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Early Speed Tests For Windows 8

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the greased-lightning dept.

Operating Systems 242

adeelarshad82 writes "You often hear in the software industry that performance optimization is one of the last steps in the software development process. That bodes well for Windows 8, considering at the early stage of Developer Preview—even before we've seen an actual beta—the nascent operating system is getting widespread praise for its performance, particularly in startup times. Anecdotal evidence is always encouraging, but PCMag decided to run some very early tests on the OS to see if the reports were wishful thinking or if there was a real, measurable boost in speed. Along with startup and shutdown times, they used several standard industry benchmarks to compare Windows 8 performance with that of Windows 7 running on the same machine."

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Well, of course. (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#37788200)

OF COURSE the test build of Windows 8 runs wickedly quick. Can't you read? It's an early Developer Preview, it's not even a beta yet. They haven't packed it full of the standard train-load of unnecessary services, buggy features, assorted DRM layers, and other miscellaneous bling, crapware, and patented Microsoft Goodness. And by god when it ships, it better have touch-screen enabled by defaultâ¦

All I can say is Windows has gone straight downhill since Clippy and Bob registered their domestic partnership and retired to Venice Beach.

An Afterthought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788220)

If performance optimization is one of the last steps in the process than I wouldn't expect much from it. Without the ability to re-engineer major sections of code, not something anyone would be willing to do at the end of the process, there won't be more than minor improvements.

Re:Well, of course. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788230)

They haven't packed it full of the standard train-load of unnecessary services, buggy features, assorted DRM layers, and other miscellaneous bling, crapware, and patented Microsoft Goodness

So aside from DRM, it's pretty much like Linux then, amirite?

Or do you tools not remember the days when Linux didn't fucking run ten billion motherfucking services worth of bullshit.

HAY GUYZ LETS RUN CUPS BY DEFAULT ON A SERVER LMAO EVERYONE HAS A PRINTE RIN THERIR RACK LULZ

Tool.

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788252)

If you are referring to distributions rather than a kernel then GNU-Linux at one time tended to ship with a crap load of unnecessary services enabled by default. No more and that has been the case for a significantly long time. Almost as long as GNU-Linux has been around.

Re:Well, of course. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788388)

So why isn't Ballmer being tested for speed?

History suggest you'll have a lot more chance of finding it on him than on Windows.

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788240)

All I can say is Windows has gone straight downhill

I've found Windows 7 64 to be an excellent desktop operating system. Faster than Linux in every way, by far the most stable desktop OS I've ever used and the sleep/hibernate functions work perfectly on my white-box hardware. It actually recovers from GPU driver faults without crashing. In fact I've never seen a blue screen or other major fault.

I earn a living developing embedded Linux systems and I generally love Linux.

Re:Well, of course. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788280)

Yeah I'm pretty impressed by the way Windows has been improving over the past few years. In fact, if Microsoft would ever just get around to letting me configure the OS by editing dozens of text files tucked away in obscure corners of the file system, each with their own non-standard, difficult-to-decipher, syntactically-bizarre configuration language that was made up on the spot while the developer was busy coding at 3AM while on a Mountain Dew & Cheetos sugar/caffeine/transfat rush, then I'll probably switch from Debian.

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788292)

Faster than linux in every way? Do you have some benchmarks to support that? I am especially interested in file system benchmarks.

Can Linux not recover from GPU faults? What exactly does it mean when the screen goes black for a short amount of time and comes back and in the log I see:
[403947.831856] radeon 0000:02:00.0: GPU softreset

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788350)

I am especially interested in file system benchmarks.

None. Just hundreds of hours using Linux and Windows desktop software for development, browsing, games, etc. I couldn't quote a file system throughput figure, but I do know Windows 7 behaves dramatically better during large IO operations; Linux has always become unresponsive when moving around large amounts of data and the tradition continues to this day. For me, not stalling for 10 seconds when a DVD ISO image must be copied is meaningfully 'faster.'

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788538)

That's true but only partially.
In Linux I often have much disk I/O and wouldn't notice it at all from desktop usage if not for the HD LED being on all the time.
Other times a little disk I/O completely blocks the desktop for ~ 10 seconds. I really have no idea why.

But:
I have seen very similar behaviour on Windows 7 on the same machine: I don't know what it does after booting when not having been used for quite a long time, some file indexer update or something, but it gets quite unresponsive for several seconds too while the CPU is not used much.
Other times I too wouldn't notice heavy disk I/O.

