Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have to format and reinstall Windows on an old laptop (bought around 3 years ago) because of usual degradation of performance of Microsoft operating systems..

The computer had Windows Vista and I was wondering if installing Windows Seven will cause a performance decrease, a performance boost or simply no difference.

In case of no difference or boost I'll go for 7 just because it seems more stable and less likely to degrade.. do you have any suggestions about it?

Think about the fact that the pc has 1gb of RAM (I'm not sure about the CPU but I think it's a plain Core2Duo)

Thanks in advance

share|improve this question
Win7 and Vista are very very similar OS'. You shouldn't notice much of a performance difference. – Phoshi Jul 10 '10 at 22:42
up vote 7 down vote accepted

For me Windows 7 feels faster than Vista on the same hardware, but you better upgrade the memory to at least 2GB.

share|improve this answer
+1: From my experiences (as well), in general it runs better than Vista on the same hardware. Just don't expect leaps and bounds. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 10 '10 at 23:57

Performance degradation being the fault of Microsoft is a myth. Performance is degraded due to applications that are installed that run on start up or third party services that run in the background and eat up resources. Many times users are not aware that they are even running.

If you install Windows and keep the installation clean, it will perform the same in three years as it does today.

share|improve this answer
True, although keeping the installation clean can be tricky once you've been using the computer a lot. Sometimes it's nice to just wipe things clean and start over. – David Z Jul 10 '10 at 23:32
That's not the point of my question but I know that you are right. The fact is that the pc is not mine and I'm sure (from user capabilities) that trying to keep tidy will be just impossible :) – Jack Jul 10 '10 at 23:55
@David: "Using" the computer does not lead to OS degradation either, it's installing garbage software that primarily causes it. If using it alone caused OS degradation, servers wouldn't run for years on end. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 10 '10 at 23:55
@Jack - Then what is the point of your question? It looks to me like you are asking if a flaw (OS degredation over time, which is a myth) in Vista has been corrected in 7. Perhaps you should rephrase your question. – MDMarra Jul 11 '10 at 0:19
@techie007: for normal people, "using" the computer entails installing some of that software. I did not claim that it is impossible to use a computer in such a way as to keep the performance from degrading, only that it can be tricky. – David Z Jul 11 '10 at 0:22

Windows 7 is faster on machines that is capable of running Vista at a decent speed. Heck, my friend even try to install it on a ancient machine with 512 ram and it can do basic stuff like web surfing.

Like the others had said, OS itself does not suffers performance degradation apart from the usual fragmentation of hard disks. Applications now a days often comes with small programs that runs in background "launcher" to speed up the application launching or provides some users control at the taskbar, this are the ones that reduce performance as everyone of them eats up a bit of memory and sometimes even hard disks read/write performance.

share|improve this answer

Out-of-box, Windows 7 seems a lot faster than Vista. Even after I installed a lot of programs, 7 seems to handle much better than Vista ever did. Of course, XP could claim that against Vista as well. Vista never was very fast for me.

share|improve this answer

There is a real improvement in Windows 7 as regarding disk throughput and battery life over Vista, but not over XP.

The reason for it is that Microsoft has introduced an unacknowledged bug in Vista, that causes repeated disk accesses by csrss.exe and lsass.exe.

Microsoft, in a truly Machiavellian spirit, has reserved this bug fix to Windows 7.

share|improve this answer

Most of the reviews I've read have said that Windows 7 is about the same as Windows Vista, with 7 sometimes being faster at certain tasks (HDD access being one of them). Some things are not included, like Vista's Sidebar, and Windows Mail. Some things just make it feel faster, like a smaller taskbar (which admittedly does make it more productive, but not necessarily faster). Some things are productivity features, like Libraries.

In the end, if you have the money to upgrade, then might as well do it. Vista apps and drivers are quite compatible, so there's not much of a problem there. You don't really need 2 GB of RAM unless you're using 64-bit Windows 7, though.

If you're still not sure, then you can run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see what Microsoft says.

share|improve this answer

Its not windows thats slow, but the apps that run on it =p. Windows 7 is however an improvement over Vista IMO, especially in UI.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .