Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's the best feature of Windows 7?


To me, the best feature of Windows 7 is the rapid boot time. On my Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Tablet PC (which originally came with Windows Vista), I get to the log-in screen in 50 seconds from a cold boot! Then it only takes another 10 seconds for the desktop to appear. These are amazing boot-up times! Win7 has many other nice features, but I think this is an amazing improvement. Like Vista, the resuming from sleep is instantaneous. Resuming from hibernate takes only 25 seconds!

Here are the specs on my Thinkpad X200 Tablet PC:
  • Intel Core 2 Duo CPU L9400 running @1.86GHz
  • Processor score of 5.2 on the Windows Experience Index
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Hard drive spinning at 5400 RPM (imagine what would happen if you had an SSD!)
So, I repeated this experiment on an older machine. I took an HP dv1550 laptop that is a few years old. This machine originally came with Windows XP. Here are the specs:
  • Intel Pentium M processor running @1.60GHz
  • Processor score of 3.0 on the Windows Experience Index
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Hard drive spinning at 4200 RPM
The cold boot time was 1 min 10 sec (before I saw the desktop). I am very impressed at how well Win7 runs on older machines.

I finally ran this experiment on my Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC (ultra-mobile PC). This guy has a really slow processor (800 MHz). Here are the specs:
  • Intel processor running @800MHz (roughly 1/2 the speed of the old HP above)
  • Processor score of 1.5 on the Windows Experience Index
  • 2 GB of RAM (yes, I upgraded the RAM to 2 GB)
  • 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Hard drive spinning at 4200 RPM
Cold boot to desktop was 55 seconds! I've also installed it on a few older desktops and the cold startup times all seem to be very similar - roughly around 60 seconds. Way to go Microsoft!

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