Windows 7, how low can it go?

It is well known that Windows 7 is a huge step up from Vista as well as XP. It allows users with computers that could barely run Vista to run 7 much faster and more efficiently.

It is relatively safe to say, that Windows 7 will be the first version of Windows, that does not constantly remind you that you need to upgrade your computer. Since the first beta was released a few months ago, I have done around 25-30 installs of Windows 7. On every type of system, from a 3 GHz quad core system, to a 1.3 GHz single core laptop. On every single one of those installs Windows 7 greatly improved performance and reliability.

The install we want to highlight here is the 1.3 GHz laptop. Even by today's net book crazy market, this is an under powered laptop. With less then 512 MB of ram and an Intel Celeron M CPU, it's no speed demon. Nonetheless, it was amazing how fast it ran and installed Windows 7. Check out the full install and test video below

What is the lowest spec'd PC that you have been able to install and use Windows 7 on?

Let us know in the comments!

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I've been running Athlon 2000+ with 512Mb RAM for 4 years now! Been through XP, Vista Ultimate and now 7 RC. Even Vista ran pretty well for me, people couldn't believe I only had 512Mb... I must have the most powerful RAM in the world I think because I've never really noticed the slow OS people seem to moan about?

Anyway now very happy with the 7 RC. It runs almost perfect with Aero etc. :)

btw... why haven't I upgraded? Waiting for the final 7 now!

Win7 is running quite nicely on my Samsung Q1U with an 800mHz CPU, 2 gigs of ram and a 4200rpm HDD. It even runs well with Aero enabled and several apps running. Much better than Vista did.

Just installed the Windows 7 RC on my MSI 694D Pro, dual PIII 1GHz CuMine's, 2GB PC133 ECC, Geforce 440mx, etc.

It runs pretty smooth for a modern OS and I like the new features it brings. However for my needs, windows 2000 pro is more suited to this rig.

guys, has anyone ever tried getting win7 on an AMD Geode netbook? surely a System On A Chip design has to count as 'low' ...

I have Windows 7 RC1 On Asus G1S
Nvidia 8600 GT 256mb Intel Core 2 Duo Centrino 2.20GHZ 2 proccesors
Windows 7 works as well and fast as :D
Windows 7 is better then Vista SP1

I had Vista SP1 Previeously
I know how to solve probs on Vista SP1 not many people do

Rukasuzu said,
I have Windows 7 RC1 On Asus G1S
Nvidia 8600 GT 256mb Intel Core 2 Duo Centrino 2.20GHZ 2 proccesors
Windows 7 works as well and fast as :D
Windows 7 is better then Vista SP1

I had Vista SP1 Previeously
I know how to solve probs on Vista SP1 not many people do

Yeah. Most people running Vista that run into problems aren't the fault of Vista itself (at least not anymore). People that are still claiming Vista sucks despite having 2 service packs are just idiots, a few in particular are on Neowin.

I have win 7 running with an old athlon 600Mhz and 512MB ddr-133. It is, with some tweaks, more fast than a fresh win xp sp3 installation!!!!

Installed the Windows 7 beta on an old spare box at work that was being unused, which was previously running Windows NT. It's a Pentium III 600 with I think 512mb of ram although it might have been 256 even, but I'm fairly sure was 512mb.
Installation was very fun.

The PC didn't have a dvd rom drive, so I brought in a spare one from home and threw that in..
The BIOS doesn't support booting from DVD, and tried some floppys to then load off the DVD, no good either.
The existing windows NT installation couldn't read the Windows 7 DVD, I think because it's UDF?
Ended up reformating and installing XP onto the box, then finally that could read the windows 7 dvd!

However, the machine only had one hard drive with 8 or 9 gb of space on it, and because when you load the OS install from another operating system, you can't reformat that drive, had to grab another 9'ish gb scsi disk to throw into the pc.
Finally windows 7 installs...
Does it work?
Oh yes! Didn't seem too bad. My workmates who also happen to be software engineers left amazed; me being the pro windows user, and them having varying opinions, particuarly post vista. It worked, and seemed usable.

xXDestroyerGRXx said,
And what about games?

Probably the same as XP. Why would you game on a 1.3Ghz PC with 512MB RAM anyway? :P

Edit – sorry this was supposed to be a reply to MaxTM’s comment.

Is it usable?

I ran XP on a Pentium 2 @ 300mhz with 512MB of ram for 2 years as my main pc.

I know that pc's not even going to take Windows 7 well but I should try it

InsaneNutter said,
Edit – sorry this was supposed to be a reply to MaxTM’s comment.

Is it usable?

I ran XP on a Pentium 2 @ 300mhz with 512MB of ram for 2 years as my main pc.

I know that pc's not even going to take Windows 7 well but I should try it ;)

More RAM seems to be the 'speed factor' rather than processor speed. I think you should try it - if it does run it'll be fine.

96MB RAM was almost unusable. It took like 20 seconds for an explorer window to close. A usable amount for a slow-ish PC would be 256MB. Going from an 866Mhz to 500MHz only seemed to make a 10-15% performance difference.

I installed Win 7 on Pentium 3 800 mhz, overclocked to 1.1 mhz, with 630 MB RAM, motherboard ECS P6VAP and it runs smoothly, bettter than XP on the same machine.

That's quite impressive. I installed Windows Vista on a Pentium 4 PC with 512 MB of RAM and it didn't run too well. Everything from booting up to opening a file was slow. It's amazing how much Microsoft has improved Windows 7 over Windows Vista.

did microsoft remove hardware limitations on windows 7? i tried installing windows me on an old old laptop and wouldn't let me because it wasn't a certain specification of CPU and RAM.

Windows 7 RC1 seems to eat alot more memory than Beta 1. When I'm running stuff intensively it runs down to 800 out of 3000 mb. Normally Vista it's around 1100, but sometimes runs down to 800. Maybe Windows 7 more effectively uses lower memory, but if you've got the memory it runs about the same as Vista. The only noticeable difference is shutting down. But thats the only speed difference I've felt. Feature wise a few things fixed, but it feels more like a major service pack than another version. I like it more than Vista, but not a massive amount so.

