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Generational Windows Multicore Performance Tests

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the spinning-yer-wheels dept.

228

snydeq writes "Windows XP, Windows Vista, and (soon) Windows 7 all support SMP out of the box, but as InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy notes, 'experience has shown that multiprocessing across discrete CPUs is not the same thing as multiprocessing across integrated cores within the same CPU.' As such, Kennedy set out to stress the multiprocessing capabilities of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 in dual-core and quad-core performance tests. The comprehensive, multiprocess workload tests were undertaken to document scalability, execution efficiency, and raw performance of workloads. 'What I found may surprise you,' Kennedy writes. 'Not only does Microsoft have a firm grasp of multicore tuning, but its scalability story promises to keep getting better with time. In other words, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are poised to reap ever greater performance benefits as Intel and AMD extend the number of cores in future editions of their processors.'"

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So what? (5, Insightful)

fpophoto (1382097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26560925)

Are we supposed to be surprised that the leading OS vendor, who's had deep, intertwined relationships for decades with hardware makers is exploiting that hardware properly?

Honest question: where's the news here?

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561191)

The news is that nobody can say anything non-critical of Microsoft without being accused of advertising or astroturfing.

Oh wait, this is Slashdot. Nevermind.

The Money Quote (5, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561395)

Basically, this article states the obvious: Windows XP 64 is just plain faster than Vista 64 or Win7 64. By a factor of 20-40%. But to understand why, you need to read the MONEY quote. Here it is:

In the end, it all comes down to the complexity of the execution path. With its simpler legacy kernel devoid of DRM hooks and other performance-sapping baggage, Windows XP provides a cleaner code path for the workloads to navigate as they execute. This, in turn, translates into better overall performance with lower consumption of CPU cycles.

It's the DRM baby. You strip that out of the Kernel, and Vista and Win7 will EASILY outpace XP with their more advanced and flexible SMP capability. Until Microsoft understands that people DO NOT WANT DRM and removes it from their newer OSes, these new OSes will continue to suffer from performance problems, and thusly, acceptance and sales problems.

Come on Microsoft. Apple has figured it out, DRM is a sales loser. Do you really want to keep wasting time on a loser technology in the midst of a global recession? You blew it with Vista, but you still have a chance with Win7. Offer people a DRM-Free kernel and Win7 will FLY off the shelves.

 

Re:The Money Quote (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561583)

I've never understood why the DRM crap matters as long as you don't run anything using it but whatever. Sounds like a bad excuse.

Re:The Money Quote (5, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561623)

Because ALL software has to run the DRM hook gauntlet. basically, the way Microsoft has set it up is that the DRM processes are ALWAYS running and CANNOT be disabled. So every single bit of data is processed through the DRM loop, slowing everything down.

Re:The Money Quote (1, Troll)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562033)

No matter how Windows is coded and designed is the problem really the DRM or Microsofts implementation of it?

Re:The Money Quote (5, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562077)

Oh? That's quite a claim.

"DRM" only kick in the moment you play hi-def media with copy-protection bits enabled only. Vista is in some tests ever-so-slightly slower than XP, but then XP was to 2k, 2k to 98, etc, etc. It's a phenomenon known as "more code".

I'd appreciate it if you could justify any of these claims with say some evidence? Not the Auckland guy though, his claims were debunked rather thoroughly a long time ago.

Re:The Money Quote (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562429)

That's an itneresting point. I wonder why they didn't test 2k, 98, and 95?

I could test an old DOS game vs. [insert new game here] and see the FPS in [insert new game here] be so, so much lower. [insert new game here] must be horrible, DRM infested, and we should all use old DOS games.

Granted, Vista does seem a bit on the slow side (although on my Q6600 w/ 7GB RAM, it runs pretty quickly all in all), and Windows 7 *seems* to run slightly faster even in a VM... but I'm so tired of reading the "XP (read: an operating system that came out many years ago) is faster on current hardware than Vista/Windows 7!"

I may as well come out and say Ubuntu is so stupid, I could run [insert random distro] on my old 486 faster than Ubuntu on my modern hardware! Or whatever. The general idea is there.

Re:The Money Quote (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562719)

All you MS apologists and shills have the same talking points: (1) DRM is harmless because it isn't invoked unless you're play DRMed content (in which case you *want* it), and (2) Don't quote Peter Gutmann (the "Auckland guy") because he's been debunked.

"The Auckland guy" has most definitely not been debunked. The only serious (using the term loosely) efforts I know of have come from Microsoft itself and from the Microsoft's ad agency, ZDNet. Gutmann showed the ZDNet critics for the idiots that they are (not that it wasn't already pretty obvious on the face of it), and the Inquirer exposed the Vista team's response for the spin that it was.

