Jan Leow's Press Blog

Windows 7 vs Vista

Windows 7 vs Vista, my evaluation so far

My Windows 7 evaluation so far, between Windows 7 vs Vista, well the interface looks a little sleeker. Changes were made of course to make the Windows 7 feels newer and different from Windows Vista. I’m still playing with it and trying to understand some of the differences. Basically you could start using Windows 7 straight away if you have been using Windows Vista. The file location is similar except that they now come with the library folder. That one is a little confusing because it will bunch several locations that is designated as same group. Eg folders that are for documents will be bunch into the library document folder. The library document folder should not be confused with the actual document folder. Same goes with the picture, download, music, videos folder and etc.

From what I understand, Windows 7 is supposed to be less processor intensive than Windows Vista. But I find my Dell Inspiron 1501 running a little slow. Especially dragging the windows about, I notice there was lagging which I didn’t experience when it was running with Vista.

Windows 7 vs Vista, Windows Experience Index

Running the Windows Experience Index finally I found out the reason. Would you believe it? I got a base rating of 2.0! The Windows Experience Index for Windows 7 is a little different from Windows Vista in the scale rating. Windows 7 uses a scale of 1.0 to 7.9 while Windows Vista uses 1.0 to 5.9. Still a base rating of 2.0 is that much lower if I were to scale against Vista of which I had a 3.0 in my Dell Inspiron 1501. The subscore that was pulling down on my system was the Graphics component, the desktop performance for Windows Aero. That was why I felt the lagginess when I was dragging my window with the content shown. In the end to speed up my Windows 7 I had to disable all the fluff, things like menu animation, shadows and what’s not was disabled in order to speed up the GUI. I didn’t have that problem with Vista before.

Windows 7 Experience Index score for my Dell Inspiron 1501

Could be that my ATI Radeon graphic driver was not up to date or it the hardware itself was not suited for Windows 7 Aero, or Microsoft didn’t have AMD/ATI in mind when they were designing Windows 7. Hah, it couldn’t install the necessary drivers for the AMD chipset and ATI graphic card during the installation despite the fact that my laptop is already 2-1/2 years old. Could be a WINTEL collusion here, Microsoft working closer with Intel when developing hardware and software stuffs but not working much with AMD.

Start menu of Windows 7 vs Vista

There are changes here to the way the start menu works for Windows 7 vs that of Vista, you no longer can pin your favourite or frequently us programs. For that you could pin them on the taskbar itself. Now they only show the recently use programs on the start menu. There is a little extra here in the if you have open files with the program before, Windows 7 provides a menu to show your recent files open with the program. Instead of now giving you a “Recent Item” menu of files that you open recently all bunch together, they now separate it to each individual program that you have used. Makes for an easier file searching I suppose.

Software Installation

There are not many issues in terms of software installation. Having cleanly formatted my hard disk I’m slowly reinstalling my needed software. Most of the software installed without any problem. So as far as software compatibility between Windows 7 vs Vista, you can safely port them over and feel assure to be able to run them.

If I could port over the drivers from Vista, then surely porting over software is no big deal either.

Haven’t tried it with some of the games that I had. Granted my good old Microsoft Mechwarrior should be able to run without any problem. I will install it later and have a look see.


Apart from the higher intensive graphic requirement for Windows Aero, overall between Windows 7 vs Vista, Windows 7 works pretty well, but as far as supposedly faster than Vista, I didn’t feel it any better. On the other hand, its requirement is less in comparison with Vista making it able to install onto Netbook and taking over the job from Windows XP. So probably it is just my Dell Inspiron 1501 using AMD that is not so well suited for Windows 7 in terms of Desktop performance. Anyway it was generally known that AMD is more suited for games rather than desktop performance while Intel is more suited for desktop performance than games perhaps it is true looking at the performance of Windows 7 in my Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop.

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