We're replacing an old computer here in the office and I'm trying to decide if Windows 7 is a good option. I know it's faster than Windows Vista but is it faster than Windows XP.

Typical tasks( -editing video -Virtual PC -Visual Studio (although I may just run that within Virtual PC)

PC Specs - Fairly high end machine ($2K or so) (I'm using a 3Ghz Duo Core Dell XPS with 3 GB Ram)

I'm looking for fairly objective measurements.

Any useful links?

  • Test Freaks test is comparing XP /32 bit to the 64 bit versions of Vista and Win7 with 8 GB of RAM. Since the 32 bit XP can only use 3 or 4GB of that RAM, it's an unfair test. Sep 16 '09 at 20:18
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    Not really, most people using XP would be using the 32 bit version. I think it is much more likely an end user would choose to update to a 64 bit OS with vista and/or Win 7. In fact, both of my boxes that support 64 bit this is exactly what I did.
    – Charles
    Sep 17 '09 at 13:58
  • That still makes it an unequal comparison. You could ugprade to XP 64 bit if you wanted a 64 bit O/S. In any case, I don't want to ugprade to a 64 bit O/S because there are devices (like the Dymo printer) that don't have Vista/7 64 bit drivers. So for my needs, I want to know Win 7 vs XP (64 bit) Sep 18 '09 at 20:40
  • If you had any experience of XP x64 you wouldn't consider it a fair test at all. XP x64 was the testing ground for future OSes - lessons were learnt, hence Vista x64/Win7 x64 are far superior products.
    – CJM
    Sep 29 '09 at 9:24
  • I'll add to the mix ZDNet's results: blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=22006 Sep 29 '09 at 11:32

I can tell you I have upgraded 5 PCs from windows XP to windows 7. Everything from a P4 2.8 GHz Single Core to an AMD X2 5000+. In all cases whether running PC games, remote desktop applications or anything in between I haven't noticed any noticeable speed loss. As noted by above posters logically it is not faster, but whereas Vista was noticeably slower 7 is not. Additionally it speeds up tasks like copying large files which could be very useful given the kind of work you do. The test freaks link above illustrates this well. I would highly recommend choosing 7 because while the OS itself might not be faster, the feature set included with the OS should make you much faster at completing work.

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    Did you install all the old applications on the new one (for a true apples-to-apples comparison? (One thing that happens is that the old machine has extra junk on it clogging things up. The new machine has only the things you explicitly put on it). BTW, my actual plan was just to get a WinXP system and reinstall only those things I need (a fresh start). I suspect in that case I'd see a big improvement (maybe10% to 20%). If I do the same w/ a new Win 7 machine and it's a wash, I'm really "losing" that 10% or 20% improvement that I'll not see. Sep 16 '09 at 20:02
  • Well, different machines were of course different. But for my work laptop for example it is typically kept reasonably slim since I RDP for most of my work, that and my wife's desktop were essentially the same with XP and with 7. One having a bunch of junk and one not :)
    – Charles
    Oct 22 '09 at 19:31

No, it's not faster than XP, but then it can't possibly be as there is a lot more going on in the guts of the OS.

For the record, I have tested the beta and RC on a variety of hardware, all the way down to a 1.6 Ghz/512MB laptop, and performance was fine in all configurations. It's a good OS, and if it was 6 months further down the line I would unreservedly recommend it for a new installation. Right now though, perf question aside, I would be inclined to wait until the early adopters have used it in production environments first.


Well the answer is quite clearly no. As win98 was faster than XP, XP is faster than Win7 (which essentially is just a tidied up Vista)

But each generation adds features and Windows 7 is at least looking like the upgrade from XP that Vista was supposed to be.

  • This is wrong on so many levels. Sep 28 '09 at 0:59
  • Certain network operations ARE faster on Windows 7. Faster than any previous version of Windows. Period.
    – kmarsh
    Sep 29 '09 at 12:17
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    Do you have anything at all to back that statement up or should we just take your opinion as gospel because you wrote period at the end? I can't see any network operations that have changed apart from RDP which uses new features only when connecting to server 2008.
    – JamesRyan
    Oct 5 '09 at 10:51

Seems like the type of work you're doing is fairly RAM-intensive, so with that in mind I'd recommend a 64-bit OS (as long as your software can utilize the added RAM). And I'd for sure recommend 64-bit Win7 over 64-bit Vista or 64-bit XP, just because of the broader hardware support.

Start by looking at the 64-bit capabilities of your software (f.instance if you're using Adobe Premiere for video editing, the CS4 with an update will fully take advantage of 64-bit architecture).

It's not whether the OS is faster on a given hw, it's what makes you go faster.


Clearly, it isn't going to be faster on the same hardware - it is doing so much more than XP. Is it faster than Vista? Not especially, but then again - despite what the nay-sayers claim - Vista wasn't that slow anyway; certainly not when running on Vista-generation hardware.

I can assure you that if you compared XP on 2001 hardware, Vista on 2006 hardware, and Windows 7 on 2009 hardware that you would pick Windows 7 every time.

If you are getting a new machine (particularly a higher-end machine like you are proposing), you should be getting Windows 7 and IMHO it should also be x64. Unless you have a legacy app that says otherwise, there is no good reason to drag your heels when it comes to going 64-bit.

Your new hardware will more than compensate for the extra sophistication of Windows 7 and the extra work that entails.


So i got this old pc given to me with 2.6Ghz absically no ram, about 512 and a rubish g- card. I think it's a nvidia 6 series card with 54mb or something similar.

I like windows 7 on my gaming rig but wondered if it's just best to go for good old xp.

anyway i will also overclock some other pc's i have and see if windows 7 is useable on them.

I will try to remember to update to say how it went.


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