"The Auckland guy" is a respected academic computer scientist and security and cryptography expert who is talking in his field of expertise. Everything he says is based on Microsoft's own developer docs or device manufacturer docs. He cites his sources. He explains it all in technical detail. And unlike his opponents his fortunes aren't tied to this argument.

The truth scares you shills so much you have to try to discredit and suppress him at every turn. That's why you say thing like "Stop quoting the Auckland guy, he's been thoroughly debunked." I hate to break it to you, but this random debunked guy from Auckland has Bruce Schneier on his side. It's not hard to tell the difference between the experts and the shills in this debate, as long as the experts get the exposure they deserve. That's why people keep posting links to the "Auckland guy" despite your desperate protests. I know who I trust.

Read Peter Gutmann's excellent article here:
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

just test it with an avi file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562895)

yes, it's very easy to test it, get an avi file, lets say 100MB play it on XP, measure CPU utilization, now get the same file and do the same test on vista, compare results !!! and now who is the whore? test has to be performed on identical hardware ;)

Re:The Money Quote (1, Troll)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562281)

How do you know? Do you have the source code to Windows Vista?

Everyone I've seen that blames "DRM" for Vista being slow has no idea what they are talking about, and are just going "Vista has DRM and is slow, therefore it must be slow because of DRM".

Correlation is not causation people!

Re:The Money Quote (3, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562591)

"How do you know? Do you have the source code to Windows Vista?"

Do you?

"Everyone I've seen that blames "DRM" for Vista being slow has no idea what they are talking about, and are just going "Vista has DRM and is slow, therefore it must be slow because of DRM"."

At a minimum, the changes to the driver model required to support DRM add a whole load of extra bloat that sucks performance; code that previously would have been tightly integrated into drivers now involves a lot of interaction with the OS.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26563025)

As far as I know the only DRM is a check that runs before a protected video plays, that verifies that the hardware you're using for playback is all approved, and you're connected to the TV by a HDCP-encrypted connection, etc.

AFAIK, it doesn't do anything to non-protected videos, and nothing at all to non-video.

It certainly doesn't have a check in every command to the driver trying to figure out if you are watching an illegal xvid rip of something copyrighted like everyone suggests.

Now prove me wrong.

Re:The Money Quote (3, Informative)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562453)

Wrong. About the only source you could use to back up that claim would be troll fodder pumped out by the likes of Peter Gutmann, who himself doesn't really have a firm grasp of what he's talking about. As we can see with Modern Benchmarks [extremetech.com] , Vista can match or even beat XP in terms of performance.

But wait, that can't be. You are stealing me that evil DRM hooks are stealing clock cycles. XP doesn't have those hooks, so how can it do worse in some tests?

Re:The Money Quote (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562729)

Because ALL software has to run the DRM hook gauntlet. basically, the way Microsoft has set it up is that the DRM processes are ALWAYS running and CANNOT be disabled. So every single bit of data is processed through the DRM loop, slowing everything down.

Citation Needed.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

wyoung76 (764124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561629)

And yet the average Joe won't know nor care if it has DRM built-in or not...

Re:The Money Quote (1)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561755)

Nope. The average user has no clue what "DRM" is. They just know that when they put vista on their formerly decent machine, it suddenly runs slow and won't let them do things that used to work just fine.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561801)

You're right, all Joe cares about is can he get what he needs to do, done, and can he do it quickly. The GP is just stating that Joe would be happier without the sludge because his OS would be that much more responsive. I took Windows 7 *and* Vista for a tire kicking experience last weekend. I was happy until I got to games and other CPU/GPU activities. Strip out the sludge so they run as well are better than on XP and you'll have me sold, too.

Re:The Money Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562919)

Joe does care when he can't play a track or a movie. He cares when he can play it on device X and can't on his PC.

Re:The Money Quote (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561689)

you need to read the MONEY quote. Here it is:

In the end, it all comes down to the complexity of the execution path. With its simpler legacy kernel devoid of DRM hooks and other performance-sapping baggage, Windows XP provides a cleaner code path for the workloads to navigate as they execute. This, in turn, translates into better overall performance with lower consumption of CPU cycles.

Does he know this for a fact, or is he just pulling a big juicy guess out from his gaping asshole?

Re:The Money Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562937)

Of course he's pulling it out of his ass; that won't stop people from perpetuating the claim, though. To be fair, there is a grain of truth to it. DRM "features" were moved into the kernel, BUT those features are only enabled when you are processing "protected" media. Perhaps he was playing a Blu-ray disc during his tests...

