Windows 7 vs XP SP3 benchmarked [COMPLETE]

As with my other thread on Vista vs 7, I'm sure many of you want to know if your older XP machines will perform better if given the newer Windows 7 to play with. Unfortunately, I'll be unable to do a direct comparison of 7, vista, and XP all on the same hardware - but this is the best I can do. I'm using the desktop outlined in my config.

Vista vs 7, if you're interested:

Windows XP SP3 Scores
C:\Windows\ directory size: 3.67GB
3D Mark 2001: 15264 @ 1024x768, 0xAA
3D Mark 2001: BSOD @ 1024x768, 4xAA (driver related - unsolvable)
3D Mark 2005: 6719 @ 1280x1024
3D Mark 2005: 6087 @ 1600x1200
Crysis: 36.66 fps @ 1280x1024, Low, DX9, 32 bit
Crysis: 33.02 fps @ 1680x1050, Low, DX9, 32 bit
Doom 3: 55.18 fps @ 1280x1024, High
Doom 3: 50.87 fps @ 1600x1200, High
UT3: 23.20 fps @ 1280x1024, Medium
UT3: 23.09 fps @ 1680x1050, Medium
WinRAR compression: 3:07 (141MB Starcraft folder)
DIVX upscale: 5:22:58
Sonar 8 mix-down: 2:20 (Custom 4-track mix of the Hymn to the Red October)

Windows 7 Professional x86
C:\Windows\ directory size: 7.95 GB
3D Mark 2001: 12508 @ 1024x768, 0xAA
3D Mark 2001: 10362 @ 1024x768, 4xAA
3D Mark 2005: 5605 @ 1280x1024
3D Mark 2005: 5411 @ 1600x1200
Crysis: Crash @ 1280x1024, Low, DX9, 32 bit (driver related - unsolvable)
Crysis: 22.84 fps @ 1680x1050, Low, DX9, 32 bit
Doom 3: 27.83 fps @ 1280x1024, High
Doom 3: 21.87 fps @ 1600x1200, High
UT 3: 16.30 @ 1280x1024, Medium
UT 3: 15.37 @ 1280x1024, Medium
WinRAR compression: 3:23 (141MB Starcraft folder)
DIVX upscale: 5:36:29
Sonar 8 mix-down: 3:24 (Custom 4-track mix of the Hymn to the Red October)

Performance Delta (7's values relative to XP's values)
C:\Windows\ directory size: +216.62%
3D Mark 2001 (0xAA): -18.06%
3D Mark 2001 (4xAA): NA
3D Mark 2005 (1280x1024): -16.58%
3D Mark 2005 (1600x1200): -11.11%
Crysis (1280x1024): NA
Crysis (1680x1050): -30.83%
Doom 3 (1280x1024): -49.57%
Doom 3 (1600x1200): -57.01%
UT3 (1280x1024): -29.75%
UT3 (1680x1050): -33.43%
WinRAR compression: -8.56%
DIVX upscale: -4.25%
Sonar 8 mix-down: -45.71%

Those who have older machines and were clinging to the hope that 7 might improve your performance one last time - forget it. In my case, at least, the software and driver support just isn't there - the new OS resulted in massive performance losses. Whether or not newer hardware will show the same I've still yet to find (see my other thread), so who to blame for the performance loss is a little unkown right now. It could be bad AGP drivers (which are notoriously so) or just as likely be the new OS. I'll update after the other test on newer hardware is complete!
Why are they using x86 when its easily shown that Windows 7 x64 performs much much better in most cases?

Also, can you at least show what hardware it is so we can make sure to compensate and not give one OS an advantage over the other? That will be a major problem if say XP SP3 has a 4870 and the Windows 7 has a 3870/9800 series since the 4870 easily outperforms both of those and older by a large margin.
I must have deleted it in the thread at some point, but the hardware in use is my desktop in my config, with a 24" 1920x1200 monitor. The hardware setup is old, but it's all I've got. Right now it seems to suffer from bad drivers on some tests.

Edit: and the reason for x86 will be revealed with my hardware - the Athlon XP is not 64-bit.
I've changed the driver out for a different version, as the one I was running on crashed the Crysis 1280x1024 mark. We'll see if it makes any difference..

Edit: Nope, still crashes, and I'm out of drivers to try. I'm reverting back to the older drivers to match the rest of the marks and just taking an NA for the test.


Dec 6, 2007
macmac, thank you for that link very informative. Also frozen thanks for the hard work, it still looks like Win 7 will be the way to go. I would think that say six months down the road win 7 and the drivers will be even more optimized. The firing squad review really shows that the 4890 and the 275 are equals in performance; evenly split in top bench scores and staying very close whether as a single card or a two card setup.......hummm what would a three card setup do, lol.