Re:Well, of course. (2)

MareLooke (1003332) | about 3 years ago | (#37788568)

My experience is quite the opposite, when transferring large files from windows to Linux (over a gigabit link) or vice versa it's always the Windows machine that chokes on the IO trashing like a madman (seen with, Debian/Gentoo and Windows XP/Vista/7 with either ReiserFS/ext3/ext4 vs NTFS).

My guess is your distribution isn't set up properly for your workload.

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788308)

It actually recovers from GPU driver faults without crashing.

Blind guess, you got a ATI card? :)

I made my GF card crash by seeing how high I could drive up the temp. Win7 didn't recover, so I had to RDP in and reboot to get it working again. OTOH the GF card never crashes when used normally.

Re:Well, of course. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37788430)

I've found Windows 7 64 to be an excellent desktop operating system.

I have to agree with this. Windows 7 is a major step up from XP* and very hard to find fault technically. I can choose any OS but I'm using Windows 7.

[*] Mostly due to XP's memory manager being completely crap but that's another story.

Re:Well, of course. (1)

karnal (22275) | about 3 years ago | (#37789018)

You should have worded it "I don't run operating systems often, but when I do... I prefer Windows 7."

"Stay cache thrashed, my friends."

Re:Well, of course. (1)

CxDoo (918501) | about 3 years ago | (#37789216)

Well, it's not so straightforward with 7 (2008 and Vista too). Yes, desktop performance & experience is great, but the abomination that WinSxS folder is fucks it up rather ruthlessly for VM, laptop and SSD usage. As it is, there is no way to strip it down to bare minimum and run lightweight.

I have VMs running XP on 2 gigs of disk and 256mb of RAM. Let me see you do that with any of the above mentioned. And don't tell me disk is cheap, because those VMs number in tens for me, and probably hundreds for other people.

Now how about my laptop with Windows partition of 25 gigs consisting of 17 gigs of Windows and tiny program files of 1.7 gigs? I'm fucking scared to run Windows update on it.

Re:Well, of course. (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#37788456)

Actually if you want to know what is generally the cause of Windows being slow its all that OEM trialware crapola that gets loaded onto a machine before you ever get it. I consider the new Asus EEE I got pretty light in that it only had nine extra things running at startup, of which only two I found useful (hybrid engine and Asus Hotkey) whereas I've seen as many as nineteen on some dells and HPs. That is why PC Decrapifier [pcdecrapifier.com] is a handy tool to have around.

The second thing that slows Windows down is what I call "granny services" which thankfully MSFT is FINALLY fixing in Windows 8. granny services are the services that MSFT or the OEMs have running to keep granny from calling tech support. That's support for cameras and scanners,media sharing services, etc. It took them a fricking decade but they are finally gonna have services launch by trigger instead of the usual auto/manual crap.

I only hope the new services setting is backported to Windows 7 as many of us have settled into Windows 7 and won't be making the switch for quite awhile. I know in my case i've just finished getting the last of my customers moved off of XP and I doubt seriously any of them will be too keen on jumping onto a new OS next year. With Windows 7 being supported until 2020 it could become the new XP, which while i'm sure that wouldn't make MSFT none too happy without a killer app to make all these multicores obsolete I just don't see folks switching every couple of years like we did in the 90s. Back then thanks to the MHz wars it was worth your while to switch thanks to the huge increases in performance, but now? Frankly any dual core is "good enough" for the majority of the things your average Joe is doing with a PC.

So while I'm happy that MSFT is FINALLY listening to users and making speed a priority I have a feeling windows 8 adoption will be even slower than 7 was. Anybody who has gotten a new PC in the past 4 years frankly has more than enough power to do whatever they want. Why would they switch? Frankly if the best reason they have is Metro and a few speed increases they are gonna be looking at some slow adoption rates IMHO. For most of the new machines I've seen in the end its the HDD not the OS that ends up the bottleneck anyway.

Re:Well, of course. (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 3 years ago | (#37789192)

OF COURSE the test build of Windows 8 runs wickedly quick. Can't you read? It's an early Developer Preview, it's not even a beta yet. They haven't packed it full of the standard train-load of unnecessary services, buggy features, assorted DRM layers, and other miscellaneous bling, crapware, and patented Microsoft Goodness. And by god when it ships, it better have touch-screen enabled by defaultâ¦

I want to mod this insightful, but I haven't played with the preview yet to know if it's actually accurate or not.

Performance (4, Insightful)

andresa (2485876) | about 3 years ago | (#37788210)

There are actually two kind of performances, which are both important. The real, actual performance, and how well the OS can make the system feel even under load. It's important to have a snappy feel even if the system underneath is working hard, and this is especially true now that the amount of cores in CPUs and multithreading are increasing. Say what you want, but just the feel of speediness is an important factor. This is why the boot up time is looked at so much too - it's great to quickly get to the desktop, and let the OS load up while you're already started working.

