posted by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th May 2009 15:03 UTC
IconLots of people who are testing the various Windows 7 builds have already reported that Windows 7 is faster and snappier than Windows Vista, and some even say that it approaches Windows XP. Apparently, web browsers in particular will benefit from running on Windows 7 instead of Windows Vista SP2. BetaNews ran tests of all the major browsers on both Vista SP2 and Windows 7, and concluded that in general, browsers are round and about 12%-18% faster on 7 than on Vista.

The tests were performed using a fully up-to-date Windows Vista SP2 installation and the Windows 7 release candidate on the same machine. The results show that when looking at stable releases, all browsers show a performance boost when run on Windows 7 as compared to running on Windows Vista SP2, with Safari 3 leading the pack with an 18% speed increase, and Opera 9.64 coming in last with only a 2% speed increase.

Moving on to the latest non-nightly test builds, the picture is completely different. It seems that everyone except Apple is testing their next browser release on Windows 7, since Safari 4 beta 528.17 saw a dramatic performance drop of 22%, while all other browsers' test releases saw speed improvements between 12 and 16%. Chrome and Firefox 3.5 beta 4 led the pack here, both coming in at 16%.

The results neatly summarised in a chart:

Browser speed improvements in Windows 7 RC over Vista SP2 in percentages.

The tests on Safari 4 were run multiple times just to confirm them, but the results were the same every time. Still, it probably indicates a bug somewhere in Safari 4, which will probably get fixed soon enough. Overall though, these figures indicate that browser users - which means all of us - will enjoy a faster browsing experience on Windows 7.

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