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What Intel Giveth, Microsoft Taketh Away

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Ralf Maximus:
Fascinating article chronicling what we've all suspected: that each version of Windows + Office consume all available workstation horsepower, no matter how new the hardware.

Included are interactive benchmarks of every conceivable combination of Windows and Office since 2000.

Found via Raymond Chen's superb blog, the current topic as I type is a research paper on "Who would win in a fight between a penguin and a lemur?".  No, I'm not kidding.

Glad you listed this, Ralf. This was the first thing I noticed with Vista back in early February — it ate everything you threw at it. Office 2007 is the same way, as the post states, requiring 12 times the memory and 3 times the processing power as previous versions of Windows and Office.

Sorta ruins the notion of "optimizing" the codebase for better/faster/newer hardware. I'm sure they're already working on how to slow down Penryn chips.


Okay, I thought this was funny. If you are a VISTA user, please do not get offended.

F**k, that chart is just sensational; even though I believe the overall premise, I cannot believe the magnitude of the that. I think the sheer scale of regression with Vista can't be so large. I suspect a change in working set allocation is responsible for the memory change (more memory allocated is not necessarily bad), but I cannot explain the overall speed regression. I don't have a clear sense of how that data was aggregated, nor thus its variability. I do realise incredulity is hardly a cogent argument against that data ;-)

After my experience with a Vista notebook (that was the same model with the same spec as an earlier XP MCE notebook that I tried a year ago), I believe the chart. Dual Core processing and 2GB RAM and it was a slug compared to my XP Pro machine with a four year old Centrino chip and 2GB RAM. Loved the hardware, loathed the OS's resource hogging.

Interesting that the analysis also supports another of my suspicions: Win2k on a 7 year old PIII-E machine with 512MB RAM was quicker than my Centrino with a gig of RAM. Makes me want to dualboot the Centrino with Win2k and install Office 2000 on it...

Sidenote: when I first read the "Lemur vs. Penquin" aside in Ralf's first post, my mind managed to convert it to "Leopard vs. Penquin" - imagine my surprise when I found not a shootout between OS X and Linux but a paper speculating about who would win a real fight - a flightless bird or an arboreal primate. Nice.


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