Max� said,
Now running Build 7127 on a:
Celeron 500Mhz
96MB RAM (Tried 64MB, BSOD on boot).

Ace :)

Question is...

Can it do Crysis?

I Installed Windows 7 RC 7100 x64 on my brand new Toshiba Satellite A305D-SP6905R and on the first reboot after installed came the BSOD, so I had to delete that partition and stick with Vista, If Apple reduce costs on the next WWDC I'm gonna move to Mac OS X and never go back to Windows of ****!!!

I've installed Win7 on a Toshiba Portege 3505 tablet using an external Targus PCMCIA DVD Drive.
Pentium 3-M 1.33ghz 512mb RAM 40gig harddrive.

Works just as good/bad I remember XP working on this thing. Most stuff worked right after the install. WiFi, sound started working after a Win Update through a wired connection. SD Card, screen rotation, I got working from the original XP drivers from the Toshiba support site for the 3505.

I really only tried to install 7 on this thing because I couldn't get XP to reinstall for whatever reasons using the original Toshiba CD's. I think they may only work with an original Toshiba external drive. (Mind you, the Targus came in the box packaged from Toshiba.)

None of the Aero stuff works considering the shared 16mb video card but it's a pleasure to use Win7 for day to day computing on this thing like media sharing and homegroup stuff.

Just found my old 750 mhz amd duron 750, with 384 megs of ram, took 34 min to install windows 7, and only a min 31 to load the desktop, and everything ran pretty fine, no problems, but i rather use my amd athlon x64 5800+ x2 with 6 gb of ram, a tb of hd space, and my geforce 8800 gts. xD

I've got 7100 running on a Dell Dimension 4400... way back from 2002.

1.6GHz P4 and 768mb of ram... works pretty well.

ive got a lot of old pc parts nocking around the house, if i can build something around 8-10 years old i'll post some pics and let you know how it goes

Just tried it on a virtual machine and it runs on 160MB RAM. 160MB RAM feels like Vista on 512MB, for the record.

Im just about to try it on a proper machine PIII 866Mhz/384MB....

Done it, and it worked. PIII 866Mhz/384MB RAM/160GB HDD. Beat the record :P I'll probably end up taking out some of the memory and I have a 700Mhz PIII lying around which I can use...

Pentium III m @ 1GHZ~(Laptop: Dell Latitude C610; 1GB RAM; 80GB WD HDD, some crappy ATI RadeonMobility w/16MB crappy onboard graphics mem) and it is way faster than vista was on this machine! WOW! I just HAD to try and see if it would work.....and it works well!!!! **edit: no, no aero, but vista basic ran ok.....just not as well as 7**

i have 7 running on a Dell Inspiron 300M, 1.2GHz Pentium M 1MB L2 cache, with 1.1GB RAM, Intel GMA 3000 (crap) and a 60GB 4200 RPM drive.

It flies. Feels faster than XP. I've also removed some of the windows components (media center, etc), since I won't be using these features on a 12" laptop.

I'm glad the Windows 7 "Aero" interface is much snappier on older hardware than Vista's Aero interface. However, I wish they would bring its "classic" slimmed down interface up to par with Windows XP. The classic interface is about as fugly as fugly can get. Windows 2000/XP is still a better option for people who do not want to use Aero.

i don't see Windows 7 as a huge leap from vista. yes it is better with more features and few tweaks here and there but not a huge leap. Windows Xp to Windows 7 is a huge leap.

Deihmos said,
i don't see Windows 7 as a huge leap from vista. yes it is better with more features and few tweaks here and there but not a huge leap. Windows Xp to Windows 7 is a huge leap.

Obviously. There wasn't a huge leap between Windows 95, 98 and Me. We're merely going back to that way of doing things.

Try playing a video in Windows Media Player. It isn't exactly smooth on a netbook. The video does not even have to be anywhere near high def.

Intelman said,
Try playing a video in Windows Media Player. It isn't exactly smooth on a netbook. The video does not even have to be anywhere near high def.

I play Star Trek Enterprise tv eps on my MSI Wind netbook, playback seems to be 100% smooth for me.

Intelman said,
Try playing a video in Windows Media Player. It isn't exactly smooth on a netbook. The video does not even have to be anywhere near high def.


No problems playing HD 720p content on my Acer One netbook in win7

Strange, the problem occurs with my Acer One. It has the Intel Atom N270 1GB Ram and the 8GB SSD. Did you guys install any special drivers?

This also occurs on my HP Mini 2133 with the Via chip, which arguably blows.

I haven't had one crash yet in 7. The only issue I have is that sometimes Outlook 2007 lingers after closing it and I have to force it closed when I shut down.

I have installed Win7 32-bit on my Inspiron 9300 laptop, Pentium-M 1.8GHz. Of course, it's upgraded to 2GB and a 160GB hard drive (I may even up it further to 4GB if it will take it.) Even the upgrade install I undertook on my home desktop was flawless (and we know how upgrade installs usually go).

I will definitely purchase a copy for my desktop. I'm not sure about my laptop, as its time is undoubtedly coming, but I just might do so with it as well.

Bemani Dog said,
I haven't had one crash yet in 7. The only issue I have is that sometimes Outlook 2007 lingers after closing it and I have to force it closed when I shut down.

The Outlook process always lingers when you close it. Just leave it and it will eventually kill itself. In fact, if you install the latest Service Pack for Office 2007, the tray icon will automatically go grey when you close it but will disappear when the process is killed (as opposed to the icon just disappearing but the process stays running for more than a few secs).

I guess code evolves. I wish code reduction was a part of quality control and not ignored just so they can rush a product out of the door. Vista was a big rush and now windows 7 is truly a vista se=second edition with code reduction and optimization.

