Windows 7 Boot Speed Benchmark

Lifehacker tested the boot speed of Windows 7, Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 and Windows XP Professional SP3 on a triple-boot system. All tested operating systems were 32-bit versions. Test 1 measured the boot time from boot choice to a fully loaded desktop while test 2 measured the time from boot choice to user logon screen. No additional software was installed on the operating systems, the autostart folders were empty and all settings were left on their default values.

Windows 7 Ultimate needed 32 seconds in test 1 from boot choice to a fully loaded desktop while Windows Vista Ultimate used 33 seconds and Windows XP SP3 40 seconds. The test from boot choice to login screen saw similar results with Windows 7 Ultimate leading the field with 23 seconds, Windows Vista Ultimate following suite with 24 seconds and Windows XP SP3 in third place and 29 seconds.

The results are interesting: Windows 7 is already leading the field even though the tests were conducted on a pre-beta build of the upcoming operating system. More surprising for some users, especially the die hard faction that does not like Windows Vista, is the excellent result for Windows Vista which was way faster than Windows XP SP3 in both tests.

It would be interesting to see how the operating systems would fare with a basic set of software, like anti-virus scanners, email clients, web browser or a photo editing program, installed. Would the results be similar except that the boot time would surely increase?

The result looks very promising for Windows 7. It is safe to assume that Microsoft will further optimize the operating system. It remains to be seen if this will make a huge difference in the end. Currently it does not for Windows Vista users but surely for Windows XP users.

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16 Responses to Windows 7 Boot Speed Benchmark

  1. Jose November 11, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Very good

    (Muy bien)

    I like windows 7

    no no

    I love windows 7

  2. xx66stangxx November 12, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    I haven’t used Vista since I installed the 6801 pre-beta build. I love this OS so far and this is just the pre-beta imagine the final release. This OS will be Microsoft’s come back. Apple won’t be able to make anymore commercials.

  3. Migra November 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    Apple will make commercials FOREVER, I hate to say this but “War never ends!”, What I hope from 7 is finally an OS worth of buying! a Ultimate version not over US$ 150.00, just like OSX, so M$ if you don’t realize that the entire world is on a big crisis, you simply will break!, People will prefer buying food and clothing instead expensive software, so or M$ low prices in a decent way or piracy will grow! Paying over US$200.00 for an OS is simply RIDICULOUS!

  4. Tom D Delany November 14, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    Just to clarify…

    Mac’s OSX selling for 129$ (leopard) comes with a HUGE disadvantage… you can only use that operating system if you bought an Apple computer  which is extremely overpriced already!

    Do I want to spend 600$ for a (hp, toshiba, sony, gateway) laptop, then spend 200$ for a new OS, and have the largest compatability options with software, hardware and games?

    Or do I want to spend 1299$ (MINIMUM) on a mac laptop, and have very limited options for hardware, software and games? 

    It’s Windows for me… STILL! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    Besides…….. A new PC will have the latest version of Windows anyway……. So you can spend 7-800$ and have an AWESOME machine!

  5. Ben November 14, 2008 at 5:18 am #

    But still, Windows is Windows. It will always have the unavoidable degrading performance the more it is used. And that $7-800 PC may be fast and amazing for the first year or so that you have it. Then it becomes a very expensive door stop. Now I’m not a Mac lover, but I do have my issues with Vista. Such as the incompatibility with drivers and hardware that I already own. I’m not about to spend $200+ on an OS that requires me to upgrade all of my hardware and printers and such only to have it not play well with my other existing windows pc’s that run XP.
    And part of the reason Mac’s are so expensive is they are a top of the line machine. If you speced out a PC with comparable hardware you would find the Mac would be similarly priced or even cheaper. And no, Vista isn’t that compatible with new games or hardware. Some companies are even refusing to release new versions of their software for Vista, but instead choose the more stable OS of XP that has a pretty good track record so far.

    Just my 10 cents….

