Windows 8 vs. Windows 7 Benchmarks: Microsoft's Latest OS Put to the Test

By on August 15, 2012, 3:52 PM

Back when Vista first arrived I remember comparing how it performed to XP and being extremely disappointed with the results. Vista was generally rough around the edges and that included drivers, so gaming and productivity applications were more often than not slower in the new OS. Microsoft's PR machine has been hard at work over the past few months, trying to explain the numerous improvements Windows 8 has received on the backend. The good news is that it shows.

Coming from the two previews and now the final release of Windows 8, the OS seems smoother than Windows 7. It has been well documented that Windows 8 starts up and shuts down faster, so that wasn’t much of a surprise. Of course, this is merely an informal observation and we are here to back up those impressions with hard numbers (read: lots of benchmarks in the coming pages).

For comparing Windows 7 and Windows 8 we will measure and test the performance of various aspects of the operating system including: boot up and shutdown times, file copying, encoding, browsing, gaming and some synthetic benchmarks.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 119

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Guest said:

I have a Dell XPS 15 L502x with an OCZ Vertex 4 with both systems... and believe me the difference on booting and shutting down are really big. As for gaming, I was playing (the unstable) alice madness return with the same configuration files and I had a boost of 10 frames, in heavy parts like the market or when you meet the white cat it gets 60 solid frames, that's on windows 8. With Windows 7 those parts are choppy and drops to 45 frames... so windows 8 has a better performance. That's the benefit even with the unusable metro boot screen and the non existing Start orb.

Hope it helps.

Guest said:

What are the versions of Win 7 and Win 8? 32 or 64-bit? Are both on clean, new installs?

Guest said:

Why no Win 8 IE9 and Excel 2010 tests?

mevans336 mevans336 said:

What are the versions of Win 7 and Win 8? 32 or 64-bit? Are both on clean, new installs?

There is no more 32-bit with Windows 8, it's 64-bit only.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

What are the versions of Win 7 and Win 8? 32 or 64-bit? Are both on clean, new installs?

Both are clean installs. We are running Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit. Windows 8 is the Pro version (64-bit).

Obviously Steve was extremely busy putting the article together and some tests were not done in time for publishing. I hope we can add other browsers to the browser performance tests as well as wake up from sleep comparisons.

1 person liked this | sapo joe said:

Even if Win 8 ran twice as fast, I'd still prefer Win 7 over it.

The Metro interface is a killing "feature" to me. It kills my will to install the new OS.

And now, seeing the benches, the 1-2fps difference in the games make me happier to stick with Windows 7!

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thanks for the review - very timely and interesting. In a nutshell, beyond the boot times, performance is close enough that if you move to MS 8, it's pretty much only because you prefer that UI.

ikesmasher said:

Why no AMD FX tests.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Thanks for the review - very timely and interesting. In a nutshell, beyond the boot times, performance is close enough that if you move to MS 8, it's pretty much only because you prefer that UI.

Or, you know, you might be interested in the improvements to multi-monitor and printer support, File Explorer, Task Manager, backup and restore procedures, parental controls, and power efficiency or new things like Windows To Go, Storage Spaces, Hyper-V, IE10, native ISO/VHD support, less Windows Update-related restarts, improved accessibility features (namely Narrator), integrated malware protection, SkyDrive integration, UEFI support, WDDM/DXGI 1.2 and whatever else I'm missing. Now, I'm not saying everyone should upgrade because Windows 8 is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but let's not imply that there's nothing new except an ugly Start screen and better boot times.

Chazz said:

Everyone's (not talking about Matt) always mean to Tom . I like him.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Thanks for the review - very timely and interesting. In a nutshell, beyond the boot times, performance is close enough that if you move to MS 8, it's pretty much only because you prefer that UI.

Or, you know, you might be interested in the improvements to multi-monitor and printer support, File Explorer, Task Manager, backup and restore procedures, parental controls, and power efficiency or new things like Windows To Go, Storage Spaces, Hyper-V, IE10, native ISO/VHD support, less Windows Update-related restarts, improved accessibility features (namely Narrator), integrated malware protection, SkyDrive integration, UEFI support, WDDM/DXGI 1.2 and whatever else I'm missing. Now, I'm not saying everyone should upgrade because Windows 8 is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but let's not imply that there's nothing new except an ugly Start screen and better boot times.