What is the lowest spec'd PC that you have been able to install and use Windows 7 on?
Intel Celeron @ 1.2GHz
512MB DDR400 RAM
GeForce FX 5200
80GB HDD
Damn old PC but still runnin fine ...

Windows 7 is the best OS Microsoft has done in a very long time. Stable as hell even in the beta stage
Vista - needed SP1 to run good, but still too heavy
XP - took 2 Service packs and over 3 years to get it working right
Windows ME/2000 - no comment ... ;)
'98 - that was the one

BorisX said,
What is the lowest spec'd PC that you have been able to install and use Windows 7 on?
Intel Celeron @ 1.2GHz
512MB DDR400 RAM
GeForce FX 5200
80GB HDD
Damn old PC but still runnin fine ...

Windows 7 is the best OS Microsoft has done in a very long time. Stable as hell even in the beta stage
Vista - needed SP1 to run good, but still too heavy
XP - took 2 Service packs and over 3 years to get it working right
Windows ME/2000 - no comment ... ;)
'98 - that was the one

Uh, Windows 2000 was great. Guess you don't know the differences between 2000 and ME.

FrozenEclipse said,


Uh, Windows 2000 was great. Guess you don't know the differences between 2000 and ME.


I agree.

Some education for the kids who don't know the difference between 2000 and Me, as well as those who didn't even know that Windows 2000 existed.:

Windows XP (NT 5.1) was built on the Windows 2000 source (NT 5.0) code while some multimedia and legacy software compatibility (software that was written for DOS based Windows) was added. Windows 2000 was stable as hell, which should have a lot of the credit for Windows XP being as sturdy as it was. Meanwhile, Windows Me was still part of the DOS-based Windows product line. See the difference there?

BorisX, FrozenEclipse & +dmd3x:

Windows ME was built and marketed primarily to consumers/home users. ME was a lousy OS for businesses/schools but good for home use, games & entertainment purposes. Windows 2000, on the other hand, was built and marketed for business purposes. All this I know because of experience with both OSes.

WinME = Win98 third edition, part of the 9x family of OSes

Sp32 said,
Lets quickly brush vista under the carpet and pretend nothing ever happened

If Vista never happened, then 7 never happened. Too bad some of you anti-Vista trolls can't seem to figure that out.

I second the motion, FrozenEclipse. Let's remember that Win7 isn't version 7.0; Windows 7 is WinNT version 6.1. Win7 is basically Vista 2nd Edition. First version of Win98 was buggy but Win98 SE (2nd edition) was more stable.

Lowest for me is a Centrino 1.7GHz with 2GB RAM and 80GB hard drive. Migrated over from Vista, which ran *okay* but 7 is a hell of a lot faster.

Windows 7 is a huge step up from Vista

Source for such claim?.

AFAIK windows 7 is just a well done vista (but still a vista like application) but is bloated in comparison with xp, and i don't think it will change in the final release version.

And personally i don't really care about the installation process, the average joe user never do that, and the rest of person do a full install once a year-couple of year.

Magallanes said,
Source for such claim?.


How about all of the MS Developer blogs where they describe the improvements to the entire OS from the Kernel Up.
If that is too biased for you, how about all of the independant review(s) from the folks we tout as industry experts, neowin members/staff, Anandtech, etc. Your friend google can help you do the independent research.

Magallanes said,
AFAIK windows 7 is just a well done vista (but still a vista like application) but is bloated in comparison with xp, and i don't think it will change in the final release version.


Well, since you do not know where we get our information, I'm sure you haven't expanded your mind to the improvements that 7 offers over previous versions. More code/features/improvements does not equate to bloat. Bloat is bad code that increases file sizes (install footprints) but offer no significant improvements in application performance. Windows 7 definitely improves upon the codebase it was derived from.

I've been installing RC1 on an old IBM Thinkpad T23. 1.13GHz PIII w/ 512MB of PC133 (i think).

XP ran ok on it, Vista was a pretty slow, but Win7 has been amazingly responsive and useable.

I think allowing it to be installable on low end systems is a bad idea. Thats just means more folks who will hold on to legacy garbage they need to let go of, that they should have let go when vista came out.

Marshalus said,
Because everyone has a boatload of money to spend on new hardware.

Seriously dude thats whats holding up technology is when folks hang on to that old stuff. At this point we should all be running 64-bit applications. But this wont happen until Microsoft only makes a 64-bit OS. They wont because they know their customers wont let stuff go.

Gotenks98 said,
Seriously dude thats whats holding up technology is when folks hang on to that old stuff. At this point we should all be running 64-bit applications. But this wont happen until Microsoft only makes a 64-bit OS. They wont because they know their customers wont let stuff go.

Dude did you even read Marshalus reply? He said money is a problem but it seems you ignore that fact.

Gotenks98 said,
I think allowing it to be installable on low end systems is a bad idea. Thats just means more folks who will hold on to legacy garbage they need to let go of, that they should have let go when vista came out.

How about you be the good Samaritan and buy me a new PC with a modern CPU and 4gigs of ram? Or you don't really have to do that, just get me a job and I'll buy it myself.

Harbinger said,
How about you be the good Samaritan and buy me a new PC with a modern CPU and 4gigs of ram? Or you don't really have to do that, just get me a job and I'll buy it myself.

So you already found somebody who will buy you a new OS?

Glendi said,
Dude did you even read Marshalus reply? He said money is a problem but it seems you ignore that fact.

If you can afford the OS then you should be able to afford the hardware then.

Yes.. Support the recession.. Its due to hitgh technology costs that are making it harder to live.. Hence, recession! Wanna buy a TV? Its now an investment.. Decent PC, same.. Keep pushing for th next best thing and this is the result, so a comment about not buying the latest and greatest is hurting everyone else, I am sure if i don't byt the next i7, they will still have a breakthrough..

lowest ive ran it on is a celeron 1.4 with 256 megs of ram, with services tweaked and no themes its not that slow actually

P4 2.8c, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9600

A-OKAY!

Soon to test on a 1.4Ghz Tualatin (Celeron) I forgot how much RAM it has, I think a little over 512...