Re:The Money Quote (5, Insightful)

quo_vadis (889902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561775)

I have never been a "windows fanboi"( In fact this is being posted from a linux computer) and I am no defender of Microsoft's business practices. However without doing code analysis, it is impossible to say that this slowdown is because of DRM. Nowhere in the article does it suggest that they were able to do a profile analysis of the kernel codes and compare what modules on the path were causing the delays. So while it is theoretically possible(and likely) that the source of the delay was DRM related, one cannot be sure. If you possess knowledge otherwise, please feel free to cite it and correct me.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562255)

They obviously grabbed a hack from thepiratebay.org which did nothing except disabling the DRM, and saw a performance gain of 20-40% ;)

Re:The Money Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561783)

Come on Microsoft. Apple has figured it out, DRM is a sales loser.

What is it with you people? Apple is far worse than Microsoft on the DRM front. They lock shit down that has nothing to do with media piracy. I can't install rockbox on a newer ipod because they decided to encrypt the firmware. I can't use linux to sync newer ipods because they decided to increase the itunes database.

Fuck Apple

Re:The Money Quote (1)

twowoot4u (1198313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561867)

Wrong! The real solution is to put more stress on the hardware vendors to both improve their driver support, as well as make faster hardware to run these 'more powerful' OS's. The faster your CPU is the better it should handle the DRM hooks, right? :D

Re:The Money Quote (0, Flamebait)

kno3 (1327725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561991)

if Windows XP 64bit actually worked then this would be useful, but it doesn't it is completely useless as an OS because it is so unstable.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

mitherin (988545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562283)

if Windows XP 64bit actually worked then this would be useful, but it doesn't it is completely useless as an OS because it is so unstable.

I beg to differ... I've been running XP x64 for a couple years now and its just as stable, if not more so, than x86. I've only had to do a couple tricks to make things work, simply because it was never pushed hard as a mainstream version

Re:The Money Quote (0, Troll)

kno3 (1327725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562491)

interesting. I have tried to get a friends install working before, and found it incredibly frustrating. I also tried installing it myself but I could never get it to boot after install. Tried various discs, assumed that it didn't like some of my hardware. You may be lucky and have a computer which it is fine with. I have met many people who have had similar experiences as I, but I suppose my friends and I could just be unlucky.

Re:The Money Quote (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562483)

Mod up. I used XP 64 and was really happy with it... and then it randomly became EXTREMELY slow when doing any IO, it seemed. I don't know why. I went back to XP 32 bit, which works great for under 4GB RAM. Then I got more RAM and had to get a 64 bit Windows (and yeah, had to be Windows unfortunately, software constraints... available on Mac or Windows; VM/Wine not an option due to performance issues, AFAIK)

Re:The Money Quote (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562699)

I've used XP64 for 2 years now, and it works great. The only problem was a printer that I've really never used and even now has drivers, and it still doesn't get used.

Re:The Money Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562329)

This a commonly quoted myth, parroted by people (like you) who don't know what the hell they are talking about!

Re:The Money Quote (5, Insightful)

rossjudson (97786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562389)

This is yet another one of those times when I wish Slashdot wasn't so ridiculously hostile to Microsoft. What we need here is some informed, possibly even official commentary from someone in the know at MS. Exactly why is a workload slower on Vista? Where's that time going? Right now something like 60-70% of corporate workloads still run on Windows OS, so gaining an understanding of exactly why is important.

When the difference is on the order of 20-40% (if the article is to be believed), we're looking at some level of system-call "tax" under Vista, or we're looking at a different _capability set_. If the workload on Vista is in a secured environment, and the same workload runs faster on XP in an unsecured environment, we're talking apples and oranges.

It could be the case the even for workloads running as root equivalents in Vista execution times are worse...but we don't really know from what's quoted in this article, and there isn't any response from MS.

I think Vista is a pretty important upgrade for most users. Even if its security mechanisms are intrusive, at least they're _there_, and that's a step in the right direction.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562551)

Apple has figured it out, DRM is a sales loser.

Really? I thought Apple were busy adding more DRM to their products [eff.org] .

NUMA (5, Informative)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562579)

As a HPC developer, there's a few areas where XP falls down. With the release of the new Core i7 line from Intel, the end of the FSB is in sight. Both Intel and AMD now use a ccNUMA memory architecture, which has tremendous implications on software design. In short, if your software isn't aware of the system's memory topology, you're going to end up with most of your memory traffic going over the processor interconnects and that's a substantial performance hit over going directly to memory (2-4 times slower).

XP's NUMA support is very weak. Sometimes the easiest solution is to write your own allocator (and preallocate huge chunks of ram).

And before somebody comes along and says 'no real HPC is done in Windows!' there are a lot of old, crusty engineering software packages that everybody is scared of porting.

Re:The Money Quote (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562707)

Ahh, so the article makes up crap about "drm hooks and other performance sapping bagage" and you just accept that is how the kernel is built. I see. You don't even question what the "other performance sapping bagage" might be. I'd be curious to know as well. Since neither you or the article author are MS kernel developers, I don't care what you THINK might be in the execution path.