Someone's a fan.

I would like to see the same tests also run but on a AMD FX processor. Just like Ike mentioned

Guest said:

There are still 32 bit versions available.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Someone's a fan.

I would like to see the same tests also run but on a AMD FX processor. Just like Ike mentioned

Why exactly? What are you expecting to see, or hoping to see?

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The whole 'booting argument' is null for me. Windows 7 is up and down in under 5 seconds using standby...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Why no AMD FX tests.

The mean part of me wants to say why bother? Supposedly a limited appeal OS combined with a limited appeal platform.

The enthusiast in me says, there really isn't much difference regardless of CPU. AMD's viral marketing teams promise of massive performance gains using (Win8's) better thread scheduling was debunked some time ago....largely borne out in articles such as HH's Win8+FX-6100 article.

As for graphics based testing, you're not going to get a complete picture until benchmark/game code is optimized for the OS. Some might remember that when Win8 originally dropped, 3DMark Vantage (as well as SYSMark 2007 if I remember correctly) would not even run when used with an FX CPU

Guest said:

To each his own, I like the win8 UI and the best part is that it feels quicker and snappier in daily use. To be honest, why people hate win8 UI is just mind blowing to me. If I didn't have internet, I'd think that everyone loves it and will switch to it as soon as possible. Is it a "Microsoft is an evil empire and it threw this Metro in their pathetic hopes that we will like them, but we won't because we're not with the mainstream" syndrome? Is it because most people haven't tried it and don't know you can avoid Metro almost entirely? They don't know they can right-click on the bottom left screen to access the somewhat improved "start menu" ? Or maybe learning several new ways to find things on windows has overburdened the less trained minds? Anyways, sorry for flaming, it's just that I'm just a simple guy who simply loves win8 and who's nose wrinkles every time he has to use win7 again. Btw just installed win8 on an old dv6000 laptop and it feels like internet browsing speed has doubled. Recommended.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

While I won't be upgrading my current systems any time soon, I do intend to get a new laptop (or at the very least, the Surface Pro when it comes out) so I'll be giving 8 an honest hands on try then. Good to see I won't be hurting performance wise.

PC EliTiST PC EliTiST said:

ha! 3D Mark 11 gives Win 8 slightly less points. This can be "fixed" in the future with an agreement -under the table- I guess.

Don't start wondering if we see 500 points for Win 8 in a while.

Guest said:

but does all this warrant an upgrade if u already have Windows 7

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks for the review - very timely and interesting. In a nutshell, beyond the boot times, performance is close enough that if you move to MS 8, it's pretty much only because you prefer that UI.

Or, you know, you might be interested in the improvements to multi-monitor and printer support, File Explorer, Task Manager, backup and restore procedures, parental controls, power efficiency or new things like Windows To Go, Storage Spaces, Hyper-V, IE10, native ISO/VHD support, less Windows Update-related restarts, improved accessibility features (namely Narrator), integrated malware protection, SkyDrive integration, UEFI support, WDDM/DXGI 1.2 and whatever else I'm missing. Now, I'm not saying everyone should upgrade because Windows 8 is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but let's not imply that there's nothing new except an ugly Start screen and better boot times.

Someone's a fan.

I would like to see the same tests also run but on a AMD FX processor. Just like Ike mentioned

How is he a "fan" for outlining the documented, proven improvements 8 has over 7? I mean, is the (presumable) hate towards 8 that blind?

Guest said:

I take these tests with a grain of salt. 1st, how many users out there actually run the best and fastest hardware on the market? Not many can afford it, or won't 2nd, several of the test should not even be included because they don't include similar software. What was even the point of putting up the Excel test when running 2013 vs. 2010? The whole point of the test were to test the SAME software on the different OS's. Come back with a more mainstream box and test the SAME software versions and maybe you'll have a more credible article. Until then, take this garbage down. No point in wasting the time reading it.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

There are still 32 bit versions available.

You are right, thank you for the correction.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

What I want to know, is why in the world you'd have a system this powerful with the 1TB mechanical drive as your OS drive and the 256GB SSD as your secondary, data drive? Isn't that the exact opposite of how every enthusiast has their system configured?

Also, why not compare Chrome on Windows 7 to Chrome on Windows 8 if you're comparing IE on both platforms?

