Sunday, July 5, 2009

XP vs. Windows 7 on the Eee PC 901

I recently started playing around with Windows 7 on my Asus Eee PC 901. I had read that I could get it running smoothly if I upgraded the 901 to 2GB RAM, and since I was already running an upgraded RunCore SSD, I figured I'd invest $20 or so and give it a go. I'm actually very impressed with the performance of Windows 7 on my netbook. More on that later.

I thought people might find it useful to see a few performance benchmarks comparing Windows XP to Windows 7. Windows 7 seems to be the proper heir to XP, as most IT professionals and end users have written off Vista as crap. I'm dual booting XP and 7 across a Runcore 32GB SSD (PATA) on the 901 for ease of comparison, and because I wasn't ready to stop using XP altogether on my 901 because it runs really well and I'm very happy with it.

These benchmarks are not scientific. They are merely presented as a rough guide to how XP and Win7 run on a netbook. This 901 has 2GB RAM (up from 1GB stock). Installed is the 2103 BIOS (official) that fixes the black screen video issue in Windows 7. Windows 7 RC default drivers are installed except for video (Intel Vista drivers) and Aero is enabled. XP has all the latest official drivers running. Both have all Windows Updates installed. PassMark PerformanceTest 6.1 was used for the PassMark scoring.


Windows 7 actually shows modest gains on XP in SSD performance. This wasn't surprising, given the press coverage that has been dedicated to this very topic. However, this is where Windows 7's dominance ends. XP bests it in every other measurable way on the 901. Having said that, I really like Windows 7. It just feels right. It has all the new bells and whistles that we've been clamouring for from Microsoft for years. The included update of Windows Media Center is great. If I was forced to, I could switch over to 7 from XP without losing my mind. Thankfully, I'm not.