updated 06:00 pm EDT, Thu October 29, 2009
Apps on Win 7 PCs still slow vs Apple
A series of tests have revealed that even newer Windows 7 PCs are being bogged down by unnecessary software that makes them run much more slowly than Macs. Comparing factory versions of several notebooks versus clean models, PC Pro finds that Acer and Sony systems take about two whole minutes more to boot because of the "crapware," or third-party utilities and trial apps, preloaded out of the box. They also consume roughly 1GB more extra active RAM and also rob the system of as much as 2.4GB of space in Acer's case.
Other Windows PC makers are only slightly better, as HP's system takes 1 minute 35 seconds to boot, 1.06GB of RAM and 2.18GB of disk space. Dell's choices consume 54 seconds, 1.18GB of RAM and a large 3GB of disk space. ASUS, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba had relatively light use but in many cases still consumed several hundred megabytes of disk space and active memory.
By comparison, a 13-inch MacBook Pro included in the tests booted in 49 seconds. While second place in boot time versus one clean Dell system, it also had the lowest active memory footprint (289MB) of any system tested.
The examination underscores the problem of the added software, which is often installed to subsidize the cost of a given PC but is known to regularly undermine performance gains from faster processors or improved operating systems. Some vendors like Toshiba have promised that new systems will go without the software, but Microsoft has gone as far as to ship specially modified PCs that strip out software that the hardware manufacturers would normally include.