Windows 7 – Is it really better than Windows XP?

A Guest blog post by Yagil Adar (who has consulted in Ireland on many occasions).

Yagil

As part of Adar Consulting business, we are also developing an Integrated Computing System (ICS) that includes much security, safety, positioning and infotainment capabilities and more, that works concurrently and are cross integrated.

During the development that includes many applications with complex functionalities i.e. processing data from 4 cameras, night vision, many sensors, touch screen and other devices, we also took into consideration the Operating System that we will base our system on and asked:
Which operating system will more appropriate for our complex needs in the ICS project or to be more specific: Windows 7 – Is it really a better than Windows XP?

The applications and functionality requires a fast CPU and memory accordingly, the hardware is Intel’s E6000 CPU with 2GB memory. With this configuration, performance will not be an issue from HW point of view.

We have defined several requirement from the OS, not all can be published however, a few of them can, and are also related to the more standard (desktop, laptop) user profile.

· High stability
No BSOD (no crashes and blue screens) – the system must work flawlessly with uptime of more than 1000 hours

· Return successfully from Standby mode
The system will return from standby sleep mode with no error including re-establishing the connections with all hardware device including USB, Wi-Fi, BT, sensors, cameras and more

· Memory Management and Memory leak control
The system must prevent memory leak including during return from standby sleep mode (vehicle is parked – same as laptop lid down)

· Start and shutdown time
From cold boot the system boot time must be fast, same for complete shutdown

Test configuration

· Only the Operating System  and drivers have changed, (Apps and HW) are the same

· The test was run with 32Bit OS’s :Windows 7 RC 7100, Windows XP Pro SP3
64 bit was checked – more on that later

· All critical and important updates installed via Windows Updates

· The system HW is based on Intel’s MINI-ITX MB with several HW devices connected via USB hub or directly to the board: USB memory device Sandisk Cruser U3 2GB, cameras and other devices

Test results

High stability

What we have tested

· 5 days Constant work with no BSOD with full load (all apps are loaded and running)

· Go to and return from sleep mode -
set computer to standby sleep mode and test if it is successfully returns to full functionality (similar to lid open in laptops)

  • 5 days Constant work

Operating system

Results

Windows XP

OK

Windows 7

OK

· Go to and return from sleep mode

Operating System

Result

Remarks

Windows XP

Not OK

Returning from standby sleep mode repeatedly and constantly caused a BSOD

The fail massage refers to the USBSCAN.SYS driver

No post SP3 fixes or workarounds where found to solve this problem

Windows 7

OK

 

Stability summary: Window 7 is more stable

Memory management

What we have tested

· All Apps are loaded including Infotainment, cameras, security, safety and more
Phase I : check system memory after 30 minutes from system boot
Phase II check system memory after 72 hours
Compare and check if there is a memory leak in the system
(All Apps are well behaved)

Operating system

System memory Phase I

System memory Phase II

Remarks

Windows XP

750MB

788MB

Memory leak of 38MB in 72HR
That is 5%

Windows 7

1100MB (1.1GB)

1114MB

Memory leak of 4MB in 72HR
That is 0.36%

Memory Management summary: Window 7 manages memory better

Start and shutdown time

What we have tested

· Cold Boot start time in – loading all apps and to hear sound (not includes BIOS diag time)

· Full shutdown

Operating system

Cold boot start time (sec)

Full shutdown

Windows XP

160

36

Windows 7

55

16

Start and shutdown time summary: Window 7 is faster

Conclusions:

So….Windows 7 is it really that good?
From these tests and others the answer is YES
Windows 7 provides tangible benefits that justify migrating to this OS

The next step

Part of the ICS for the car we are evaluating which is the best architecture 32Bit or 64Bit for the current version and the next one due to the 3.3 GB limit for the 32Bit version
more on that in a future post

Yagil.

Please give us feedback on this guest post – was it useful?  Would you like to see more guest bloggers?

Thanks

Daven Dave

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