SSDs run best on Windows 2000, Patriot claims

If Microsoft really wants to tweak solid-state drive performance in Windows 7, then perhaps it only needs to look back. As ComputerWorld reports, Patriot Memory claims that the venerable Windows 2000 outperforms its modern successors when running on SSDs.

Patriot reportedly found Windows 2000 to be "5% to 8% faster" than OSes like Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X, and Linux, although the report doesn’t say exactly what tests those numbers apply to. Patriot Engineering Manager Saeed Arash Far commented that Vista actually outperformed XP in the same benchmarks, but Windows 2000 trumped them both.

Far’s explanations sound a little strange, though. He says Windows 2000 performs better because it "doesn’t run any applications in the background," and he adds that "with XP, you have the luxury of turning off background applications. … With Vista, you can’t." As far as we know, all modern operating systems run tasks in the background, and Vista’s Computer Management console lets you manage services in much the same way as XP’s. Win2K may be a little easier on system resources than its successors, though.

In another batch of desktop productivity, system startup, and shut-down benchmarks, ComputerWorld says rival memory firm Micron also found that Vista and OS X both outperformed Windows XP. Micron attributes XP’s poor performance to its failure to align data in 4KB blocks. As for Windows 7, Microsoft will supposedly make sure the upcoming operating system doesn’t automatically defragment SSDs. The new OS will  "delete ‘garbage’ data in advance" in order to improve write speeds, as well.

Comments closed
    • AMDisDEC
    • 11 years ago

    Windows 2000 is Microsoft’s last great OS!
    It is still running flawlessly one my main storage server after 10 years with zero crashes.
    The best thing about Windows 2000 is I purchased a 10 seat Disk for approx. $300. This is what I call, a Value Added product.

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      I call shenanigans; Win2k isn’t even 9 years old.

        • 5150
        • 11 years ago

        He’s running the beta still, that’s how good it is.

          • PRIME1
          • 11 years ago

          That was actually pretty funny.

        • AMDisDEC
        • 11 years ago

        Nope, it’s the real deal.
        10 years is acceptable and still has much work to do.

          • indeego
          • 11 years ago

          You are weirdg{<.<}g

            • AMDisDEC
            • 11 years ago

            I can live with that, especially when considering the super consumer sucka source.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 11 years ago

    This article is irrelevant. SSDs should give VAST improvements in performance, so vast, that minus 5-8% would not even be a factor compared to HDDs. If you have to change back to windows 2000 for a 5% improvement in performance, that probably means your hardware isn’t fast enough 😛

    • tremelai
    • 11 years ago

    Vista and XP both have, what kernel geeks call, disk I/O elevators. Drive elevators are i/o optimization strategies surrounding the physical head position of the drive. A good elevator will re-order I/O requests to transfer blocks near the last head position to the front of the queue, and re-order subsequent i/o’s in close neighborhood chunks. This is much faster than FIFO when you have a multi millisecond head movement cost. On Vista/XP, both OS’s will pause approximately 10ms between major head movements. This wait is designed to anticipate and satisfy any new i/o requests that may arise near the heads local position.

    These optimization are a boon in performance for 5400 and 7200 rpm hard drives but they will hold down the performance of SSDs. These optimizations will also negatively affect RAID arrays with battery backed-up cache, SAN’s with large NVRAM cache.

    Windows Server 2003/2008 are optimized for SAN’s and RAID arrays large nvram caches. These two OS’s use i/o elevators that expect mulit-head arrays and are tilted toward FIFO scheduling with deadline, out of order algorithms.

    Linux gives you four io elevators. CFQ or completely fair queuing, Anticipatory (most analogous to XP/vista’s), Deadline and FIFO.

    My tests have shown deadline and FIFO fly with SSD’s.

    It stands to reason that windows 2000 lacks many of these head movement optimizations and thus perform better on SSD’s than XP/Vista.

