Windows 7: First Beta review
Since Friday Windows 7 can be tested. PC Games Hardware also participates in the Beta. Windows 7 has to show what it is capable of and what gamers can expect of the operating system.
With Windows 7 Microsoft takes a small step only; the internal serial number is 6.1. For comparison: Vista was 6.0. This equals the development progress from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. PC Games hardware compares Windows 7 x64 to Vista SP1 x64 on the basis of benchmarks and subjective experiences.
First Windows 7 impressions after the installation
Installing the Vista successor doesn't take very long and only little user input is required. When the operating system is running the first thing to attract attention is the new taskbar. Programs aren't listed with their names, but are represented by symbols only. So if you have opened multiple tabs of the Internet Explorer 8, you can activate them via the taskbar directly. For this a preview window with Thumbnails appears over the IE symbol. The transparency effects known from Vista are now used for full screen windows, too. Taking a look at the Task Manager reveals that not all of the RAM is used as temporary data storage. In our case 1.7 GiByte of our 8 GiByte system are used as cache. As Microsoft had announced most Vista drivers are compatible to Windows 7. We don't have any problems to get drivers for our system. During driver installation we noticed that the User Account Control requires user input less frequently. In Windows 7 you can adjust the sensibility of the UAC yourself.
The Windows Media Center has been upgraded and now offers additional features. Furthermore it now supports TV cards with DVB-C and DVB-S and is said to support multiple TC cards at the same time. It's quite surprising that Dxdiag reports DirectX 11, since some time ago it has not been clear, if the final version of Windows 7 is delivered with DirectX 11. The performance analysis is still available; in windows 7 the scale goes up to 7.9.
Windows 7 test system
For our comparison between Windows 7 x64 and Vista SP1 x64 we use a Intel quad-core system. The CPU is a core 2 Quad Q9300 (2.5 GHz) on a Gigabyte P35-DS4 motherboard. We stuffed the board with memory and thus have 8 GiByte Ram available. As test graphics cards we chose a Geforce 9800 GTX (512 MiByte) and a Radeon HD4870 (512 MiByte; overclocked ex factory). Both Operating systems are stored on a Seagate Barracuda with 7,200 rpm and 500 GByte capacity. For the performance comparisons we use the games Far Cry 2 (DX9 and DX10) and Left 4 Dead (dt.). Furthermore we ran Cinebench R10 and Paint.Net in their 64 Bit versions. Boot and copy times are also recorded.
The benchmarks of Windows 7 can be found on the following pages.
- 1Windows 7: First Beta review - Introduction
- 2Windows 7: First Beta review - Far Cry 2
- 3Windows 7: First Beta review - Left 4 Dead (dt.)
- 4Windows 7: First Beta review - Applications
- 5Windows 7: First Beta review - Copy and Boot times
- 6Windows 7: First Beta review - Conclusion
- 7Bildergalerie zu "Windows 7: First Beta review"