Windows 8.1 vs Windows 10 comparison in over 20 performance tests
If you are still wondering whether to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 or not we would like to say it’s more of a personal opinion. However, we’ve prepared several benchmark tests and gaming tests to see how far Microsoft has gone with their latests OS. We hope that this way you will receive a fairly accurate assessment and help you with your dilemma.
On the other hand, things aren’t always numbers and statistics, but it often the choice of going for the latest version is driven by the more intuitive, beautiful and functional user interface. Even if the system performs the same or a bit worse than its predecessor a user tends to go for the latest version due to the usability and of course compatibility of some applications. Thankfully, Windows 10 delivers the latter, looks great and offers great user experience.
But more on the matter can be read here, in our thorough Windows 10 review:
For testing purposes we used the recently reviewed Acer Aspire V15 (V3-574) with Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Pro pre-installed. After all tests were done we’ve upgraded to Windows 10 and the reason we went with an upgrade not a clean install is simple. Most users will go for the upgrade from Windows 8.1 and a good portion of those users will most likely keep the bloatware from their OEM. That’s why we wanted to take a slightly different approach on the matter and see what most or at least a good part of the users will experience with the upgrade method. You can check all the specs of the machine on the table below.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-5500U (2-core, 2.40 – 3.00 GHz, 3MB cache)|
|RAM||16GB (2x 8192MB) – DDR3, 1600Mhz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce 940M (4GB DDR3)|
|HDD/SSD||Hitachi Travelstar Z5K1000 (1TB, 5400 rpm)|
|Display||15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD), IPS matte|
|Battery||37 Wh (4-cell)|
For more accurate results excluding the human factor we used a simple application called Bootracer that records the boot time of the system during restart.
It looks like the upgrade has greatly affected the system startup that can be further improved by removing the bloatware and applications that run on startup and you don’t actually need. However, it seems that Windows 8.1 loads more programs on startup quicker than Windows 10, but we suspect that the results will be the same if both systems were freshly installed.
We’ve checked the portion of RAM which the OS uses right after a reboot with the same programs running on startup in both cases.
There’s no difference in battery life as well, but we noticed a significant decrease during video playback. All the tests were performed under the same conditions with Wi-Fi turned on, power saver on and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2. Results are in minutes.
|Windows 8.1||Windows 10|
A disk benchmark test aimed to check the performance of the HDD/SSD device in read/write speeds in Sequential Q32T1 read/write, 4K Q32T1 read/write and Sequential and 4K read/write.
read / write
read / write
read / write
read / write
|Windows 8.1||92.71 / 86.19||2.999 / 0.448||10.90 / 87.25||3.713 / 0.462|
|Windows 10||67.36 / 86.02||2.207 / 3.586||88.70 / 85.15||1.887 / 2.608|
CineBench 15 is the latest version of Maxcon’s cross-platform benchmark test based on CINEMA 4D software used in movies, production houses and 3D content creation. It measures the performance of the CPU.
The most simple of them all, but one of our favorites. Fritz determines the performance of the CPU with series of tests using chess moves.
This small application provides information about most of the hardware inside your machine, but we used only the scores for the CPU and RAM.
Adobe Photoshop (Real-Life test)
We’ve set the performance settings of the software so that the program will use only recourses from the CPU, then ran a custom workload and checked the time that takes for the chip to complete the tasks.
The most complex test here is the PCMark 7. Another great benchmark test from FutureMark that takes into account almost every aspect of the OS, puts them in a series of tests and evaluates the system’s performance.
|Benchmark||Windows 8.1||Windows 10|
But what about gaming? Even though our tests don’t indicate any significant performance boost, the support of DirectX 12 that Windows 10 has, steals the show here. It is unfortunate that there aren’t a lot of applications and games that can take advantage of the new application programming interfaces. This will ensure more fluent and seamless gaming experience on more demanding games even with older hardware.
|OS||Metro: LL (768p, Low)||Metro: LL (768p, Medium)||Metro: LL (768p, Max)|
|Windows 8.1||36 fps||28 fps||11 fps|
|Windows 10||38 fps||28 fps||11 fps|
|OS||Tomb Raider (768p, Low)||Tomb Raider (768p, Medium)||Tomb Raider (768p, Max)|
|Windows 8.1||97 fps||34 fps||18 fps|
|Windows 10||105 fps||34 fps||18 fps|
|OS||F1 2014 (768p, Low)||F1 2014 (768p, Medium)||F1 2014 (768p, Max)|
|Windows 8.1||82 fps||61 fps||40 fps|
|Windows 10||85 fps||65 fps||41 fps|
|OS||GTA 5 (768p, Low)||GTA 5 (768p, Medium)||GTA 5 (768p, Max)|
|Windows 8.1||56 fps||18 fps||8 fps|
|Windows 10||54 fps||19 fps||8 fps|
As you can see from the results above, most of the benchmark tests didn’t indicate a significant difference between the two OSes. In some, Windows 10 takes the lead, but in others Windows 8.1 still looks like a better choice. However, we still think that this upgrade is more about security-related benefits, UI optimization and usability and Windows 10 delivers the best experience up to date. Yet, some will disagree with the latter.