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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Weaning off Windows Xp

This article is dedicated to "Techies" who think they can get better performance by "upgrading" from Windows 7 to Windows Xp on their new laptops.
In fact they are downgrading from Windows 7 to Windows Xp.
Personally I think it is not a smart idea there are many reasons.

1)Windows 7 support ACPI 3.0 which is what programmed in many EFI of new laptops. Windows Xp doesn't support ACPI 3.0 so it will revert to older ACPI versions when installed so you lose some advance power optimization with Windows Xp.

2)Driver support you have to spend time hunting down obselete drivers for Windows Xp and Microsoft no longer provides updates to Windows Xp (Except Security Holes).

3)Legacy Functionality in Xp compared to Native Support in Windows 7.
When Xp was out WiFi was still not mainstream, Microsoft enabled WiFi by including a Client in 1 of their Service Packs. It is a hack to emulate Wireless Device as a Ethernet Device so WiFi can be used.
Windows 7 has WiFi Client built in so it is more of a part of OS than a dirty hack. Besides WiFi many features in Windows 7 is native while an add on in Windows Xp.

4)Security, UAC love it or hate it UAC provides better configuration of policy and security settings compared to Windows Xp.

5)For those new processors Windows 7 include NUMA support. You realise Intel and AMD removed the legacy Front Side Bus (FSB) and introduced their high bandwidth bus (Intel-QPI Quick Path Interconnect, AMD-HT HyperTransport) because FSB limits CPU scalability performance improvement.

It is a known fact x86 CPUs get better performance and power saving by increasing the number of processing cores rather than increasing the frequency so by reverting to Window Xp you are removing NUMA optimization from your laptop.

6)Windows 7 utilises the GPU to render Desktop so CPU can be left idle for more responsiveness. While Windows Xp driver architecture doesn't allow this so you are still using CPU to render the desktop.

7)Windows 7 has a finer grained power control policy than Windows Xp so you can save more power in Windows 7 than Xp it is a proven fact just google for some benchmark. In other words Windows 7 has better power efficiency.

Lastly the amount of changes from Windows Xp to Windows Vista to Windows 7 is so great that my blog can't cover everything.

If you still insist by installing Window Xp you get better performance let me ask you this: What is most important in an OS?
Pure Performance? If so you must as well install Windows NT on your Hardware it will practically fly along but why not?

Because a good OS is one that balance performance as well as functionality. Sure Windows Xp performs in someways because it has less services, less executable code but compare this to Window 7 where you get both performance and feature if you do a clean install, which is better?

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