[Review] Is Windows 10 better than Windows 8.1 and 7, Performance Wise?


Bet, you are thinking of performance improvements in Windows 10. For example, HTC One for Windows is faring better than Android, not only in battery life, but also is faster. Also the IE10 and IE11 are having better JavaScript experience in Windows 10. The Technical Preview license runs till April 15, 2015 and the final release date will take some more time. for desktops and laptops is on July 29th, 2015.

PCWizKids did some performance tests to compare Windows 7 vs Windows 8.1 vs Windows 10 Technical Preview in memory usage, gaming and fps. He used a dual-boot scenario of Windows 8.1 and 10 Technical Preivew, but later added Windows 7 also to test their comparison.

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The system configuration was something like this :

  • Processor – AMD A10-6700 (Richland)
  • Motherboard – ASUSTek  Model F285- V PRO
  • Memory : 4 GB.
  • Graphics Card – NVidia GeForce GT 740
  • Hard Disk – Minimal

Memory Usage

Windows 7 was using around 800 MB of memory, which is about 20% of the total memory for the normal processes. Windows 10 and 8.1 used about 17% of the memory, which comes to around 700 MB.

Though, it’s very early to compare the 10 Technical Preview memory usage, but 17% is better than 20%. So with less resources it can run the processes, while the remaining can be used for gaming and other memory intensive programs.

The idle usage of RAM on a Asus T100 machine for Windows 10 was less compared to Windows 8.1 (Mar, 2015). Though it depends on various factors like the size of RAM, it also depends on the beta build version. For example v10041 had problems with RAM usage compared to v10130.  [Source : http://www.tenforums.com/general-discussion/5007-windows-10-memory-usage-asus-t100.html]

But there are contrary reports on RAM usage on the same forum. In another forum post (recently in May, 2015), it was found that Win 10 was using 90% RAM.

But in another post, a user posted a comparison ram usage for Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1. He didn’t find much difference. (Feb, 2015). But the noticeable difference is that Windows 10 has more free memory, instead of standby memory.

Related :  How does Windows 10 Fare In Boot Time? (After Release)

Ram Usage - Windows 10 vs 8.1

[Image Source : tenforums.com]

BenchMarking

win10-b3 win10-b2 win10-b1 w10-b4 w10-b3 w10-b2 w10-b1

The AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark tests produced the following results. Windows 10 copy memory bandwidth usage was little higher than the others. With driver improvements we can see better benefits. Also calculating Pi to 1 million decimal places, Windows 10 was the winner. It calculated in 28 secs, while Windows 8.1 did it in 29 secs and Windows 7 in 30 secs.

On the CPU Queen Scores, Windows 10 scored a higher score of 21203. The other two OS, scored 21168 and 21079 respectively. The overall system performance test on PCMark 8 Home tests showed that Windows 7 and 8 scored 2743 points. But Windows 10 made a better score of 2768.

3DMark doing the SkyDiver test, Windows 7 scored 6544 while Windows 8.1 scored a bit less (because of the physics score probably) 6483. But Windows 10 made improvement than 8.x with 6510. Though 7 outscored all the three, it can be seen that 10 had improvements and we can see better scores in the final versions. The drivers are all identical in all the 3 scenarios.

In the Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 tests, there was not much difference in the average FPS score. The FPS speed was 20 in Windows 7, while in Windows 8.1 and 10, there was only half-frame second difference. The FPS scores were also almost identical at around 503. With better driver improvements, we can see more benefits.

Gaming Performance

Tech YES City, did some benchmark comparison of 3 commonly used games on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Specs:

  • 5820k @ 4.2ghz / 3.3ghz cache ratio.
  • DDR4 Memory at 2133 default speeds.
  • GTX 970 at default speeds.
  • X99S SLI Plus MSI Motherboard 

The following games and softwaer were tested. (Battlefield 4 / Skyrim / Arma 3) / Adobe CS6 Premiere pro benchmark (rendering times) and a start up (boot) times test.

The final conclusion was that all the 3 games fared well the same in all the 3 OSes. But there was minor advantages with two of the games in Windows 8.1. But with Directx 12 round the corner, Windows 10 may show some drastic improvements. Crysis 3 didn’t work out in Windows 10, but the performance score was the same in 7 and 8.1.

Related :  Windows 10 Gaming Benchmarks - The Results from 3DMark Tests

Ocaholic” also did a vast comparison of some other games.

