Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is Windows 7 slow?

I haven't timed it (yet), but Windows 7 just seems to take longer to boot than Windows Vista. I thought it was just me, until I checked with a few other Windows 7 users and confirmed this is the experience others have. What has been your experience in booting Windows 7?

Since Linux booted about a minute faster than Windows Vista, I wonder what the Linux advantage is compared to Windows 7? I'll probably do a boot comparison this weekend.

To remind everyone: Linux (Fedora 12) takes about 1 minute 7 seconds to boot from a USB thumb drive, login, launch Firefox, and display a web page (Google). Vista took 2 minutes 4 seconds on the same laptop, but from the internal hard drive.


  1. It's not fair if you compare HD reads with NVRAM reads; there is no physical seek time with NVRAM, just plain old address decoding (and a few other electronic things). Have you tested the HD vs USB storage to see how they compare? How about a USB HD? That would be more fair (with perhaps a few microseconds bias against the USB drive).

  2. In a different post, I compared the numbers for HD versus USB flash:

    Before we begin, a note on the boot media: Windows is installed on the hard drive, but Linux is booting from a Live USB. According to Dell, my Latitude D430 laptop has a 5400 rpm hard drive, typical for most "mobile" hard drives. Tom's Hardware suggests a "maximum sequential read transfer rate of 48 MB/s is an excellent result for a 5400 rpm drive." Wikipedia says that "typical fast USB drives claim to read at up to 30 MB/s." So Windows will have a slight performance advantage here, since its boot media can read data about 18 MB/s faster.

    Of course, flash has much less seek time, but that's pretty much canceled out by Windows booting from a hard drive with faster transfer rate. During boot, there's a fair amount of large reads, but there's still a fair amount of jumping around.

    I have also compared Linux v. Windows boot times using a different (but older, slower CPU) Linux laptop. In that case, Linux was still a minute faster.

    So I think this is a fair comparison. It's still an "apples to apples" test. And no, I'm not planning to buy a USB hard drive just to do a boot comparison, sorry.


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