×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Is Windows 7 Faster Or Just Smarter?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the perception-is-reality dept.

619

Barence writes "The Windows 7 unveiling garnered largely positive coverage, with many hands-on testers praising it for being faster than Vista. But is it actually? To find out, this blogger ran a suite of benchmarks to see just how much quicker Windows 7 really is — and the results weren't quite what he expected. 'The actual performance gap between Vista and Windows 7 is ... nada. Absolutely nothing. Our Office benchmarks and video encoding tests complete in precisely the same time regardless of which OS is installed. [...] It's tempting to see this as a bit of a con. They've sped up the front end so it feels like you're getting more done, but in terms of real productivity it's no better than Vista."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

619 comments

Trick Question (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25705907)

Is Windows 7 Faster Or Just Smarter?

I don't like either of those options, how about "just more of the same Microsoft software?"

I understand the article points out that they went with simply a "more responsive interface" paradigm (Web 2.0/AJAX, anyone?) and probably didn't really fix any serious problems. But at the same time this headline reeks of either marketing or hilarious lawyer type questions. Examples:

  • "Yes or no, has Steve Balmer stopped beating his wife?"
  • "Is Linux Just Awesome or Totally Awesome?"
  • "If I were to tell you the fact that Windows 7 developers dine on human flesh at their desks to start each day anew, how would you react?"
  • "How can you afford not to use Linux?"
  • "Is Internet Explorer 7 slower or just less secure?"

Re:Trick Question (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25705959)

Yes or no, has Steve Balmer stopped beating his wife?

Yes, I asked her last night -- he stopped around mid-June.

Re:Trick Question (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706017)

Yes or no, has Steve Balmer stopped beating his wife?

Yes, I asked her last night -- he stopped around mid-June.

Please, it's a simple yes or no question. We don't need details or explanations, if the witness would just stick to the facts we could move forward.

Re:Trick Question (2, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706671)

This is a new world we live in. We have to know more information about it so we can cater a program specifically to you for fairness and equality. If we don't gather specific information about the events, race, sex, sexual preference and hair color of the persons involved, how are we to make sure they get an equal* resolution.

* equal in used in this context is shorthand for "fair and equal according to the person involved"

(there goes my Karma...)

Worse than that. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706071)

They don't define "faster" to include the response time of the interface.

But most users DO include the interface response time in their opinion of which is "faster".

I think Microsoft made a big mistake with the "fade in" menus. Just turning them off gives the user the impression that you've made their machine "faster". Even though email works at the same speed as before. As does Word. As do their games.

Re:Worse than that. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706367)

I think Microsoft made a big mistake with the "fade in" menus. Just turning them off gives the user the impression that you've made their machine "faster".

I feel the same way about OSX. Except you can turn it completely off in Windows. Easily. Without a 3rd party tool, or a reghack/shell-script/trip to the command prompt to edit plist files.

Also, it plays games the year they came out, runs Max and AutoCAD and isn't loaded with cruftware - though the resellers add plenty of that.

The new Macbook looks nice, too bad it's only 50% faster than a $299 on sale emachines laptop that cost 20% as much.

Re:Worse than that. (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706747)

But most users DO include the interface response time in their opinion of which is "faster"

Indeed, and that's a pet peeve I have with Linux. I use Linux - a lot. Heavily on servers at work (but generally CLI only there), and then at home I have a Linux Mint desktop that I use in addition to my Mac and Windows systems.

I love the concept of OSS, and for someone who when they were growing up saw a compiler as something that cost hundreds of dollars, the whole concept of having such a nice development environment is just amazing.

That said, while actually going from point A to point B probably isn't any slower, the interface just makes the system feel draggy. All the little pauses and and graphical oddities when moving a window around just take their toll, but the actual OS is fine (as obvious when I try to do something like say, compress video or something, where the Linux system holds it's own quite nicely).

Hopefully Wayland will take off and help in that regard. Mac OS X has shown what a slick, responsive UI can do for a Unix-like backend. It just sucks that it's tied down to only a subset of available hardware.

Re:Trick Question (0, Offtopic)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706145)

Well, only the wife beating question is really posing a false dilemma. The article, your question about Linux being awesome, your IE 7 question all have a "neither" valid response. The Windows 7 devs dining on flesh is a push-poll type question, and so outragous no one would belive it, but hardly has a trap built into the answers. I can explain how I can afford not to use Linux for certain applications.