Still, very informative article and it reflects my real world experience. I have a friend running Windows 8 on a lowly Acer AMD POS tablet and it freaking flies. Running through a VM on my Windows 7 box results in no perceptible lag like my Windows 7 VM.

Guest said:

I've been using it, it feels faster and more polished. Startup time is really noticeable, mine boots up in around 5 seconds. It actually takes longer to get to the Windows logo for me.

Guest said:

Thanks for posting these tests. I tried 8 but didn't like it so it's good to know 7 performs almost as well. Looking forward to 9.

Guest said:

Seriously, unless an application during install asks for it, how many of you are rebooting their system every month? Never heard of hibernation or standby? I don't think I reboot my system more than 6 times a year. This boot-time argument is really getting old...sigh, anyone who keeps bringing it up when we have to discuss overall performance is simply a noob.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Seriously, unless an application during install asks for it, how many of you are rebooting their system every month?
I don't, I do it everyday. When I shut my PC down, I want a clean boot next time I turn it on.

This boot-time argument is really getting old...sigh, anyone who keeps bringing it up when we have to discuss overall performance is simply a noob.
Since I don't use hibernation or system standby, I guess you can call me a noob. To be honest I don't really care what you call me. At the end of the day I know I'm not a noob because when I boot my PC, I will know I do not have any possible issues that may have lingered over the last few days or weeks.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I don't think I reboot my system more than 6 times a year

So what? Some of us have hardware swap outs, general upgrades, driver, BIOS and OS install/reinstall/updates, and watercooling loop maintenance to factor in...I guess if you're not into any of that, six times a year is a fair number.

Guest said:

Not everyone is a hipster with a laptop. Some of us have workstations with hardware that doesn't 'sleep' well.

Guest said:

Sorry, this is incorrect information.

The RTM version of Windows 8 comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

ThunderBird89 ThunderBird89 said:

It seems there's a slight flaw in the methodology: On Windows 8, you test all three major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and IE 10), but for comparison, on Windows 7, you only provide scores for IE 9. Given the version difference and all that it entails, I'm not sure we can have a comparison between browser performance this way...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm not sure we can have a comparison between browser performance this way...
I thought the same when I noticed Windows 8 & Excel 2013 was matched up with Windows 7 & Excel 2010. Which exactly is being benchmarking, Windows or Office? If both Office versions were to be used, both version should have been benchmarked on Windows 7 and 8.

Guest said:

Dont know why peoples are yelling at windows 8 metro style.

I am using windows 8 and its better than 7 in looks and functionalty only thing is no start menu. Instead got a full start menu :p I think people complaining that no start menu in windows they will not taste windows 8 after that they will no say that Or they are not brave to use windows 8 metro :p

Tanstar said:

Win 7 can run on an older netbook, can Win8? Got an Asus netbook running WinXP. Wanted to upgrade it to Win7, but since Win8 will be much cheaper I'd be willing to give it a shot on my netbook.

3 people like this |
Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Updates...

We have added Chrome and Firefox to our browsing tests, looking good for Windows 8.

Also we added Excel 2010 running on Windows 8 for an apples to apples comparison against Windows 7. The Office 2013 test result is still there for comparisons sake.

Wake up from sleep is coming soon.

Guest said:

Most people I know have pinned their most used apps to the desktop for easy acces. Metro does just that. And of you claim to be a power user, stop whining and start learning. Anything you can do on win7 you can do on win8 and then some.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks for the article. I imagine that game performance will improve over time. Early on Vista vs. XP didn't paint a good picture for Vista, due to lack of mature drivers, but later on the picture changed completely and Vista got better scores.

Stupido Stupido said:

Most people I know have pinned their most used apps to the desktop for easy acces. Metro does just that. And of you claim to be a power user, stop whining and start learning. Anything you can do on win7 you can do on win8 and then some.

amen to that...

Guest said:

doesn't get mentioned much but on a localhost LAN Win7 and XPpro do not play well together. sync speeds over the wire are really slow whereas I suspect they are fine if you are using the same OS on you LAN. From a business perspective, I just don't see any advantage to any of these new OS's over the venerable XP. sure boot times are slow, but come on is it that important how fast your system boots? I'll bet XP on an SSD will show noticeable start up improvements too. just some thoughts

Guest said:

And as always, everyone is afraid to pit XP vs something new in fear XP will out perform the newcomer. We did our own tests here at the shop, and while not over-the-top, XP was indeed faster on the same hardware vs 7 and 8.

