Tech Stuff

Lab Tests and Other Nonsense

We were talking last night about Energy Star ratings, and how unreliable they are. For example, TVs that are tested and rated when their screens are dimmed so much you can’t see them. Or laptop batteries rated with performance and screen brightness turned down and no one doing anything on them. Or refrigerators that have to be in one and only one configuration, not necessarily available in stock, please allow eight weeks for delivery.

So I remembered something I’d read the other week about how Windows 7 will supposedly boot and shutdown faster than Vista. The tortuous speed at which Vista gets ready to work has driven me crazy all along, and when I read this article suggesting that it boots up and is ready to go with an Internet Explorer window open in 45 seconds I wondered, “what, on a Cray?” Even then, so you’re ready to go shopping on-line in a browser that lets your credit card information be stolen? Well, snarkiness aside, how about until I get my e-mail program up and running, and able to read my new messages?

Taking my stopwatch I shutdown and rebooted Vista in two versions on two machines. My work machine runs the Enterprise version, on a T500 ThinkPad with 4GB of RAM and an Intel Core Duo CPU running at 2.53GHz. This ranks, by the way, 5.4 on the Windows Experience Index.

Trial One Trial Two
Action Time Time
Push start button 0:00 0:00
Status bar appears 0:18 0:18
Status bar ends 0:44 0:44
Vista logo appears 1:30 0:55
Login screen 1:37 1:00
Desktop appears 2:12 1:50
IE page appears 3:00 2:02
MS Outlook responds 6:40 (!) 4:15

And shutting down:

Trial One Trial Two Trial Three
Action Time Time Time
Click logoff button 0:00 0:00 0:00
Logged out 0:20 0:07 0:39
Powered down 1:01 0:42 1:39

Computer number two is a Toshiba Satellite, which I’ve blogged about here before. It’s model P105 with 2GB of RAM, Intel Core Duo running at 1.73GHz. My Windows Experience with this is a shoddy 2.9.

Starting from a powered-down state, I ran the shutdown routine:

And shutting down:

Trial One
Action Time
Click logoff button 0:00
Logged out 0:41
Powered down 3:09

Yes, that’s over three minutes. At millions of processor cycles per second it would be interesting to compare how many processor cycles were used in the development of the hydrogen bomb, or the entire Apollo moon program, as a percentage of how difficult it is to shut down Windows Vista Home Premium.

Starting up again, the picture is equally grim. I don’t use Outlook at home, so this was to get Thunderbird up and running.

Trial One
Action Time
Push start button 0:00
Status bar appears 0:19
Status bar ends 0:35
Vista logo appears 0:43
Login screen 0:46
Desktop appears 2:00
IE page appears 4:30
Thunderbird responds 4:30

So while at first it looks like Home Premium is snappier, it takes just as long or longer to get to the desktop, and to an actually functioning program. Four and a half minutes is an awful long time to spend on the phone saying, “I’m looking for your e-mail but waiting for my computer to start up.”

That’s my unscientific result. The scientific results, presumably, use a machine right off the factory line with nothing installed.

Tom
Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he's also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

3 thoughts on “Lab Tests and Other Nonsense

  1. “it would be interesting to compare how many processor cycles were used in the development of the hydrogen bomb, or the entire Apollo moon program, as a percentage of how difficult it is to shut down Windows Vista Home Premium.”
    That’s funny.

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