One thing I've noticed with boot up times (and this applies to all operating systems) is that the OS tries to load all programs at once. Usually the limiting factor to this will be hard drive. It's less true with SSD drives, but it's really noticeable with 7200 RPM and slower drives. It usually leads to the whole system crawling for a few minutes after desktop shows up. It would be great if the OS would measure the different loads and UI response times, and actually limit the startup programs. This way you could open your browser and other tools and those would be given priority upon startup process.

I tested the developer preview version briefly and it sure seemed a lot faster and snappier. The startup time is remarkably faster. And according to this PCMag test, seems like the overall speed has been improved a lot too. Good job MS!

Re:Performance (3, Insightful)

MareLooke (1003332) | about 3 years ago | (#37788592)

IMHO the time to desktop means nothing, especially on Windows as you note, the system isn't usable for minutes after the desktop's shown up. Adding in a faster drive (eg, an SSD or a hybrid drive) will cut down on the startup time, but the issue remains. So whether you load everything before showing the desktop or after will only make a difference in perceived bootup time, not in actual "time until the system is actually usable". In other words, it's just a cheap way to appear to boot faster without any actual benefit to the user.

Re:Performance (1)

andresa (2485876) | about 3 years ago | (#37788728)

Well like I said that effect could be reduced by prioritizing the apps I actually start myself. But like previous poster noted, it seems like MS actually tried that. However, just being able to start up browser and other lightweight tools and use it without feeling that slowness would be step forward. It's always the first thing I load and use it anyway, so the OS could load rest of the programs in the background while I go browse my usual websites.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788898)

I had to laugh at the startup times under Windows 7. My XP64 box is ready for action in somewhat less than 30 seconds and would give Win8 a run for its money. This is on a mere triple-core 3.2GHz Phenom (actually an X2-550 which happened to have a working third core).

The 30GB Kingston SSD I got for it back in March 2010 was a pretty good investment it seems.

Don't hurt retards (-1, Flamebait)

Kuruk (631552) | about 3 years ago | (#37788258)

This is moronic.

Windows 8 is an abomination on a PC to start with.

Don't measure retards against real PC OS;s

It is just not far or usable.

A clean install starts fast, surprising... not (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788260)

This leaves out of the picture that clean installs of any OS are going to be rather fast to start and shutdown, the issues begin when installations get bogged down.

Re:A clean install starts fast, surprising... not (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 3 years ago | (#37788490)

Really? I only know this issue from one certain OS (though, if it is good maintained it doesn't matter either)...other OSs with good package-managers don't seem to suffer that issue.

Re:A clean install starts fast, surprising... not (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 3 years ago | (#37789356)

I've been running the developer preview in a VM for about two months now, more or less around the clock with 5-6 mainstream apps (steam, chrome, VLC, mumble) installed for a sort of web service I'm testing. I've been more than happy with it and even exclaimed once or twice to my buddies that I might even consider buying this version of windows before SP1 comes out. Win8 on a VM (Virtual Box, in my case) just screams for basic apps. Even in a VM, Win8 developers figured out how to include "the snappy" in this release.... let's hope it stays that way to release.
 
One thing I'd like to see is the new zune style start bar overlay cut down to about 25% of the screen, and maybe making it transparent, instead of taking up 100% of it. The man who writes that plugin is going to be a very wealthy one.

Obligatory compare to Linux... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 3 years ago | (#37788290)

I would have compared the boot-time of Linux to this, but they never state what harddrive they're using, rendering any compare worthless.

...on second thought, let's just compare that against my 1.8Ghz Core2Duo, 2GiB RAM Notebook: Debian Wheezy needs 4 seconds to boot. :O

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788530)

Obligatory, maybe. Also irrelevant for a large bunch of people. 4 seconds to boot is neat, but how long does it take till you're ready to start up a DirectX game?

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789008)

Whoops...I thought I was on Slashdot.NET

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788558)

4 seconds to boot? How do you do that?
I always found that Debian takes an incredibly long time to boot - longer than any other OS I ever used.

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 3 years ago | (#37789016)

The trick is to not tell you that it's a Kingston SSD. ;)

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788606)

I would have compared the boot-time of Linux to this, but they never state what harddrive they're using, rendering any compare worthless.