    • jl December 29, 2008 at 6:39 am #

      I’ve had Vista 64 now for well over a year and I love it! Without any doubt, it’s the best OS that MS has put out there. I had some minor problems at first, but nothing serious. I think that major source of anti-Microsoft propaganda are these non-technical, ignorant, and unchallenged idiots who criticize everything. At best, they have some liberal arts background, can’t add fractions, and they minored in Physical Education. My advice to you idiots is to stay in your silly unchallenged world, and keep flipping burgers! 
       Of course every great product has growing pains! Microsoft employs the brightest and best.

    • zing July 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

      Funny, but OSX required people to upgrade all of their hardware. People with non-intel machines were screwed. Also, all hardware gets obsolete. And being that macs are pc’s anyway, they have to be replaced eventually. Finally they charge way more for the same basic hardware. Macs are a rip, and there is no way around that. Also macs slow down. Just google, “My mac is running slow”.

  6. Bryan November 14, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    vista had driver problesms for the first few months. SP1 is out. problems ended. windows 7 is based on vista so you wont have to update your hardware AGAIN. you proboably wouldnt have had to with vista if you acually looked around for a driver…

  7. greg November 14, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    Ben, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.  Macs specced similarly as PCs will almost always be more expensive.  You name any Mac (especially Macbooks) with any configuration, and I could give you a PC that would not only be less expensive but would also have better specs!

    The only reason you are running into hardware compatibilities is because, as you said, refusing to make their hardware work with Vista.  And guess what.. Windows 7 is based off Vista.  So those companies had better get going on those drivers because if they don’t they’ll have quite a few angry customers on their hands

    And I don’t know what this mythical ‘degrading performance’ you speak of is.  Maybe on XP.. but guess what, that’s nearing on 8 years old.  Vista doesn’t suffer from that problem as far as I can tell, and is far more stable.

  8. Greg Caloor November 15, 2008 at 6:09 am #

    The NSA has already recieved advanced copies of Windows 7 Beta 1, and is currently testing them now.
    I CAN tell you that this OS boots ALOT faster than vista (im talking 15 seconds from power on to desktop).
    One thing that will really blow you away is the Taskbar…
    I’ll leave that a surprise for the public beta release..
    – Greg NSA GE systems co-ordinator.

  9. Sandeep November 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    I want Microsoft to win. I wish them all the best. Love you Microsoft. you have lots of fans. we all dint like when you dint take Vista seriously.

  10. R Naramore December 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    Interesting but why release and develop so many versions of Windows so soon? Just when a user gets used to a version of Windows & makes it work the way you want it to they release a new version to make users like myself dread the next “upgrade” (Honestly it is a downgrade).

  11. Mike January 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    In hopes Windows 7 is a fix to the resource hog Vista…
    I have been using vista for over 2 years with no problems, but I am in IT, and have seen many vista problems on many different machines, and have preformed more XP downgrades than Vista upgrades. 7 looks promising, however a low price will be what guarantees that MS gets back the people that switched to Apple or Linux.  I have never been a fan of Apple, as its business model is flawed (pay ~$1000+ for a MAC to get OSX rather than just selling OSX that works on a PC), and as for Linux, it has only gained in popularity because it is free, and runs well on netbooks. If Microsoft can provide a low cost upgrade from Vista to 7, and from XP to 7, I predict it will gain back the users it lost, and will win over the business market (especially if it is a snappy, easy to use, fast OS)

  12. Ed Darnell February 19, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Still painfully slow.

    Why when we have machines that run billions of instructions a second are we measuring boot times in tens of seconds?

    I want to be up and running in email / web almost instantly. This is well within the capability of talented software/hardware engineers who know a thing or two about performance tuning.  Too many CPU cycles are wasted initialising and pre-loading stuff I may never need. This is a liability not a benefit.

    Time to see how fast the smartest linux crowd can make things!

  13. jd May 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    this is dumb no one cares if it takes 30 seconds to start what they care about is the ram usage and it is still to high it you have 1 gig of ram it should use 300 mb at most i don’t care because my pc has 3gigs of ram but what about notebooks they need to care about them people also they should make it run perfect on a pentium 4 just like how a pentium 3 runs perfect on xp

  14. Tatara March 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I’ve got more tips. See my website:

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