I installed Windows 7 RC on my Dell 5100 laptop with a Pentium 4 2.8GHz and 768MB of ram. There were no drivers for the ATI video or the on board sound. With my Dell, WinXP or Ubuntu are better choices.

Mr Byte said,
I installed Windows 7 RC on my Dell 5100 laptop with a Pentium 4 2.8GHz and 768MB of ram. There were no drivers for the ATI video or the on board sound. With my Dell, WinXP or Ubuntu are better choices.


No drivers? Simply install the XP Sound and XP Video drivers, they still work under Vista and Win7...

(There are some exceptions to the XP sound drivers, not all work, but a lot of them do.)

Chances are your sound is Realtek, and they have drivers for Vista and Win7 going back to their chipsets from 1997. And if not the other audio chipsets from the P4 2.8 days are like Conextant or other similar brands and they all have Vista sound drivers.

I understand the drivers didn't install automatically, but just google the chipset for the video and sound and see if Vista drivers exist, and on the Video the XP drivers will work, and there should be sound drivers in the Vista class that will work if the XP ones don't.

Quite honestly I can see windows 7 being very close to following the success of Windows XP.

At the end of the day the operating system shouldn't demand upgrading a computer like vista did however Windows 7 does bridge the gap very well to migrating and upgrading whilest maintaining integrity of legacy things whilest promoting and giving full potential to new and improving/developing technologies.

How well will it run on my HP Mini 2133? It has a 1.2Ghz Via and 1GB (can get 2GB) ram 120GB HDD, XP runs fine on it (a bit laggy cuz of the VIA cpu).

not well to be honest, ive seen it running vista and that works horribly and xp isnt that smooth (especially when running office 2007) personally i'd stick with xp on a system like that, if you really want 7 install 2gigs of ram and disable areo, themes and some of the services and that should speed it up

Don't listen, Windows 7 should give you Aero on a system like that. AFAIK, some of those configurations even shipped with Vista Business (which sucked), but you should give it a try. I don't think it can go any slower than an XP install.

Come back after you install all the "essential" programs and a little bit of extra before you start talking about performance. Performance measures right after the install doesn't mean anything to me.

GP007 said,
I watched the video, and he did install the live essentials programs after win7 was done.

That is just ONE program - more specifically, ONE program suite. I was talking about productivity suites like Microsoft Office or OpenOffice, and programs like Java, Media player (VLC or KMPlayer), AIM, and such. Start putting around a dozen programs like that or more, and you may have a different picture. I'd like to know how Windows 7 would handle in a low-end machine once it starts to get stressed.

solgae said,
That is just ONE program - more specifically, ONE program suite. I was talking about productivity suites like Microsoft Office or OpenOffice, and programs like Java, Media player (VLC or KMPlayer), AIM, and such. Start putting around a dozen programs like that or more, and you may have a different picture. I'd like to know how Windows 7 would handle in a low-end machine once it starts to get stressed.

Even Windows XP would get stressed with so much programs. do you expect Windows 7 to magically make a low end PC to run Crysis?

Glendi said,
Even Windows XP would get stressed with so much programs. do you expect Windows 7 to magically make a low end PC to run Crysis?

Obviously not - that would be just plain foolish and unrealistic. I am just pointing that declaring Windows 7 (or any OS for that matter) to be running very well by basing on the stage where the OS is just installed is simply naive. I will be sold if someone can prove that Windows 7 can run just as well, if not better, as XP when the machine is at least in a state where user can be productive.

What external media did the guy use for the install? Those seem to make a difference, a USB flash stick is said to be faster than DVD because DVD copies small files quite slowly or something like that.

aarste said,
No, but you can install Windows 7 from usb stick.

And you think someone would use that in a speed install comparison article?

Glendi said,
And you think someone would use that in a speed install comparison article?

No, but it's a safe bet that someone did it to install it on a netbook that doesn't have a DVD drive. ;P

The Vista and Windows 7 install doesn't work the same way as XP and before. There isn't a big pile of small files. It's an image that's copied to the computer's storage then expanded like a ZIP file.

The laptop I have 7 installed on has an Intel 945M chipset, so no real dedicated GPU. Aero runs fine on it though.

I will say it does have a Core 2 T5600 and 2Gb of RAM though.

What is more impressive is that fact that it finds most if not all of the hardware on the older machines. Try that with XP or Vista. You would need drivers after drivers to get it going.

Windows 7 is something that I will push with my clients. They are excited about it because they know I am excited about it.

mrmomoman said,
What is more impressive is that fact that it finds most if not all of the hardware on the older machines. Try that with XP or Vista. You would need drivers after drivers to get it going.

Windows 7 is something that I will push with my clients. They are excited about it because they know I am excited about it.

That's true with any version of Windows though, more base drivers are available with the later OS than are available with earlier OSes.

testman said,

That's true with any version of Windows though, more base drivers are available with the later OS than are available with earlier OSes.

Yes, but he's on about legacy hardware - not newer hardware. Surely it would make sense for XP to have support and 7 not, rather then the other way around?

i wounder how low it can realy go tho. with xp it was some thing realy silly.

with xp i had an old amd athlon k6-2 333mhz with 32mb ram and a very small 3.2 hdd. i know xp had been installed on a lower spec system.

How low can you realy go with windows 7 ??

xSuRgEx said,
i wounder how low it can realy go tho. with xp it was some thing realy silly.

with xp i had an old amd athlon k6-2 333mhz with 32mb ram and a very small 3.2 hdd. i know xp had been installed on a lower spec system.

How low can you realy go with windows 7 ??

I had XP on a Pentium II 233 mhz, 2GB hdd. I don't remember the amount of ram.

Beaux said,
I had XP on a Pentium II 233 mhz, 2GB hdd. I don't remember the amount of ram.