However, only one question really sets the trap, the Balmer/wife-beating question. That's because only that question is crafted so that the correct response (assuming Balmer has never beaten his wife) of "no" is misinterperted.

Re:Trick Question (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706713)

'I don't like either of those options, how about "just more of the same Microsoft software?"'

I don't like that option either!

Mp3 Locking? (5, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25705943)

Can I play mp3 *and* copy files on Windows 7 ? I have old Quad-Core system only.

Re:Mp3 Locking? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706373)

You *could* but remember this tale of forewarning:

"I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Windows fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Dell w/ Windows 7 x64 (w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Windows boxes, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a PC that has run faster than its Apple counterpart, despite the PCs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that Windows 7 is superior.

Flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Windows 7 box over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems."

Productivity (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25705965)

The productivity would actually increase if the front end speed increased since it would allow the user to interact faster etc. The other tests such as encoding etc are really CPU and application dependent and not very much OS dependent, so it's not really a fair test.

Re:Productivity (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706169)

Exactly what I was thinking - For most Windows users, the user is a major bottle-neck. By simply responding more quickly to them and allowing them some time to react (even if the system isn't fully ready to react to their next input), you can certainly improve performance. While there are a lot of users that do care about encoding time and Office benchmarks, most users just want IE and Outlook to let them start typing quickly so that they can forward on the latest news regarding Bill Gates paying people for testing their new e-mail system or letting their voice be heard by voting on "Am I Hot or Not?"

Re:Productivity (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706669)

While there are a lot of users that do care about encoding time and Office benchmarks, most users just want IE and Outlook to let them start typing quickly so that they can forward on the latest news regarding Bill Gates paying people for testing their new e-mail system or letting their voice be heard by voting on "Am I Hot or Not?"

HAW HAW WINDOWS USERS R T STUPID.

Re:Productivity (3, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706283)

The productivity would actually increase if the front end speed increased since it would allow the user to interact faster etc. The other tests such as encoding etc are really CPU and application dependent and not very much OS dependent, so it's not really a fair test.

Umm encoding is not all CPU and application dependent. Maybe you forgot what an OS does. It schedules when a program executes, where it is located in memory etc. So if Vista puts a program in different places in memory rather then linear or it has a different caching model then windows 7, the execution time will be different. Also if vista does not let the program execute as much as windows 7 the execution time will be different.

Re:Productivity (3, Interesting)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706467)

I agree. I would like to see the same tests run on XP and see how much of an improvement it offers. I would imagine some, but not a whole lot.

I installed a leaked copy of Windows 7 on a test box and the UI is definately more responsive...not a huge difference but noticable. The dwm.exe (Dreaded Windows Manager, is what I call it) for the UI uses a hell of a lot less memory than it did before. But aside from that, some minor dialog box changes, it just seems like Vista to me. Which is fine, I haven't had any real issues with Vista in the last year now that stable hardware drivers exist for pretty much everything. Granted I don't try to run it on crap systems with less than 2GB of RAM, either. Although my 7 test box only has 1GB of RAM.

I'm waiting for a version with the new taskbar to come out, to see if it's actually worth a squat or not. Oh, they did put the fancy ribbon UI on paint, wordpad, etc. Updated calculator, too. I guess they figured it was time to update them since they remained pretty much the same since 3.1....

Re:Productivity (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706753)

You'll have to let me know if I can turn the ribbon off and use it in classic mode or at least copy my old versions into 7. I know there's no way I'm going to avoid it for work, and if I'm going to be forced to use it, I might as well make it work like I want.

The front end is what's wrong with Vista anyway (4, Insightful)

IdahoEv (195056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706731)

If they've sped up the front end consistently, then I would be very happy.

My primary complaint with Vista is how long UI operations take. Opening windows, dragging them around, launching applications etc. all seem to take place in something approximating geologic time.

Once I have a high-performance app open (say a game), the game itself runs pretty quickly. It's the getting there that's a problem.

Smarter not harder (4, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25705967)

To quote the pointy haired boss "Work smarter not harder".

Personally I'll stick with Homer Simpson's motto: "If something is hard to do, then it is not worth doing." Which is my rule regarding installing new Microsoft Operating Systems.

Just to throw out one more gem; "If it isn't broken it doesn't have enough features yet." Which seems to be Microsoft's golden rule.

Re:Smarter not harder (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706189)

Personally I'll stick with Homer Simpson's motto: "If something is hard to do, then it is not worth doing." Which is my rule regarding installing new Microsoft Operating Systems.