Test Setup

Motherboard
  • ASUS Maximus VII Hero (BIOS 0224)
CPU
  • Intel Core i7-4770K @ 4.0 GHz (Turbo On / HT On)
Memory
  • G.Skill Ares Dual Channel 2x8GB @ CL11-12-11-28-1T-Auto DDR3-1600 MHz
Graphics Cards
  • ASUS Strix OC Edition GeForce GTX 980
Drivers
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 344.11
Games and OS
  • Windows 10 Tecnical Preview x64 Buil: 9841
  • Windows 8.1 Pro x64
  • Windows 7 x64
  • All games were up to date on the
System Drive
  • OCZ Storage Solutions Arc 100 240GB
PSU
  • Seasonic Platinum SS-1000XP / 1000 Watts

In the Unigine Heaven 4.0 Extreme Present benchmark test, Windows 7 scored a higher FPS rate with different resolutions. For a 1080p mode, the average FPS was 66.7 in Windows 7, while it was 66.0 and 65.2 in Windows 10 and 8.1 respectively.

The BattleField 4 performance tests showed neck and neck comparison within all the three OS. One did well with one resolution and also the average FPS rates were also not much different. Windows 10 scored an average FPS rate of 88.72  with 1080p mode.

In the Watch Dogs benchmark comparison, Windows 8.1 was almost the clear winner with different resolution modes of 1080p, 1440p, 2160p. It gave around 2 to 6% improvement scores in the average FPS rates.

Gaming Performance comparison - Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1 vs Windows 7

The Tomb Raider also showed that Windows 8.1 is better at FPS rates. Though the difference is only marginal, it can be seen that games go well with 8.1 OS. The average FPS rates for Windows 10 were 53.10, 33.00, 14.20 in different resolution modes.

The website also conducted Power Consumption tests. With Idle mode as the parameter, Windows 10 was using less power compared to 8.1 and 7. It used only 68 watts power, a 5% less compared to Windows 7. The FurMark benchmark tests showed that, Windows 10 used 221 watts, only a 2% decrease compared to Windows 7.

Anyhow, it can be seen that, if you want normal performance of games with little power usage, than Windows 10 is the winner. Many-a-times, Windows 7 and 8.1 showed a minor performance increase in the game average FPS rates, but they can be out-scored.

Windows 10 vs 8.1 vs 7 - Power Consumption

Update : 17/6/2015

System Requirements

From the software and hardware requirements point-of-view, there is not much change in Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 system requirements. (apart from small changes like 10 needs a Microsoft account and Internet connection for upgrade).

Related :  [Tutorial] – Network and Internet Settings in Windows 10 – Explanation of Each Option

windows-10-software-hardware-internet-requirements software-hardware-necessities-windows-8.1software-hardware-requirements-windows-7

Windows 10 Disk Space “Saving” – Likely in the Final Release

With the increase in SSD devices and flash memory storage with devices like smart-phones and tablets, Microsoft had to re-think it’s strategy of going on with Moore’s law in the disk-space requirement for it’s OS.

In a blog post on windows.com, the authors say that there can be a net saving of 1.5 GB on 32-bit systems and 2.6 GB on 64-bit installations. An example showing the performance improvements in Windows 10 disk space usage, can be seen in this graphic.

Disk space performance improvement in windows 10

The reduction in disk footprint, allowing for more data storage is achieved by compressing Windows system files. (a new feature introduced in Windows 10 TP build 9879).

This major change was required, because of OEMs including a recovery partition with every new release of Microsoft OS. This was also occupying chunk of the disk space. But in tablets and phones, the storage space was in terms of 8GB or 16GB or 32GB. So users with old devices or SSDs are at a loss, due to the current Windows 10 system requirements.

In Windows 8.1 Microsoft introduced a solution called, Windows Image Boot, aka WIMBOOT, for Surface Pro kind of tablet devices. This is also going to go away in Windows 10, since it had some dis-advantage. The Refresh/Reset functionality is also going to be re-designed.

These storage performance improvements will be available for upgrades and new OEMs as well. But smaller devices may be blocked, if the “upgrade assistant” finds that the benefits of compression or out-weighed by performance drags of systems trying to compress and decompress files.

[Review] Is Windows 10 better than Windows 8.1 and 7, Performance Wise?
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36 comments… add one
  • George Sep 13, 2017, 7:38 pm

    The results do differ from hardware to hardware though. For example: On my iGPU GTA V would crash on Windows 8. But, on Windows 10, it runs at a stable 30 FPS.

