Windows 8 vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked

Summary:Can Microsoft's upcoming desktop operating system keep up with -- or even beat -- Windows 7? Benchmark testing suggests that Windows 8 is Microsoft's fastest Windows to date.

The results

Here are the results from each of the benchmark tests. Each test was run three times, and the average taken from all three runs.

No significant variance was seen between the three runs in any of the tests, a consistency that gives me confidence in the results.

Boot time

The Windows 8 RTM has managed to shave another second off the total boot time to a usable desktop, although the boot time to logon remains the same as it was for the Release Preview.

Audio transcode time

There was no noticeable difference between Windows 8 RTM and the Windows 8 Release Preview, though both are significantly faster than Windows 7.

The improvement is more noticeable when large files are being transcoded.

Video transcode time

Windows 8 RTM shows a slight improvement over Windows 8 Release Preview, which was itself comfortably faster at transcoding video using Handbrake for Windows 7.

Again, this becomes more noticeable when transcoding larger files.

PCMark 7

Once again, the Windows 8 RTM ends up with a far superior score than Windows 7. The bulk of the improvements were primarily made by a healthy increase in the "creativity" score, which measures multimedia and DirectX performance.

However, the difference between the Windows 8 RTM, Windows 8 Release Preview and Windows 8 Consumer Preview is negligible.

3DMark 11

There appears to be no significant difference between the operating systems.


This test showed no significant difference between the operating systems.

Cinebench 11.5

OpenGL is still slightly faster on Windows 7, but the difference between the operating systems bears little significance.

Heaven 3.0

Back when I tested the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I was concerned by the results that suggested that the minimum FPS score was lower than for Windows 7, which indicated that in-game FPS drops on the new operating system were greater than they are on Windows 7. I considered this significant because the lower minimum FPS drops, the worse the in-game experience becomes.

However, with the Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft tightened up the code and bought performance to that of what you'd expect from Windows 7. With the RTM release, it seems that Microsoft -- quite possibly with the help of more mature graphics card drivers -- have improved the score even more.

This is good news for gamers hoping to make the switch to Windows 8.

Alien vs. Predator

There appears to be no significant difference between the operating systems.

Topics: Windows, Enterprise Software, Hardware


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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