But yes, 8 is marginally faster than 7. (n)

Guest said:

So what? XP is just too old to be around. The basic security architecture simply does not cut it anymore. Then when you factor in the myriad enhancements that are in the later versions there is no way I would consider going back to XP. Who cares if it is "fast" when the real time-saving features are completely absent.

DanUK DanUK said:

Great article, thanks guys. I will definitely be giving win 8 a try.. not used it once yet but I can tell already it's going to be better. I hardly ever use the start button so i'm really not bothered by that at all, plus I switch off my computer at least once or twice a day.

Guest said:

The general theme with this article seems to be:

Windows 7 results marginally better than Windows 8 = "Similar performance, little difference"

Windows 8 results marginally better than Windows 7 = "x% better/faster/improvement"

tw0rld tw0rld said:

I will be switching to windows 8. I don't see what the big fuss is about. People find the least thing to whine and complain about. There is no perfect OS, not at this point lets live with the flaws, while taking advantages of the things that work. Windows 8 is a great step forward. This is Microsoft way of Migrating people to the cloud(not a fan of cloud computing and storage).

Guest said:

I usually leave my system up so the increase in shutdown / boot don't affect me much. The gaming looks slower, and the performance differences are largely a mixed bag. Add to that the awful interface and the way Microsoft has moved all functions around to keep you searching for what used to be so easy to do. When I tried it on a VM it took me 10 minutes just to figure out how to shut down. It's not intuitive at all. I'm sold. Windows 7 is staying on my box.

wiyosaya said:

Someone's a fan.

I would like to see the same tests also run but on a AMD FX processor. Just like Ike mentioned

Why exactly? What are you expecting to see, or hoping to see?

Because, M$ claimed that it would be putting a thread scheduler that is aware of the unique architecture of the AMD FX chips into 8, and that may allow FX to show its mettle. Reviews of FX all basically show that MT performance on FX is quite good. So, if you are running an OS that has many threads running and is aware of the FX architecture, then FX might just shine in an environment like that.

Guest said:

"I will be switching to windows 8. I don't see what the big fuss is about. People find the least thing to whine and complain about. There is no perfect OS, not at this point lets live with the flaws, while taking advantages of the things that work. Windows 8 is a great step forward. This is Microsoft way of Migrating people to the cloud(not a fan of cloud computing and storage)."

I'll be switching to decaffeinated coffee. I don't see what the big fuss is about. I think I am just looking for little things to complain about. There is no perfect coffee and at this point I think I should just live with the flaws while taking advantage of the good things about decaffeinated coffee. This is coffee sellers way of migrating people to decaffeinated coffee(not a fan of it though). But I'm gonna run out and buy some anyway and fall in line like a good little soldier. Hate to be accused of whining. I couldn't live with the social stigma of that label ever being attached to me. Oh, that reminds me. Guess I'll have to run out and buy Windows 8 also.

bnlf00 bnlf00 said:

lol wtf u talking about. If you run the test multiple times probably u gonna get those few points up and down. The test will lways show the same points, its the same hardware...too few was changed on the OS that would change the final score.

Mine is actually getting better score on win8 than win7 but for real, in games, ati drivers are still bad (about 10-15% fps drop in comparison with win7), but they are going to change it with the final drivers they said.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Wake up from sleep test added, although I anticipate testing on a desktop environment is not the same as testing on laptops that carry particular power saving features for waking up from sleep in less time.

Guest said:

Typically, the pattern for Microsoft OS's is for each bad version, a better one comes out a bit later (for Example, Windows ME to Windows XP / 2000, or Windows Vista to Windows 7).

For my money, I'll hold onto Windows 7 a bit longer to see what they release after Windows 8. All in all though, there doesn't seem to be enough of an improvement in it's current state for me to consider switching over yet... that is, unless the rumor of Windows 8 allowing you to play Xbox 360 games turned out to be true, but doubtful as Microsoft would be shooting itself in the foot with it's console sales.

elmerohueso said:

What are the versions of Win 7 and Win 8? 32 or 64-bit? Are both on clean, new installs?

There is no more 32-bit with Windows 8, it's 64-bit only.

There most certainly is a 32-bit Windows 8. I'm running it in my VM now (final release from MSDN).

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