That's genius with XP taking up more than 2GB of disk space and all, congrats...

xSuRgEx said,
i wounder how low it can realy go tho. with xp it was some thing realy silly.

with xp i had an old amd athlon k6-2 333mhz with 32mb ram and a very small 3.2 hdd. i know xp had been installed on a lower spec system.

How low can you realy go with windows 7 ??


Lowest XP, and we still use it for testing.

Pentium 200mhz, 80mb RAM, Neomagic Video, 5gb HD

We have OfficeXP, CorelDraw 9 or 10, and several other applications on it.

It benchmarks and runs faster with XP than Win95 or Win98, as odd as that may sound to people considering it shipped with Win95 on it.

It has an 800x600 display, and even plays 300kb WMV files at 30fps full screen. This means it can even do Silverlight and play stuff from the Netflix site as crazy as that seems.

xSuRgEx said,
i wounder how low it can realy go tho. with xp it was some thing realy silly.

with xp i had an old amd athlon k6-2 333mhz with 32mb ram and a very small 3.2 hdd. i know xp had been installed on a lower spec system.

How low can you realy go with windows 7 ??

A bit of a silly statement. With Windows 3.11 for Workgroups I had it installed on a DX2/66 with 4MB RAM.

In other words, what's the point of your post?

n_K said,
That's genius with XP taking up more than 2GB of disk space and all, congrats...
It doesn't take genius to get XP on less than 2 GB.

thenetavenger said,


Lowest XP, and we still use it for testing.

Pentium 200mhz, 80mb RAM, Neomagic Video, 5gb HD

We have OfficeXP, CorelDraw 9 or 10, and several other applications on it.

It benchmarks and runs faster with XP than Win95 or Win98, as odd as that may sound to people considering it shipped with Win95 on it.

It has an 800x600 display, and even plays 300kb WMV files at 30fps full screen. This means it can even do Silverlight and play stuff from the Netflix site as crazy as that seems.

If you disable some services you can make it even run faster.

I installed Windows 7 RC1 on my Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook, which has the following specs:

Intel Atom Processor Z520 (1.33GHz, 533MHz)
1024MB 533MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
Integrated Intel Graphic Media Accelerator

It ran fine, I was able to run apps like Firefox, Office 2007, WLM at decent speeds.
However, when I turned Aero on Window movement became laggy.

Radiance_Wes said,
How the hell were you able to enable aero? I haven't used Win7 so forgive me if I missed out on somethings :)


Aero only requires a DX9 card that can do Pixel Shader 2.0... So if you have a 945 Intel chipset or a Geforce 5xxx card, you can run Aero. (So most Video and even integrated video made since 2003 will run Aero, with the i915 chipset being the exception as Intel won't do it.)


@Chris, Turn off Transparency, and see if Aero runs fine without the laggy feel. The DWM with transparency off should help more than hurt performance unless your Intel Video is way under clocked or some other strangeness.

I am typing this from an Acer Netbook 1GB, Intel GMA950 (945chipset), 1.6ghz Atom and even with Transparency on, Aero runs great on this netbook. Actually Aero is amazing on it, with even all the 'extra' previews and animations being smooth as silk.

If your Intel chipset is the same 945 GM950 Video, try the June 2008 Vista drivers instead of the newer Win7 drivers it installs, the newer drivers in the Win7 beta from Intel have some issues and the Vista drivers work better. Intel is trying to get to WDM 1.1 on their drivers, and some of the chipsets are not working well with the newer 'test' drivers that Win7 installs that Intel has provided.

i installed Windows 7 RC on a laptop with a good processor but low memory (512MB), i was blown away by how well it runs, i opened up task manager and the memory usage after a few mins dropped to 250MB odd.

The laptop was used with Office 2007 and surfing web sites and it runs incredibly fast, i have since upgraded the laptop to 1GB and it really takes off. Im very impressed with the optimisations made to Windows and would say that 7 outperforms XP on the same machine.

Lowest I have installed on is my 1.6ghz 1GB acer aspire one, but may give it a go on an old P4 machine sometime if it works this well.

I have that same config. I don't think it counts since Atoms are designed in a different way. Anyways, 1.6GHz nowadays is phenomenally faster than 1.6GHz 5 years ago.

that laptop has 5400rpm disks? What graphic card is in there? Mentioning only the CPU and RAM is kind of pointless, because GPU and HDD speed are also a major factor in OS speed...

Indeed, and the HUGE legacy issue in Vista and 7 is the graphics hardware. There are massive amounts of XP laptops that don't have GPUs that support Vista and therefore won't ever support Windows 7.

And trying to run under that default lo-res, unaccelerated display driver is just plain useless.

Did you see the space available on the partition during the installation? It was just a little bit more than 17gb. I guess it's a 4200rpm hard drive.

excalpius said,
Indeed, and the HUGE legacy issue in Vista and 7 is the graphics hardware. There are massive amounts of XP laptops that don't have GPUs that support Vista and therefore won't ever support Windows 7.

And trying to run under that default lo-res, unaccelerated display driver is just plain useless.

For the WDDM, yes you need a 2003 DX9 Card, but that is ONLY FOR AERO.

Vista and Win7 also still FULLY support the XPDM drivers, that means if by chance there isn't a built in driver for your video card (and that is hard to find) you can at the VERY LEAST install your old XP driver.

Get it?

The architecture of Vista and Win7 allows for both Video driver models and Video subsystems and this has to do with the nature of the NT kernel and its extensibility.

I really get annoyed at the 'you need a new video card' crap that people are still repeating like drones, when even Vista would run just fine with any Video card made since about around 1990, even if it has to drop to the Super VGA driver, which is all you got on those cards back then anyway.

I have a 200mhz Pentium laptop sitting here with a NeoMagic video card in it, that is very generic, but it has an XP Driver, and we run WinXP and OfficeXP on it. I'm not going to claim it can run Win7, as the processor and 80mb of RAM would stop the install, but the VIDEO IS NOT the limitation, as the XP Video driver would install and work just fine on Win7.