Actually Vista is probably the simplest OS install I've ever done. (disclaimer: I've never built a mac, don't know about that).

Well..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25705977)

You can't polish a turd. But you can paint it a pretty color.

Re:Well..... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706797)

There was a message scrawled in oil paint on the wall of the painting studio at my college: "Even a turd is beautiful if the light hits it right."

I always suspected that an art instructor wrote it.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25705981)

another kdawson artic... oh wait!

Bad benchmarks for productivity. (5, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706007)

Video encoding is a terrible metric for "productivity" since it's something the computer can do on it's on while you go get tea. It's pretty much CPU and memory bound. The underlying OS shouldn't be doing anything but getting out of the way.

But UI "tricks" are an improvement. If find it easier to start your video encoder, or can do other resource-light things while the video encoder is running at a small cost to the actual encoding speed, then you're making better use of your meat co-processor. Which really is a "productivity" gain.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706075)

Video encoding is a terrible metric for "productivity"

Unless you are encoding it live, straight from the camera.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706299)

In which case, it's happening LIVE, and can't get any faster.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (4, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706389)

In which case, as long as it can do it in real time, you haven't got any problems. Making it faster isn't going to help because the bottleneck is the outside world.

AGREED! (2, Insightful)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706147)

For the average user, a lot of time is wasted waiting for the UI, or being afraid or unable to do other tasks while something "heavy" is going on (like reading email, surfing, etc.).

If the system still has the same horsepower, but I'm better able to actually multi-task without slogging through a molasses interface, then it's a huge improvement.

It's just not worth trying to type an email sometimes when it takes 6 seconds to update the UI after each keypress... maybe doing so will slow down your build in the background, but only marginally compared to the time wasted if you can't do anything at all during that time.

MadCow.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706157)

Video encoding is a bad metric for "productivity" but it is a
very good means to test how well a system will continue to
respond under high load. If transcoding craters your system
then that's a problem. This particular task might not represent
a "productive" part of your normal workload but it's probably
a good stand-in for something that is.

Personally, I like the fact that I can keep my system completely
busy and not be bothered by it. If I have my own "cloud" at home
this means that all machines on the home network can be effectively
utilized for whatever I might want to do.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (2, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706175)

"..then you're making better use of your meat co-processor..."

There's a joke in there, but I'm not touching it.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (2, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706355)

Not touching your meat co-processor?

You must be new here.

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706513)

Not touching your meat co-processor?

You must be new here.

his heart must not be truly klingon.

(with apologies...)

Re:Bad benchmarks for productivity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706437)

I touched it just yesterday.

So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706009)

I don't see the big deal about this. More Apple fanboys who are trying to make Microsoft look bad? I wouldn't really expect any applications to run faster on Windows 7 unless the hardware was upgraded.

Perhaps this alpha releases uses Vistas kernel? (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706015)

I was under the impression that W7 would have a modified kernel , but if it is nothing more than the Vista kernel warmed over with the same core libraries then nothing much will change so I guess no surprise there.

As is the way with MS , they update all the eye candy first to get the drooling masses interested , then they get down to the core stuff where it really matters later on - ie the exact opposite way round to the way it should be done.

Re:Perhaps this alpha releases uses Vistas kernel? (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706269)

they update all the eye candy first to get the drooling masses interested

Frankly, I don't believe the drooling masses exist. The only people I see pretending to be drooling over MS's second-rate eye candy are the pundits that they're bribing with cash and free equipment, and they really don't sound convincing.

-jcr

Re:Perhaps this alpha releases uses Vistas kernel? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706501)

Huh? It probably is modify slightly. After all, the kernel only went from 5.0 to 5.1 going from Win2k to WinXP, but winXP was so much more nicer to use than Win2k.

Re:Perhaps this alpha releases uses Vistas kernel? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706515)

Nope, same kernel.

There was talk early on about a new kernel architecture, and there were versions of W7 with an experimental one, but not anymore.

Re:Perhaps this alpha releases uses Vistas kernel? (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706589)

The lipstick on a pig aphorism comes to mind.

W7 is the Vista that Vista could have been. But that may be damning with faint praise.

The sheer obesity of Vista could easily have been improved upon. Somewhere, there is a coder army taking instructions from an idiot. They need to find that idiot and fire that person. Even Gates was better at direction.

Mohave Experiment, Stage II (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706039)

All you "Windows 7 is so much better than Vista" dimwits have been 0wn3d.

