I thought I would try a little experiment.
I use a Packard Bell Easynote LJ71, with an AMD Athlon II X2 M300, 4Gb memory and a 320Gb Hard Disk. I have it partitioned roughly 50:50 for Windows 7 and Linux Mint 13.
My experiment was to cold start into each partition with a target of getting a particular web page to display.
First off I booted into Windows 7.
At first, it seemed to run fairly well, with the wallpaper soon displaying, and the various desktop icons appearing. I clicked the Quick Start icon for Firefox.
However, Windows wasn’t ready. It promptly announced that it was doing a few updates, each of which seemed to involve downloading the entire application from scratch. I was faces with a stream of questions about whether to install Quick Start icons, or Desktop icons. Did I accept the licence agreement? Did I want the programme to run after installation?
By this stage, Firefox was running but Windows insisted on grabbing all the resources for the updates. Finally I got into the web page I was looking for, despite the fact that the anti-virus software update was still loading.
Time taken from switch on to reading the web page? 7:23.8
I then cold started into Linux.
At one stage I thought I had a slight problem as the screen stayed black for a while, but next thing the desktop and all its icons appeared. I launched Firefox, and went straight into the website.
Time taken from switch on to reading the web page? 1:41.7
So if any of you are wondering why I go on about Linux so much?……….
What an amazing coincidence you should post about this subject as I just posted about the same thing 2 days ago. Same two OSs no less.
Great minds think alike as they say?
Five days ago actually. It’s funny but I had a vague idea that what I was writing was familiar. It just goes to prove how bad the memory is these days? 😉
One thing I always find a bit weird about this type of test is that it has an initial condition of having a turned-off machine, as if that’s happening a few times a day and needs to be optimised.
My own laptop is rarely ever turned off (during the day, I work on it, and at night, it works away on its own, scraping or calculating) .
For me, initial startup of applications themselves is more important, and in those cases, I think there is probably little difference between Linux or Windows.
Of course, then there is the question… how long is it possible to leave a Windows machine turned on if you are actively using it, before it insists it needs to restart because of required updates?
This indeed true Kae, but I suppose the reason a cold start is used as a metric is that it is so simple to define as a period in time. It is far harder to measure such things as “the slowing down” of an operating system as the day progresses. Similarly how do you quantify the several updates that may appear during the day in Windows? In Linux, the latter is simple – the time it takes to enter a password, but in Windows it invariably involves a lot extra, even when run as a background process.