Your post also fails, because the author doesn't say if DRM or the "other baggage" is causing the greatest loss of performance, yet you jump all over the DRM aspect.

Re:So what? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561617)

The news is that Solitaire is now multi-core aware and will load all your cpu cores if you win.

Re:So what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561717)

The news is: Microsoft is planting AstroTurf everywhere to combat sliding sales and a general resentment toward Vista.

In related news, they laid off 5,000 due to the "economy"... No mention of poor Vista adoption, but that's what's behind it.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

squallbsr (826163) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562767)

I would believe that the 5000 layoff is the culling of the 'bad apples' that every organization has in their ranks. The economy is just a good excuse to do it.

The proof is in where the cuts are being made. Are they cutting sales staff? Are they cutting consulting services? Or are they cutting developers? -- THAT is the question.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

kno3 (1327725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561951)

Ha, I can't believe that you could be so biased against Microsoft that you would even turn an example of them doing well into an insult. And yes, I have many a Linux obsessed friend that have argued with me saying: Vista's 64 bit support is terrible and it is unable to utilise more than one core. Fact is that it does so very well, and I am very glad of this article as it is a great thing to cite when I get told bulls**t again.

Re:So what? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562017)

Yes actually.

How long did it take them to fully exploit the 80386?

Some of us have a long memory and hold grudges.

Re:So what? (1, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562751)

look up the performance of Windows 95( the 32bit OS as MS claimed ) on the then new PentiumPro( the 32bit optimized CPU Intel claimed ). hint, an old 150MHz Pentium outperformed a 150MHz PentiumPro when running Windows 95. Real 32bit OSs like *nix, OS/2, and Windows NT showed vast performance increases running on the 32bit PentiumPro. It then took Intel almost 2 years to bring back 16bit optimizations into their latest CPU hardware.

I don't think this is about Microsoft being buddies with the hardware people. I think it has more to do with Microsoft designing poor software and throwing alot of it at the distribution such that just to get the OS off the metal, it's really resource intensive and their core OS guys are tasked with getting as much out of the available hardware as they are capable of.

Remember, tests had already shown that Windows XP outperformed Vista by 100% on the same hardware. Microsofts marketing is doing a better job now and we are constantly seeing performance tests showing Vista faster than XP and even Windows 7(beta) being faster than XP. And we are seeing alot of these performance test so once again, chalk it up to Microsoft's marketing because do you really think their OS people did in less than a year what they couldn't do in over 5 years?

LoB

Multicore vs. Single core (5, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26560937)

'What I found may surprise you,' Kennedy writes. 'Not only does Microsoft have a firm grasp of multicore tuning, but its scalability story promises to keep getting better with time. ...'

Not really, wasn't one of the major complaints about Vista that they were changing the OS architecture to tune multicore processors to the detriment of single core processors?

Re:Multicore vs. Single core (0, Troll)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562489)

Well, what might surprise you is that XP is still faster than either one, and will only be surpassed by windows 7 when you have 32 cores or so. So they made it faster for 32 core machines to the detriment of single -> 31 core machines. That is surprising. Or as the article later suggests is due to other things in vista & 7 that increases the amount of stuff it has to do per transaction.

Its a shame really, it sounded like it was going to be a really positive article. Everyone else has had mostly positive reviews of windows 7. But this one does give me pause about eventually upgrading from XP.

Re:Multicore vs. Single core (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562679)

Is there really a reason you need to upgrade? If updates are your concern then why don't you switch to Mac or Linux for your next PC? Call me old fashioned but I don't tend to upgrade very often, installing updates I have no problem with but "upgrading" is a giant pain.

Is the moon haunted? (1)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26560945)

I am thinking of going there and need to know if the moon is haunted. If the moon *is* haunted, what kind of ghosts can I expect to find there?

Re:Is the moon haunted? (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26560961)

Elvis [ghost-pictures.org] .

118% slower (5, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26560967)

Roughly 118 percent slower than XP on dual-core

Some great mathematics in this review... it also appears as if Vista isn't just not solving the problems presented to it, but also adds new ones to increase its own workload.

Fascinating...

Re:118% slower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561309)

No, really... where is the troll?! It's a JOKE...

Seriously. Where are the mods?

Re:118% slower (5, Funny)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561493)

Roughly 118 percent slower than XP on dual-core

Some great mathematics in this review...

Yeah, I was sorta wondering about that. Anyone know what the denominator could have been in this calculation? Are they really claiming that it runs the code backwards, undoing the calculations and going from a programs outputs to what its inputs had to be? If so, that could be a major technological advance all by itself. Imagine the useful things you could do with this capability ...

Re:118% slower (2, Funny)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561931)

This was to satisfy Bill G's desire to "factor large prime numbers."