Windows 7 May Come Too Late: Security Flaw Warning (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706041)

My fellow Americans, let me be the last to retail slanderous rumors. I have great respect for Mr. Obama and his family. But when our nation and our GOD-given rights are at risk, no patriot can remain silent. It has coem to my attention that our worst fears have been confirmed. "Barack Obama," whose real name is Giuseppe Franconi, is an agent of the sinister Italian power! Americans, imagine the not-so-far future: government agents violating the sanctity of our TV-rooms, our base ball parks, and our children's schools and churches, confiscating our GOD-given hot dogs and replacing them with salamies! Is this the "change" you believe in? Is this your "hope" for the future? I for one will not remain silent as nefarious Italian agents use the cover of the freedoms that we love to spirit their nefarious ices into our Democratic sanctuary.

Now let me say I have nothing against the Italian people, who are a peace-loving people with a noble and historic culture. Their language, Mexican, is shared by many proud, upstanding hispanic citizens of this great land. But the hot-dog conspiracy is war, by a small secret cabal of Italians who hate freedom and our GOD-given meat products, and our freedom to eat hot dogs in our tv rooms must be defended. As long as I am the president, this administration will take the fight to the enemy and defeat the Italian menace. Thank you and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

And so, at the end of the article: (3, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706053)

FTA:

For comparison, the PC Pro benchmarks complete around 22% more quickly on XP than on Vista, as detailed in my feature "Memory Laid Bare" (issue 169, p122).

-sigh-

Wouldn't suppose they'll have an "LTS" version of XP, supporting it past the already-stated cutoff....

Okay, but that's still important (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706059)

I really wouldn't expect significantly different scores for something like an office suite or media encoding. Once the OS gives the process all the memory and CPU time it needs, that's basically it. Maybe for games where there could be significant differences in the DirectX flow, but not in general.

But as the article notes, throughput isn't everything. The "up front" speed and how long it takes for a button push to result in action is equally important if not more so. The responsiveness of applications is something an OS can have a significant impact on, and is probably the most important thing for making the computer -feel- fast, and thus giving a better user experience. Hell I've long considered responsiveness to be justification enough for dual-core processors even when a user isn't multi-tasking or running multi-threading apps. So if it's a good enough reason to get a whole second core, it's a good enough reason for an OS upgrade.

It does sound kinda cagey that they're making this one of the main reasons to get 7, rather than improving Vista. But whatever, it's all academic to me.

Productivity originates from the users perceptions (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706081)

I'm no fan of Windows. But improving UI responsiveness, does greatly improve user throughput when using a system - partly because the user can do what they need to do more quickly, but also because there are fewer jarring moments where you are brought out of the process of creation to have to wait on the computer to finish something. These small interruptions can add up to a big loss of focus over a day.

I don't understand (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706091)

If it SEEMS faster, what does it matter what the actual internal speed is? As long as it passes the "God damned piece of shit just give me my web page!" test (as long as you don't say that it's ok) why does a benchmark matter?

I'd rather have a slow app that felt fast than a fast app that felt slow. Our work connection is slug-slow, the annoyance is much more of a productivity drain than the actual (lack of) speed.

Re:I don't understand (0, Flamebait)

Renegade88 (874837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706263)

This opinion just might be the stupidest thing I've read recently, but then again I haven't been on Slashdot long today.

Faster interface = improved productivity (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706095)

I dunno about most of you, but I do consider a nippier interface to be an improvement in productivity. For the vast majority of Windows users, the thing they want to see improved is those moments lost "when they click a button and nothing seems to happen", as the article author puts it. That is time that has been taken from me. If I get those moments back, and the performance of the trivial CPU tasks involved in actually reading and writing files are kept the same, then yes, my productivity has improved.

Re:Faster interface = improved productivity (2, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706247)

Not just those moments... but the moments following it that involve Ctrl-Alt-Del and a lot of cursing at your machine.

Re:Faster interface = improved productivity (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706727)

I don't know how many times I have cursed Firefox for preventing me from typing in a URL while it loads the 'URL Helper' (or whatever it is called) when 99% of the time I can type it in faster than it can look it up.

