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Old 31-05-09, 12:55 PM
PCTwin PCTwin is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chorley. Lancs.
Posts: 647
Windows 7 RC1 system tests

Windows 7 System tests

As I promised when I did my gaming comparison between Vista and Windows 7, I have finally finished all my tests and I want to share the results with you. Before I do though, I would like to tell you how impressed I am with Windows 7 and its new functionality. My twin brother received an Acer Aspire One model ZG5 Netbook last Christmas and wanted to replace the Linux OS with a suitable version of Windows. Well, I just had to, didn’t I? He practically asked me to do it. Windows 7 works a charm. I still haven’t played with all the new enhancements, but the media streaming over Wi-Fi is spot on. And not just with Media player either. I watched a series of videos in MKV format using media player classic, walking all around the house, locked myself in the toilet for 5 mins, and the video never paused once. I can’t even stream video to my Vista machines over the wired network without hiccups. This just works so well. No difficult setup procedure.

Media Centre also gets a green light for being able to tune in to my satellite signal and give me HD channels. Formula 1 in glorious HD, yeah. Pause and record live Satellite TV, no problem. To be honest though, I think this should be made available to Vista owners, after all, Microsoft promised that Vista would be the ultimate media centre system. There were unfound rumours around that some versions of Vista would inherit this function come SP2. Vista has been updated to Service Pack 2, but this function is still missing, even on the Ultimate version. OK then, let’s do some testing.

The test set-up

32bit versions of Windows 7 and Vista SP2 will be used for these tests. The overclock I use has been running for some time and has proved to be stable over a long period. The hardware configuration for all of my testing will be as follows:

CPU: QX6700 Extreme 2.66 GHz (@3.4 GHz)

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45 Extreme V1.0 DDR2

Memory: 2x2GB G-Skill F2-8500CL5 DDR2 @1065MHz

HDD1: Samsung HD103UJ 1TB (64bit OS)

HDD2: 1xSamsung HD502IJ 500GB 16MB CACHE (32bit OS)

HDD3: 1XSeagate ST3500320AS 500GB 16MB cache (DATA)

PSU: Enermax EGX850EWL Galaxy

Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2433bw 1920x1200

GPU: Sapphire HD 4870 1GB TOXIC: [email protected] [email protected]

Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.5

TV card: BlackGold BGT3540

Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos-S

Cooling: Watercooled CPU & GPU

For a broad range of results to best evaluate the two systems, the following benchmarks were used.

CPU tests

Sisoft Sandra: Processor Arithmetic

SuperPi XS mod 1.5: 1M, 8M and 32M

Memory test

Lavalys Everest Ultimate Edition

HDD I/O Performance

HD Tach

Sisoft Sandra: Physical Disks


Sisoft Sandra: CPU Multimedia

River Past Vimark

7Zip: Benchmark Tool

System Performance

Cinebench R10

PCMark Vantage

Passmark: Performance Test 7 beta

All tests were run five times. Discarding the highest and lowest, an average is then calculated from the remaining three. On all HDD tests the HDD tested was the Samsung 502IJ 500GB. Let’s see how they fare.

CPU Tests

Sandra CPU

Sisoft’s Sandra is a benchmarking suite that can test the performance of core system components.

SuperPi XS mod 1.5

SuperPi is one of the must have benchmarks for testing your overclocked system. It’s small, doesn’t have to be installed to run, and gives a good indication of how fast your system is.


There’s not a lot between the two systems on these tests, although Windows 7 does seem to edge it. So let’s move on to the memory tests.


The Sisoft Sandra memory tests won’t run on Windows 7 for some reason, so until I figure out why, I have omitted them from the tests.

Everest memory benchmarks

Everest Ultimate Edition is a system information and benchmarking tool that shows you all the system information for your PC and allows you to benchmark your CPU and System memory

Memory performance in Everest shows that Windows 7 has better memory performance. Only using one memory test is insufficient to give a decent comparison though, but later on I will be running some overall system test which will give me more results. For now let’s see the HDD tests

HDD Tests

HD Tach

HD Tack is a free hard disk diagnostic program from Simpli Software. This benchmark also gives CPU usage required during disk access.

Sandra Physical Disks

This portion of the Sisoft suite is used to test hard drive efficiency


In the CPU usage results from HD Tach Vista was constantly hitting 2% while Windows 7 was only using 1%. Otherwise there’s not a great deal between them.


Sandra CPU multimedia

Sandra’s multimedia performance test

River past Vimark

Vimark is a video encoding benchmark that measures how long it takes to encode various video formats


7Zip is an open source file compression utility that has its own benchmarking tool. I used a 64MB dictionary for each test.


Again there was little between the two in Sandra’s multimedia test, but Windows 7 had better performance with both Vimark and 7Zip. Now let’s take a look at overall system performance.

System Performance

Cinebench R10

Cinebench is based on the Cinema 4D 3D software suite. It uses complex renders to test single core CPUs, multiple core CPUs and OpenGL performance.

PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage is used to benchmark overall system performance in everyday use.

Passmark Performance Test 7.0 beta

Passmark is a benchmarking suite that tests all aspects of your systems performance.


Windows 7 did extremely well in the overall systems tests, beating Vista on practically all the tests. Take note of the Gaming and 3D tests though, as this only highlights my previous games test results. This is, I’m sure, is just a driver issue with the ATI card, and I’ve no doubt it will be fixed soon enough.


There is so much new stuff in Windows 7 that I want to try out, and now that I’ve finished with my testing, I’m going to play around with it. The system tests do show favourable results for Windows 7 and I am beginning to believe that it might just be better than Vista after all.

Fortunately, I don’t have to decide here and now whether or not I would buy Windows 7. There’s a few months to go yet and a lot more work to be done fine tuning. The Engineering Windows 7 blogs are regularly updated with reports on improvements being made, the latest blog being about parental controls. With the amount of people participating in the beta and RC1 program, by the time this OS gets to manufacturing, Microsoft should have had enough feedback to give us a polished and shiny product.

i7 2600K
MSI Big Bang Marshall
16GB G-Skill RipjawsZ F3-17000CL9Q 2133MHz
MSI GTX680 Twin FrozrIII OC

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