Tom’s Hardware has a a reasonable article comparing performance if Windows 7 RC and Windows XP SP3 running on the Acer Aspire One D150.
At first glance, one might come away from our benchmarks with the impression that Windows 7 is just as slow as Vista and that nothing much has really changed. However, looking only at the benchmarks doesn’t give you the full picture either. Subjectively, the release candidate feels quite snappy. Even with only 1 GB of RAM installed, the pronounced slowdowns that plague Vista on the netbook platform were extremely rare. So unlike Vista, Windows 7 may very well develop into an alternative to XP for netbook hardware. After all, performance isn’t exactly the primary concern of this platform, although newer and more optimized drivers should give it a boost. (read more…)
There are a couple of things about this review I don’t agree with. Namely that they’re using the Windows 7 Ultimate version, which was never intended to run on netbooks. Secondly it’s (obviously) an RC, not the final release, and of course the drivers aren’t available for the RC.
So while their comparisons are accurate the assumption that Windows 7 Ultimate RC today will give same performance as Windows 7 Starter when it’s released in October seems like a stretch to me. In addition to several months more performance work on the OS there’s the possibility of updated drivers for WDDM 1.1 and the like from manufacturers like Samsung and Acer.
Will Windows 7 provide the same experience on your netbook when it’s released in October? That very much depends if drivers are available for the hardware available in today’s existing netbooks. I’d expect newer netbooks to have updated drivers and outperform XP.