Monday, December 28, 2009

Tech Review: Windows 7 Ultimate

Hey guys, it's rare I do a tech review on this site but for once I have something to contribute in this area. Two weeks ago I had nabbed a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate for sixteen dollars as a student of Stony Brook University. Lucky me.

I'll be honest, my computer is not 100 percent compatible with Windows 7. I may have a wonderfully working NVIDIA 8800M GTS Graphics Card, but it doesn't quite work with some of the media and visual features of Windows 7. I am also not tech savvy, so some features have gone unused and I am basically going for a performance review.

I own a Gateway P series FX with a 250 GB hard drive, 3 GB of Memory RAM, and a miserable 1.66 GHz Intel Core Two Duo Processor. So on the processing side my computer might seem weak, but it turns out that it worked well with Vista Premium and works FANTASTIC with Windows 7.

With Vista Premium, page loading time on Google Chrome took two point seven seconds on average. With Windows 7, it takes one point four seconds. That, is a very big speed increase, and my computer scored big on the windows index test.

Granted be, the thing scores one out of seven because my Gateway laptop lacks video capabilities for some of the features. But if you take the video parts out of this loophole for the scoring, my computer scores a four point five out of seven. On Vista, my computer had scored a five point five out of ten. So scoring four point five out of seven is very very good, the performance of this computer with Windows Seven is remarkable. The CPU meter shows only a fourteen percent use of my CPU and twenty percent of my memory. Vista used a little more than twice as much for both, so my computer is literally on steroids with Windows 7.

In terms of compatibility I will say this, update your drivers because video and audio seemed a bit clunky until I went to the Gateway website and re-downloaded them (With the help of fellow author Mark). Programs that worked for Vista WILL work for Windows 7, but my Adobe Premier Elements Four program is not working correctly. I bought that in December 2007, so it could be too old to use. It might be that my project was done in Vista and I just have to start over too. Every other program converted to Windows 7 just fine.

Power management has many customizable features. Be a bit careful in this area because it allows control of cooling, cut offs for hard disk and battery level, and yet it doesn't have the screen brightness settings available in Power Management. I messed up the first time doing the settings, and had a weird result. Keep tabs on how your power management behaves and adjust it occasionally. There isn't MUCH of a battery life improvement, but it certainly can be lengthened in this version of Windows better than Vista.

Unlike Windows Vista, the bottom icons fit all the different windows into one icon on the task bar instead of mashing together in seven to eight different three inch windows just for Google Chrome. This provided much less hassle for me, and I also have an easier time limiting the amount of icons on the task bar that can provide notifications for its program.

Having heaped all this praise, it was a pain to put on and I don't recommend it for two year old computers, Windows Vista was not so bad. I kind of wish I had stayed with Vista since my Adobe editing program doesn't work that great with Windows 7 for an unexplained reason other than it could be too old. If you are so inclined to do it anyway like I did, you will have a decent upgrade of power on your computer.

Remember, I am no expert on tech. I merely did this because it was such a bargain to go from Vista Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate for sixteen dollars. I applaud Microsoft for their latest Operating System.