Does Windows 8 Really Run Better on Low Performance Hardware?

Microsoft has been making many claims that Windows 8 has lower system requirements than Windows 7.

It has a faster booting time, uses less memory, it takes up less space on your hard drive/solid state drive, and it uses less processor resources, according to Microsoft.

NetworkWorld decided to test these claims from Microsoft by running Windows 8 on an Asus Eee PC 900 netbook.

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How well does Windows 8 run on Netbooks?

I found out the Asus Eee PC 900’s tech specs and compared them to the minimum system requirements for the Windows 8 Developer Preview. They are as follows:

Asus Eee PC 900:

  • 900 Mhz Intel Celeron Processor
  • Intel GMA 900 graphics
  • 12 GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • 1 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM

Windows 8 Developer Preview Minimum System Requirements: 

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

As you can already see, there is not enough storage and barely enough RAM to run Windows 8. So the tester decided to upgrade the RAM to 2 GB and the solid-state storage to 32 GB. Even with the upgrades, the processor speed does not meet the minimum requirements.

According to the results of the test, the install went perfectly and Windows 8 worked fine on the machine. The only problem was that there were no graphics drivers available for the machine, so they could only use the built in display drivers which I think would leave them at an 800 X 600 resolution.

With an 800 X 600 resolution, the computer can’t run any Metro apps because the minimum graphic requirement for running Metro apps is a 1024 X 768 resolution.

Surprisingly enough, Windows 8 used less storage space than Windows 7 and it used less storage space than it claimed. It only used 9.9 GB of storage space! That’s about 6 GB less than Microsoft claimed. Also, Windows 8 booted up in just 10.5 seconds, compared to Windows 7’s 26 seconds.

I have Windows 8 installed on my Samsung n210 netbook. The system specs for my n210 are as follows:

Samsung n210 Tech Specs:

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • Intel GMA 3150 Graphics
  • 250 GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
  • 1 GB of DDR2 RAM

I haven’t upgraded my netbook at all. I just installed Windows 8 from a USB flash drive onto a 30 GB partition that I made on my internal hard drive. It installed fine. All the drivers were in place right from the start: WiFi, Sound, even graphics.

The only problem that I had with Windows 8 was that aside from the control panel, none of the Metro apps worked. (This was before I found out the problems with the resolution and Metro apps.) I did a quick Google search and I came up with an answer, I would have to edit the registry.

So I went into REGEDIT, opened up a few directories, and edited it so that I was allowed to scale the screen resolution to 1152 X 864. It was a little bit of a shock at first (on the desktop mode), but I finally got used to it and besides, I could use all of the Metro apps.

Overall, Windows 8 runs pretty well on my machine for the specs that I have. As a matter of fact, I write most of my articles for this site using Windows 8. It is a really good operating system, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves.

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  • Penta2100

    Wonder what it would be like on a computer with windows 95