Truly, if Video was as important as you make it sound, then all the servers runnning the same code (yes the code of Vista and Windows 2008 server is the same) would have a hell of time, as most servers have generic and even no video cards in them.


PS. Don't change this into an argument about Aero, as a 2003 Geforce 5xxxx card is fully WDDM and runs Aero just fine, and that is now 6 years old.

Besides on the even 'older' video cards, if you never had Aero on your old XP system, you won't miss it on Win7, and you will still get the same accelerated features you got under XP, just like the laptop in the video...

And BTW the laptop in that Video may have been bought 3-4 years ago as the video author claimed, but it was made around the 2001-2002 timeframe, as the 1.3ghz P4m laptops were phased out in 2003. So it is more like a 7-8 year old Laptop.

I have a 2002 Toshiba 5105 sitting here that is a P4m 1.6ghz with a Geforce 440m in it and 512mb of RAM, and it runs faster with Win7 that it does with XP. In 2002 it was quite the laptop, but 8 years later to run the latest version of Windows and benchmark and feel faster than XP that shipped on it is quite impressive.

My spouse still has a Jan 2004 HP with a Geforce 5600 in it, and it not only runs Win7 faster than XP, but also fully does Aero with all the pretty glass effects, and they mainly play games on the computer.

So tell us all again how important video is and how Win7 or Vista needs fast video cards....

thenetavenger said,
For the WDDM, yes you need a 2003 DX9 Card, but that is ONLY FOR AERO.

So tell us all again how important video is and how Win7 or Vista needs fast video cards....

I was generalizing to avoid discussing specifics, but since you brought it up (quite rudely I might add), I'm talking about graphics chips OLDER than something like a geforce 5600 you mention.

For example, there are people who still can't get the ATI IGP 320m working under Vista on their laptops (even with legacy drivers) and so those machines won't run Windows 7 AT ALL.

All they get with chips like this is the VGA default adapter which won't run even the native laptop's resolution etc. even though the rest of their machines spec high enough to run Windows 7 just fine. And that VGA default adapter software is not even fast enough to run Aero-less Vista or Windows 7.

I guess you don't know about all the ORPHANED display chips, etc. that are not Vista compatible and are thus not Windows & compatible.

And since this article is about how low one can go with Windows 7, here is one place where Windows 7 can't compete with XP...and ATI IGP 320/340 et al equipped laptops.

Now you know.

excalpius said,


I was generalizing to avoid discussing specifics, but since you brought it up (quite rudely I might add), I'm talking about graphics chips OLDER than something like a geforce 5600 you mention.

For example, there are people who still can't get the ATI IGP 320m working under Vista on their laptops (even with legacy drivers) and so those machines won't run Windows 7 AT ALL.

All they get with chips like this is the VGA default adapter which won't run even the native laptop's resolution etc. even though the rest of their machines spec high enough to run Windows 7 just fine. And that VGA default adapter software is not even fast enough to run Aero-less Vista or Windows 7.

I guess you don't know about all the ORPHANED display chips, etc. that are not Vista compatible and are thus not Windows & compatible.

And since this article is about how low one can go with Windows 7, here is one place where Windows 7 can't compete with XP...and ATI IGP 320/340 et al equipped laptops.

Now you know. :)


Considering that Vista will still run on AMD's old (we're talking ancient) Radeon (I'm talking *original Radeon*, as in the Radeon 7000/7200/7500/8500), why wouldn't 7? (Albeit not with the fancy Aero effects; however, it can still run.) My Mom has a Gateway laptop with the Mobility Radeon version of the Radeon 7500 (which uses the same drivers as the desktop version); the Radeon 7500 also saw lots of generic duty in Dell Dimension and OptiPlex *desktops* (not just the XPS portables that the MR7500 appeared in) running XP Professional. I have one that was in fact pulled from an OptiPlex GX260 in my spare-parts bin, in 32 MB AGP trim. (Said OptiPlex has an AIW 8500 DV installed currently; and it's running *Vista Ultimate*.)

Need I point out that the MR7500 is *older* than the IGP 320 (in fact, considerably older)? That simply points out how badly AMD screwed up with the IGP 320.

excalpius said,


I was generalizing to avoid discussing specifics, but since you brought it up (quite rudely I might add), I'm talking about graphics chips OLDER than something like a geforce 5600 you mention.

For example, there are people who still can't get the ATI IGP 320m working under Vista on their laptops (even with legacy drivers) and so those machines won't run Windows 7 AT ALL.

All they get with chips like this is the VGA default adapter which won't run even the native laptop's resolution etc. even though the rest of their machines spec high enough to run Windows 7 just fine. And that VGA default adapter software is not even fast enough to run Aero-less Vista or Windows 7.

I guess you don't know about all the ORPHANED display chips, etc. that are not Vista compatible and are thus not Windows & compatible.

And since this article is about how low one can go with Windows 7, here is one place where Windows 7 can't compete with XP...and ATI IGP 320/340 et al equipped laptops.

Now you know. :)


And you still don't, hence why I wasn't rude enough...

Yes there is NOT going to be a WDDM driver for the ATI IGP 320m processor as it DOES NOT support DX9 PS 2.0 features.

This means that you install the XP driver, or the Vista variations you can find if you learn to use Google.

It may not be 'automatically' installed, but if manually installing the XP driver is beyond your abilities and this has confused you to think it does not work in Vista, you should leave this conversation now.

Again I repeat, XP Drivers work in Vista and Win7, even if they are OLD Cards that don't have the DX9 PS2.0 features and a new WDDM driver available for them.

When using an XP Driver or (XPDM) Vista or Win7 draws the onscreen video EXACTLY the same way XP did.

How you could have read my lengthy post and respond by missing the major point of my post is scary.

PS The oldest WDDM DX9 PS supported card is the Geforce 5200 PCI, not the 5600, and you can even get the Geforce4ti (note the ti) to also run with a modified WDDM driver that users have created and again if you use Google can easily find.