Just an example of developer hubris when it is applied to interfaces.

seems like it may go over well (3)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706131)

considering the biggest complaints that users have about vista is that it is SO SLOW (read: responds slowly), i think microsoft may be going in the right direction (if i understand their changes correctly).

the biggest issues with vista haven't been it's performance in crunching numbers, the problems have related to how fast it seems to be. which brings up an interesting question, was much work really needed when consumer computers are quickly becoming powerful enough to actually run vista smoothly?

at the risk of being modded down... i think vista is a good os, with some tweaking. BUT, only if it's the 64bit version, 32bit is crap. furthermore, microsoft has done a great job combining 64 and 32bit functionality, i applaud that

Thank OLPC (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706371)

was much work really needed when consumer computers are quickly becoming powerful enough to actually run vista smoothly?

We can thank Nicholas Negroponte for this. His One Laptop Per Child project inspired the mainstream PC industry to develop similarly low-powered, low-priced subnotebook computers called "netbooks". Windows XP and Ubuntu run better than Windows Vista on the small CPU and small RAM of these computers.

Re:seems like it may go over well (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706657)

BUT, only if it's the 64bit version, 32bit is crap.

Huh? Besides word length... what exactly is the difference?

A Con! (5, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706133)

So let me get this straight: Windows 7 is only faster than Vista. It doesn't manage to also make third party programs written for Vista magically faster as well.

Betas and RCs of Windows are ALWAYS faster (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706135)

Since 1995 I've had a chance to play with each beta and RC release of Windows, from 98 to Vista. They always run faster than the final release. I've no idea why.

Most recently, I played with Vista at the RC stage on a very modest notebook computer (1.6GHz Celeron, 512MB memory) and it ran like a dream. I then switched back to Linux, my personal OS, and then read all the reports upon the release of Vista criticizing it for being slow and cranky.

Upon buying a new notebook complete with Windows tax, I was able to see that -- sure enough -- Vista (even SP1) was pretty slow.

I just don't know what microsoft do to their software before boxing it. Maybe they pour molasses into it.

"Productivity" (2, Interesting)

jediknil (1090345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706151)

I would argue that the speed and responsiveness of the interface is increasing productivity in some way. Having a responsive interface is not just nice window dressing, particularly if I'm doing several things at once.

It is also possible that it is faster instead of just appearing faster. What might have been sped up is the constant factors, the smaller functions, that are usually dwarfed by the time it takes to complete an "actual" task. That is, you might not be able to encode video any faster, because while the act of opening and writing to the video file on the filesystem could have been sped up, the limiting factor is encoding speed. (I'm not saying that's necessarily true about Windows 7, but it could be.

If it feels faster, you're getting more done (5, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706153)

They've sped up the front end so it feels like you're getting more done, but in terms of real productivity it's no better than Vista

I take exception to this. Obviously, if the video encoding tests were written well, there will be little speedup. But if a window environment "feels" faster, you actually DO get more done. There is less frustration in waiting, and you can generally multi-task much easier.

There was recently a discussion of a faster X server [slashdot.org] . Frankly, I get plenty done on the old "slow" X server, but if one feels faster, it will actually eliminate a lot of brainpower consumed by waiting on a context switch.

There was recently a discussion on a faster Linux boot-up [slashdot.org] , which preloaded your configuration as you're typing your password, and had lots of other fast features... But that doesn't actually speed up Linux, in terms of encoding video. It just makes it "feel" faster.

I like OSS, but I see lots of bad tags being made. Unfair comparisons are simply unfair comparisons. You can't hail a nice feature in one OS, and discount exactly the same feature on a different OS. Without being hypocritical, anyway.

Re:If it feels faster, you're getting more done (1)

hhr (909621) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706553)

Mod the parent up! Humans are bad multi-taskers. To be personally productive, to get into the flow, you need to focus on your task witout distraction. Lockups, UI delays and glitchiness knock you out of the flow.

Any time a computer does what you want, when you want it, reducing the amount you have to wait, (Switching between apps, starting a new task, switching between documents or web pages), then that computer will make you a more productive thinker.

It looks just like Vista now because... (2, Insightful)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706177)

At this point it probably IS Vista!

Do you think Microsoft re-writes the OS from scratch every time? No, they just incrementally change the previous version, and this happens slowly over the course of development. Since 7 is still a year or so away at this point they're just showing you mostly user interface changes with little or no changes to the core underlying os. By the time it releases there will probably be some significant changes, but right now I suspect you're mostly looking at a UI demo running on top of plain old Vista.

I keep seeing posts like "I tried out Windows 7 and it looks like all my software is 100% compatible and runs great!". Well duh, since it's the same OS you're running now.

Wait six months or so before passing judgement on this thing.

G.