Re:118% slower (1)

Kjellander (163404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562143)

It should be 54% slower. If it takes 118% more time to do it.

x = 100 * (1 - 100 / (100 + 118))

More great mathematics (4, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562525)

From page 2 of TFA:

In terms of raw application throughput, Windows XP clearly is still king of the hill. However, despite its current edge on dual-core and quad-core systems, Microsoft's 8-year-old OS is beginning to show its age. For example, when you contrast the dual- and quad-core transaction times for the ADO (database) and MAPI (workflow) workloads, you see that scalability -- in terms of a percentage improvement from dual-core to quad-core -- is capped at 265 percent for the database tasks and 32 percent for the messaging workflow tasks. While excellent by legacy Windows NT standards, these improvements pale next to the 571 percent boost witnessed for the same SQL-driven database workload under Windows 7, or the 58 percent improvement for the MAPI message store workflow task under Windows Vista.

(emphasis mine)
So we are supposed to believe that the database test on Windows 7 runs 571 percent faster on a quad-core compared to a dual core?
That would be a factor of 6.71, or in terms of performance per core, a factor of 3.355. In other words, the quad core would do 3.355 times more work per core than the dual core. That sounds not very believable, considering similar tests the German C't magazine has done in the past (for Linux and Windows 2000). In those tests, both OS scaled at best linear with the number of CPUs, so the "performance boost" from going from dual to quad core was at best 100% (in most tests more like 80%).

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what Randall C. Kennedy wanted to say. Here it would have helped if he posted his raw data and test configuration, as most reputable testers do. But as he only posted a few end results, I can only say that his numbers seem bogus. I rated the Infoworld article with 1 of 5 points.

Oops...there is some info on config (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562967)

On rereading, I found a link ("How I tested") that gives at least an overview of the configuration. For the hardware:

I repeated this scenario across all three Windows operating systems installed in a triple-boot configuration on both dual-core and quad-core test beds (a Dell OptiPlex 745 with Core 2 Duo E6700, 4GB RAM, and 10K RPM SATA disk and an HP EliteBook 8730w with Core 2 Extreme Q9300, 8GB RAM, and 7200 RPM SATA disk, respectively).

So on one hand, I have to apologize for dissing Mr. Kennedy on lack of transparency.

On the other hand, he obviously used two different systems with different amounts of RAM which can introduce new errors. For instance, lets assume the working set as defined on Wikipedia (URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_set>) has a size of 6 GByte. Then the Dell OptiPlex 745 with only 4GB RAM will have to keep reloading from disk, while the HP EliteBook may be able to run entirely from cache in the second and any further pass. I consider that a bad error inmethodology.

My experience... (3, Informative)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26560999)

I run both XP and Vista on Core2Duo processors.

I'm certain with XP and less certain with Vista (I don't use it for production work) that I can get better performance by forcing everything but EXPLORER.EXE to use the second core at a low priority.

Then as I run programs, they automatically go to the first core (with EXPLORER.EXE).

This allows me to run FOLDING, an RSS reader, LogMeIn all the time but on the second core.

I especially notice a difference when I copying files at the command prompt.

The program is called PROCESS.EXE and can be found at:

http://www.beyondlogic.org/consulting/processutil/processutil.htm [beyondlogic.org]

It is a manual process but it is pretty simple to create a batch file to do the dirty work.

=Smidge=

Re:My experience... (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561137)

My experience is that if you set a programs ( notepad for example ) affinity to the second core and then set it to 'realtime', Windows slows to an agonising crawl with the first core usage at 0% and the second at 100%. As far as I am concerned, SMP doesn't work ( at least, not on WinXP SP2/SP3 ).

Re:My experience... (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562877)

This is not what happes at all, at least not on XP SP2.

Setting notepad's affinity only to CPU 3 and priority to Realtime does absolutely nothing: the overall CPU usage stays at about 1-2% and Windows is perfectly responsive. But the thread is idle, I hear you say! Well doing the exact same thing to a working WinRAR process just results in 25% overall usage and ~100% core 3 utilization, leaving the system as responsive as ever.

And Windows XP is still faster (4, Insightful)

ameline (771895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561027)

And XP is still faster than vista or 7, even on 4 cores... And he speculates that it would be faster on 8 (although he didn't measure that)

Scalability doesn't matter if you're still slower in absolute terms on systems that are available commercially at a reasonable price. (going past 8 cores these days is a very large price jump per core)

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561121)

But doesn't WinXP limited to only 4 processors?

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561447)

Physical Processors != CPU cores.

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561469)

IIRC it limits to two processor chips so it will use all cores in a dual quad but not in a quad dual.

at least that is the case for XP proffesional x64 edition, MS claim it is also the case for XP proffessional but I don't have first hand confirmation of that.