SO TO REPEAT, as you missed it the first time... XPDM Drivers (XP Drivers) work just fine under Vista, even if you have to manually install the driver, and the OS (Vista/Win7) runs in the XPDM mode drawing the screen exactly as XP did, with the same older video subsystem that does not use the WDDM.

So this means if you have a video card that works under XP, it will also work under Vista or Win7.

Get it yet?

excalpius said,


You do realize that you can even run an IBM 8514 from 1989/1990 or an ATI Vantage/Ultra card (they were two of the first 'accelerated' video cards made) with the ATI being the cheaper mainstream version of the IBM 8514.

And they have drivers and work under XP, Vista, and Win7 (again using the XPDM drivers) - and they have the SAME features and levels of acceleration they offered when they were released.

They are also where the XGA 1024x768 8bit hardware accelerated specifications came from...

Is that 'old' enough of a video card to run as it was orignally designed for you are do we have to dig into VGA cards or non-accelerated VESA SVGA cards from the same time period that if they have 512KB of RAM will also run 640x480x8bit?

This whole video 'argument' is really insane, but sadly I don't think you understand the topic enough to realize this, and can also do pull quotes of Vista doesn't work with older video cards, which is not so accurate, when you can take a card from 1990 and have it run as well as it did in 1990 on Vista.


Geesh...

thenetavenger said,
This means that you install the XP driver, or the Vista variations you can find if you learn to use Google.

It may not be 'automatically' installed, but if manually installing the XP driver is beyond your abilities and this has confused you to think it does not work in Vista, you should leave this conversation now.

Again I repeat, XP Drivers work in Vista and Win7, even if they are OLD Cards that don't have the DX9 PS2.0 features and a new WDDM driver available for them.

No, in many cases they don't.

I can list specific models of machines, etc. where the XP drivers DO NOT work under Vista (and therefore won't work under Windows 7). I've even listed a specific chip that shows this problem in those laptops.

For example, certain revisions of the e-Machines m5312 will exhibit a bios conflict under Vista that DOES NOT exist under XP. So even by installing a very hacked XP driver under Vista, you still get a very unhappy yellow exclamation mark...meaning...no dice. And no, there is no way to fix this on those machines.

But, feel free to take your own advice and search for this fact on Google.

And since I have provided just one of many specific examples, consider your rude rants and uninformed position thoroughly DEBUNKED.

Q.E.D 8)

shockz said,
thenetavenger - lets use a bit more tact... your posts are going to end up getting you warned if you don't chill.


Thanks in advance, I get it...

I should adapt to the passive aggressive condescension that seems to be acceptable in the responses to my posts like excalpius employs.

If being rude in way that is not understandable to the average minded person is the accepted requirement, I will gladly comply.

You truly are very kind to offer to this advice without warning, thank you again...

excalpius said,


No, in many cases they don't.

I can list specific models of machines, etc. where the XP drivers DO NOT work under Vista (and therefore won't work under Windows 7). I've even listed a specific chip that shows this problem in those laptops.

For example, certain revisions of the e-Machines m5312 will exhibit a bios conflict under Vista that DOES NOT exist under XP. So even by installing a very hacked XP driver under Vista, you still get a very unhappy yellow exclamation mark...meaning...no dice. And no, there is no way to fix this on those machines.

But, feel free to take your own advice and search for this fact on Google.

And since I have provided just one of many specific examples, consider your rude rants and uninformed position thoroughly DEBUNKED.

Q.E.D 8)


WIth all due respect, yes there are a few 'chipset/MB' combinations, especially integrated GPUs that don't make the full transition from XP to Vista 'easily'.

However, these have more to do with BIOS or ACPI and assignment changes in the PCI specifications than they have to do with the specific video chipset.

As even in the example you gave, the IGP 320m, it does work in many systems just fine under Vista, even if there are a few mainboard combinations with this GPU chipset that have issues because of resource allocation, and it being an integrated GPU makes it not something to work around.

The OEM/MFR should provide a workaround for BIOS update that solves these issues, it is not something Microsoft or ATI can address, as they don't make the mainboards.

The point here is that even in these cases, it is not 'specifically' the GPU chipset that is 'unworkable' with Vista, but the specific Mainboard that doesn't work properly, as its MB/BIOS is incompatible with Vista due to incomplete ACPI features that Vista enforces more strictly than XP.

With XP you could get by with a mainboard that didn't properly support ACPI - you can find tons of posts around the web about people disabling ACPI features on their mainboard because of the mainboard not properly implementing the specifications or having a buggy BIOS that doesn't provide the interfaces properly. Vista is more picky about these specifications.

An analogy would be like people moving from earlier versions of Windows to NT or XP that had a modem in their computer sharing an IRQ with another device. Although sharing the IRQ in this manner was 'buggy' it kind of worked, yet in NT, this is a no no, and the modem would no longer function after the user upgraded to NT. (This is pre Plug & Play devices and IRQ sharing features of ACPI)

So was NT or XP 'breaking' their computer or at fault? No, it was the OEM or 'friend' that installed the modem for the user that screwed up the IRQ assignment.

It also didn't mean the Modem was too old or broken or didn't work with NT, and this is my point.

Video is not the issue here, and it is hard to find a specific Video card where the video GPU itself is not compatible with Vista or Win7. Sure there are going to be cards that run in VESA SVGA mode, but often these cards never had specific drivers that provided any features or functions beyond the VESA SVGA drivers.

This means there is hardly any regression in a 20 year span of Video cards/GPUs, and that is actually impressive considering the technology of a 20 year old card.

I agree there are always exceptions to the rule, even though the IGP 320m would not be one.

I did look up this specific GPU, as I don't have one in our lab to test, and there are a few people with the code 12 and a mainboard that causing the problem, but there are also a lot of people out there that say they just manually installed the driver and it works.


And back to what started this, you were very clear that Video was a major issue in 'speed' and moving to Vista or Win7, and when I debunked that this conversation moved to a specific orphaned GPU on 'specific' mainboards that fail.

