Are old operating systems like 2000 and XP actually faster?

Rafael Mestdag

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Mar 25, 2014
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I have this idea that old OS's like Windows 2000 and XP must be generally faster, including games, because they're less demanding on the machine. Setting compatibility issues aside, is this in any way true?

And is it worth it, if you have an old dual core like mine(amd 64 X2 4800+) and an old graphics card(GT630) to dual boot Windows 7/8.1/10 with either of the a fore mentioned OS's?

Any help will be appreciated.
 

spdragoo

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Oct 17, 2011
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Short answer: it depends.

Long answer: older OSs are technically smaller in their "footprint": they take up less space on the drive, they take up less RAM to run, & they don't require as much system resources. However, this is also countered by the hardware involved. For example, assuming I could even get Windows 7 to run on the first PC my wife & I bought (which was a Socket 7-based system rocking a 300MHz AMD K6, a 32GB HDD, & IIRC about 512MB of RAM by the time I had to replace it), I would shudder to think about the boot-up time it would have. But that was also back when you had a "fast" home connection if you had a 56K modem, & would swoon if you could surf the web over a T1 connection at school or work, & most home PCs were running Windows 95 or 98. When XP came along, I'm sure it would have run as slow as molasses on the old PC...but the PC that replaced it (Athlon XP 3200+ system) had a lot more juice, so it could run XP much more easily than the old hardware could.

The tradeoff, however, is in compatibility & security. As much as possible, newer OS versions try to maintain as much compatibility as they can so that older software doesn't immediately go belly-up. But that compatibility means the new OS has to not only maintain the old code, but also add in all the newer features...which is why a lot of older Windows 98 stuff, let alone Windows 3.1, stopped working with Windows XP & hasn't a prayer of working with Windows 7/8/10. By the same token, the newer the OS, the better the security features & updates which are missing from the older versions.

So, if you want to keep an old XP machine for those games that dont' work with Windows 7/8/10 (& aren't available in an updated format through Steam or GOG), or even dual-boot on your machine, go ahead...just make sure that when XP is running, it's not connected to the Internet.
 

raptor07

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Jan 3, 2014
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Newer OSes are generally faster. On my OLD PC, which has a Core 2 Duo @2GHz, ATI 4830 and 4 GB of DDR2 RAM runs waaay faster With Windows 10 rather than Windows 7, even though I used all the stock Windows driver (did upgrade the GPU drivers tho). I don't see the reason to dual-boot. I've had Windows 10 on the c2d rug even before the final version came out. Runs like a dream, despite being almost 10 years old.
 

Gingerbread

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Nov 2, 2009
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I've said many times that my Dual Core (not core 2 duo but dual core mind you) at 1.6GHz and 1GB DDR2 800mhz ram, 500gd 5400rpm hdd, boots Windows XP way faster than my 7200rpm 1tb hdd, i7 2670QM (4 core 8 threads, 2.2ghz 3.1ghz boost) and 8gb DDR3 ram 1333mhz boots Windows 10 or 7.
 

spdragoo

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Oct 17, 2011
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Short answer: it depends.

Long answer: older OSs are technically smaller in their "footprint": they take up less space on the drive, they take up less RAM to run, & they don't require as much system resources. However, this is also countered by the hardware involved. For example, assuming I could even get Windows 7 to run on the first PC my wife & I bought (which was a Socket 7-based system rocking a 300MHz AMD K6, a 32GB HDD, & IIRC about 512MB of RAM by the time I had to replace it), I would shudder to think about the boot-up time it would have. But that was also back when you had a "fast" home connection if you had a 56K modem, & would swoon if you could surf the web over a T1 connection at school or work, & most home PCs were running Windows 95 or 98. When XP came along, I'm sure it would have run as slow as molasses on the old PC...but the PC that replaced it (Athlon XP 3200+ system) had a lot more juice, so it could run XP much more easily than the old hardware could.

The tradeoff, however, is in compatibility & security. As much as possible, newer OS versions try to maintain as much compatibility as they can so that older software doesn't immediately go belly-up. But that compatibility means the new OS has to not only maintain the old code, but also add in all the newer features...which is why a lot of older Windows 98 stuff, let alone Windows 3.1, stopped working with Windows XP & hasn't a prayer of working with Windows 7/8/10. By the same token, the newer the OS, the better the security features & updates which are missing from the older versions.

So, if you want to keep an old XP machine for those games that dont' work with Windows 7/8/10 (& aren't available in an updated format through Steam or GOG), or even dual-boot on your machine, go ahead...just make sure that when XP is running, it's not connected to the Internet.
 

sam1275tom

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Oct 13, 2014
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Agree. And more:
New OS have some feature to speedup things on newer/higher hardware, but these features/settings may have negative effect on old/low hardware.
And if you really want a XP, try POSready2009 instead, it's 2-3X faster and lighter than XP, with all compatibility XP have, and it's still supported by MS until 2019, I use this on my virtual machines and UMPC, it works very well.
However, I don;t recommend 32-bit OS on 64-bit PC, it will not be able to use full advantages of your hardware, especially you have 4GB or larger RAM.
 
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