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Better Battery Life Means Better Performance

8 Ways Windows 8 Speeds Up
By

The improvement you’ll notice the most with Windows 8 is in battery life. What’s impressive is that not only will your notebook PC run for longer with Windows 8 on than with Windows 7,but it does that without reducing performance. 

Our test PC is a business ultraportable from 2010 (the HP 2740p UltraBook) with a six-cell 44Wh battery that’s always had slightly disappointing battery life, especially on Wi-Fi. Upgrading to Windows 8 made the two year old battery perform better than it did when the PC was new. We timed battery life in normal use, with a mix of editing documents, reading Web pages, playing games, editing photos and streaming videos – all on the desktop rather than in Metro applications, for a fair comparison with Windows 7.

The timings in the chart show battery life with Wi-Fi on and off, and with a USB drive plugged in. that’s important because there are two main ways that Windows 8 saves power. The first is by taking all the different things that wake the processor up in the minutes while you’re not doing anything power intensive – reading a Web page you’ve already loaded rather than following a link, for example – and doing them at the same time. That means the system can drop into a lower power state for longer, because it doesn’t get woken up as often.

The second thing is aggressively turning off devices and ports when you’re not using them. This is down to drivers and devices supporting the new power management features so it works best with new devices. Leave an SD card or USB stick plugged into a Windows 7 PC and it uses a little more power. Leave it plugged in with a Windows 8 system and the difference is more noticeable. Without a USB stick plugged into the PC, the battery life in Windows 8 was 30 minutes or an hour longer in some tests. Unplugging what you don’t need makes much more of a difference in Windows 8.

Better battery life in Windows 8 is good news for new PCs as well as for making your current laptop last longer. New PCs can be thinner, lighter and quieter and still have the same battery life as PCs today, or they can have the same size of battery but use that to drive a larger screen or more memory and get the same battery life – or they can be the same size as today’s PCs and run for a couple of hours longer.

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  • 4 Hide
    gerchokas , May 16, 2012 12:13 AM
    Still rockin Vista SP2 - gaming hard, no problems at all :) 
    I do like all those optimizations thay're making, but Metro seems like a toy UI..
  • 2 Hide
    nukemaster , May 16, 2012 12:58 AM
    On page 5 you have a slight mistake.

    Quote:

    According to Microsoft, file copying in Windows 8 isn’t specifically faster than in Windows 8
  • 3 Hide
    nukemaster , May 16, 2012 1:03 AM
    And...

    I am a little disappointed in MS not fully supporting Vista(IE 10, not that I use it, but many users DO). It was not even that bad, and it is just like then fully admitting the messed it up. Either way, I still have a system with Vista and would in no way swap it to what is effectively a service pack upgrade to 7(unless the price was right) just like I did not jump out and upgrade my XP systems to Vista.
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , May 16, 2012 3:41 AM
    Quote:
    Even with the time it takes to launch the desktop from a Metro tile, your PC is ready to do something faster.


    LOL, making excuses for Metro on the very first page? Doesn't sound promising for Windows 8. I recall similar excuse making for Vista.

    nukemasterAnd...I am a little disappointed in MS not fully supporting Vista(IE 10, not that I use it, but many users DO). It was not even that bad, and it is just like then fully admitting the messed it up. Either way, I still have a system with Vista and would in no way swap it to what is effectively a service pack upgrade to 7(unless the price was right) just like I did not jump out and upgrade my XP systems to Vista.


    Um... if you didn't upgrade from XP to Vista right away, why did you upgrade to Vista at all? All the negative press just made you want to try it out? Shoulda waited till 7.
  • 2 Hide
    Wamphryi , May 16, 2012 3:44 AM
    I installed Win 8 CP on my main Rig. I stuck with it for over a week and I have gotten used to finding my way around it. In many respects I liked the OS but yesterday I could no longer help but notice my Rig was suffering a decrease in performance. Boot up times were less than impressive and applications were taking longer and longer to load at start up. I believe this may be due to the fact I am running a SSD on this Rig. Now I have gone back to Win 7 Pro everything is fast and responsive again. It is the CP after all but even so.
  • 6 Hide
    gerchokas , May 16, 2012 4:30 AM
    asnorton44If your still on Vista you need to come back from the stone age.

    julianbautista87If you have vista and you like it you deserve a donkey as your way of transport instead of a car.


    Have you ever used Vista before? Its actually quite a good OS, and mostly identical to Seven btw. It does take a little longer to boot and consumes slightly more RAM, but i can spare a few secs - and hell, RAMs not an issue nowadays. Besides that I see no performance difference.
    Vista was crappy when initially released (no SPs) and installed in laptops/old pcs. Now, in fact, i see no good reason to upgrade. No plans to buy a dx11 card either
  • 4 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , May 16, 2012 4:56 AM
    This is all well and good but none of these improvements will mean a damn thing if the avg consumor doesn't take to the radical changes with the Metro UI and the missing start menu button. This is where MS is going to make a huge mistake with Windows 8. No option to disable or get rid of Metro UI and no option to enable the start menu. if they did that Windows 8 would be a nice upgrade, but as of now it's like looking at a woman from behind and going wow she is pretty until she turns around and your're like um..nevermind.
  • 4 Hide
    killerclick , May 16, 2012 7:53 AM
    I'll take a slight performance hit if I don't have to look at metro, ever.