For people out there, Video is NOT important for Vista or Win7 unless the Aero/DWM is important to them, and chances are if they are using XP, it isn't, as they are not getting these features anyway. And if Aero/DWM is important and they have a desktop, even one with only a PCI slot, there are plenty of $15 video cards out there that run Aero just fine.

I hope this doesn't continue, as I wasn't trying to be rude in my first post even though you purported I was; however, the subsuquent posts I no longer cared as I assumed if you took my first post as rude, it wasn't going to matter how I presented my argument, as you were still going to call it rude.

Anyway, I'm going to let this water flow under the bridge, and wish you the best.

Take Care,
TheNetAvenger

Thank you for finally agreeing with my initial point--which was simply that there were a number of systems (I explicitly pointed out laptops) that work fine under XP but still have no upgrade route to Vista or 7...and probably never will, unfortunately.

That's all I ever said. Next time, please try to respond not to your interpretation of what you thought I was saying, but to what I was actually pointing out. :)

Peace

I might have to dig up my old 768mhz celeron with 386mb ram and see what win 7 does to it. I have had Vista beta 2 and Vista RC1 on there before but nothing since.. It wasnt tremendously slow but it wasn't really usable either.

But this is coming from the guy that has never had the problems everyone has had with Vista. Vista runs fine on my MSI Wind netbook with only 1gb ram in it(but I did upgrade it to 2GB since the ram was so cheap at the time).

Anyway back to Win7.

The weakest config was on Samsung Q1 - Celeron ULV 900MHz, 512 RAM. It ran faster than XP, installed there previously.

I'm semi-close -- I've got it on a Q1P -- Pentium M @ 1 GHz with 2 GB of RAM, and it flies.

Machine shipped with 1 GB of RAM and Vista, but actually ran quite well. Runs much better with 2, though.

val_parthen said,
I'm semi-close -- I've got it on a Q1P -- Pentium M @ 1 GHz with 2 GB of RAM, and it flies.

Machine shipped with 1 GB of RAM and Vista, but actually ran quite well. Runs much better with 2, though. :)

I got it from my friend as experimental - he wanted to reinstall XP, so we tried W7. It was dramatic, now he doesn't want to hear a word about XP :)
As I know, he also replaced memory to 2Gb.

Considering Intel stated that their Atom processors perform at roughly 50% speed as a desktop counterpart, I expect the speed to be good on slow pcs

Oh hai, I was able to install Windows 7 on mai toaster. It's a Chefmate I think... not even a fancy one.

But really. I ran both Vista and Win 7 just fine on a TC1100 Tablet PC, 1.2GHz w/2 GB ram. I think even my toaster has 2GB ram, why run w/512MB seriously.

smooth_criminal1990 said,
true, laptop RAM especially is plummeting in price (well, that is until you get to 4GB kits)

just got me 8gigs and loving it! Time to start lookin @ blue Ray drive

smooth_criminal1990 said,
true, laptop RAM especially is plummeting in price (well, that is until you get to 4GB kits)

My 4gb laptop kit cost $50.

excalpius said,
Of course you could have installed Vista. It just wouldn't have been as snappy as XP or 7.

Vista would be absolutely crawling on a system with 512MB of ram. Not just being less snappy, CRAWLING.

M2Ys4U said,
Even XP would have a tough time. I insist that XP boxes have at least a gig of RAM.

Nonsense. My laptop is a 6½ year old Dell Latitude C610 with a 1.2 GHz PIII processor, 512MB RAM, and a 18.6GB HDD
running Windows XP (SP3) almost as though it was fresh off Dell's production line last week. It even runs bandwidth
hungry video streaming apps such as BBC iPlayer ... though obviously not the HD format videos.

I've run XP on PC's with much lower specs than that before now, the lowest being a 350MHz PII with only 256MB RAM.

It's all very well insisting a PC with XP has "at least a gig of RAM" installed, but it ultimately depends on what the end
user wants to do with his/her machine. If it's just e-mail, Office apps, and web browsing, then 512MB RAM is enough.
If he/she wants to do resource heavy stuff such as video encoding, and blasting Russian gangsters in Liberty City,
then fair enough ... a PC with much beefier system specs would be recommended.

shakey_snake said,
^I'm not so sure.

I ran XP on a 900MHz pIII with 128MB of RAM back in the day...


that's back in the day. Programs of today need more memory so unless all you have is Windows then it might not be a problem. All computers of today need at least 1GB and that includes XP. I am using Xp at work with 1GB and it crawls.

Deihmos said,

that's back in the day. Programs of today need more memory so unless all you have is Windows then it might not be a problem. All computers of today need at least 1GB and that includes XP. I am using Xp at work with 1GB and it crawls.


No, they really don't. I've got a laptop with 512 mb and a 1.2 ghz processor, while not the fastest computer in the world it by no means has any problems.

shakey_snake said,
^I'm not so sure.

I ran XP on a 900MHz pIII with 128MB of RAM back in the day...


thats nothing


i run xp on a 350mhz pentium 2 computer with 111MB ram and a 4GB harddrive..

runs it.......ok its my moms computer came with like 95 or something and ai maxed it out to xp and shes ok with it.... now however i may consider windows 9 in my netbook :P

AUSSIE_FLOYD_FAN said,

thats nothing


i run xp on a 350mhz pentium 2 computer with 111MB ram and a 4GB harddrive..

runs it.......ok its my moms computer came with like 95 or something and ai maxed it out to xp and shes ok with it.... now however i may consider windows 9 in my netbook :P

Windows 9? Bring me back a copy from 2017 please! :P

I was considering installing it on our home server just for a play around but considered that box to low in performance. Now i'm not so sure.

I'll give it a go and report back.

I just installed the official Win 7 RC on a 1.3 GHz P4, 512 MB RAM, and a 32 MB TNT2 vid card. Rating = 1.0, but man Win 7 runs great for a machine with specs this low! I had XP and Ubuntu on it before, and they can't compare; Windows 7 is amazing! (Aero off by default for obvious reasons)