Windows 8 Release Preview vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked

Windows 8 Release Preview vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked

Summary: Can Microsoft's upcoming operating system keep up with -- or even beat -- Windows 7, or does Microsoft still have work to do?

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TOPICS: Windows
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It's time to see how Microsoft's newly released Windows 8 Release Preview stacks up against Windows 7. Can the upcoming operating system keep up with -- or even beat -- Windows 7, or does Microsoft still have work to do?

Unlike the time where I benchmarked the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, where I ran into troubles with graphics card drivers issues and problems getting consistent results from a couple of the benchmark tools I was using, everything went smoothly with the benchmarking of the Windows 8 Release Preview.

The hardware

The following hardware platform was used for benchmarking the two operating systems. The system was purpose-built for the job of benchmarking:

  • Intel Core i7-2600K processor
  • Crucial 4GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM
  • EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H motherboard
  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB hard drive
  • CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W power supply unit

Everything on the system was set to stock speeds, with no component overclocked.

For the tests I used a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB hard drive with the Windows 8 Release Preview 64-bit installed on it. All drivers and updates were installed, along with all the software that would be needed for the tests. The drive was then defragmented using the Windows tool before the benchmarking was carried out.

Data related to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows 7 was collected from the last benchmark test of Windows 8I carried out a little over a month ago.

The benchmark tests

Here's a rundown of the tests that were run on the three operating systems. I've chosen a mixture of real world and synthetic benchmark tests.

Each test was run three times and the results averaged.

  • Boot time Measured using a handy tool called BootRacer. This measures both the time it takes to get to the logon screen and the time to boot to the desktop.
  • Audio transcode time Transcoding an audio test file from WAV to MP3 format using iTunes. A measure of the operating system's ability to handle multimedia.
  • Video transcode time Transcoding video test file from DVD to MP4 format using Handbrake. A measure of the operating system's ability to handle multimedia.
  • PCMark 7 A benchmark run with PCMark 7. The industry standard PC test for CPU, HDD, SSD, memory, and graphics performance.
  • 3DMark 11 A benchmark run with 3DMark 11. This is a set of six demanding benchmark test measuring the graphics performance of gaming PCs.
  • FurMark A benchmark run with FurMark. This is a VGA stress test, GPU burn-in test and an excellent OpenGL benchmark. This is a very stressful benchmark and can damage or even destroy hardware if used incorrectly, and therefore I do not recommend running this tool on a system unless you know exactly what you are doing and fully understand the risks associated with it.
  • Cinebench 11.5 A benchmark run with Cinebench 11.5. This is a real world cross, platform test suite that evaluates a computer's CPU and GPU performance capabilities.
  • Heaven 3.0 A benchmark run with Heaven 3.0. This is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on the advanced UNIGINE engine. Not only does this tool give us the maximum frames per second (FPS), it also records minimum frames per second, which is handy observing dips in performance during heavy load.
  • Alien vs. Predator A benchmark run using the in-built benchmark tool available in Alien vs. Predator. The benchmark is run at 1920x1080 screen resolution with DirectX 11 enabled. This is a real world gaming test.

Topic: Windows

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53 comments
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  • of course it is faster

    It has all the familiar tools and features, that made Windows very easy to use, removed!

    Speed improvements are good but the learning curve will severely turn users off of Windows.
    slickjim
    • Re:

      Funny, if you had tried Windows 8, you would have noticed that it still has all the tools + some extra.
      Martijn2
      • I have used it...

        The Metro Apps have no file menu bar, no minimize, maximize or close buttons. They built everything into the side bars or hidden menus and some stuff is flat out gone!

        Windows Explorer now has a ribbon and no file bar.

        I am getting hit on the comment because many on this site don't like the truth.

        Oh and Aero is gone as well which is probably one of the biggest reasons for improvement in speed.
        slickjim
      • @pete perry

        You obviously haven't used it, as witnessed by your inacurrate remark about aero, it hasn't been removed in the release preview...
        sjaak327
    • If you can't learn Windows 8

      that says something about you.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • What are you talking about...

        This has nothing to do with learning. I have it in a VM and like the majority. I agree, this is not a desktop OS bound for success. The average person is not technical and they aren't going to love this product.

        Further more, the track pad has had poor success on Windows machine, with the exception of laptops, and many of the gesture require either keyboard shortcuts or touch gestures ... this is not more intuitive for people who have used a start menu and file menuing system for more than 20 Years! These are facts that the few fail to grasp.
        slickjim
      • You're the one that mentioned the learning curve

        But let's be honest, you'll never have a positive opinion of anything Microsoft.

        Also, keyboard shortcuts or touch gestures isn't restrictive. Those two things make up a majority of any computer. Or are you complaining that you can't control it with your mind?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • @Peter Perry. Users have deprecated Start menu en masse since Win7 ...

        ... in favour of the taskbar, as MS designed and expected them to.

        Telemetry is a wonderful thing. It is a real FUDbuster.

        I think with all the interative design then user testing that MS has done, the average non-tech user might be more productive with Win8 than all these so-called tech people who have become slaves to old workflows.
        Patanjali
      • yes

        I did bring it up but, not for me... I have no problem getting around the system but, I am telling you, the average user is going to struggle.
        slickjim
      • I think

        Once a person gives about thirty minutes of instruction, the average user will be able to do what the average user does. They'll be able to check email, play games, get on Facebook, and search things with whichever search engine they use.

        The average person doesn't actually use the computer for much.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Michael Alan Goff wait till the 90% of the world tell you they arn't happy

        that it's to confussing to bother to learn and I can't get any work done......what are you going to tell all of them than? ..... maybe you should supply you e-maill addres so they can contact you for help, since you just so smart :-)t
        Over and Out
    • Your very first line tells that you haven't really used this

      Probably you installed it and then erased it. Not tried. It has all the stuff that bare Windows 7 provides and extra.
      Ram U
      • No

        It is still installed and I have used it!

        The Metro Apps are all full screen, they do not have those features...

        If you want to close an App you can press the press CTRL+TAB and right click the app to close it. The X to close is only other on the Legacy Desktop. Windows 9 will likely kill that desktop.

        The Shutdown command is now buried in the Charm (or whatever that side bar is called) and at first isn't obvious but, I guess one could always press the power button.

        And why is it those who are accusing me of not having used it have yet to refute what I am saying but I am providing details of how the system works.
        slickjim
      • You're using metro apps on a desktop?

        Really?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Yes

        Michael Alan Goff

        There are a few of them built into the system and I don't mean on the legacy desktop, I mean a physical Desktop Computer.

        Do the Apps suck? Not really but, what does suck is removing almost all mouse related functions on the interface.

        Crud, the first time many have used it they could not figure out how to get out of the metro apps.
        slickjim
      • No matter what Microsoft says

        Metro apps are not meant for desktop. We're supposed to stay in our little play-pen.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Exactly

        Michael Alan Goff

        But sadly, that is the majority of Windows 8 and it is where MS is taking the whole OS.

        Maybe if you have their new touch mouse (Apple Rip Off ) then you can make it work but the traditional mouse will not have a home.
        slickjim
  • So the way I interpret these results

    is that there's no need to go out of your way to upgrade from Windows 7, but no reason to go out of your way to avoid Windows 8 either. Which suits me just fine.
    Michael Kelly
    • Which is good for me too

      While I'll upgrade to it from a support perspective and to become more familiar, sicne I already know Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 inside an out, there isn't a driving reason to get people to upgrade. There also isn't a driving reason for people not to upgrade. I think this is how it should be. Everything will be supported on Windows 7 until Windows 9 comes out at the very least.

      I'm not sure why people see not needing to upgrade as a bad thing.
      LiquidLearner
    • Perf wise for now maybe. But the W8 drivers will keep improving. Also

      I bet most users are more interested in the new features than the perf gains. I for one am very much looking forward to storage spaces and app settings roaming via skydrive.
      Johnny Vegas