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561161)

"(although he didn't measure that)"

Most probably because XP can't do 8 cores.

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561227)

I don't see how that's really a win though. It's like saying it's the fastest OS named Vista.

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561505)

[citation needed]

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (5, Informative)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561189)

Ok so who is faster XP, or Vista?

The header says Vista and Windows 7, but yet in the article:

It should come as no surprise that Windows 7 performs very much like its predecessor. In fact, during extensive multiprocess benchmark testing, Windows 7 essentially mirrored Vista in almost every scenario. Database tasks? Roughly 118 percent slower than XP on dual-core (Vista was 92 percent slower) and 19 percent slower than XP on quad-core (identical to Vista). Workflow? A respectable 38 percent slower than XP on dual-core (Vista was 98 percent slower) and 59 percent slower on quad-core (Vista was 66 percent slower).

http://www.infoworld.com/article/09/01/22/03TC-windows-multicore_4.html [infoworld.com]

So therefore Vista and Windows 7 suck in performance to XP?

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

quo_vadis (889902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561357)

XP is still faster by a large margin(20% to 40% depending on load scenario). FTFA

If you take the raw transaction times for the database and workflow tasks, then factor them against the average processor utilization for these same workloads, you see that Windows XP consumes roughly 7.2 and 40.7 billion CPU cycles, respectively, to complete a single pass of the database and messaging workflow transaction loops on our quad-core test bed. By contrast, Windows Vista takes 10.4 and 51.6 billion cycles for each workload, while Windows 7 consumes 10.9 and 48.4 billion cycles. Translation: On quad-core, the newer operating systems are at least 40 percent less efficient than XP in the database tasks and roughly 20 percent less efficient in the workflow tasks.

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561511)

I would think XP would be faster depending on the scenario. Although the OS might be better tuned in Vista and Win7 for multi-cores, the applications that run on the OS may not be yet. As time goes on and applications are better tuned for multi-cores, that may change. Most applications today assume that there is one core and they must share it with other applications in Windows. The OS has to play a larger part in determining which core runs the app. In the future, multi-core apps might work better with the OS in determining priority and core, etc.

Re:And Windows XP is still faster (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562037)

I have 4 q6600 quad computers. One is running vista, one is running xp and two of them are running ubuntu. I do volunteer work for world community grid. The number of results for the last 14 days are as follows: vista 184, xp 127, ubuntu1 150, ubuntu2 210. They all have different motherboards but have the same amount of ram memory. The Ubuntu computers are running 64 bit version while the vista and xp are 32 bit operating systems. Here is an article http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9126460&source=rss_topic12 [computerworld.com] that states that going to 8 processors does not increase efficiency by much because of the memory access problem. The processors will spend too much time waiting for their turn to access ram memory.

tma:dr (0, Troll)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561067)

Too much ads: Didn't read.

Great job linking to a five page story with on-top layered flash ads and new whole page ads for each page.

Like I'd give a shit about the page at all in that case.

Re:tma:dr (1)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562209)

Funny you mention that - this link was the straw that broke the camel's back and drove me to install flash block.

Slashdot please help answer my question? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561089)

I am wearing tight pants and want to remove them in a suggestive way using only noble gases and UNIX.

Where's the beef? (5, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561117)

I tried RTFA (sorry, please mod me done for this ;) but, after clicked the "print" version, I couldn't find anything that looked like a benchmark report. No numbers. No tables. No graphs. All I saw was a page of [[weasel words]] or something like that.

Sigh..

Re:Where's the beef? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562297)

All I saw was a page of [[weasel words]] or something like that.

[[citation needed]]

Re:Where's the beef? (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562805)

This is something that needs to be brought up with the publisher of the online resource. Tell them that if their "printable view" doesn't show the charts from an article whose main substance is charts, then you are uninterested in visiting their site.

You might get a "Thanks, that's nice" response -- if you're bypassing ad revenue in the first place, you're not really their ideal customer.

Re:Where's the beef? (2, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26563027)

But this article has no charts in the first place! There's no presentation of data in either the normal page view or the printable view.

This has nothing to do with the ad policy. I believe this is the result of the author's lack of presentation skill (applying Halon's razor). Even Phoronix's one-paragraph-per-page benchmark reports does a better job.

Interesting (4, Insightful)

quo_vadis (889902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561173)

It is interesting that WinXP is still better in terms of performance than either. The article suggests that Win7 and Vista would be better on systems that hypothetically had 16+ cores.

But nowadays, especially in tech savvy crowds like on /., the most popular thing to do is run VMs with virtual instances of Windows, which reduces all the hassles associated with dealing with win cruft. Got a worm? restore machine. Drivers made system unstable? restore machine. The vms are typically only given 1-2 cores, the exact use case where WinXP does way better than its successors.

