Generally speaking, the performance is almost identical to Vista with an exception made for gaming, but we’re putting that down to driver optimisations at the moment.For the most part the benchmarks flicker back and forth between Vista and Windows 7 with no outright winner. There are a few concerns we have at this time though – file compression tests are notably and consistently slower and network copy performance is very slightly slower as well. However, on the plus side, the simple file copy testing is faster than in Vista and boot times are notably improved.
Windows 7 is supposed to be much more lightweight, too, and we’ve seen it running on Atom-based machines without too much trouble. We’ve obviously tested here with an incredibly high-end system and so the performance differences may not be as noticeable at this end of the spectrum. Where the optimisations might make more of a telling difference is at the lower end of the scale, where hardware performance is very much the bottleneck of your experience with an operating system like Windows Vista or Windows 7.
One of the first changes upon detection is turning off defrag. Because Solid State Drives store data differently, defrag tools will have little to no effect on performance improvements. This is also especially because SSDs are much faster than normal hard drives. The second optimization is the “Trim” feature, which is designed to keep the SSDs unused storage area as free as possible, hence creating more room for device wear leveling. There are probably other subtle tweaks under the hood of W7 as well, but we haven’t got all the details in as yet.
We have gotten hold of the Windows 7 BETA and today we are going to compare the performance of single SSD as well as RAID 0 SSD in W7 and Vista SP1. Keep in mind this is just a first look; Microsoft may still and probably will provide further performance optimizations for SSDs under the final shipping version of W7 and this is merely a look at the performance difference so far. We didn’t even install any new drivers on our W7 beta install – just ran with what was built-in, so it is a good raw look at things currently as they stand.