Windows 8 Boots Up Much Faster Than Windows 7: Test

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week, Microsoft announced it would offer Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users the option to upgrade to Windows 8 for just under $40.

To many onlookers, this offer appeared to be a desperate move designed to arouse more interest in a not-so-anticipated upcoming operating system (OS) due later this year.

However, it appears there may actually be good reason to make the upgrade: according to recent speed tests conducted by PC Magazine's Michael Muchmore, Windows 8 is legitimately faster than Windows 7 in several key areas.

To perform the tests, Muchmore used a single PC: a Toshiba Portege laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and an Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics card. (Source:

Startup, Shutdown Times Noticeably Faster

Muchmore installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 on the machine and performed a series of tests, then installed a clean copy of Windows 8 on the very same machine and performed the exact same tests again.

Here's what he found: startup times (the time it takes to boot up a computer from power off to full functionality) were considerably faster in Windows 8.

Windows 7 performed its startup process in 38 seconds. However, the new Windows 8 OS went from dark to fully operational in just 17 seconds -- less than half the time.

Windows 8 also shut down the computer quicker, though for this test the time difference was less significant. While running Windows 7 the Portege shut down in 12.2 seconds; when running Windows 8 it completed that process in 9.9 seconds.

Video Rendering Faster, File Transfering Not So Much

Windows 8 also rendered video faster on the test computer. According to Muchmore's findings, video rendering was completed in 1 minute 22 seconds using Windows 7, but was accomplished in only 1 minute 11 seconds running Windows 8.

Windows 8 did come up short, compared with its predecessor OS, in one key category: moving files. The new OS was able to move a single large file in the same amount of time as Windows 7 could move it (46 seconds), and actually took four seconds longer to transfer a group of files containing 500MB of data.

Muchmore's findings are in line with results reported by ZDNet after earlier tests of Windows 8's Release Preview. (Source:

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