Productivity. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706187)

Okay here is the big question.
Do many users need a faster PC?
On a clean Windows box when are you waiting on the computer?
I am not talking about games, scientist, or people using CAD/CAM.
I am talking about the average user?
Now when you are waiting how often is it an IO bottle neck?
Waiting for a program to start, waiting for a file to download or some other function like that.
The real answer is that for the most part PCs are quick enough.
Video encoding isn't something that the average users does yet. It will be in the future but right now not so much.

Webcams (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706485)

I am not talking about games, scientist, or people using CAD/CAM.
I am talking about the average user?

Since when does the average home user not play games? What am I misunderstanding?

Video encoding isn't something that the average users does yet.

Unless your PC has a webcam. These are popular in (for example) the Deaf community, as they allow people to chat in a sign language.

Yes ... and no. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706539)

Do many users need a faster PC?
On a clean Windows box when are you waiting on the computer?

Whenever you initially launch an app. If you can cut that time down so that the apps APPEAR to launch instantaneously then you're a GOD!

It isn't about actual time spent typing or whatever.

It's about the perception of waiting for the machine to do what you just told it to do.

How many times do you launch an app ... wait a bit ... hourglass ... only to wait while a splash screen comes up telling you the name of the app you just launched ... wait a bit ... the app appears ... wait a bit ... okay, now you can type something in that app.

Click save ... save where ... wait a bit ... okay, save complete and you can get back to work.

Re:Productivity. (3, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706633)

You're right. However, you're missing an important point: Hardware and software vendors implicitly collude to create a continuous captive market demand for their products.

Windows version "x" won't run acceptably on anything less than a 2GHz processor with 4GB RAM--time to upgrade your computer!
Video card "y" only has drivers available for Vista--time to upgrade your OS!
Support for application "z" has been dropped, and the new version requires more RAM and Windows 7--time to upgrade everything!!!

Honestly, find a modern computer which can run Windows 2000, and you'll have a blazing fast machine. XP isn't _much_ slower, and has the advantage of newer device support.

Strictly speaking, an OS shouldn't have "features" from the user's point of view. Gluing a GUI to the OS was arguably Microsoft's first act of truly evil genius. Same thing with the web browser. THESE ARE NOT OPERATING SYSTEM FUNCTIONS, but they help increase the hardware requirements (and the hardware requirement delta between versions), and hence sell hardware, which sells software, which sells...

In a just world, Microsoft would have taken the code base for Windows 2000, added support for 64-bit multicore processors, newer hardware and so forth, tweaked the UI a bit (XP has some clear advantages--and some clear disadvantages), and LEFT THE REST ALONE! Most of the serious code changes between versions have been for no reason except adding "features" (i.e. stupid crutches and applications), which slow things down.

But hey--it's all about marketing, sales, and profits. That's the reality of the industry.

*and maybe explicitly--who knows what goes on behind closed doors?

Choice quote (1, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706209)

What is this knucklehead smoking?

If you feel you were ripped off in the past, you can signal your displeasure by choosing a competing product now; but arguably it sends a clearer message to invest in a fixed product than to boycott it.

Yeah, the signal it sends is that you're a blithering idiot, a chump, and an easy mark. What a jackass...

Cheers,

This implies that Vista is slow... (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706211)

Though the last time I ran a true benchmark of Windows operating systems was when I compared NT 3.51 to Windows 95 to OS/2 Warp on identical 386 DX/33 machines back in '94 - I fail to see why Vista is considered "slow".

From my own SOTP evaluation of using Vista over the past two years - in beta and production - it runs way better than the bloated XP ever did. In fact, I consider it a worthwhile upgrade for those looking to to from Win2K (which my wife still runs) to a newer MS product. (Assuming you don't upgrade from Vista to openSUSE or Ubuntu or another distro.)

Re:This implies that Vista is slow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706311)

whaat? lay off the pipe

Re:This implies that Vista is slow... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706383)

I have used vista and it is noticeable more bloated and slow than XP (or linux). Not sure how you have arrived at this conclusion, but a lot of others have also noted that "vista is slow".

Re:This implies that Vista is slow... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706779)

From my own SOTP evaluation of using Vista over the past two years

What is SOTP [google.com] ?

A bit smarter would be welcome (3, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706257)

They've sped up the front end so it feels like you're getting more done, but in terms of real productivity it's no better than Vista

Improving the front end is overdue and welcome.

