Windows 7 - requirements, compatibility and performance!

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Windows 7 - requirements, compatibility and performance!

Postby Gordon Laing » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:39 pm

Hi everyone, I've started this sticky thread for general discussions about Windows 7. If you're running it, or are thinking of running it, this is the place to make any comments about system requirements, compatibility and performance!

Looking forward to hearing your comments!
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Postby cartong » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:38 am

Windows 7 is the vista that vista had to be. I like how you can drag your window to the left, and then a other window to the right. Et voila, 2 windows next to each other.
What i dislike is the movement from the "show destop" button.
Windows 7 is also a bit faster in startup.
I will soon can test windows 7 on a multi touch screen. I will leave a comment later on that ;) .
Compatibility wise: Everything works just fine even with a vista driver, unlike my HP Photosmart C4580 All-in-one driver (What this means: No wireless printing, but I can print wired.)

Oh an btw Gorden, I really really like the new Hardware section!!! You made my day gone well!

Postby DD_nVidia » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:09 am

I wish the whole interface was a bit skinner. It'd look much better as is on a higher pixel density screen tbh, (120ppi-140ppi) - I personally dont need the icons on the task bar to be that big, nor the start button.

Also, I want My Computer pinned to the task bar, I dont want to have to right click to get to it! Let me decide EXACTLY what icons I put there, not you microsoft -_-

I'd prefer if it wasnt on NTFS either, they really need a new more efficient (and SSD friendly, even with the TRIM command) for their OS.
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Postby beren23 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:20 am

DD_nVidia wrote:Also, I want My Computer pinned to the task bar, I dont want to have to right click to get to it! Let me decide EXACTLY what icons I put there, not you microsoft

AFAIK, Windows 7 supports the exFAT file system, which is supposedly optimized for SSD drives. Haven't read much about it yet, but if it resembles the good'ol FAT and FAT32 at all, it basically means less read/write operations and more fragmentation (which is basically a non-issue for SSD drives).

Still, I think SSD is still a relatively inmature technology, only now we see the first units which -supposedly- guarantee a lifespan comparable to a classic HDD, I'm not sure if it's the right time yet to dispose of our HDDs and change them for SSDs, not to mention their relatively hefty pricetags.

Postby Nostrum » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:28 am

but they're oooh sooo faaast! :)

I think the lifespan is big enough with windows 7's TRIM command now (if you have an SSD which supports it that is), and while they're still expensive, the performance improvement is pretty staggering. The whole thing just gets so much more responsive... no more waiting when you open a folder, program or anything - it just pops open instantly.

Postby beren23 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:46 am

Yeah, you're right, for what I've seen so far, they look pretty impressive, life span is improving and, as I wrote in my previous post, Operating Systems (including Windows 7) seem to be already comming up witn new or optimized file systems to further increase durability. It would't surprise me if future service packs of Windows 7 came with further improvements.

In fact, I'm already thinking about replacing my almost 5 year old laptop, I have the operation on hold because I want to get the new one with a SSD drive, but I want to wait a few months to see if the price tag decreases somewhat so that I can get a higher capcity one. Presently, a Sony Vaio FW series with a 256 GB (relatively modest by today's standards) SSD would cost me nothing less than about 800 euros extra than with a 500 GB HDD. :? I don't mind paying a little more for the extra performance, battery saving, etc, but it's ridiculous to pay 800 euros for half the storage capacity, regardless of how fast it is.

Postby popo » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:11 pm

beren23, unfortunately they are expensive compared to conventional HDs because they simply cost that much more to produce at the moment. Some people do care about speed to pay for it. Maybe in future years the gap will reduce, but conventional HDs will continue to expand too.

My strategy will still be to get the smallest SSD that is adequate (probably 80GB model) and use it in conjunction with a conventional HD for bulk storage.

On Win7, I wasn't aware they had a special file system for SSDs, only they used existing ones smarter e.g. by not defragging which is quite meaningless at a filesystem level for SSDs. Also some tricks for speeding up conventional hard disk access are turned off as they're made redundant.
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Postby beren23 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:52 pm

Actually, I've just taken a bit of time to read a bit more about exFAT. It is supported by Windows 7, Vista (from SP1) and even XP given you install the proper optional update.

exFAT was introduced with windows CE 6 to address the limits of FAT32, while it's relative simplicity makes it suitable for SSDs

There's a problem though, at least at present, aparently, exFAT formatted drives or partitions are regarded as removable media by windows (even windows 7), rendering them useless for installing the Operating system on them (at least without some tweaking).

