How does Windows 7 stack up against XP on a netbook?


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When the original EeePC was released, with a stripped down Linux OS, the first thing many people did was install Windows XP on it. A few brave souls tried to install Vista, but that didn't work out so well. Now that Windows 7 is close to release (and many people have copies of the release candidate), the next logical step is to try it out on the little low-powered computer. So what's the verdict? Can Windows 7 hold its own against XP in this contest?

I have installed Windows 7 on a Netbook and put it through it's paces to see if it is as easy on resources as has been claimed.


Many PC manufacturers, including netbook makers, are offering a free upgrade voucher for Microsoft's Windows 7 and it's time we found out how Windows 7 will perform. Using the release candidate, I installed Windows 7 on the ACER netbook and ran all the benchmarks in order to get a full impression on how Windows 7 stacks up against Windows XP on a netbook. Many in the community running netbooks are really hoping Windows 7 holds its own on a netbook because, let's face it, 2002's Windows XP on any 2009 system just seems a little unfashionable.

Futuremark 3DMark06

3DMark 06 is still a popular standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking and is the latest version in the popular 3DMark series available to run on Windows XP. 3DMark06 tests include HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, advanced SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance.

Windows 7 had a better overall 3DMark score than Windows XP, but XP did better in the CPU tests while Windows 7 did better in the SM2 tests. It was interesting to me that Windows 7 would do so much better in the graphics tests than Windows XP did. We were also happy that the 1005HA performed well enough on the Windows Experience Index test to be able to enable Aero on our Windows 7 desktop!

Battery Life:

Windows 7 performed very close to what Windows XP did. Windows XP only lasted 9 minutes longer than Windows 7 at idle.


Many in the industry are counting on Windows 7 to bring the netbook market to the next level. Having netbook manufacturers ship netbooks with 7+ year old Windows XP pre-installed surely deterred some from joining the ranks of households with the small, light and portable netbooks. It seems Microsoft has addressed most of the pitfalls of Windows Vista on a netbook by increasing battery life and performance to be very close to that of the lighter weight Windows XP.

So, I am happy to say that Windows 7 will indeed run very well on a Netbook.