Upgrading to Windows 7 can save lots of watts.

With any new OS, there are both advantages and disadvantages to upgrading. For many computer buffs, an OS upgrade at home is often a no-brainer; for large organizations, that simple OS upgrade becomes a huge project that can span years and cost massive amounts of money. Testing cycles, increased IT workload, and the purchasing of new (compatible) software, and hardware all weigh in heavily during the decision-making process.

A recent study by Mindteck (reported by Ars Technica), titled “Enabling Green Computing in the Enterprise”, showed that a Windows 7 rollout can save a company massive amounts of money due to its superior power management. The study showed that on a Pentium 4 computer, with an "out-of-box” configuration, Windows 7 can be up to 25% more efficient than Windows XP. Further, the study showed that even after all drivers have been updated, Windows 7 still trumped XP by an average of around 10% on a Pentium 4 machine.

System usage in watts, lower is better.

System usage in Watts (W), lower is better. Data source: Mindteck.

As depicted on the above chart, more modern configurations displayed smaller, but still notable differences with an average power saving of around 3% (with optimized drivers). Regardless of how big the savings are for an organization, they’re still savings and as anyone that works in a large organization can testify – every cent counts.

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Apparently only XP gets affected by updated drivers. That could be understandable, because Windows 7 is recent enough to handle most modern energy-saving techs out of the box.

dismuter said,
Apparently only XP gets affected by updated drivers. That could be understandable, because Windows 7 is recent enough to handle most modern energy-saving techs out of the box.

It is more than that; Windows 7 marks the eventual move to a tickless kernel. Windows 7 make its rate of ticking a lot lower with the eventual aim apparently being Windows 8 to be completely tickless. With that being said the quality of the applications also dictates whether the battery is chewed through based on the system calls they make and how they use those system calls.

I ran on Windows 7 my powercfg energy and now I am getting more out of my battery than before.. Of course after rectifying issues.

SuperZod said,
Does anyone know how Mac OS X Snow Leopard compare to Windows 7 as it regards power management?

it is difficult given that the drivers for Windows 7 on MacBook's are out of date and pathetically poor quality. Snow Leopard does have good power management and so forth but that comes at the expense of performance in some areas. For example I find that Mac OS X is quite aggressive when it comes lowering the CPU frequency when on battery.

With that being said, half the problem of Windows has to do with OEM's bundling crappy 3 or 6 cell battery's with a i7 CPU in a laptop. If you do get a laptop from Dell or what have you - minimum of a 9 cell batter, anything less and you're wasting your time.

Yeah where's Vista.... sheesh. 1. graphic is so darn small I gotta hit zoom only to find out your comparing 7 to XP. Probably because Vista to 7 isn't a big jump. Which I'd rather call Vista SE like Windows 98SE. Although really hate the loss of that quicklauch bar. And I don't like grouping my windows together. more clicking and windows 7 slows me down

PatrynXX said,
Yeah where's Vista.... sheesh. 1. graphic is so darn small I gotta hit zoom only to find out your comparing 7 to XP. Probably because Vista to 7 isn't a big jump. Which I'd rather call Vista SE like Windows 98SE. Although really hate the loss of that quicklauch bar. And I don't like grouping my windows together. more clicking and windows 7 slows me down

What the hell are you going on about? hover over the icon in the bar, then select from the different windows that are shown in the previews; that is a hell of a lot faster than the old system of multiple windows and each with the full name cut off because of limited space.

Windows 7 is a new tool, how about learning how to use it instead of whining it doesn't work like your old one.

PatrynXX said,
Yeah where's Vista.... sheesh. 1. graphic is so darn small I gotta hit zoom only to find out your comparing 7 to XP. Probably because Vista to 7 isn't a big jump. Which I'd rather call Vista SE like Windows 98SE. Although really hate the loss of that quicklauch bar. And I don't like grouping my windows together. more clicking and windows 7 slows me down
So just put the quick launch bar back then...

I am huge on power savings but I have come to the conclusion that this is really crap. Yes Windows 7 will save more electricity over Windows XP with its default settings but if you install the CPU power throttling drivers in Windows XP and set it to sleep after idling 30 minutes and NOT have it run 24/7 like its default settings, you can easily match the same power use as Windows Vista or 7.

babyHacker said,
I am huge on power savings but I have come to the conclusion that this is really crap. Yes Windows 7 will save more electricity over Windows XP with its default settings but if you install the CPU power throttling drivers in Windows XP and set it to sleep after idling 30 minutes and NOT have it run 24/7 like its default settings, you can easily match the same power use as Windows Vista or 7.

You just answered your own criticism though. While it's easy for YOU to do this, try getting the right power management drivers and settings deployed to an entire organisation with thousands of machines of different specifications and driver interfaces. Try keeping the BIOS's current, try managing all the machines that need to be on projectors and don't want to be turning off or screen blanking every 10 minutes and then try doing that for a sensible amount of time and money.

Special drivers and GUI screens don't help that, the stnadard built in drivers get used because they work, minimising the driver deployment cycle in the enterprise. If it saves money out of the box without requiring months of administrative time, total machine standardisation, massive numbers of OS images and over complicating your AD/deployment systems then it is valuable.

