Windows 7 vs. Windows XP for a music laptop

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by head_unit, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    I'm thinking to get an extra used laptop to run as a music storage and watch videos on trips, planes, do some other stuff with.

    I just got a 14" Lenovo T40 for $113 with XP and Office-not bad!

    But I have other XP machines, and tired of slowness and freezing.

    I'm not talking about RAM problems, I have lots on all the machines-I'm talking about processes running in the background periodically and especially especially at startup, when it seems like every application on the machine wants to check for updates or whatever the :realmad: they are doing (antivirus in particular*).

    I'm wondering if Win 7 is better about that? Or same old story? Any other thoughts?

    *Jeez, isn't there an antivirus that you can set to a lower CPU priority? Or have it NOT run exactly on boot-up or unhibernate? Drives me NUTS!!!!
  2. goodiesguy

    goodiesguy Only A Northern Song

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Windows 7 is ten times better than XP.

    If you keep 7 in good condition and do maintenance, it'll run as fast as it did when you installed it, unlike xp.
  3. shadowlord

    shadowlord Active Member

    Location:
    Austria
    you can use WASAPI with windows 7 which is a big plus imo.

    don't know what antivirus software you are using but i hardly notice MSE "working" So i think it's light on the resources.
    my dedicated music server has no antivirus at all.
  4. Don S

    Don S Member

    Location:
    New England

    Ditto :)
  5. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    I don't think windows 7 will solve the slowness problem. You should focus on disabling background programs you don't need.

    The Lenovo should be fast enough to play music files. I have a Thinkpad R51 which is from the same generation. Playing videos depends on the resolution. 720p can work, but 1080p video will stutter.
  6. DragonQ

    DragonQ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The Moon
    I'd use Windows 7 with Foobar in WASAPI mode. Then use MSE as your anti-virus and, as Claude says, minimise what else is running if your computer is slow.
  7. Thurenity

    Thurenity Wood Fill and Non Glue

    Location:
    Eastern PA, USA
    Speed-wise, XP will be faster than Win7 (depending on the hardware of course) but Win7 was built with speed on older systems in mind - i.e. it can run on a netbook or a 6 year old PC pretty well - I should know as I use it on one. But on a really old system, XP will likely beat 7.

    7, on the other hand, incorporates some functionality of Windows Media Center, so keep that in mind. The main one I've noticed is the uPnP functionality. And WASAPI may also be important for music playback, as already mentioned.

    Imo, if you have the licenses already then I would try 7 first over XP. I'd only go to XP if the system was just too old / slow to handle 7. There are services you can disable to optimize memory usage, if needed.
  8. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I recently installed Win 7 on my 5-year-old Sony Sony VAIO VGX-XL2A, and am stunned by the speed increase. A lot less going on in the background. I don't miss XP one bit.
  9. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    W7 is absolutely better! W7 was built to utilize RAM better than XP. W7 is also designed to not slow down.

    I use ASIO with W7 and the latency is very, very low.

    You will get a lot of people who have never even used W7 who will try to give you advice.
  10. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    ???? The same goes for XP. Ever used msconfig? Jeez!
  11. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I use Win7 every day and disagree with you completely. It is installed on a machine that had XP on it initially. It was completely wiped and Win7 was installed. Now, it freezes and slows waaay down for no reason. XP never did that to me at home or at work. Keeping the OS clean and efficient is the key to XP.
  12. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    You don't even need to do any maintenance on W7 to keep it running fast and smooth. It's built to last. Try keeping your XP machine on for literally months without doing anything to it!
  13. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    XP's time is growing short. It won't be long before it's no longer supported. It will really behoove people to start moving forward to 7.
  14. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    Are you sure it's not your hardware? People love to blame the OS for everything when it's not the problem.

    I have three W7 machines. NONE of them ever slow down, and that includes the old HP that previously came with XP!
  15. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    Nope. I just read where MS has quietly adopted a 10-year support for all of of its operating systems starting with XP. XP will be supported for two more years. That's longer than 10 years for XP, but April 4, 2014 is the deadline.
  16. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Two years isn't that long.

    *coughs*

    *whistles and looks for exit*
  17. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

  18. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Yes, but this thread is about a laptop made in 2004. Windows 7 works with older hardware, but the problems head_unit is facing could have more to do with the hardware than with the OS.

    What I would do in this case, is reinstall Windows XP from scratch (especially if it's a manufacturer installation) and make sure to install only the necessary software.

    My Thinkpad R51 was almost unusable when I bought it new in 2005. The fan was constantly running, because background processes kept the CPU busy. IBM installs many system/convenience tools which are not really necessary. I reinstalled XP and only the background programs I found useful for my situation, which solved many performance problems.
  19. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    Contrary to popular belief, you can't just install W7 on any computer willy-nilly. Some machines will have issues unless all the correct drivers for the hardware are loaded. This makes the situation especially tricky for some laptops.

    When W7 came out, I found that I could not install it on my Sony Vaio model that originally came with Vista. Installing W7 would cause the laptop to overheat and freeze. I read this information beforehand. I didn't actually try it. I am more pragmatic that way. Seems the hardware is incompatible with W7. Sony confirmed this. I also had major issues trying to install W7 on my sister's Dell that came with Vista. There were monumental driver/hardware issues.

    So, if someone tells me that XP is faster, or that W7 is no faster than XP, and it was installed on an older machine that previously had XP or Vista on it, that tells me that there is a problem with the hardware/drivers. In some cases, you are better off leaving a machine with the original OS. I was fortunate in that I successfully installed W7 on an old HP that came with XP, and it works fast and flawlessly. I used a clean install on a new HD, too. I never do the upgrade thing.

    There is a utility one can run on your machine to see if it will run W7, and tells you what programs that will need to be updated or replaced. I wonder how many people used it before they installed W7 on their machines.
  20. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Mine is on all the time. No problems at all unless the power goes out and then I just simply turn the machine back on.
  21. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I have the RAM on my XP machine allocated for certain things. It can be customized to be as efficient as you want it.
  22. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Yeah, I was unable to install Win 7 on my VAIO entertainment center PC until I had removed the original video card and installed a new one which carries HDMI video and audio. There tend to be twitchy OEM components in those VAIOs. . . .

    However, after I installed the new card, all I then had to do was install Win 7 and then install the Vista version of the original sound drivers (technically, support ended before they developed 7-specific drivers). Everything on the machine runs perfectly, and at a lower temperature than it did under XP!
  23. Grant

    Grant Proud Nerd

    Sony will not tell me which hardware has the problem, only that it's too integrated with the rest of the machine to change.
  24. goodiesguy

    goodiesguy Only A Northern Song

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Constantly! Haven't had to do it once on 7.
  25. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    It's a laptop, right? That'd be why.

    Edit: I think I may have just stated the bloody obvious. Sorry, man.

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