  • Adeniyi Jan 13, 2017, 10:52 pm

    What of a review on packet(internet) data consumption of Win 8.1 and win 10. It’s driving me crazy. I’m presently on win8.1. I’ve not been ale to keep the Internet cost low. Anyone with help?

  • Adrian Betch Feb 14, 2016, 12:14 am

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  • Leoma Jan 26, 2016, 6:07 am

    After the set up has been completed, now you can run and play Pirate Kings on your laptop computer (windows pc) or home windows tablet.

  • Nootroplex Brain Health Jan 24, 2016, 11:47 am

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  • guest Dec 22, 2015, 11:27 pm

    windows 10 is a lie the new printer does not work in windows 10 and my software does not work in windows 10 and the church videos do not play in windows 10 and microsoft has forgot the churchs that use windows for the church videos and the companys that use windows for the work they have come out with crap

  • Azhari R Oct 9, 2015, 4:27 pm

    Using around 90% of RAM?? Seriously, that’s sounds crazy. Maybe he is using a Laptop/PC with 1GB of RAM?

  • Ruslan Aug 10, 2015, 3:48 am

    “scored 2743 points. But Windows 10 made a better score of 2768”
    better? how many tests you did? have you ever heard of statistical significance testing? confidence intervals? Two tests is never enough to make a conclusive test if x is faster than y.
    All tests above are like this. That’s not a scientific comparison.

    You also have know at least sigma (standard deviation) of each test to calculate confidence interval and test your hypothesis if Win7/8 is faster/slower than Win10.

  • Peter Aug 4, 2015, 6:16 am

    Thanks for the review. Looks like there is no reason to not upgrade to W10 from W8.1, when it comes to performance. I am going for it.

  • Feedback Jul 27, 2015, 9:16 pm

    and of course, after sending it refreshes the page giving me one final popup. omg.

    • Palla Sridhar Jul 27, 2015, 9:27 pm

      Dear User,

      Sorry for the trouble you are having.
      Actual my site is maintained through Adsense earnings only. So thats why the pop-up. Also my site is more targeted towards desktop users, and less towards mobile users.

      Anyhow I’m going to remove the pop-up. Please let me know your feedback after that.

  • Feedback Jul 27, 2015, 9:15 pm

    Popups. Sigh. Baby-blue background with pink boxes. Huge fonts. On a tablet it’s common for Drags to be interpreted as Taps which means having to press Back to get back to the page to read on, but then you get yet another popup pleading to turn off the addblocker. Scrolling on, accidentally ‘tapping’ close to a text box which is secretly a picture which links to another page. Other page loads. Press back again, get anóther popup about adds, popup barely fits in screen so it’s a royal pain in the ass to get it from your screen on a tablet.

    This site truly is a horrible experience.

  • jpnn80 Jul 25, 2015, 2:00 pm

    Thanks for all your useful information, but about the way W10 saves disk space by reducing its footprint, I don’t really understand this “So users with old devices or SSDs are at a loss, due to the current indows 10 system requirements.”
    Does this mean that SSD is not advised because their lifetime will be reduced due to frequent write operation with Windows decompressing its system files ?

    • Palla Sridhar Jul 25, 2015, 4:57 pm

      @jpnn80: Sorry for my English. But what I meant was that the “CURRENT” system requirements occupy more disk space. So naturally SSDs which have less disk space will be at loss. But after disk savings, we can have better disk space usage on SSDs or old HDDs like 40GB, 80GB. etc. Regarding lifetime of SSD, there is no such info I know about.

  • Andrei Jul 22, 2015, 7:32 am

    I must say that there won’t be any real difference probably… especially between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10… if you are thinking to upgrade then you probably should do that because you like the features of new Windows 10.

  • skan Jun 21, 2015, 10:39 pm

    What about stability?

    • Palla Sridhar Jun 21, 2015, 11:17 pm

      Windows 10 is only TP. So this issue is to be addressed only after the final release. But the current builds are not perfect or imperfect. It depends a lot on program, app usage and gaming. So better wait for the final release and then we can comment on it.

  • Scot Jun 16, 2015, 1:45 am

    Thanks for the efforts, gives me something to think about as 10 is readied for the public.
    Sorry about people putting you down for trying to help us all out, that’s pretty weird. I found your article informative.