...on second thought, let's just compare that against my 1.8Ghz Core2Duo, 2GiB RAM Notebook: Debian Wheezy needs 4 seconds to boot. :O

4 seconds cold boot from PC completely off to usable desktop? I guess most of that time is spent on BIOS POST, so your actual OS boots completely in a second or two? Linux is impressive...

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788996)

I would have compared the boot-time of Linux to this, but they never state what harddrive they're using, rendering any compare worthless.

...on second thought, let's just compare that against my 1.8Ghz Core2Duo, 2GiB RAM Notebook: Debian Wheezy needs 4 seconds to boot. :O

So?
My Amiga with a semi-modern HDD (Only 10 years old or so.) also boots in 4 seconds to usable desktop. A fresh install and optimized boot would shave off a second or two.
Long boot-times is a legacy-issue that shouldn't have happened in the first place. I hope it will be gone soon.

Re:Obligatory compare to Linux... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37789104)

I have to agree that this fascination with boot/shutdown time is like some new made up metric. "My machine can boot in 32 seconds." "HA! Mine can boot in 30!" Shut the fuck up. It takes 2 seconds to sneeze, for Chupacabra's sake! And unless you're rebooting, who cares what the shutdown time is? In which case, call it "reboot time." In which case, talk about how often you have to reboot.

"Long story short: unless the code takes a turn for the worse in the next year or so, we can look forward to some speedier computing once Windows 8 is released."
Talking about hedging your bet, dude.
"Unless the US economy gets better, we can look to some more unemployment."
Unless "All you base are belong to us," it's still ours.
Unless your iPod has sex with you, lame. ("No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.")

65% improvement but still more than half a minute (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 3 years ago | (#37788298)

From the article

Benchmark Windows 7 Windows 8 Percent improvement
Startup time (min:sec) 1:32 0:32 +65
Shutdown Time 10 11 -10

Old hobbits die hard.

Re:65% improvement but still more than half a minu (1)

ceka (1092107) | about 3 years ago | (#37788380)

More than half a minute including BIOS boot, which according to the article is 15 seconds.

Re:65% improvement but still more than half a minu (3, Interesting)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 3 years ago | (#37788464)

Startup time, until login screen, or desktop, or usable system, or fully usable system ....?

The four are different and most people assume you mean the last, when most are measured to the first .... ...and unless you have a laptop why are you turning the machine on and off enough to worry about boot times (in the real world the difference between 20s and 1 minutes is a vast gulf, the difference between 1 minute and 5 minutes is irrelevant)

Re:65% improvement but still more than half a minu (2)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | about 3 years ago | (#37788878)

About year ago, I tuned my linux box (cheap single-core Intel Atom board, 5400rpm HDD, 1GB RAM) to boot into X in 8s (measured between hitting ENTER key and displaying search results for "asdf" on google in Opera browser). Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE_QRZwNGOs [youtube.com]

Re:65% improvement but still more than half a minu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789028)

Nice, but how many minutes to determine what to show as copying time when copying several gigs to another drive?

Re:65% improvement but still more than half a minu (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37789110)

"Old hobbits die hard."
Was he taking Viagra?

First hammer out the dent, then repaint (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 years ago | (#37788300)

You often hear in the software industry that performance optimization is one of the last steps in the software development process. That bodes well for Windows 8, considering at the early stage of Developer Previewâ"even before we've seen an actual betaâ"the nascent operating system is getting widespread praise for its performance

Not necessarily. It wouldn't be the first time things have been performance tuned before they're actually working properly.

Anecdotal evidence is always encouraging

I heard the opposite.

Does anyone else detect a whiff of shill in the air?

Re:First hammer out the dent, then repaint (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 3 years ago | (#37788314)

It wouldn't be the first time things have been performance tuned before they're actually working properly.

Even more so: it wouldn't be the first time things have been performance tuned just before they stopped working properly :). But at least it was wrong much faster than before.

Re:First hammer out the dent, then repaint (1)

DZign (200479) | about 3 years ago | (#37788738)

What you often hear is wrong..
If performance is really important for your product, you have to thikn about it from the beginning and in every step.

Re:First hammer out the dent, then repaint (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 3 years ago | (#37789448)

Unless the "product performance" group is headed by some VP's nephew who has no managerial experience, no clout, no budget, and no staff...

Re:First hammer out the dent, then repaint (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789108)

"Does anyone else detect a whiff of shill in the air?"

No, I can't smell it due to the overpowering stench of knee-jerk anti-MS zealotry.

FFS, there'll be plenty of things to hate about 8 when it comes out, attacking it while it's still in the womb is a bit unnecessary, don't you think?

Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788304)

By "standard industry benchmarks", the summary means "benchmarks commonly used in tech magazines and blogs".

