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Windows 7 BETA vs Windows Vista SP1 SSD Performance Compared

MS is promising a faster experience with Windows 7 and the way it handles solid state drives. We put that to the test with the public BETA release.
By: Cameron Wilmot | Software in Storage | Posted: Jan 16, 2009 5:00 am

Windows 7 BETA vs. Windows Vista SP1 SSD Performance Compared


Windows 7 BETA vs. Windows Vista SP1 SSD Performance Compared


Continuing on with our early Windows 7 beta coverage, we move onto Solid State Drive (SSD) performance.


The topic of SSDs itself is rather interesting, but when you team up the increasingly popular flash memory technology with Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7, things move up to the next notch on the excitement level - for us around here, anyway - but probably you too, if you are reading this.


Microsoft made some fairly bold claims during its WinHEC conference last year that Windows 7 (W7) would include optimizations that are designed to improve the performance and reliability of SSDs. The operating system is supposed to be able to detect the use of SSDs and once identified, change some settings, compared to the way traditional magnetic hard disk drives are handled.


One of the first changes upon detection is turning off defrag. Because SSDs store data differently, defrag tools will have little to no effect on performance improvements. This is also especially because SSDs are much faster than normal hard drives. The second optimization is the "Trim" feature, which is designed to keep the SSDs unused storage area as free as possible, hence creating more room for device wear leveling. There are probably other subtle tweaks under the hood of W7 as well, but we haven't got all the details in as yet.


We have gotten hold of the Windows 7 BETA and today we are going to compare the performance of single SSD as well as RAID 0 SSD in W7 and Vista SP1. Keep in mind this is just a first look; Microsoft may still and probably will provide further performance optimizations for SSDs under the final shipping version of W7 and this is merely a look at the performance difference so far. We didn't even install any new drivers on our W7 beta install - just ran with what was built-in, so it is a good raw look at things currently as they stand.


Read on and find out if your SSD experience is going to be improved or not under Windows 7. It has been a hot subject in the storage world lately and hopefully we can find out some answers today!


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