Under Windows 2000/XP (have not touched Vista yet) I have often wondered why the Windows Explorer takes ages to show a directory, even if the actual content at the displayed directory level is only a few dozen elements. Maybe it scans all subdirectories for whatever arcane reason?

I strongly suspect there is a lot that can be optimized there, and if Windows 7 finally got around to it, this would be a good thing.

Re:A bit smarter would be welcome (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706675)

I have often wondered why the Windows Explorer takes ages to show a directory

Shlemiel algorithm [joelonsoftware.com]

The reverse also applies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706265)

Perhaps, instead of qualifying windows 7 as nothing above vista, we can say that fundamentally vista is probably not that bad, but needs a tweak or two to get noticeable improvements.

Progress, right? (2, Insightful)

tsvk (624784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706267)

If the UI is now snappier and more responsive so that the user feels more happy with his user experience, isn't that still good progress even if in reality the speedup is only subjective? Everything that makes the user more content using the product is good, right?

Optimizing the UI is perfectly legtimate exercise (4, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706291)

Of course a snappy UI is a huge deal. Users spend a lot of time navigating before they actually run anything. And, keeping the UI snappy even when the CPU is under heavy load is an especially important user experience requirement.

There's nothing illegitimate or sneaky about optimizing the hardware to better serve the user.

Crap article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706313)

'the actual performance gap between Vista and Windows 7 is... nada. Absolutely nothing. Our Office benchmarks and video encoding tests complete in precisely the same time regardless of which OS in installed. [...] It's tempting to see this as a bit of a con.

Well, you wouldn't expect the OS to have a substantial effect on video encoding. I mean, the video encoding software is going to work with the OS to open one file and write another, and to update a GUI every so often, but the bottleneck is the video encoding code which you wouldn't expect to interact with the OS at all.

To use a car analogy, it's like saying "Third design of car dashboard doesn't improve vehicle speed over unpopular second design of car dashboard" - the dashboard shouldn't have anything to do with the car's speed!

I agree that Vista might have slower OS calls, driver support and/or OpenGL support - but video encoding doesn't test any of those things!

Now, if they had included XP in this test, and found that Vista was slower than XP and Windows 7 was no better, that would be news.

Re:Crap article (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706581)

>Now, if they had included XP in this test, and found that Vista was slower than XP and Windows 7 was no better, that would be news.

actually they did mention in footnotes that both vista and win7 are 22% slower than XP somehow. the article is true crap though. this is what happens when someone who doesn't really understand what they are writing about is allowed to publish: an article with no valuable information, bad science, and a lot of rambling on about the authors ideas and opinions. as you mentioned, the video encoding test doesn't even make any sense in this context. little more than a ploy to raise traffic to the site imho.

Re:Crap article (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706661)

I think the upshot is that the UI is better so you'll be more productive, but the multimedia stuff is still going to be hampered by the DRM crap Microsoft added to Vista. It doesn't matter if you're working with your own material in a DRM unencumbered format, the backend DRM stuff still runs regardless.

Think Back... (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706319)

...And you'll realize that this is actually pretty impressive (you know, for MSFT). At this point in its life Windows 7 is already performing *better* than SP1 Vista. Vista was hamstrung by drivers and incompatible apps even for months after its release. If 7 can already out perform it then I'd say we can look forward to a decent new OS.

So what will it take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706359)

... to get real change in the MS OS? What it has always taken: Apple Innovation.

Nothing against MS here. I use and enjoy their products, and I can't blame them for improving their OS's when there are improvements in the industry. But it's like having a girlfriend with fake boobs - sure they look and feel great, but in the back of your mind, you know they're not her's.

I am NOT the kind of guy... (4, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706399)

That would cut MS any kind of slack. I hate their ugly guts (and boy, all guts are ugly, but theirs...: just imagine winnt's kernel code).

That being said, if the thing is faster in the iface, its a faster experience and that is that.

Those are seconds saved.

Its just stupid to hit them for doing something better, especially if you see what they are coming from: i mean, it cant be that hard to make something feel better than, for christ sakes, VISTA.

Yay (1)

insane_membrane (1366135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706415)

They did a smart thing then, by improving responsiveness. If something feels faster, then it is :) And you get more stuff done. Yay! Bravo Microsoft for doing the proper thing and not rewriting everything!

Stay classy, slashdot (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706429)

Anyone find it funny that the headline and summary is clearly biased, and not in Microsoft's favor, yet the article referenced is actually very complimentary? Stay classy slashdot editors, stay classy. I sense a bit of saltiness now that Microsoft is actually releasing good software.

