/ windows

Windows 10: performance

Thanks, Microsoft. I guess?

I would like to make some small comments regarding Windows 10 performance. This is not a scientific analysis or whatever: I don't plan on running benchmarks whatsover. These are just small things I've been noticing compared to Windows 7. And no, I did not do any research on this yet, so I might be right or just plain good wrong. :-)

I consider myself luck for having a good machine at home. I can't feel much of a difference on it, except for boot (9s BIOS, 3s OS), but my applications are running just as fast and good as before. It's good.

At work, however, I don't have the same machine. It has lower specs, but it's still a really good one to work with. To give you an idea of my standard load, I usually have Chrome with many, many tabs open, at least 2 instances of VS 2010, a running Oracle database with some standard load and my normal, standard software, such as Thunderbird, Pidgin, some SQL client and Sublime Text 3. The ones that usually eat more memory are VS, Oracle and some Windows services, as expected. Chrome also takes its toll on resources, but it's something I can live without if I need to. Oh, and I often also run some CAD applications on this machine for plugin development. Plus a VM to test other versions of such CAD software. Yep, things get hot and power hungry when I do that! :-)

Anyway, before installing Windows 10, I was running Windows 7 on it, and it was working just fine: applications took their time to load, swapping would happen whenever I ran too much stuff, etc. The expected behavior.But somehow the machine got extremely good after upgrading to Windows 10. Applications load faster than before and the machine doesn't hang as often as it used to do with the previous OS.

I talked with some colleagues about this and we believe it's a placebo effect: you have a clean system (I did a double reset [1]), almost no software installed, so everything runs smooth. But this machine also stays 24/7 running and I don't reboot it very often, since I leave breakpoints from one day to another. On Windows 7, the machine would be insanely slow in the morning due to some crappy, unnecessary swapping. But now it doesn't behave like that: it comes back just as fast as it was before. This is unusual for me. Also, running 2 or more instances os VS 2010 would make the machine a bit slow, but now it works just as fast even with 4 instances running. I'm waiting for The Old New Thing to start commenting on Windows 10 to get some information regarding its resource management, but, at least for me, something was clearly improved.

However, I'm still not sure about improvements on this OS version. It could, still, be a placebo effect - probably some part of what I'm seeing is, indeed, just because I have a clean system. But they could have improved the memory manager so that it wouldn't do unnecessary swapping: this is not so unrealistic. Or maybe the whole OS is lighter compared to Windows 7 regarding its internal services.

Funny enough, I've been slowly trying to naturally overload this thing by increasing my workload. I often run VMs for testing stuff on different systems, but I'm also keeping an extra instance of VS and even Qt Creator running for some random tests. And I'm doing all that in virtual desktops that Microsoft has finally (quite poorly) implemented. Somehow, the GUI doesn't even lag for me. Oh, and memory consumption? Under 70% of 8GB for a machine that has been running without a reboot for a few days. I'm impressed.

Ah, and there's another possibility: my Windows 7 was completely broken because some random guy was working on this machine before me, so he probably installed a bunch of shitty shit crapware random software that take tons of resource for nothing.

Or maybe I'm crazy, or my brain is running slower. Go figure.


  1. I call it "double reset" because it consists of two steps. 1. Perform a clean install of Windows 10 upgrade, which removes your data (Users), applications (Program Files and its x86 version) and your previous OS (Windows). Then, you need to go to Settings, Recovery and perform a Reset of your OS drive. This deletes all other folders on that drive. That way your system is finally clean of your gargabe data. ↩︎