Startup time? (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | about 3 years ago | (#37788318)

The startup time should be faster if you used suspend instead of shutdown, Fedora 15 on my machine with 2GiB RAM, 7200rpm SATA 2 drives and i3 CPU @ 2.93 GHZ, starts back up to a desktop very quickly indeed, But I agree once they load it down with all of the services and other crap that Windows comes with then it will be slower than in these tests. And I did read the article.

Hopefully the Windows classic interface is an option.

Who cares about speed when... (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37788352)

...you boot the bastard on a desktop machine, and then it goes to that horrid Metro screen which makes navigating with a mouse and keyboard painful? It may be fine for touch, but without touch, man....it makes you want to break things.

Then you talk to a Microsoft turfer, as seen on here and other places, they will bald-faced lie to you and say "well, it's not finished yet, who knows what it will be like?"

Then you go to the Microsoft fora and ask Microsoft employees about Metro as being standard for the upcoming desktop, they double-down on it.

Guys, get your friggin' stories straight. All I know for sure is that Metro without touch is a steaming load of bovine excrement backlit by the morning sun so you can see the vapors wafting off it. Fix it.

--
BMO

Re:Who cares about speed when... (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 3 years ago | (#37788402)

What are you using the Metro interface for? The only part of it I see is the Start menu, for the fraction of a second it takes me to type the first few letters of the program name I want and hit Enter. The rest, especially the browser, is un-needed. Just use the desktop (including desktop browser) like you always have, and the Start menu like you have (or should have) been since Vista - as a search interface, nothing more.

I'll grant you the current version of Metro is crappy with a mouse. Given that there are a lot of people at Microsoft who spend an awful lot of time each day using a mouse, I'm sure they're aware of this too. I suspect that the coming changes, as mentioned by the Microsoft "turfer"s you refer to, are in how the Metro interface is used with Mouse and Keyboard. It's not that Metro is going away, so much as that it'll be changed so that non-touch interfaces feel more natural.

Or at least, I expect it will. MS has made mistakes in the past, but releasing with the current UI interactions would be a big one even for them.

Re:Who cares about speed when... (0)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37788566)

>what am I using metro for?

Because the entire point of 8 is to use the new interface. If i set the registry to give me the traditional desktop, then fucking around with 8 is pointless, isn't it?

>What are you using the Metro interface for? The only part of it I see is the Start menu

You've not used Internet Explorer 10? Metro infects that too. It also infects the Computer Settings screen (in a half assed way - when you click on "more settings, it dumps you to the old Desktop) and other things.

I suggest you explore more.

--
BMO

Re:Who cares about speed when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788852)

You do realize that Metro is primarily aimed as a touch interface and you won't need to set registry settings to have things appear as they have in Vista-7 in the end for users who don't have touch interfaces. Microsoft isn't stupid. They're not forcing metro on everyone.

Re:Who cares about speed when... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37789132)

"I suggest you explore more."

Is this like a video game, or an Indian Jones movie?

Re:Who cares about speed when... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 years ago | (#37789396)

What are you using the Metro interface for? The only part of it I see is the Start menu, for the fraction of a second it takes me to type the first few letters of the program name I want and hit Enter

Remember all the MS Fanboys that argued the Linux is completely broken because you sometimes have to type things in? There used to be hundreds of them here so I'm sure one will read this. What do you have to say now?

It certainly sounds like a big improvement to me anyway instead of navigating through a constantly changing list and then going into a submenu or two. We've got keyboards so why just point at things like a child too young to ask for what they want?

Re:Who cares about speed when... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37789130)

ICS will be release very soon. We promise. Maybe. I gotta talk to that other guy over there. Once he's done playing Metroid.

startup time or time to be usuable? (1)

martin (1336) | about 3 years ago | (#37788400)

surely we should bne thinking about time to be usuable once logged in? We all know Windows doesn't start alot of things till after user login (first used in NT4), so this is what we should be measuring, not how quick it gets to login screen. Reading the article they COULD be using this test but it's not clear.

Also things like with WIndows you NEED some sort of anti-virus installed as well so again not that real world, but looking encouraging and we'll see how many of the extra features not yet implemented impact this.

Numbers are not impressive (1)

roger_pasky (1429241) | about 3 years ago | (#37788454)

I wish the test was done with a weaker machine. I guess the gap is achieved by a better usage of higher HW/FW which will not be noticeable in a non-quad-core machine.

Development process knowledge fail (5, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | about 3 years ago | (#37788458)

You often hear in the software industry that performance optimization is one of the last steps in the software development process.