Pentium 4? lol. I don't believe it sorry. XP with hardware supported ACPI will always trump windows 7. The aero interface and constant disk access alone will consume a great deal more than XP would. Not to mention, XP can run on 1gb of ram with swap space turned off, I'd like to see how 7 would perform under the same conditions.

There are no details on the hardware or software configuration used that I could see, but as soon as I heard p4 alarm bells started ringing. So if they're using an old processor they can't be using more than 1gb of ram right? Otherwise it's a highly skewed test.

LoveThePenguin said,
Pentium 4? lol. I don't believe it sorry. XP with hardware supported ACPI will always trump windows 7. The aero interface and constant disk access alone will consume a great deal more than XP would. Not to mention, XP can run on 1gb of ram with swap space turned off, I'd like to see how 7 would perform under the same conditions.

There are no details on the hardware or software configuration used that I could see, but as soon as I heard p4 alarm bells started ringing. So if they're using an old processor they can't be using more than 1gb of ram right? Otherwise it's a highly skewed test.


With that idea in mind, Windows 2000 would trump XP, and Windows 98 would trump Win2K, while Win95 would trump 98...

LoveThePenguin said,
Pentium 4? lol. I don't believe it sorry. XP with hardware supported ACPI will always trump windows 7. The aero interface and constant disk access alone will consume a great deal more than XP would. Not to mention, XP can run on 1gb of ram with swap space turned off, I'd like to see how 7 would perform under the same conditions.

There are no details on the hardware or software configuration used that I could see, but as soon as I heard p4 alarm bells started ringing. So if they're using an old processor they can't be using more than 1gb of ram right? Otherwise it's a highly skewed test.

Glass uses very little computing power in 7, especially with a WDDM 1.1 graphics card, and all of the disk caching is done in low IO mode, when the machine is idle.

Frylock86 said,


With that idea in mind, Windows 2000 would trump XP, and Windows 98 would trump Win2K, while Win95 would trump 98...

Not really, you lose ACPI support with 95 and NT 4 while 98, 2000 and XP have different ACPI table support and built-in driver support.

If you run 7 in power saving mode it can switch Aero off to improve power performance and the disk access is a one off, once it's cached unless you allocate a large slab of RAM it doesn't need to do it again.

Of course if you're turning on/off instead of using hibernate then superfetch is an issue vs. XP.

While XP runs on 1 gig, if XP's only booted into 80MB you're still powering 1 gig worth of RAM, at least Vista and 7 attempt to use all available RAM allowing lower disk IO - which does use more power.

c e 3 2 0 said,
Not really, you lose ACPI support with 95 and NT 4 while 98, 2000 and XP have different ACPI table support and built-in driver support.

If you run 7 in power saving mode it can switch Aero off to improve power performance and the disk access is a one off, once it's cached unless you allocate a large slab of RAM it doesn't need to do it again.

Of course if you're turning on/off instead of using hibernate then superfetch is an issue vs. XP.

While XP runs on 1 gig, if XP's only booted into 80MB you're still powering 1 gig worth of RAM, at least Vista and 7 attempt to use all available RAM allowing lower disk IO - which does use more power.


on low usage, the RAM sticks use less power tho, altho overall the powerusage is more efficient on high usage.

Marketing -- no more, no less...
Biz does things that clearly provide overall, so-called *big-picture* benefits, e.g. replacing the incandescent bulbs in desk lamps with fluorescent replacements saves electricity, vs. increased initial cost, vs. increased hazmat costs [i.e. Mercury], vs. money from the gov, vs. potential negative publicity if they don't etc... If switching to 7, *including all the related pluses & minuses* produced a significant benefit, such marketing studies wouldn't be needed, wouldn't exist.

From a common sense perspective, older tech could put monitors & hard drives to sleep -- same with 7. Older tech could throttle down CPUs -- so can 7. 7 itself supports more advanced sleep & turbo modes -- older tech, including hardware doesn't. Soooo, turning off hardware unsupported features in 7 saves power how exactly? And are any alleged savings worth the costs, including user support re: 7, any apps that might not work, any complaints because things are perceived to just not work right?

Win 7 is not any secret, & I can't imagine any power user let alone IT pro who's unaware of it, or it's success & popularity. Nor can I imagine most companies *not* switching if every one of the big boys was using it. But they aren't. In today's economy, if it saved/made them boatloads of cash don't you think they would be?

mikiem said,
Marketing -- no more, no less...
Biz does things that clearly provide overall, so-called *big-picture* benefits, e.g. replacing the incandescent bulbs in desk lamps with fluorescent replacements saves electricity, vs. increased initial cost, vs. increased hazmat costs [i.e. Mercury], vs. money from the gov, vs. potential negative publicity if they don't etc... If switching to 7, *including all the related pluses & minuses* produced a significant benefit, such marketing studies wouldn't be needed, wouldn't exist.

