Need proof? We’ve got a video below. Anyway, call it better optimization, finer coding, or improved compatibility and synchronization with hardware. Of course, you can also say that Microsoft woke up and decided that operating systems out to be as light and agile as possible.

Whatever the reason, gone are the days of resource intensive (and buggy) operating systems!

Sure, Windows Vista was a tad clumsy in this regard, but Windows 7 was a sight for sore eyes, when it came to performance. It always compared favorably against the rapid old Windows XP.

Windows 8 continues this trend. A new report by software architect and Microsoft MVP, Troy Hunt shows that Redmond’s latest is pretty much twice as fast as Windows XP on a 7-year old laptop.

He ran the tests on a Lenovo T60 notebook that was released back in 2006. The machine is powered by a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 1GB RAM and a 7,200 RPM hard disk. In a blog post he confirmed:

“I mean I know there’s this unwritten law that newer software requires more resources but my experience with Windows 8 has always been that’s it’s (sic) way faster certainly than Windows 7 was on the same hardware, but it’s my recollection that XP was never really as snappy as 8 is now on any hardware.”

Some highlights from the performance test are listed below for those that cannot or do not want to watch the lengthy video — but for those who want to see it with their own eyes, here it is:

Windows 8 installed in only 24 minutes and 55 seconds, compared to 26 minutes and 12 seconds for Windows XP to set things up. I say only, because the difference between file sizes of both OS is massive. When it comes to booting up, Windows 8 takes 6 seconds, which is much faster than XP’s 17 seconds.

Opening a Word and a PDF document takes roughly 3.4 seconds for the latest OS, while Windows XP does the same in 4.3 and 2.8 seconds respectively.

A Photoshop file required a 16.5 loading time on Windows 8, and XP had to contend with a much slower mark of 41.5 seconds. Speaking of marks, the PassMark Performance Test benchmark bought Windows 8 a score of 407.5 points — XP had to make do with 356.5 points on the same hardware.

Moral of the story? Windows 8 is a much fleeter operating system than Windows XP, meaning people can try it out on older hardware without worrying too much about performance issues. Just the way it should be, if you ask me.

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  • Robert Trance

    I have Windows 8 Pro on a relatively new, modern laptop (yes, touchpad gestures, sweet!), so naturally fluid, however, my sister uses Win.8 Pro on a 1.5 GB DDR RAM PIV.(2.xx Ghz) machine with Nvidia 256 Mb card!!! With Office 2013 now. And yes, it works fine

    • Fahad Ali

      I remember trying out Vista on A Pentium IV. Oh the horror!

      • Robert Trance

        I had once Vista, in that era before Win. 7., was easy to get sick of and format the device with a linux distro

        • ECM2

          I did exactly the same with Vista: booted it out in favor of Ubuntu.
          I’m curious to see how Win8 compares with different Linux distros on old hardware. If anyone knows about Linux vs Win8 benchmarks on old machines (5 years or older) please share the link. Thanks.

          • Robert Trance

            Look my first comment here, my sis’ old machine….

          • ECM2

            I’m convinced Win8 runs well on old computers– I have 3 old desktops (7-10 years old) and 2 old laptops (5 years old) running win8. I also have 3 old desktops running Linux (2 Ubuntu, 1 Mint). What I’m curious to know is if Win8 will outperform Ubuntu, Mint, and other Linux distros on these old machines. I just don’t have the luxury of time to perform the benchmarking– waiting for some full-time tech dude to this and share the results with us.

  • WillyThePooh

    NPOs that recycle old computers for community project may be happy to know that now they could install Win8 instead of XP to those old computers and actually run faster.

  • WillyThePooh

    For companies that want to save money. They could simply upgrade their existing computers to Win8 instead of buying new PCs. This could be bad news to PC vendors.