Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Dec 2007 10:17 UTC, submitted by stonyandcher
Windows Microsoft has posted the release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to its download site. The move marks the first opportunity for all users of the six-year-old operating system to try out its final upgrade. Previously, several thousand users were given access to test builds of SP3 only by Microsoft's invitation. Update: I just installed the RC on my Windows XP MCE installation, and it all went fairly painless. I haven't noticed anything radically different either yet.
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Prior to this release people who had access to the "XP3 very near RC" build reported the SP3 was significantly faster than SP2.

I did a google for "xp sp3 benchmarks" and here are the first 3 results.

Windows XP SP3 Yields Performance Gains (

Windows XP outshines Vista in benchmarking test (

Early Tests Say SP3 Speeds Windows XP (,139911-c,xp/article.html)

So it seems that you have nothing to worry about and Microsoft should be commended.

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