    We just need to hold out until Microsoft fails in the tablet and smartphone markets, when they'll kick Ballmer to the curb and release a service pack that allows users to disable Metro completely.
  • -1 Hide
    jeoware , May 16, 2012 8:09 AM
    I am using xp, so need to update to Visat
  • 5 Hide
    stephenkendrick , May 16, 2012 12:46 PM
    SteelCity1981This is all well and good but none of these improvements will mean a damn thing if the avg consumor doesn't take to the radical changes with the Metro UI and the missing start menu button. This is where MS is going to make a huge mistake with Windows 8. No option to disable or get rid of Metro UI and no option to enable the start menu. if they did that Windows 8 would be a nice upgrade, but as of now it's like looking at a woman from behind and going wow she is pretty until she turns around and your're like um..nevermind.


    Totally agree... perhaps not with that last bit...
  • 1 Hide
    zetzabre , May 16, 2012 4:23 PM
    Looks like a nice upgrade. The missing start button still s**ks, but i trust stardock (or someone else) will do something nice about it (with a little better start8).

    About people using Vista: i respect them. Aflter all, i was a Vista user for time (Windows 7 changed it all). However, they must understand something: they are a minority, so it's logical to see Microsoft excluding them from new software updates. I'm not saying it's fair, i'm just saying it's logical.

    About XP users: well, they have their reasons. After all, for basic work, it's still a good OS. However, we all have to be honest: That OS is around 11 years old (i think it was released on August 24, 2001 to manufacturers. not really sure). I don't need to say more, because, in 11 years lots of things happen, and we had lot's of things happening.

    Some people say: "If it does the job, then don't change it". But i say "if it can do it better, let's try it. And if it's really better, let's see it we can have it".

    In other words, i'm gonna try this new Win8, and if it's really better than Win7, i'll download it (err... i mean, buy it).
  • 3 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , May 16, 2012 5:42 PM
    All MS has to do is allow people to disable Metro and give people a start button option and Windows 8 would a quality upgrade.
  • 6 Hide
    killerclick , May 16, 2012 5:52 PM
    SteelCity1981All MS has to do is allow people to disable Metro and give people a start button option and Windows 8 would a quality upgrade.


    They don't want to do that because they want to move everything to Metro and ditch the desktop entirely. That's why being able to find workarounds doesn't mean anything in the long run. Microsoft wants to move everybody to Metro so they can get that 30% cut from software sales, ad revenue from ad-supported apps, and decide which apps can be sold in the first place. Meanwhile, we get to have a tablet OS on our 27" non-touch screens and are supposed to be happy they included a deliberately crippled desktop mode at all.
  • 1 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 16, 2012 6:21 PM
    i had vista for 3 years and has no issues even before any service pack. all the bad press was just from the morons trying to install it on their 10 years old PC's. although i did have vista i am on windows 7 now because i got a free upgrade from my workplace.

    but seriously if you are still using XP you are still in the stone age.and if you are able to upgrade but refuse to you are a fool
  • 1 Hide
    whimseh , May 16, 2012 7:00 PM
    My Windows 7 boots faster than the Windows 8 listed.

    Windows 8 isn't a desktop-class operating system, though.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 16, 2012 7:12 PM
    No one will be using Windows 8
    Just search the mighty pirate bay :)  for Win 8 and see for yourself
    Also the performance differences are absolutely negligable and you are using an expensive SSD and you havent noticed the decrease in performance after just one week
    And search is still broken unlike on Macs and so on..
    I'm still happy that in 2012 computers are ranked by the speed of writing 2d text on the screen
    looks like 1980
    seems most "consumers"are still in that era...
  • -2 Hide
    hannibal , May 16, 2012 9:38 PM
    Well if win8 will survive and be popular in tablet environment it is just fine for MS. These speed ups are ok, but they have nothing to do with UI.
    I have to get at least 3-4 weeks to get used to this and if everything works fine I may skip the win7. If there are clithes, win 7 will be fine for next 18 years? to the year 2020. So long enough for most normal usage.

    What win 9 will be? Most propably it will have "metro 1.1" (so minor chances like between vista and win7 UI) It will have full support for that new disk operation system that will gets its deput in win8 server version. DX12? or DX11.2 or something like that. The most propable configuration is tweaked win8 in anyway. The UI scaling may be the big and important issue that win8 has advantage. There seems to be coming (at last I have to say) some improvements in display resolutions. But win9 should come out at about the same time as this will happen for normal users. It will be interesting to see.
  • 1 Hide
    K2N hater , May 17, 2012 12:55 AM
    Now compare Win8 performance to a nicely tweaked XP or XP64 so we can be assured Win8 is junk in both usability and performance.
  • 2 Hide
    warezme , May 17, 2012 1:43 PM
    I have a WIn7 m17x R3 with SSD and from pushing the power button to fully loaded desktop is 25seconds flat. If I don't count the second or two before the bios screen appears and the second or two when the desktop is loaded but a couple of icons on taskbar haven't loaded, then the time is about the same. Also if Windows 8 saves driver state, how will this respond if a bad driver is loaded when Win8 keeps it preloaded and you need to remove it?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 17, 2012 3:34 PM
    No Start Button and no direct boot into the desktop option are cynical marketing decisions by MS. They want to force users into Metro, so they get comfortable with with it and MS is better able to leverage the UI on tablets and smartphones. They may pay a price for this nonsense -- we'll see.

    The last cynical MS decision? Office 2007, which changed the default file formats. Almost all organizations felt compelled to update their packages, and for what? Minor application improvements and big time retraining costs (You like the ribbon, don't you?). Worked out well for MS.

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