Re:Stay classy, slashdot (0)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706587)

...now that Microsoft is actually releasing good software.

Hmm, there's some kind of contradiction here.

Um - A bit early (2, Insightful)

VoxMagis (1036530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706489)

I despise Microsoft, and I doubt the conclusions from the article will change, but lets let them get it past BETA before we burn them as witches.

Bad premise. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706533)

Vista is only really slower in a few areas, like 3D games. This useless assertion that "Windows 7 isn't faster" would only have meaning if they had concrete numbers comparing Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

Or - why would I _expect_ Windows 7 to be faster in Office or in media encoding? Answer - I wouldn't.

Where was the real improvement (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706535)

One of the problems with Vista was hardware upgrades. Every new cycle of Windows requires some hardware upgrades for the new version. Unfortunately for MS, the 5 year gap between XP and Vista hurt them. Combined with MS not defining the real requirements of Vista meant that most people trying to upgrade their 5 year old machine would end up in disaster.

These are MS recommended hardware for Vista Ultimate/Business:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of system memory
  • 40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with

Compared to XP Pro requirements:

  • PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
  • 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor

Now both requirements are really inadequate to use the OS fully. The difference is with only 3 years between 98/XP, it was easy for users to upgrade their CPU, motherboards, video cards without much infrastructure changes. For the 98/XP upgrade it was only 3 years and most users only needed more RAM. If users did require hardware upgrades (CPU, video card), these were readily available. Need a faster Pentium/Athlon in 2001? Go down to BestBuy. The 5 year gap between XP and Vista meant that some hardware upgrades were not easy or even possible. Need a faster Pentium/Athlon in 2007? They don't make them anymore. Ebay is your only real source and even if you upgrade to the fastest one, your system will be slow.

How about the Windows User being smarter... (0)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706541)

If I were a windows user and was duped into purchasing Vista, I'd request a refund as soon as Windows 7 hits the streets. Not that $bill would give it to them obviously.

In my high school... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706593)

many hands-on testers praised Sue for being faster than Betty.

side-grade options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706601)

so what exactly do you lose at this point moving to linux? For any given tie-in, can't you run cygwin for it now?

No Worse... (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706641)

I'll be happy with "No worse". After all, don't forget that the speed of hardware will dramatically improve before it hits the market.

Not that I've ever used Vista...

Slashdot and Tags (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25706667)

Can someone tell me why Slashdot's tags overlap with the summary? I mean do the site maintainers even check their work on more than 1 web browser? It's pretty annoying trying to read the last few sentences of the summary only to have it overlapped with tags. Also what is this metric-fuck-ton of javascript that has started plaguing the front page. I thought this was a news blog not the forefront of web 3.0. Between those 2 fuck ups, Flash ads, and that stupid survey popup, and these new slew of pointless articles (Stupid useless VIM tricks? c'mon) this site is quickly going into the shitty and not even because of comments. Fix your shit slashdot. Please

Just a quick note . . . (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706741)

MicroSoft has been pretty clear that Windows 7 is not a major shift away from Vista. As an example: Win 3.1 -> Win95 was a heart transplant, Win95 -> Win98 was a facelift.

Windows Vista -> Windows 7 is another facelift. MicroSoft has been mostly honest about this. Yes, there have been conflicting rumors, some of which originated with MicroSoft personnel, but the source doesn't necessarily guarantee the accuracy of the information. MicroSoft's official line on Windows 7 is to quietly admit that it isn't a major code revision - in fact, I heard one rumor that they were planning to release it under the name "Windows 6.3" instead of the codename "Windows 7", to explicitly make it (sort of) clear that this is a minor revision, not a major one.

Not that I think Windows Vista is worth the DVD's it ships on, but the folks here might consider giving MicroSoft a break. My opinion of MicroSoft remains pretty low, but in this I think they're actually trying to do something right. They're not claiming to have invented a new paradigm or anything stupid like that, they're just saying that there's a new version of the Windows operating system coming soon.

I just want a computer to feel responsive (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706745)

If a computer takes a fraction of as second to respond, I'm not going to be any less productive. It doesn't feel as nice though. If there's a trick to make it feel more responsive I don't care that it's a trick. It still works.

Advertisement (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25706785)

This conjures up images of a puzzled Justin Long watching John Hodgman running haphazardly on treadmill while simultaneously wolfing down cheesburgers.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...