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My computer has 2GB of RAM and a 2.00 GHz Core 2 Duo processor. I dual-boot Windows XP and Windows 7.

While I understand that Windows 7 has many improvements over XP architecturally, I just don't understand why my computer gets so slow after a few hours of use on Windows 7 compared to Windows XP.

On Windows XP, things are always pretty fast even when using big-ish applications for a few hours (Visual Studio, Chrome with lots of open tabs). Making the context switch from a memory intensive app that's been open for a good few hours to freshly opening a new one is mostly seamless. Shutdowns always take up to 30 seconds, but usually less.

Doing the same thing on Windows 7 is the complete opposite. Startup is just as fast as XP but that's where it ends. It gets really slow after a few hours, making a "context switch" is usually painful (takes up to 20 seconds) and shutdowns usually take 2 minutes or MORE!

I keep my PC clean, I don't install loads of software, only essentials required for working. My computer's page file is always limited to 3GB (more than enough for my needs). On Windows 7 I use Windows Essentials for security because it is light and I don't use a third-party firewall.

I might be wrong but Windows 7 seems to page memory much more frequently than XP, so it could be that it needs to swap out much more during those times I need to make a "context switch" to another app.

TLDR: Windows 7 is unbelievably slow for my needs, so how can I get Windows 7 to be just as fast as XP on the same machine?

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closed as not a real question by Shinrai, 8088, Breakthrough, KronoS, Canadian Luke Sep 11 '12 at 18:59

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
There is a whole nother operating system in between the two.. Windows 7 might run "okay", but it's not going to be on par with XP. –  ekaj Sep 11 '12 at 16:36
    
Disable the aero effects, it will improve the speed for sure. –  Lamb Sep 11 '12 at 16:40
    
You said start-up was ok but you should make sure you have start-up programs that you don't need disabled. Also, disabling some visual effects may help. –  user142485 Sep 11 '12 at 16:48
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3 Answers

You might try comparing the performance of your machine in XP and 7 with Process Explorer. It can give you information about RAM usage, page file usage, CPU load and a ton of other things. Looking at system behavior after a couple of hours of operation may give you some insights into what's going on and potentially how to fix it.

A cheap fix may be to max out your memory; especially if you notice that Windows 7 hits swap more frequently than XP does.

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You don't have enough RAM. If you bump your RAM up to 4GB, your perf problems should go away.

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Although you technically meet the minimum requirements to Windows 7, your machines sluggishness is most likely due to a lack of memory. You will not get the best performance out of Windows 7 without 4 GB of RAM - or more based on usage.

You need to remember that Windows XP was released on August 24, 2001. It is a over 11 years old, and in the world of operating systems, that is several generations. Look at the requirements for XP and you can see how things have changed.

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