We can draw some interesting conclusions from these benchmark results. The first and most obvious is that boot times have been cut down further, and Microsoft has managed to shave another second off the time it takes to start up the test system. Microsoft promised to slash boot times, and it seems that the promise has been delivered.
We don't reboot out PCs anywhere near as often as we once did, but a fast boot up time is still appreciated.
Next there's the fact that, as far as the synthetic and gaming benchmarks go, the differences between Windows 7, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Windows 8 Release Preview are negligible. It usually takes AMD and NVIDIA some time to optimize and perfect their drivers for a new operating system, with drivers having to mature for several months before we see similar performance between the new operating system and the old one.
This time around it seems that things have settled down quickly and that we're seeing performance that is on par with a mature operating system.
This is good news for anyone who is planning to make a swift switch to Windows 8 when it is released but also for those who want the best performance possible from their hardware.
We're also seeing quite an improvement when it comes to audio and video transcoding. This is something I've come to expect from betas of Windows operating systems. It's an area that Microsoft seems to put effort into improving, and that trend continues with Windows 8.
The higher than expected PCMark 7 score for the Windows 8 Release Preview and Windows 8 Consumer Preview is interesting. Normally, I would be suspicious of such a difference between the two operating systems, and would be tempted to put it down to a bug with the benchmark tool. However, given that the bulk of the improvement was made up by an increase in the "creativity" score, and the fact we've seen an overall improvement in multimedia handling in other tests, I'm tempted to believe that this improvement is genuine.
When I tested the Windows 8 Consumer Preview back in April I was concerned about the results I saw from the Heaven 3.0 test. The minimum FPS scores I got from this test seemed to suggest that when the frame rate dropped in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, it dropped further than it did under Windows 7.
Translating this into real world gaming, it would mean a poorer visual experience under Windows 8. However, it seems that this is an area that Microsoft has been working on, and in the Windows 8 Release Preview I'm not seeing the same frame rate drops as I was seeing with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
From a performance perspective, I've very pleased with how Windows 8 is coming along. While there are no major performance differences between the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the newly released Windows 8 Release Preview, performance seems solid, and in areas where the platform lagged behind Windows 7, Microsoft seems to have put in the effort to close the gap.
- Windows 8 Release Preview: Microsoft gets its apps together
- AMD releases Catalyst drivers for Windows 8 Release Preview
- Windows 8 includes enhanced multi-monitor support
- Microsoft to charge customers $99 to remove OEM ‘crapware’
- Don’t let Windows 8 upgrade offers lure you into buying a new PC
- No Windows 8 DVD playback will mean increased costs, and consumer confusion
- Windows 8: Media Center functionality likely to cost more
- Microsoft: Here are the four editions of Windows 8
- Bring Metro apps to Windows 7 to encourage developer growth
- Why Windows 8 won’t reimagine hardware that much
- Windows 8: Can we live without the desktop?
- Here’s what’s wrong with Windows 8