Start64!It’s time to see how Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview stacks up against Windows 7. Can the upcoming operating system keep up with — or even beat — Windows 7, or does Microsoft still have work to do?

This is my second attempt at benchmarking the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I attempted to benchmark the operating system soon after it was released back in February, but ran into troubles with graphics card drivers issues, and problems getting consistent results from a couple of the benchmark tools I was using. It seems that these issues have been ironed out, finally allowing me to complete the testing.

The hardware

The following hardware platform was used for benchmarking the two operating systems. The system was purpose-built for the job of benchmarking:

  • Intel Core i7-2600K processor
  • Crucial 4GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM
  • EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H motherboard
  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB hard drive
  • CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W power supply unit

Everything on the system was set to stock speeds, with no component overclocked.

For the tests I used two Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB hard drives from the same batch to eliminate the possibility of an update causing one drive to be faster than the other. One drive had installed Windows 7 Ultimate (SP1) 64-bit, and on the other I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64-bit. All drivers and updates were installed, along with all the software that would be needed for the tests. The drives were then defragmented using the Windows tool before the benchmarking was carried out.