JodyT

I Need to Confess ... Regarding Windows 8.1

41 posts in this topic

This weekend I setup my friend's new PC. It was a gaming PC with Windows 8.1 installed. Now guess what?

[OK....here goes.....]

I actually liked it. It ran quite well. The first thing I did was install IOBit's StartMenu 8 (though since it's ad-supported I may try something else for him. But I installed Office 2007, setup IE 11 and transferred his data back, giving me ample time to use the system. It really felt like a less animated, but more speedy Windows 7. It worked VERY well.

So maybe, ahem, just maybe Windows 8 is somewhere oft in my future. Er, we'll see.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've moved my business machines up to Windows 8.1 recently myself. It can be quite nice - I actually like it as well, though I personally have no love nor need for the Metro / Modern toy side and just don't use it.

So yes, I have to admit, with some additional 3rd party stuff like BigMuscle's Aero Glass tool, it's pretty good.

But...

You did make one statement that caught my eye: "It really felt like a less animated, but more speedy Windows 7"

During the (very thorough) evaluation we did here to determine if we could move up to Windows 8.1 (from 7; we skipped 8), I set out to determine whether Windows 8 really is faster.

After extensive testing on the same hardware, it turns out it's NOT faster, really, except for one key thing: Booting up. Primarily that's the only thing, and part of it is because Microsoft has integrated what used to be called hibernation into the shutdown/bootup process. In head to head comparisons, with identical setups booting from SSD - and eliminating the hybrid shutdown/bootup (which we found had downsides we weren't willing to accept), we found the difference in bootup speed was just a few seconds, with Windows 8.1 being ever so slightly faster.

But beyond that, one of the most important things an operating system does - provide access to files - is actually slower in Windows 8! You read that right - Windows 8 is slower to access files, and 8.1 even a bit slower than 8.

If you have both Windows 7 and 8 on equivalent systems, and especially if running from SSD, try this:

1. Open Windows Explorer / File Explorer and navigate to the root of drive C:.

2. In the files (right) pane, select all folders and files, right-click, and choose properties.

3. Time how many seconds it takes for the Properties dialog to stop enumerating the files.

A healthy Windows 7 system will be able to count up about 20,000 files per second on an SSD. Believe it or not, a Windows 8.1 system will deliver only about half that performance! Benchmarks that show actual read/write performance show a reduction in throughput on Windows 8 as well, as compared to Windows 7. I could hardly believe it and I did the tests many times over.

Other things, such as operation of controls in the Windows interface (e.g., as measured by the 2D benchmark in PassMark PerformanceTest) are also a little slower on Windows 8, believe it or not. We did quite an extensive evaluation.

So why do people feel it's faster?

I believe most folks compare a loaded-up Windows 7 system with their freshly installed Windows 8 system, and would sense the very same "speedup" if they were to install Windows 7 afresh. That, plus the fact that MIcrosoft's hybrid bootup really is a good bit quicker than a full shutdown and restart in Windows 7, makes it "seem" faster.

Bottom line is this: Don't think that Windows 8 is going to radically speed up your computing experience. It really doesn't, and in some cases can actually slow the same operations down a little by comparison.

-Noel

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S., Try out ClassicShell. Free and no ads.

StartIsBack is another very inexpensive alternative, and written by a regular on this forum.

-Noel

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why do people feel it's faster?

I believe most folks compare a loaded-up Windows 7 system with their freshly installed Windows 8 system, and would sense the very same "speedup" if they were to install Windows 7 afresh.

-Noel

this was the same for Vista/7 when all users thought Wih7 was soooo much faster.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

on this machine, xp was fast altho unstable, never tried vista, 7 was slow, win8.1 feels closer to xp in performance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S., Try out ClassicShell. Free and no ads.

StartIsBack is another very inexpensive alternative, and written by a regular on this forum.

-Noel

i decided to try classicshell, my system became quite unstable, had to remove it to get my stability back

Edited by truexfan81
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i decided to try classicshell, my system became quite unstable, had to remove it to get my stability back

You must have something else wrong with your system. I have not experienced or heard of ClassicShell causing stability issues.

