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Windows 7 Performance Improvements

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Computers always seem to slow down over time, and no matter how fast the hardware gets, things always seem to run at the same speed. What we might have called a supercomputer a few years ago now runs word processing and email apps about as fast as it did when CPUs ran at a fraction of their current speeds. This is because code has grown larger and more complex to take advantage of added processing power, so that users haven’t experienced serious perceptual performance gains. But by comparison with Vista, several speed-ups in Windows 7 are worth mentioning.

• Improved overall performance—As previously mentioned, Windows 7 requires less memory and less computing horsepower than Windows Vista. Case in point: Windows 7 works nicely on netbook PCs with 1- or 2GB of RAM, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processors, and minimal disk space (less than 32GB is pushing things, but 32GB works just fine); Vista drags or hangs on that resource budget. Windows 7 also runs nicely in Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, where virtual machines get only single-processor access, even on dual- or quad-core computers; Windows Vista runs slowly and fitfully in the same situation. All in all, you’ll find that Windows 7 boots faster, runs faster, and uses less memory and disk space than Vista. How’s that for improved overall performance?

• Improved Windows ReadyBoost—Windows Vista introduced ReadyBoost, which lets users allocate space on a UFD or SD card for extra system cache space. We all know that adding RAM can improve performance, but for many people, this is difficult to do and might violate a maintenance contract or annoy the IT people at a company. On Vista, ReadyBoost was limited to 4GB on a single UFD or SD card; on Windows 7, ReadyBoost cache size limits apply only to 32-bit systems. On 64-bit Windows 7 systems, ReadyBoost can be about as big as you want to make it; on all Windows 7 systems you can use two or more UFDs or memory cards to create a single monolithic ReadyBoost cache. See www.grantgibson.co.ukmisc/readyboost for test results for many brands of flash drive.

• Improved Reliability Monitor—Windows Vista introduced the Reliability Monitor, which reports on system problems, errors, and stability. In Windows 7, this useful facility is expanded and improved. For one thing, it updates the reliability index (a number between 1 and 10 that reflects the system’s reliability over time) whenever errors or problems occur (the Vista version didn’t update until midnight on the day of occurrence). For another, the Reliability Monitor now integrates the search for solutions to problems right into its interface (in Vista, you had to use the Problems and Solutions applet in Control Panel to do this). Overall, the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor takes a good concept and makes it better. All reliability info now falls under a single interface. To access this tool, type reli into the Start menu search box, then select View Reliability History from the results.

• Improved SSD support—A solid-state disk (SSD) is a type of storage device that uses flash memory chips to store data instead of common hard drives. Windows 7 can recognize and work with SSDs much more effectively and directly than previous versions of Windows could, mostly by disabling disk access behaviors that are suitable or necessary for rotating media but unsuitable or unnecessary on solid-state devices (such as turning off defragmentation, which isn’t needed on SSDs, adding better support for lazy write/erase operations, disabling SuperFetch, ReadyBoost, and boot or application launch prefetching because access times on SSDs are so fast). If you use Windows 7 on a PC with an SSD, you’ll notice faster performance and an increased lifetime for the drive.


Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth

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