So even if we move to a world with 16+ core processors, if Win7 cannot do better than a 10 year old OS, in common scenarios, how can that be called progress?

Re:Interesting (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561887)

Sorry for posting an off-topic message here, but after reading your post and sig., I'd like to say "and Darth Vader rolls out VM snapshots" :-P

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561989)

Try running Win 98 on Vista's minimum hardware. Hell, lets go whole hog here. Try running Win 3.1 on Vista's minimum hardware. (Okay, you might have to do a lot of work to get it running, but I'm just trying to make a point). I guarantee you that both 98 and 3.1 will run faster than XP on that hardware. By a lot. If it surprises you that vista and xp run slower on the same hardware than xp, then either you're not thinking things through, or you're not very bright. As stated, they are far newer. This means they have a much higher assumed baseline of technology that they can run against, which means that they have far more assumed resources to play with. So yeah, on the same system, Vista runs slower than XP. No surprise (at all, as far as I'm concerned). Honestly, all this speed stuff is pretty pointless. The question with OSes is never really about the fastest, or we would all still be using DOS. The question with OSes is are the fast ENOUGH. This is very subjective, but it basically boils down to: will they run what we want them to run in an acceptably small amount of time. On its original release, Vista did not. However, right now Vista is certainly running fast enough for me, and I expect Win 7 will to. But you're ALWAYS going to take a performance hit moving to an OS that utilizes new technology, and I don't care what OS you use.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562547)

Apple prides themselves on each release being faster than the last. Linux has performance improvements in pretty much every (2.6.x) kernel version. Windows seems to be the odd one out here.

Re:Interesting (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562733)

Try running Win 98 on Vista's minimum hardware. Hell, lets go whole hog here. Try running Win 3.1 on Vista's minimum hardware. (Okay, you might have to do a lot of work to get it running, but I'm just trying to make a point). I guarantee you that both 98 and 3.1 will run faster than XP on that hardware. By a lot.

That comparison falls apart as soon a you go to a dual core CPU and more than 512 MByte RAM. Most new PCs will have that and Win 98 cannot utilize it. At best Win 98 will run using only half of the computer's resources. Now run an application that does take advantage of multiple cores. I bet XP would win.

Re:Interesting (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562345)

if Win7 cannot [...] how can that be called progress?

It's the new thing, the one created by the progress of time. Microsoft is generating profit, I mean progress, with their new OS.

It's progress in the sense that it allows Microsoft to survive off of a market it has already saturated and progress forward towards idunno by putting a "progress" sticker on their old^Wnew product.

</snark>

I completely disagree (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562939)

We've got all this dual core, quad core technology and at the moment almost no software companies are actually coding their programs to use it! It's rediculous and windows is absolutely right to push ahead and optomize for multiple cores- because as the base of most machine's it is the most important part of the system that needs upgrading. We can only hope this actually pushes some other software companies to start taking advantage of all this untapped power. If windows weren't optomizing for quad core and up they would be making tehmselves seriously vulnerable and would be actively slowing the adoption of multi core software systems.

Better multicore perfom to support more bloat (2, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561207)

Ok, so if the average user is still doing the same basic tasks, browser/email/word processing it kills me that I'm now requiring the CPU power of yesterdays servers to do these basic tasks. Having multicore systems enables software vendors to increase the bloat, because the increase in cpu/ram will take care of it; therefore hiding this increase in bloat from the user. It's no difference in converting all cars to lead bodies; as long as we put 1000hp engines in them. The user experience doesn't change b/c they still have the same 0-60 times.

For example, I've always wondered how much CPU time is wasted due to anti-virus software? Let's say you have a large windows on VMware environment. Each VM needs to have antivirus on it, if you've got a server with 10-20 VMs on it; you've got 10-20 instances of anti-virus running. There's gotta be some way to calculate the total amount of CPU and power (W) wasted on this single server to just running the antivirus scanning...

How about an increase in CPU, but either keeping the bloat the same?

Look for the Dodgy Phrasiology (3, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561229)

Not only does Microsoft have a firm grasp of multicore tuning, but its scalability story promises to keep getting better with time.

When you see bullshit buzzwords in articles that look as if they've been written by marketing people then look out. Marketing-led, buzzword-laden people always have stories. Are we really supposed to be impressed that the richest OS developer in the world can actually create a SMP capable OS that actually works reasonably given that SMP systems have been around for years? From the tone of the article it's like they're shocked that it works.

Re:Look for the Dodgy Phrasiology (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562369)

From the tone of the article it's like they're shocked that it works.

They're obviously familiar with Windows ME.

Linux supports SMP out of the box (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561549)

It's not news but then nor is the article.