Cheers and Regards

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my mind, Win 8 or 8.1 is surely better than Win 7!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my mind, Win 8 or 8.1 is surely better than Win 7!

That's good :), in the sense that you are wrong :w00t:, but you have the freedom to be so ;).

More seriously, please define "better", all test reports (of actual tests, not subjective impressions) I have seen seem to imply that NoelC has hit the nail right on the head (re: speed).

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A healthy Windows 7 system will be able to count up about 20,000 files per second on an SSD. Believe it or not, a Windows 8.1 system will deliver only about half that performance!

Benchmarks that show actual read/write performance show a reduction in throughput on Windows 8 as well, as compared to Windows 7. I could hardly believe it and I did the tests many times over.

Other things, such as operation of controls in the Windows interface (e.g., as measured by the 2D benchmark in PassMark PerformanceTest) are also a little slower on Windows 8, believe it or not. We did quite an extensive evaluation.

Any links to the performance benchmarks?

At least regarding Explorer file properties I don't think it matters that much. Explorer in general is annoying and out of control. Just like the Start Menu, one would be better off with a 3rd party file manager that has a stable feature set and a GUI that doesn't change across versions or that can be configured to your liking.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Benchmark results? Sure.

Passmark overall disk assessment. The blue results were from a run under Windows 7 back in September, and the red results were the same benchmark run on the same hardware two days ago, on Windows 8.1.

Win7vsWin8DiskTest.png

Here's a more advanced test, which simulates "Workstation" type loading, with a combination of read and write operations.

Win 8.1:

Win8WorkstationTest.png

Win 7:

Win7WorkstationTest.jpg

And you can discount Explorer all you want, but how well it can follow the file system structure to enumerate all the files is an activity that actually does give a very good assessment of file system performance. I literally used to be able to enumerate almost 30,000 files / second on this modern workstation, running from an SSD array. Now it's more like 10,000 files / second. Yes, everything's optimized and up to date.

There can be no conclusion other than to do useful work, Windows 8.1 is slower than Windows 7 on the same hardware. In my case it reduced disk access from blindingly fast to just blazingly fast, so it's really not a serious problem. My software builds went from 29 seconds to 35 seconds - not a big deal.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want more benchmark info?

ATTO disk I/O speed measurement on the same hardware, again showing an incremental degradation on Win 8.1...

Win 8.1:

Win81ATTO.png

Win 7:

Win7ATTO.png

-Noel

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of these deltas are large enough to seem unlikely, no? Doesn't look like something Microsoft could afford to have going on. Maybe it's drivers or settings somewhere?

E.g., a random data point: http://www.techspot.com/review/561-windows8-vs-windows7/page3.html

Some things are somewhat slower, some faster. This was right after Win8's release.

Re Explorer, I don't know if you can consider it a reliable benchmark for filesystem or disk I/O. I'd look for a benchmark made for this specific purpose, or create a simple directory scanner.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have already found such benchmarks, and have shown some of the results above. Every test and all my experience since moving our development environment up to Windows 8.1 confirm that there's a file system performance loss of 5% to 10% more or less. Our testing wasn't limited to this one system. And as I said, Windows 8 slowed things down a little, and Windows 8.1 slows them down a little more.

Microsoft doesn't seem to care too terribly much about actual functionality as compared to their prime focus on what things look like. They're trying to reset the clock back to Windows 1.0 so they can grow up all over again.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good :), in the sense that you are wrong :w00t:, but you have the freedom to be so ;).

More seriously, please define "better", all test reports (of actual tests, not subjective impressions) I have seen seem to imply that NoelC has hit the nail right on the head (re: speed).

jaclaz

Oh Jaclaz, how about reading this for the definition of "better" :P:

More seriouly, it is very personal when I say Win 8/8.1 better than Win 7. But I believe many others who have chosen to use 8 or 8.1 have the same ideas as mine although we have different needs to use a computer and different ways to use it too.
I can't write a long post now to analyse why I find 8/8.1 better. But I can be sure that I prefer Win 8 not just because I feel it faster than Win 7. I use W8 because it has some new interesting features that W7 doesn't have.
Btw, people who say or think W8 is not good or not worth trying are those who don't use W8 for long enough to evaluate it precisely. Again, this is my very own opinion!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.