    • Palla Sridhar Jun 16, 2015, 6:32 am

      @Scot: Thanks for your feedback. You just understood my hardwork in writing such an article before the release of Windows 10.

  • Bob Jun 5, 2015, 8:14 pm

    This was painful to read. Learn how to write.

    • Robert Cannataro Sep 30, 2015, 3:17 am

      I totally agree, but was reluctant to reply as such. But this is really typical of most articles I read these days from all sources. Proper English usage is on the decline from both native-born and foreign speakers.

      But regardless, thanks to the author for his work putting the articles together.

      Bob

  • Quantos Jun 2, 2015, 4:33 am

    Most writers take citations as they accumulate the resource material. You guys are just pathetic.

  • tomas May 19, 2015, 8:10 am

    how did you manage to run arma 3 with that fps using a GTX 740 and 4gb of ram on 1080P !!?!?!?!, i think this is a big fat lie

    • Palla Sridhar May 19, 2015, 7:54 pm

      @tomas: The facts in this article are taken from different YouTube videos and websites. So if you want I can find the sources little later.

  • Arty May 16, 2015, 2:14 am

    With what app did you write captions on screenshots?

    • Palla Sridhar May 16, 2015, 2:31 am

      @Arty: Those images were taken from Google. But you can use Snagit or Greenshot if you want.

  • Jeffrey Apr 18, 2015, 7:38 am

    Many ISSUES with this comparison.
    1) 17% is NOT “better” than 20%. – the purpose of system memory is to buffer programs and data for quick access. You want as much as possible used until that becomes an issue in itself. Windows can also REMOVE programs and data to free up space when needed so trying to compare this is rather POINTLESS, at least in this fashion.
    2) CPU performance – W10 isn’t even running everything that the final version will which can easily account for the small difference here. It’s too soon to declare a “winner.”
    3) Video – Is Windows 10 using the same EXACT driver version? (I wasn’t sure what you mean by “identical”; was that the driver or the scenarios tested?). Also I had issues with some games and not with others so trying to analyze gaming is pretty difficult.

    • Palla Sridhar Apr 19, 2015, 7:40 am

      @Jeffrey: As you know Windows 10 is still in beta stage. So it’s hard to come out with comparisons so early. So this review is only at an abstract level.

  • Technoway Apr 7, 2015, 10:46 pm

    Disk space for each Operating system is missing from the article. This is important to me because my next laptop will have an SSD. I expect that information is not available yet.

  • technoway Apr 7, 2015, 10:42 pm

    Apple development environment – $99.00
    Windows dev. – over $1000.00
    I’m on the fence because of that.

    • Marcelo Santos May 25, 2015, 4:58 am

      Apple Development Env = $99.00
      MACBOOK PRO: $8,000

      A superb Dell with Windows OS: 2,000.00
      Windows Dev Kit: 50.00

      I can’t agree with you regaring just COST.

      • Dovahman Jul 1, 2015, 1:39 am

        Where do you get $8,000?!
        You can get a good Mac $1,500. It’s what I use as my dev laptop, and its perfectly fine.

        • andrema Aug 8, 2015, 9:49 pm

          8 years experience with a team of mac users showed me that you can’t compare Macs with PCs. They All went back to the store frequently for repairs. Memory upgrades were very expensive and the “dev” was limited compared to what’s available on Windows. Worse part is apple uses a lot of parts that PCs use yet can’t get more then 11% of sales yearly. Shall I go on ?

    • Davey Jun 6, 2015, 12:08 pm

      >>Windows dev. – over $1000.00
      You can get Visual Studio for free and do all the Windows development you want.
      A Windows app that you develop will have roughly 5-10 times the number of available users that IOS will.
      Oh, and with Visual Studio you can develop apps in parallel for IOS and Android.
      I’ll be sticking to WIndows

  • david Feb 9, 2015, 6:55 pm

    Thanks for the review, its a good read, ive just installed win 10 and im just installing battlefield 4 now so going to be interesting to see how it compares to win 7, I know it very early day but im liking it so far i think its a big improvement on win8

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Meet the Author

Palla Sridhar

I love being a Microsoft enthusiast and Tech lover. I Completed my M.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur, INDIA. My interests include Blogging, Surfing, Cricket, Books and Social Networking. I find solutions to problems on Windows, Outlook and Office.

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