With Windows 7 running decidedly faster, smoother and efficient than Vista, perhaps there's some performance gain to be seen as well. After all, it's supposed to run much better on low end computers compared to Vista, so we've decided to put it to the test. If you've read our preview before (as linked at the bottom of the article), you'll note that we previously tested Windows 7 on really low-end, almost extinct Intel Pentium 4 systems, which actually ran Windows 7 just fine. These days however, the metric for low end systems aren't really the Pentium 4 systems of yore but more to do with Intel Atom based systems, which aren't really capable of running Windows Vista without some issues.
Also, we've heard plenty and seen plenty on how Windows 7 can handle on low-end systems, so an Intel Atom based notebook running Windows 7 should have no problems. Also, with the prevalence of devices based on the Atom platform available all over, it should be no surprise then, to find that Intel Atom based devices are now pretty much the lower end of the spectrum in computing devices. As such, our benchmarking process for Windows 7 will focus on an Intel Atom based desktop, and a regular mid-range system based on the AMD platform.
|Regular Mid-ranged System||Low-end System|
|Processor||AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.80GHz) with 2MB L2 cache||Intel Atom 330 (1.60GHz) with 512kb L2 cache|
|Chipset||AMD 785G||Intel 82945G|
|Memory||1GB DDR2 800MHz||1GB DDR2 533MHz|
|Graphics||ATI Radeon 4650 HD||Intel GMA 950|
|HDD||Seagate 7200RPM 80GB (ST380013AS)||Seagate 7200RPM 80GB (ST380013AS)|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Ultimate / Windows Vista Ultimate||Windows 7 Ultimate / Windows Vista Ultimate|