Also, as of today, there's no support whatsoever for exFAT outside Windows (you can't read a exFAT formatted portable drive or pen drive using a multimedia set such a TV/DVD/etc).

Anyway, there are ways to optimize NTFS and make less agressive to SSD drives.

Postby darkesha » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:45 pm

yes, i am running it on my HTPC that I assembled last week. Only reason to replace my old one (AMD3000+ running Vista) is that new one had a digital output port on the motherboard, so I wanted that surround sound out of my files.

Alas, when I got everything set, I could see that MS changed stuff with codec support and AC3 filter is not really taking over sound and is not sending it to my receiver. It looks like that Win stays in control and sends a stereo files to my receiver.

second thing i dont like about win7 is when i plugged my key I downloaded that day from MS website it came back as not supported and my activation perid will finish in 25 days. That sucks. I will have to reinstall it and set it all up again since I have no option to put a new key in.

Postby Citruspers » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:54 pm

+1 on everything said here, although it is a bit buggy for me at times (display driver crashing and restarting when I enable/disable my secondary screen, although that's probably due to win7 incapable ultramonitor software). Also, whenever I open the Windows Experience Index screen it crashes.
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Postby Shagrath » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:07 pm

I've been running the Release Candidate of Windows 7 64bit for a couple months now and I have to say it's my favorite OS to date. It boots much quicker than Vista. It's stable even in this early stage. It has a ton of features that make it quicker and easier to get things done. It looks better than any OS out there including OSX, imho.

Also, another plus is that this is going to be the best 64bit Windows OS because you can use the 64bit Vista drivers in Windows 7. What this means is that by now most manufacturers have 64bit drivers that you can use in Windows 7. This is a big difference compared to when Vista came out, many manufacturers were lacking good drivers, sometimes even lacking 32bit Vista drivers.

I have a feeling that Windows 7 will be the OS that makes 64bit the norm. Microsoft has done away with selling 32 and 64bit separately, now every Windows 7 disk can install either version. If you've been waiting to break the 4GB RAM barrier of 32bit, now is the time to do it. If you haven't tried it yet, the RC is free to try for nearly a year. I think it expires March of 2010.
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Postby cartong » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:05 pm

Oh, and one thing i like more on windows 7: ATI and nvidia drivers at the same time :d !!

Postby pgtips » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:26 am

I've just installed the RTM build of Windows 7 which I got off work. I don't know if it's a combination of x64 windows and x64 Lightroom, but working with my library now flies! It used to struggle before and cause my computer to stutter when switching apps. It's working smoothly now :)

Roll on the 22nd so I can activate my copy of Windows. Assuming of course the Royal Mail strike hasn't delayed my post -.-

Postby DD_nVidia » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:35 am

Alright, eff it!

Installed Windows 7 Pro x64 RTM

Everything except the Wifi was detected and installed instantly. Vista driver installed fine and works perfectly.

All the apps I've installed so far, firefox, iTunes, Tweetdeck, Winrar, Divx all seem to work fine.

Performance is pretty much on par if a little behind XP with Explorer.exe but I think thats mainly down to the small amount of time taken for the fancy pants transitions and stuff.

iTunes certainly seems a bit faster (x64 version although I dont think its 64bit)

Firefox 3.5 is much the same. UI is a bit meh in Aero but maybe they'll tweek it for 3.7 which allows the tab peeking on the taskbar (Considering downloading the pre-alpha version)

Tweetdeck is fine, pops up with more advanced notifications in Aero. The one issue it has it when its minimised to the toolbar bit, the taskbar then shows it as not having a window open, which technically it doesnt, but it bugs me coz it looks then like it isnt running haha.

I think I like the Windows Backup feature. I'm gonna set backups of my Photo and Downloads drive so it does this automatically every day and also once im done getting everything sorted on the OS drive i'll create an image of the OS so if I ever have to restore its easy!

Its growing on me. 8 Years of XP isn't gonna go out my brain overnight, and considering I totally skipped Vista I've got a slightly higher learning curve. :lol:
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Postby Mark. » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:34 pm

Just downloaded a free copy through MSDN (students get all Microsoft software free from here: ) though you might have to get your institute to register for you.

I like the idea that windows 7 is a whole new design in terms of the kernal etc, (about time Microsoft) though they have to keep the very dated NTFS file structure within its design to allow for upgrades.

I'll use it within bootcamp and test with mac.
Last edited by Mark. on Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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