Windows 7 build 6956 performance test

Summary:My Hardware 2.0 mailbag is brimming with Windows 7 related questions. The main question on everyone's lips is the obvious one - How does Windows 7 stack up against Vista?This test will pitch Windows 7 build 6956 32-bit against Windows Vista RTM 32-bit and Windows Vista SP1 32-bit.

My Hardware 2.0 mailbag is brimming with Windows 7 related questions. The main question on everyone's lips is the obvious one - How does Windows 7 stack up against Vista?

Important note: Before I go any further I feel I need to make a point, and make it clear. The build I'm testing of Windows 7 (build 6956) is a pre-beta build, and as a rule pre-beta builds aren't known for their performance. That said, the performance of this build should give us a clue as to how the OS is coming along.

This test will pitch Windows 7 build 6956 32-bit against Windows Vista RTM 32-bit and Windows Vista SP1 32-bit.

Check out the Windows 7 build 6956 benchmark gallery

UPDATE: I've added Windows XP data to the data below. Check out this post for details.

The System

Here’s the spec of the system I used:

  • Phenom 9700 quad-core processor
  • ATI Radeon 3850 graphics card with 256MB RAM
  • ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard
  • 2GB (2 x 1GB) Corsair Dominator CM2X1024-8500C5D RAM
  • Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM 150GB primary hard drive
  • Western Digital Caviar 7,200RPM 500GB secondary hard drive

Each system was fully patched with all patches available from Windows Update. 

Other noteworthy points:

  • No optimizations were carried out other than to process idle tasks and defrag the hard drive between each test. 
  • Windows Defender was left on for all tests. 
  • The Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 testing guidelines document was followed closely.

The Tests

For this test we’re going to use one real life test and three synthetic benchmarks:

  • Boot-up time
  • PassMark PerformanceTest
  • PCMark Vantage
  • CINEBENCH R10

Next -->

Boot Up Times

This is a simple test which involves measuring the time it takes to go from the boot loader to a usable desktop. 

  • Windows 7 build 6956 Boot up time: 20 sec
  • Vista 32-bit RTM Boot up time: 27 sec
  • Vista 32-bit SP1 Boot up time: 31 sec

Note: Lower score is better.

Advantage: Windows 7

Next -->

PassMark PerformanceTest

PassMark PerformanceTest 6 is a comprehensive benchmarking app that examines several key aspects of the system:

  • CPU tests Mathematical operations, compression, encryption, SSE, 3DNow! instructions and more
  • 2D graphics tests Drawing lines, bitmaps, fonts, text, and GUI elements
  • 3D graphics tests Simple to complex DirectX 3D graphics and animations
  • Disk tests Reading, writing and seeking within disk files
  • Memory tests Allocating and accessing memory speed and efficiency
  • CD / DVD test Test the speed of your CD or DVD drive 

Here are the results:

  • Windows 7 build 6956 Score: 1007.5
  • Vista 32-bit RTM Score: 1001.3
  • Vista 32-bit SP1 Score: 986.6

Note: Higher score is better.

Advantage: Windows 7

Next -->

PCMark Vantage

Next we move onto PCMark Vantage. A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security.

  • Windows 7 build 6956 Score: 5233
  • Vista 32-bit RTM Score: 4807
  • Vista 32-bit SP1 Score: 4762

Note: Higher score is better.

Advantage: Windows 7

Next -->

CINEBENCH R10

Next, CINEBENCH. CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. 

  • Windows 7 build 6956 1CPU Score: 2076 xCPU Score: 7370 Multi-proc speedup: 3.55x OpenGL: 3183
  • Vista 32-bit RTM 1CPU Score: 2172 xCPU Score: 7808 Multi-proc speedup: 3.59x OpenGL: 3960
  • Vista 32-bit SP1 1CPU Score: 2084 xCPU Score: 7140 Multi-proc speedup: 3.43x OpenGL: 3458

Note: Higher score is better.

Advantage: Windows Vista 32-bit RTM

Next -->

Conclusion

What we have here is one set of data points for one particular system, but I think that the results are very promising. The fact that Windows 7 comes out top in three out of four of these tests at this early stage is very promising indeed. The boot time and PCMark Vantage results are particularly good.

I remember benchmarking an early pre-beta of Vista and it was awful compared to XP at the time. At this stage I can only assume that the RTM release of Windows 7 will offer more performance than this build, and will at the RTM stage be better than Vista. This is great for those who are concerned about the OS soaking up too much system resources.

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Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Processors, Windows

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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