Windows 7 Beta ReviewZertz , tacohunter52 - February 23, 2009
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As you are most likely aware, Vista has been receiving negative reviews since launch day and even before it was released to the public. People complained, and rightfully so, about performance. It was crystal clear that XP's successor wouldn't be a hit - it was slower, resource hungry, it suffered from well below par software support and it was late...too late. At the same time, it was also well ahead of the mainstream computer hardware. Of course, pushing XP off its pedestal isn't exactly the easiest thing to do, as it has a huge user base and could easily run on most computers.
With Windows 7, the software giant went back to the drawing board. The main reasons Vista was criticized so much over XP, was for the simple reason that it was slower and used up too much RAM. The main thing I was looking for while using Windows 7 was to see whether or not Microsoft improved upon these issues. By just using a few basic features it seemed like they did. Internet Explorer opened up faster. Startup was shorter. The Control Panel opened up right away. However, this was all too good to be true. Further investigation showed that any program that did not come with the OS was slower. Programs such as word processors, games, and media players took the same or longer to open. On the other hand, Microsoft products such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel opened at the same speed as before. Coincidence?
As for RAM usage, I was once again disappointed with Microsoft's new OS. I had no expectations that Windows 7 would use less RAM then XP, but I did think that it would do better than Vista. I personally like Vista and have it installed on all my machines. When just F@H and a few background tasks are running in Vista, the RAM usage can be anywhere from 400-600MB and doesn't usually exceed 700MB. With Windows 7 and similar background tasks it was showing over 1GB of RAM usage. To test it, I closed all my windows, closed most of the background tasks, and even lowered the CPU usage for F@H. After all of this, the RAM usage was still close to 800MB. If you completely Idle your rig you'll be able to lower the RAM usage to just over 500MB.
While this may stop a lot of people from upgrading their old XP machines, it really didn't bother me too much. I personally love Windows 7 because it is one of the most fun OS's I've used. Sure it does take up a lot of RAM, but with memory prices these days most people can afford to go pick up a few extra sticks. Heck I know some people that use Vista with 8GB of memory, and swear it's the fastest computer they've ever used. Besides, Windows 7 is still in beta, so Microsoft still has a chance to fix it.