I get this question a lotI always get asked if Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7. The answer is definitely "Yes."
Windows 8 performed better on virtually every single test.
|Performance benchmark||Windows 7||Windows 8|
|From the Windows logo to the startup screen (lower is better)||27 seconds||18 seconds|
|Shutdown times are also dramatically faster: (lower is better)||12 seconds||8 seconds|
|Waking up from a sleep is also faster: (lower is better)||13 seconds||10 seconds.|
|3-D graphics performance. PCMark 7 Test (higher better)||3467||3786|
|Browser performance(lower is better)||Chrome version 21 - 2325||Chrome version 21 - 2505|
|Browser performance using Google V8 (higher is better)||10873||11847|
|Video performance (rendering and encoding)||X264 HD benchmark 5.0 (frames per second, higher is better)||81.5|
|86.1||handbrake ( frames per second being encoded, higher is better)||170.5|
Starting with Windows 7 Microsoft got serious about isolating the kernel of the operating system and optimizing its performance independently. The small kernel is known as MinWin. It includes just basic system services, such as the TCP/IP stack and not much more. Here is some follow-up video and reading.
|Inside the Windows Kernel (video)||http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/Going+Deep/Mark-Russinovich-Inside-Windows-7/|
|Arun Kishan: Inside Windows 7 - Farewell to the Windows Kernel Dispatcher Lock. this was a huge breakthrough for Microsoft. it boosted parallelism by minimizing the wait times between running threads. The traditional dispatcher lock was replaced with several finer grained synchronization techniques, allowing Microsoft to leverage today's multicore architectures. (video)||http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/Going+Deep/Arun-Kishan-Farewell-to-the-Windows-Kernel-Dispatcher-Lock/|
|Inside Windows Server 2008 Kernel Changes. this article describes the major changes Microsoft made to improve the performance of the kernel by separating it out of the operating system and optimizing it separately.
|A more recent series of test that reflect Windows 8 RTM||http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-vs-windows-7-benchmarked_p2-7000002671/|