 3 or 4gb.

I've run Vista with less than 1GB and it ran fine, quit fudding. Second, 4GBs of Ram costs like 25 bucks, so it doesn't matter anyway.
 
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Ok. Wow... I seen some really bad XP vs Bvista vs 7beta on many forums. This site is the worst. What is really better? It all depends on the person. For me, XP is better, because of the lighter RAM requirement and less code executions. I run XP in VMs. Sometimes, I run two or three instances if I need to run some tests like antivirus, firewall, and any other applications that can be easily hooked and unhooked to the OS. In this case, Vista and 7 wouldn't work for me. It would run just too slow. Dedicating 4gb to run one VM is a ridiculous idea for me. 4gb is enough to run 32 Debian servers! If I wasn't in IT and I was a home user who probably doesn't even understand virtualization, it really wouldn't matter much. I'm probably going to buy the lastest Quadcore CPU for the next PC. Oh course, there is a chance I might be a getting a NetPC. I don't know how Ms is going to pull it off when biggest PC sale of last year has be NETPC. Most of them have max of 1gb ram. Many of them had 4gb and 8gb solid state for XP versions. Only last three months, we start seeing 2gb ram net PC model. Microsoft is going to PISS away (once again), many of their hardware partners. Also, there is a good chance they can drain the PC market with it.

Now, developers... Today's developers code under various VMs. They kind of got rid of the multiple PCs testing lab. Most of them probably need to get a board that can support 8GB just to run one instance of VM. I haven't seen many 16gb ram supported motherboards. They might even have to buy a real server motherboard and stick with PCI graphics. When these things get confusing, these developers will still hold on to the older OS for coding. That means many of the feature layers of new OS will not be utilized and codes will be maximized from the older legacy XP system.
 

Uberbob102000

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Well then you fucked up something, I've been running Vista Business x86 on my laptop with 512MB of RAM and it works decently. Now with 1GB I've started to play Rise of Nations on it and Age of Empires and it works perfectly fine.
 
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I've run Vista with less than 1GB and it ran fine, quit fudding. Second, 4GBs of Ram costs like 25 bucks, so it doesn't matter anyway.

yup, i've gotten vista running fairly well on a laptop that had 768mb of ram with some nominal tweaks + clean startup + letting it self-optimize for a few days....

and i routinely run it with 1gb in a VM, where it runs very snappy.....

some people just arent good at tweaking/optimizing their OS, dont feel too bad, you're not the only one
 
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