Not to worry ... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561573)

The software developers will quickly undo all the speed advances that should result from multi-core CPUs. Software has a much shorter development time than hardware, so all the advantage in this contest is with the software.

mod DTown (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561683)

flaws in the BSD 4Plike to reap troubled OS. Now

How about 32 bit XP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561851)

It's nice to have my beliefs vindicated by someone with the time (and expertise?) to perform the tests, but how does the 32 bit version of XP compare? 32 bit XP is ubiquitous. 64 bit, not so much.

Sheesh (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561871)

Its funny how if microsoft releases an OS like vista- people bitch about how different it is from XP, and if they release an OS like windows 7- people bitch about how its the same as vista. Personally- I care more about the great new interface in windows 7 than shaving a split second off the time it takes to compile something. Sure, for things like servers, performance is what counts, but neither windows 7 nor windows vista are operating systems intended to run as servers. They're intended to be networked business workstations, or unnetworked home computers.

Re:Sheesh (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562543)

"...or unnetworked home computers"

And this is what I hate most about Vista. I would have thought that by now Microsoft would realize that people are no longer "unnetworked", even at home.

Why do Vista Home versions leave out basics such as telnet?! I don't use it for remote access, I use it for debugging network problems. Why can't Vista Home versions participate in a domain? Compared to XP Pro, Vista Home is completely crippled and totally useless. On Home Premium, non-admins can't even watch DVDs by default. In 2008 (now 2009)!

Performance is completely secondary when there's nothing to run anyway.

Better than Vista, still worse than XP (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26561877)

First, go to the real story [infoworld.com] , bypassing an intermediate blog and two interstitial ads.

Second, the article says the performance of the newer OSs is worse than XP. "In fact, during extensive multiprocess benchmark testing, Windows 7 essentially mirrored Vista in almost every scenario. Database tasks? Roughly 118 percent slower than XP on dual-core (Vista was 92 percent slower) and 19 percent slower than XP on quad-core (identical to Vista). Workflow? A respectable 38 percent slower than XP on dual-core (Vista was 98 percent slower) and 59 percent slower on quad-core (Vista was 66 percent slower)."

Third, there are no tables or graphs anywhere in these articles, and very few numbers. As a benchmarking article, this is awful.

Infoworld report is fluff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26561953)

The Infoworld report basically says, Windows 7 is (much) slower than XP, but it will get faster when you have 24 or more cores. AND... Microsoft will make it faster, why, because they said so.

Really. Shouldn't that be in an op-ed piece. A report shouldn't speculate and frankly any speculation about Microsoft promises about better or faster... Well Microsoft's *actions* speak far louder than Infoworld's words.

I wonder ... (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562001)

... if OS/2 on a single processor still outperforms Windows NT^H^HXP on multiple processors? ;-)

Where are the server OS's? (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562059)

I'd like to see how Server 2003 and 2008 stand up - since longer, less interactive processing is what they are tuned for. XP, Vista and 7 are tuned for quick user response.

Why not tweak the XP kernel? (2, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562099)

It's great that MS was able to tune the Vista kernel to avoid locks which reduce performance on multiple cores, but I'd rather see the same work done for XP, giving us something MUCH faster on a high number of cores, rather than a pig we can compensate for with many cores.

sfp /cum (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26562467)

What about multi-function? (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26562629)

Nobody is going to argue that if you run one single application (a database something), a "small" OS will work better. There are Linux versions that are specifically geared towards doing that sort of thing, right? Ubuntu is probably slower at something than [insert other dist].

The real question is, though... what about normal usage? Unfortunately, that's hard to measure... but how does Vista/Windows 7 affect normal user productivity and speed as opposed to simple benchmarks designed to test out efficiency at doing ONE thing?

If Vista and Windows 7 were designed to have a lot of background processes to help the user do this or that, then why not test that, too? XP wasn't designed that way, apparently, while Windows Vista/7 are more designed that way. So give it a level playing field and test what it was designed to do.

I don't have an answer of whether or not Vista/Win7 are slower or faster when doing other things (like, say, searching for a file because you can't remember where you put it, running multiple applications, using something DRM enabled, or whatever), but it'd be interesting to try to test it rather than a generic "XP runs a single application faster than Vista because Vista has more stuff running in the background." It'd be interesting to try to physically load the system with lots of applications and see which is better then.

..info (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26563013)

ok that's good XP is faster than Vista or Win7 on dual cores....why do i care... hm looking at my screen right now Im running more than one app none of them are dual core aware. Only the OS is. Does the average Joe know how to set a program to the second core or do they just leave it to the os to figure out? So here is what i want to know. Windows is able to see the second core so does it take the lower used item and send them over to it while they sleep? Like the services it loads or does it just stay on the first core? If Windows could move things over to the second core by itself for sleeping apps it may become faster for the standard apps that dont know about the second core.
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