No you don't, not among sane people. You don't do performance optimization as "one of the last steps" shortly before shipping.

What you hear is that "premature optimization is the root of all evil" (quoting Donald Knuth). What he meant is that you should not bother with complicated performance optimizations when designing the code. Rather, create and implement a good clean design, then test performance and optimize where needed. On the other hand, algorithm choice is one of the biggest performance contributors and initial choices will often be made quite early, so one cannot apply this quote blindly. Read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program_optimization [wikipedia.org]

Re:Development process knowledge fail (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 3 years ago | (#37788484)

As a note: premature != early.

Re:Development process knowledge fail (0)

jpapon (1877296) | about 3 years ago | (#37788524)

That's what she said.

Re:Development process knowledge fail (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37789136)

In Penguin Antarctica, Microsoft optimizes you!

Startup time is not a useful metric (4, Interesting)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | about 3 years ago | (#37788504)

Ideally, a modern desktop OS should be booted once. The rest of the time it should be slipping in and out of sleep.

In practice it seems that a few months between reboots (for OS updates) is easily attainable on some platforms.
When a reboot occurs once every few months, boot time is not terribly important.

I can't help but think that people who marvel at improved boot times are rebooting their machines too much.

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37788542)

I can't help but think that people who marvel at improved boot times are rebooting their machines too much.

Either that or they're journalists.

Boot times are something that's easy to measure and they generate lots of pretty graphs to fill those column inches with.

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#37788644)

Ideally, a modern desktop OS should be booted once. The rest of the time it should be slipping in and out of sleep.

I know anecdotal evidence is frowned upon here, but my laptop with 4GB of ram and a 5400rpm disk takes about the same time to wake from hibernation as to boot*. Pair that with KDE's ability to restore sessions after a shutdown**, there is almost no advantage in putting it to sleep. I do suspend frequently, but that's more of a short-term solution with battery being used and lights blinking. And I can't sleep next to a running computer, I like silence in my room.

* It's probably a buggy driver problem too. Still, one would not expect such problems with a modern computer and OS
** Seriously, I haven't seen any other desktop do that. Granted I've only ever used Windows and Gnome, but neither of them does it. Is it really so hard to remember the open applications as shutdown and open that at startup?

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37789072)

* It's probably a buggy driver problem too.

Why? Do the math...

a) How many megabytes per second can your hard drive read?
b) How much RAM have you got?
c) Divide (b) by (a)

With 4Gb it's not really shocking that it takes quite a while to come back from hibernation. 8Gb probably takes longer than booting on most hard drives.

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788678)

You're pretty much right. But you might also be interested to know that about 40% of users shut down their computers at night, rather than taking the default sleep/hibernate option - apparently they like it this way. The optimisation for Windows 8 is essentially that even if you choose 'shutdown', it actually hibernates the machine, though it only hibernates the kernel and essential services, user space that's running programs. As a result, this is faster than hibernate by a long way. On the other hand, it doesn't help "reboot" at all, since that reinitialises the kernel and runs the full plug'n'play device initialisation.

The reboot scenario is still rather important for Windows. People are mostly rebooting because of software patches or installs. It seems that Windows isn't one of those platforms that can go weeks or months with no reboots, almost entirely because of installs requiring reboots. We know that Metro app installs/upgrades can't cause reboots, so I guess that's an improvement. It'll be interesting to see what other progress Microsoft makes with this for Windows 8.

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788722)

Programs requiring reboots? Are you that gullible that you actually believe it when programs claim they require it?

Some of us have to pay for our electricity (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 3 years ago | (#37789080)

And in the UK its not cheap so yes, I shut my desktop down when I'm not using it and fully switch off the monitor. Aside from that it has an enviromental benefit downstream at the power station. Sleep mode might not use much power but it still uses some and with all the computers in the world that probably adds up to a lot of CO2 for nothing.

Re:Some of us have to pay for our electricity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789288)

Your comment adds up to a lot of CO2 for nothing.

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789112)

Ideally a modern desktop OS, for me, is booted once or twice a day. Not because the OS itself needs it, but because I completely shutdown my desktop PC when not in use for an extended period of time.

Electricity is not cheap where I live. Also, let's talk about "being green" and all that... I just want to save money (even if it's just pennies)

Re:Startup time is not a useful metric (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37789150)

"Ideally, a modern desktop OS should be booted once."
What! And remove another dick-measurement metric from the field. You blasphemer! And other stuff.

