Windows 7 vs. XP – which gives the better netbook performance?

July 29, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Windows 7 on Eee PC 1005HAThe release of Windows 7 is set to be a milestone for netbooks. Most netbooks run Windows XP, an operating system that is starting to show its age. Against the heavy hardware requirements of Vista, Windows 7 is set to be the next major Windows OS fully embraced by netbook devices. It’s relatively light system requirements and native multi-touch gesture support will ensure its presence on many netbooks from the fourth quarter this year.

However, some of you may be wondering, how much of an overhead Windows 7 uses compared to Windows XP. This is where a good benchmark roundup from Legit Reviews comes into play. They compared the performance of both operating systems and used the same benchmarks across both OSes on an Asus Eee PC 1005HA to determine which gave the better netbook performance.

Benchmarks used include wPrime, 3DMark06, PCMark05, Cinebench, Sandra 2009, HD Tune and Geekbench. The end result is a bit of a mixed bag, but it may not surprise you to learn that the lighter Windows XP still edges it overall. Battery performance was also marginally won by Windows XP too. On an idle battery test under XP, the battery lasted for 10 hours and 14 minutes, just 9 minutes longer than Windows 7. The movie playback delta under XP was slightly larger at 26 minutes.

Whilst some may still want to cling onto Windows XP for a long while yet, these performance results show that Microsoft has done a good job of making Windows 7 as lightweight as possible. It also means that performance and battery life won’t be heavily compromised. The Eee PC 1005HA managed a score of 2.2 on the Windows Experience Index’s graphic test, which even allowed Aero to be used (whilst on AC power).


80 Responses to “Windows 7 vs. XP – which gives the better netbook performance?”

  1. john said:
    January 30th, 2010 4:44 PM

    windows 7 is vista come on

    use XP for best performance u had

    no problem with the battery or power supply

    but i like XP in every single things.

  2. john said:
    January 30th, 2010 4:45 PM

    vista & 7 are soooooooooo crapy on all computer systems.


  3. Bob said:
    January 31st, 2010 4:48 AM

    Am using XP and will continue to do so. This is “THE” netbook OS. But am guessing, W7HP may run well on 2GB RAM.

  4. yesa said:
    March 12th, 2010 12:22 PM

    I am using Acer 532H (N450 processor, upgraded RAM to 2gb) with Win Xp preinstalled. yesterday I installed Windows 7 on this netbook. As soon as I come home from work I will DEFINITELY revert to windows XP. Seriously, the performance hit may not seem like much on paper, but playing a 720p movie while running Vuze and Yahoo messenger already slowed down win 7 considerably (stuttery movie). Win XP does the exact same job with NO stutter at all. Plus when playing 720p HD movie on win 7, my processor is always maxed at 90-100%, whereas win XP can play the exact same movie with only 60-70%…
    That’s it. I’ve tried. Now back to XP! 🙂
    oh and start up time is horrible on 7…

  5. yesa said:
    March 12th, 2010 12:26 PM

    Oh one more thing. using RealTemp, core temperature runs 5 degree hotter than win xp while running Vuze all night.
    I’m using 7 ultimate for my desktop, and it’s great. But then again, my desktop uses 100x the power of my netbook anyway! 😛

  6. kynos said:
    April 19th, 2010 9:20 PM

    i may agree that for “netbooks” and weak laptops you should definitly stick with XP, but everybody else, if u have good laptops or just average desktops, don’t be cavemen, go 7, you wont regret it.
    me personaly, i use vista both on my laptop and desktop, they’re “good enough” to not give a sh1t what OS is on them… “why not 7 then?” u may ask… i personally prefer vista, as 7 lacks several important options, and the available ones are kinda “hidden”… this could be good for newbies, so they dont do sh1t by accident, but its frustrating for more advanced users, while vista gives me fast and complete access to freakin EVERYTHING.
    have you ever wondered WHY was vista so much “heavier”?? lol, i’ll give you a hint, it’s “weight” wasn’t due to crap… “it’s worth it’s weight in gold”.
    whoever wants to say otherwise, is even a bigger of a moron than those who r still gonna be using XP in 2020…
    anyway, resumed, do go 7, unless your pc is either too small or too old

    ps: or you can always do the smart thing, and just go linux ; )
    (or mac if you got the mullah)

  7. asus 1005ha user said:
    June 14th, 2010 2:46 PM

    my eee came with winXP preinstalled… I upgraded to win7 (starter) and used it for 10 to 15 days

    The truth is that the differences in performance are not really perceived unless you make a benchmark comparison; so the average user will not notice a real diference… anyways I STICK TO WINDOWS XP


    Win7 starter is way too constricted; and any other version of win7 is way too big (as it consumes around 30 gb of hard drive to exist) which defeat the whole purpose of been a netbook (ultra portable system). This point might be subject of discussion since several netbooks come with 160 GB drive these days; but the original idea of the netbook was a solid state hard drive

    some peple with it related roles might like the idea of remote control a server on the go and some of these tools are not available on win7.

  8. asus 1005ha user said:
    June 14th, 2010 2:49 PM

    by the way… netbook = weak laptop…. BULLSHIT

    my machine is very capable of doing everything… specially when I boot it on slackware.

    the only reason why i let winxp on this machine to exist is because I run autocad eventually; and autodesk don’t give a sh1t about linux users. Unfortunately, autocad is the standard software used on the industry so there you go.

  9. Bill said:
    February 5th, 2011 10:02 PM

    It took me years to understand and master the Windows XP.
    With windows XP Pro SP3, size on HD 13GB, I am able to burn as much as I want OS Widows XP setup CD. I do not care for scratches on OS CD. No worry. No stress. With SETUPSP3 and BOOTSECT on Drive C:\, and IBB file on Desktop, the only thing I have to do is click IBB file icon on the desktop, ImgBurn Runs, and I burn another OS system. I have the Windows XP Product key number, because I have a valid Windows XP CD which I keep aside. I do not use it anymore, not because I hate M$, the reason is that I want Mr. M$ out off my way. Using Unattend.txt file, I can activate it with universal product key, and after, with antiwpa I am there, till the computer will be infected again (in 3 to 4 months), and I have to wipe it out with boot & nuke, and make a fresh instalation of XP. Using HD cloning, drivers and evrething included, this can be done in less than 2 hours. Not anymore with Windows 7, with a 37GB size on HD. No matter that we use this computer for SKYPE and OOVOO only, this computer is slower then XP and hard to deal with it, because M$ changed almost everything in Windows 7. With rcession in full blow, we have many other things to do, and it is no time left to try to learn everything from the scratch, and do what M$ is diktating to do. With Windows 7 our privacy and life is compromised, because not us but M$ is in control, and is DICTATING us. On 2014 when M$ won’t SUPORT XP then I AM GOING TO BUY A MAC.

  10. nyc said:
    January 7th, 2012 10:03 PM

    Look at the model numbers in the two HD Tune screen caps – are they even the same physical drive?