Microsoft promised a more efficient operating system and they delivered with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview
By Stephen Pate – With Microsoft aiming Windows 8 at mobile and desktop computers, the operating system had to get smaller and more efficient. They succeeded with fast boot and restart times even on older computers.
For desktops, a few seconds saved won’t add any productivity to an 8 hour day. Laptops and other lower powered computers should benefit from Win8CP. Of course, Windows 8 has to run efficiently on smart phones and tablets.
I put Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Win8CP) to the test and it booted on average within 19.5 seconds.
This confirmed my unscientific gut feeling. When I boot two computers in the morning, the Win8CP computer is always ready first.
The older and less powerful Win8CP computer is also faster to load applications and retrieve internet sites.
The Test Details
The test machine for Win8CP was a Dell XPS630i with a Dual-Core Q9300 processor, considered fast 4 years ago. The Windows Experience rating on this computer is a modest 5.4.
Boot times averaged 19.5 seconds. Restart times averaged 46 seconds, longer since there are two processes happening – shutdown and boot.
The fastest computer we tested came in second with boot time averaging 23 seconds and restart of 62 seconds. This computer is an Intel i7 X980 Extreme Edition with 6 cores and 12 threads, a very fast computer.
The X980 couldn’t beat Win8CP on the old dual core, despite having the advantage of an Intel 320 Series SSD drive which dramatically cuts boot times. The X980 has a Windows Experience rating of 7.4, almost the highest possible.
The third computer was a Dell XPS800 with a respectable i7 760 running Windows Vista. Despite having the same Windows Experience rating 5.4 as the Win8CP computer, it turned in the worst boot times at 36 seconds to boot and 103 seconds to Restart.
Core boot time
To see the real time it takes to boot Windows, subtract 12-14 seconds for the computer itself to power up.
So the real time for Windows 8 to boot was about 5 seconds. Windows 7 took 9 seconds and Vista took 24 seconds. On portable and handheld devices, the time will have to be under 2-3 seconds.
An Apple iPhone 4 takes 35 seconds to boot from off. Win8CP beats that time on a full computer with hard drive. Microsoft has done an excellent job of improving the performance on Win8CP.
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