Windows 8 is definitely faster than Windows 7

I get this question a lot I always get asked if Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7. The answer is definitely "Yes."
Windows 8 performed better on virtually every single test.

PC Magazine,2817,2406668,00.asp

Performance benchmark Windows 7 Windows 8
From the Windows logo to the startup screen (lower is better) 27 seconds 18 seconds
Shutdown times are also dramatically faster: (lower is better) 12 seconds 8 seconds
Waking up from a sleep is also faster: (lower is better) 13 seconds 10 seconds.
3-D graphics performance. PCMark 7 Test (higher better) 3467 3786
Browser performance(lower is better) Chrome version 21 - 2325 Chrome version 21 - 2505
Browser performance using Google V8 (higher is better) 10873 11847
Video performance (rendering and encoding) X264 HD benchmark 5.0 (frames per second, higher is better) 81.5
86.1 handbrake ( frames per second being encoded, higher is better) 170.5

Starting with Windows 7 Microsoft got serious about isolating the kernel of the operating system and optimizing its performance independently. The small kernel is known as MinWin. It includes just basic system services, such as the TCP/IP stack and not much more. Here is some follow-up video and reading.

Inside the Windows Kernel (video)
Arun Kishan: Inside Windows 7 - Farewell to the Windows Kernel Dispatcher Lock. this was a huge breakthrough for Microsoft. it boosted parallelism by minimizing the wait times between running threads. The traditional dispatcher lock was replaced with several finer grained synchronization techniques, allowing Microsoft to leverage today's multicore architectures. (video)
Inside Windows Server 2008 Kernel Changes. this article describes the major changes Microsoft made to improve the performance of the kernel by separating it out of the operating system and optimizing it separately.

A more recent series of test that reflect Windows 8 RTM

Comments (10)

  1. Rich Gilbertson says:

    I call BS, for example using IE 10 to open Facebook for the first time it takes 7 seconds for IE 10 to open Facebook, and Chrome or Firefox on the same Windows 8 Desktop PC is instant. Yes Windows 8 is faster at some things, but not often or by much to pay for the switch. With all the other problems it is a huge let down in performance. And errors are a nightmare as when Windows 8 crashes the user gets no indication in any why what the problem might be, very very bad error handling or no report at all. Bad design!!!!


    Hi Rich, Sorry you are disappointed. Those performance characteristics were obtained from independent third parties, they were not number that I just calculated.

    If the first two posts didn't convince you, then maybe these two can help:

    Granted, it isn't faster in every conceivable way with respect to IE 10, but clearly, by a huge margin, almost everything is faster.

    I have been using Windows 8 for months on multiple systems. Crashes are very rare. It doesn't crash any more than Windows 7, which is considered very stable.

    Regarding error trapping, most if not all, of the debugging tools are available.

    Windows Debugger (WinDbg). Console Debugger (CDB), NT Symbolic Debugger (NTSD), and Kernel Debugger (KD) are all there as they've always been.

    As always, in control panel, you can use Event Viewer to view what errors occurred on your system. In short, it is no more difficult to diagnose errors on Windows 8 as with Windows 7 or earlier.


  2. Rui Ribeiro says:

    It's curious how you only link to posts who evaluate the performance of Windows 8 versions prior to the RTM. You'd expect comparisons made with the RTM. Aren't such comparisons available?


    [ Hi Rui, See last link in post for a more recent speed test.

  3. Rui Ribeiro says:

    Thanks for that one, Bruno.


    Anytime, Rui. I appreciate readers leaving comments. It makes the post better.
  4. edward carnby says:

    wow I am very happy to read great news about windows 8 thanks 🙂

  5. danerd says:

    hi, it amazes me as to how people focus on speed rather than reliability and functionality of an operating system, i mean windows 8 might be fast but whats the point if it is difficult to use ( and it is )it really does nothing that windows 7 already does, why pay the cashcow ( microsoft )money for something that offers no real advantage over windows 7.



    With all due respect, performance always matters, with all software, whether you are talking about operating systems, compilers, developer tooling, and user applications.

    Being able to add functionality to an operating system while still getting great performance is always a challenge. Of course, this is helped with the advances in hardware. Regardless, users expect faster performance.

    I think Windows 8 is definitely a better operating system than Windows 7. Explaining that is way beyond the scope of this response. With that said, everyone I  know who has tried it, loves Windows 8 and the Windows Store – the ability to choose from thousands of free applications that instantly install. Windows 8 can do everything Windows 7 can and far more, including the ability to run on tablets and supporting touch. If you are happy with Windows 7, Microsoft is more than happy to support you. ~Bruno

  6. Cesar says:

    I've only upgraded my system to windows 8 and so far l'm very must impressed with its speed. It takes a lot of time to get used to metro tiles but I'm ok with it especially that my old programs run just fine which is important to me. Can't wait to try windows 8.1.

  7. Scott says:

    I agree.  I've been using Windows 8 for about 6 months. I've noticed a huge speed increase. I don't need a start menu – let it go already.

  8. gabriel says:

    In terms of gaming, have u noti ed speed increase?

  9. Noobs says:

    It's called classic shell, or IObit windows 7 start menu.  Now you have win 8 with win 7 start menu

  10. Matteo says:

    My 2 cents – I think Windows 8 is much faster and better than Windows 7. My story – about 2 years ago I ended up with Windows 8 on a new (personal) Surface Pro and initially was put off by the change in the UI from Windows XP, which I had happily been using for years. About 6 months ago, I got a new laptop for work with Windows 7. It has a beefier CPU and RAM than my Windows 8 machine, but is slower for just about everything. Starting the Windows 7 machine (including from sleep) takes much longer than my Windows 8 (now 8.1) machine. Today I had to use my Windows 8.1 Surface Pro for work because I left the Windows 7 laptop at home. Everything I am doing today is smoother and faster than it had been on my Windows 7 laptop.

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