"I can't help but think that people who marvel at improved boot times are rebooting their machines too much."
Yeppers, I said that somewhere else in this thread. (You beat me too it, though. You win boot-posting death match! [yes, I'm just joking around] )

Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent restart (1)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37788510)

Am I the only one that doesn't care about startup times? My debian servers only need to be rebooted for a kernel upgrade. For how infrequently I need to restart, startup times are a minor issue.

I can't say the same for Windows, which requires a restart on half the Microsoft Updates that are installed, many software installations, and of course crashes.

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788572)

That may be true for servers, but desktop users will shutdown any OS.

s2disk s2ram (1)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37788666)

Zero power consumption with session written to disk, little power consumption with suspend to ram. No need to shut down. Desktop users just need to be educated.

Re:s2disk s2ram (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | about 3 years ago | (#37788676)

Yeah, I love Linux, but its suspend time is worse than windows 7 boot.

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37788582)

What burns my shorts these days is not the Windows reboot.

It's the automatic updates that only get applied at the end. "PLEASE PLEASE OH PLEASE DON'T TURN ME OFF BECAUSE I WILL FUCK YOUR COMPUTER IF YOU TURN ME OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF UPDATES"

For 20 minutes.

--
BMO

You said it! (1)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37788642)

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788766)

That shouldn't be a problem anymore. Updates may still take 20 minutes while you're trying to shut down, but turning off your computer in the middle should at worst just mean that the update has to get reapplied and maybe reboot again.

Now that the filesystem is fully transactional, each update can be done in a transaction that gets automatically rolled back if the power fails before it's committed, meaning that your system won't have to worry about trying to start up in a half-updated state.

On the other hand, your Linux computer will probably be fucked if you turn it off in the middle of an important update. Hell, its filesystem will probably piss its pants if you turn off your computer in the middle of ANYTHING. And of course when that happens, you're in for a long fsck. How long does it take to fsck your filesystem? I've got a Win7 laptop that I could shut off suddenly several times a day and it will never need to chkdsk, but if you did want to run a chkdsk, it takes under a minute for a 128GB filesystem with 250k files.

dom

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (1, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37788910)

Spoken like a true Windows shill.

My personal experince is that Windows is fragile during updates. YMMV, but I have learned the hard way not to fuck with Windows updating itself or shutting it off while it's doing something "important." Many other people have been conditioned over the years by the exact same things.

I don't care if you say the beach is safe to surf, Kilgore. I don't trust you and nor do I trust Windows.

>Comparing Windows and Linux updates

There is no comparison. Package managers for Linux are quite robust and will pick up exactly where you left off if you so much as hit control-C and then restart. Powering down in the middle would likely fuck /something/ temporarily, but unless you're doing a kernel update, there is likely no reason for a machine to be unbootable. And even then there are the backup kernels you can pick on boot from the handy-dandy boot screen.

>Losing power during write, forcing a fsck
>taking a long time

I haven't had a fsck take longer than a minute since I went to a journaling file system last century, and journaling file systems on Linux are standard issue now. I also noticed when I did an install of Ubuntu 11.10 that btrfs is available. This is spectacular, but I'm sticking with ext4 for now because it's thoroughly debugged and I can trust it.

Sorry to break it to you, shill, but you're full of hot air and you need a tic-tac.

--
BMO

Re: dpkg-reconfigure -a (4, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | about 3 years ago | (#37788928)

On the other hand, your Linux computer will probably be fucked if you turn it off in the middle of an important update.

Try: sudo dpkg-reconfigure -a

At least that's always worked for me when I need it to, should power fail, etc. Not to mention ext3/ext4 journaling seems much nicer than using NTFS and having to fallback to CHKDSK when such issues arise, (along with the occasional pre-emptive NTFS defrag).

Personally I find the overall cost of Windows as being too costly to use in my business.

man page for dpkg-reconfigure [debian.net]

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789400)

You are an idiot. NTFS has always had journaling. And it's always been broken. Why do you think there are volumes of documentation for MS SQL Server talking about the differences in behaviour and reliability between write-back and write-through caching controllers.

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789050)

It's the automatic updates that only get applied at the end.

You can apply OS updates on Windows without requiring a server reboot since about 2003. You could in-theory apply a patch manually since 1993 on NT. The only reason Windows requires a reboot is so that applications that otherwise would keep on running with a vulnerable/buggy shared library loaded in memory are now forced to restart with the fresh new version. Some services/programs are only started and stopped at bootup making a reboot the only way to get them to use the patched version. With ASLR there is no easy solution to patch in-memory shared libraries. No OS does this AFAIK. Windows forces you to reboot while Linux just lets you keep running with vulnerabilities still unpatched till you restart. What a win for Linux!

