Windows 8 has been greeted with mixed reviews, some users just aren’t happy with the new Metro Start Menu, but one things for sure, they won’t be complaining about the performance increases. PCWorld have been carrying out some benchmark testing of their own and in all but one test, Windows 8 was quicker.
PCWorld Labs loaded up their test machine with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and put it through a wide range of tests against Windows 7. Windows 8 beat Windows 7 in every test except for an office productivity test. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Windows 8 is still only at the Consumer Preview stage and in theory should become more refined and quicker when it’s released. We’ll also see drivers coming online that are tweaked and optimised for Windows 8 and Windows 7 which will add more performance.
The test machine used by PCWorld was by no means a slow fella. It packs a 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM clocked at 1333MHz, a 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card.
When pitted against Windows 7 in the WorldBench 7 tests, Windows 8 was 14 percent faster than Windows 8. They say a difference of more than 5 percent is noticeable in real world situations
Windows 8 was also much quicker when it came to start up times. This is one of the biggest factors for people as it’s something which drives most of us nuts on a daily basis. In PCWorlds tests, Windows 8 started up 35 percent faster than Windows 7.
The average startup time for Windows 7 was 56.2 seconds, running Windows 8 this dropped to 36.8 seconds. I’d certainly agree with this as I have noticed a massive difference in my startup times since I’ve installed Windows 8. Also, in this test Windows 8 was at a slight disadvantage. For the test, PCWorld require that Windows boots up and opens a text file. With Windows 8, it boots directly into the Metro Start Menu, so it has to then switch to the desktop mode before it can open the text file. Still it managed to do it quicker than Windows 7.
Well Windows 8 is quite clever in that it used hybrid boot technology. When you should down your PC, everything in the RAM is actually saved to that hard disk. This is then simply loaded back into the RAM when you restart your computer so all the applications, tabs etc.. you had open are back when your restart your computer.
It was the office productivity test where Windows 7 won decisively. This test uses the Productivity section of Futuremark’s PCMark benchmark tool, and includes usual office tasks like editing text, launching applications, and scanning for viruses. This time Windows 8 was roughly 8 percent slower than Windows 7.
However it’s important to note that Futuremark is currently in the process of updating it’s benchmarks suits for Windows 8 so these figures will likely change once that’s done.
Regardless, Windows 8 is certainly outperforming Windows 7, and it’s only in its consumer preview stage. I’d imagine once Microsoft have tweaked it some more and we see software and hardware become optimised for it, the performance gap will increase.