From a common sense perspective, older tech could put monitors & hard drives to sleep -- same with 7. Older tech could throttle down CPUs -- so can 7. 7 itself supports more advanced sleep & turbo modes -- older tech, including hardware doesn't. Soooo, turning off hardware unsupported features in 7 saves power how exactly? And are any alleged savings worth the costs, including user support re: 7, any apps that might not work, any complaints because things are perceived to just not work right?

Win 7 is not any secret, & I can't imagine any power user let alone IT pro who's unaware of it, or it's success & popularity. Nor can I imagine most companies *not* switching if every one of the big boys was using it. But they aren't. In today's economy, if it saved/made them boatloads of cash don't you think they would be?

The costs will of software upgrades will be well and truly off set by the carbon taxes that are going to flow through to the rest of the economy - every watt counts. You need to take into account that this study isn't just for American businesses but for a world wide audience where ETS (emission trading scheme) will roll onto businesses through increased energy costs.

After upgrading they can move to more common-sense things like turning off their damn monitors when they're not using them.

amon91 said,
After upgrading they can move to more common-sense things like turning off their damn monitors when they're not using them.

Second that, what the hell is up with businesses who leave their monitors on all the time over night?

Panda X said,
Who's idea was it to use all green in a graph?

You don't even have to bother with the exact colors. They are arranged in the same way as what the legend shows.

And take note, I'm green-color-blind.

Panda X said,
Who's idea was it to use all green in a graph?

That was me... I thought I'd choose green because it's about saving energy And sorry jsilophi... I didn't know.

mrmckeb said,
And sorry jsilophi... I didn't know.

nah, i wasn't complaining about it one bit. just had to ask someone to help me with the colors though. but it makes sense, green is for power-saving

jsilophi said,
nah, i wasn't complaining about it one bit. just had to ask someone to help me with the colors though. but it makes sense, green is for power-saving

Haha, exactly. But next time I'll make it a little clearer for all

I wish they'd chose different colours instead of all green. I find it hard to match which one is which.

Jagjit Singh said,
I wish they'd chose different colours instead of all green. I find it hard to match which one is which.

+1, seems like the designer doesn't know any other color

robert_dll said,

+1, seems like the designer doesn't know any other color

But by making it Green we think, hmmm ECO! They should have made the XP ones brown to make us think nasty and dirty.

Aanuun said,

Does one even need to be made lol?

Well Vista uses the same amount of RAM that 7 uses (for me at least), CPU usage and performance are also pretty much identical, and it has the same power saving features (though maybe 7's is a bit more optimized). So no, not really

WAR-DOG said,
interesting, no vista comparison...

Maybe because the study is for enterprise and enterprise adoption of vista was low since most kept with Windows XP.

/- Razorfold said,

Well Vista uses the same amount of RAM that 7 uses (for me at least), CPU usage and performance are also pretty much identical, and it has the same power saving features (though maybe 7's is a bit more optimized). So no, not really


Well the difference is on the prefetch data, Windows 7 launches the programs way faster (at least for me).

Jose_49 said,

Well the difference is on the prefetch data, Windows 7 launches the programs way faster (at least for me).

Seems the same here. Can you please provide the list of changes made to to the prefetcher and comparative benchmarks between Vista and 7? Thank you.

Got to say I'm really enjoying windows 7 now that is's all been patched and the graphical problems that plagued the W7 enterprise trial are not in the normal release!
Anyone else get problems with installing stability updates though? If I do, upon reboot it gives me the vista loadscreen and then boots up to the GUI repair screen which does a system restore (another reboot and the same thing happens only this time it says it was unable to fix it due to 'MissingOSLoader'). I tried the BCDedit thing to update the BCD which then gives the Windows 7 load screen back, but it then fails to find W7 so seems kind of annoying.

n_K said,
Got to say I'm really enjoying windows 7 now that is's all been patched and the graphical problems that plagued the W7 enterprise trial are not in the normal release!
Anyone else get problems with installing stability updates though? If I do, upon reboot it gives me the vista loadscreen and then boots up to the GUI repair screen which does a system restore (another reboot and the same thing happens only this time it says it was unable to fix it due to 'MissingOSLoader'). I tried the BCDedit thing to update the BCD which then gives the Windows 7 load screen back, but it then fails to find W7 so seems kind of annoying.

I haven't seen that happen... Post it in the support forum and maybe we can help you nail it down.

http://www.neowin.net/forum/fo...-client-support-7-vista-xp/

n_K said,
Got to say I'm really enjoying windows 7 now that is's all been patched and the graphical problems that plagued the W7 enterprise trial are not in the normal release!
Anyone else get problems with installing stability updates though? If I do, upon reboot it gives me the vista loadscreen and then boots up to the GUI repair screen which does a system restore (another reboot and the same thing happens only this time it says it was unable to fix it due to 'MissingOSLoader'). I tried the BCDedit thing to update the BCD which then gives the Windows 7 load screen back, but it then fails to find W7 so seems kind of annoying.

It happened to me the other day, followed the exact same steps you just described until it failed to find W7. I then, reinstalled W7 only i made sure there is a close system restore point before i do the win update. It happened again! but I was able to use system restore.. was really annoyed since i was praising W7 to everyone. Other than that specific issue, W7 has been flawless to me.