I'm sorry this simple principle is so confusing for non-technical people like you. But hey for anti-ms trolls like you ignorance is probably a virtue...

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 years ago | (#37789450)

Thanks for posting from a parallel universe. Could you please upload that magical version of the software you are using somewhere where the guys from Redmond can find it? Thanks.
In return we can send you versions of unix from the 1980s onward that can stop and start just about anything at any time. Our version of Microsoft even had a quite decent version called Xenix that could do that sort of thing.

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 3 years ago | (#37789172)

Well, then jeeze, for fuck's sake, turn auto update off, problem solved.

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 3 years ago | (#37789274)

Provided that Windows can/may download updates during the active session (when the user is actually using his computer),
how come actual updates take so long, while the OS is in mono-task mode, pending for a complete halt, with no user operation in the way?

What's the problem? (1)

spectrokid (660550) | about 3 years ago | (#37789344)

If it is a desktop, just walk away. If it is a laptop, your battery should last long enough to do the update, so you can just take it with you. What I REALLY hate is going for coffee while waiting for a logon screen, and then you have to wait 2 minutes AGAIN before it becomes stable. Why can't it preload all the important files if it becomes idle while waiting for a logon?

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 3 years ago | (#37788614)

Yah, I can't say that I care much about start-up times: $ uptime 18:02:25 up 724 days, 5:08, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

Re:Linux =Startup time non-issue, no frequent rest (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 3 years ago | (#37789352)

One word: laptops. Sleep mode still uses power. Hibernate can work, though it usually takes a while anyway. I rarely turn off my Windows machine because it wants to restart.

Thoughts (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 3 years ago | (#37788732)

Figures, I just started using Win7 now the talks are of Win8.

XP 64bit has been good to me. I was forced to run Win7
as "Battle Field 3" requires DX11. I still only boot into
Win7 when playing BF3.

I've always assumed the next Windows OS was going to be a
touch screen. Don't know why it comes as a surprise.
Remember the roll out for Surface?
http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx [microsoft.com]
I figure parts-n-pieces will surface [shrug] in Win8.

Kind of a lopsided review; a 3.4GHz quad-core PC with 4GB RAM
Got the power, just no Ram.

yea right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788740)

and slices of swiss cheese fly through the air and hit the wall much faster than plastic-wrapped preprocessed cheese because of all the holes

2012 Taurus better than 2009 Taurus (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37788922)

SOTP TEH PRESSAS!

Now, how does it compare to the 2012 Toyota Avalon?

So, as far as I can see (0)

LordAzuzu (1701760) | about 3 years ago | (#37788934)

It would be a waste of money to upgrade to the new product, who the hell cares 1 minute more for booting up, and just a bunch of points of advantage in some benchmarks. I'd like to know ram occupation, IO statistics, things like this.
What a useless article, PCMag!

Embedded devices (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37788952)

Making Windows more optimal might signal a turn of focus toward phones and tablets.

last steps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37788990)

well considering this is version 8... i'd be expecting this to be right near the end of the line and pretty well fully optimized

Do windows users boot that often? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789010)

I used a MacBook Pro for about 1.5 years, and have maybe bootet it 20 times. When I don't use it, I just flip the screen down, and when I want to use it, i just pull the screen up. I newer turn it off. Weird to hear windows users talk about this booting time - do they boot it that often? Before that I just Linux, which was fine.

Boot up times??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789070)

I rarely shutdown or startup - only when there are Windows updates. It takes between 5 and 10 seconds to get a working PC from pressing the power button. So why is startup a valid / significant test? SLEEP is the way forward here

FTA: RE speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789082)

FTA:

Long story short:
unless the code takes a turn for the worse in the
next year or so, we can look forward to some
speedier computing once Windows 8 is released.

Windows XP was insanely fast at launch. Then they fixed the security holes/shortcuts in programming and it slowed down quite a bit.

Doesn't mean a thing in the long run (1)

caius112 (1385067) | about 3 years ago | (#37789090)

If I remember correctly, the Windows 7 beta performed considerably faster than either the RC or finally the RTM. Windows 8 could actually get slower as development progresses.

wake me up when they'll compare it to windows xp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789366)

wake me up when they'll compare it to windows xp

It continues getting faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37789392)

Believing these comparisons, Windows 8 should be able to boot in 2 seconds on a 386 with 4 MB RAM.

They've been saying the new version is faster than the old one, at least since Windows 95 was much faster than Windows 3.11.

They aren't done yet (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#37789468)

Give Microsoft time to stick some horribly designed bells and whistles on to destroy any performance gains you're seeing now.
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