    A way to test this theory would be to run benchmarks on the server version of windows. 2000, 2003, 2008 server use I/O schedulers that are optimized for Caching RAID controllers and SAN with large NVRAM caches.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      any thoughts on how to disable/modify those elevators?

        • ChronoReverse
        • 11 years ago

        ++ to the parent

        And I second the need for the information about changing the settings

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Good info. Thanks!

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 11 years ago

      Yay, good information.

    • Paine
    • 11 years ago

    Winrar and HDTune benches are also 5-18% faster on Win2k than XP and XP64 using raptors. But Vista64 is even slower than XP.

    • porov
    • 11 years ago

    VIsta is the most bloated pos ive ever seen, no wonder it performs as shit. Win2000 was a good os, good old days…

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      A fine example of misinformation.

        • Grigory
        • 11 years ago

        Misinformation /[

      • TheBob!
      • 11 years ago

      Did you read the article. Vista out performed XP. Just waiting for a chance to bash a OS I’ll bet you don’t use nor have the experience to bash.

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        i’ll bet he never used win2k either.

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      Translation: “DERP DERP DERP”

      • Space Bags
      • 11 years ago

      Good day prospective employer, I am both smarter than a hatful of periwinkles and prettier than two bags of smashed assholes. Fail to employ me at your own risk.

        • 5150
        • 11 years ago

        Is that from A Confederacy of Dunces?

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    No, SSDs run best on Solaris/OpenSolaris with ZFS. ZFS is optimized for flash-based drives.

    I’m sure that there’s a Linux file system out there that would support them better than the slightly dull and old ext3 they probably ran it on.

      • grantmeaname
      • 11 years ago

      you’re forgetting ExtremeFFS. It’s Extreme!

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        It’s extreme, ffs!

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      ZFS has a lot of nice attributes, and certainly its copy-on-write semantics should help older and crappier SSDs. But all SSDs that employ full (static) wear-leveling have to implement copy-on-write internally anyway as part of that process, so there’s no requirement for the file system to do so as well.

      Properly implemented SSDs should not force any new requirements on the OS or filesystem, as Intel’s SSDs have demonstrated. Unfortunately, for the time being at least you still have to pay a premium for that kind of quality.

        • Anomymous Gerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Doesn’t the OS need to understand not to bother defragging an SSD (to the extent that OSes do that)?

        Oh, and what #24 said.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          Windows 7 will automate that, but as far as Vista goes, you can enable/disable automatic defrag on a per-drive basis. Older Windows versions have neither of these things.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Another SSD rebadger who doesn’t really put the R&D in to making products complaining about performance, you’d think after Intel SSDs they’d have learened to shush.

    • sdack
    • 11 years ago

    Frankly, the original report is not worth mentioning.

    Quote: “We’re getting ridiculous numbers with Windows 2000,”

    There is no explanation why the numbers are ridiculous or what the numbers are, except for the thing with the background tasks. No word of any double-checking or further research into this.

    I wonder. Are web blogs taking over professional journalism?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      Seems that way. Heard about newspapaers lately? It’s a sad state of affairs really, although there are some good blogs there are just so damn many of them. Sometimes everyone’s voice shouldn’t be heard :p

        • no51
        • 11 years ago

        Welcome to the age of Misinformation. /[

          • indeego
          • 11 years ago

          Yeah mainstream media did a wonderful job investigating Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraqg{<.<}g

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 11 years ago

            I recall the mainstream media being quite skeptical about Iraq/WMD, which turned out to be right (i.e. there were none). Is that what you mean?

            [I don’t live in North America; maybe our coverage was quite different to yours.]

            • VILLAIN_xx
            • 11 years ago

            You are correct.

            None of us were convinced other than the ones who WANTED to go blow stuff up, whether they were regular people or politicians.

            • WaltC
            • 11 years ago

            They were only skeptical about it when it began to look like we weren’t going to find much of it or any…;) Hussein threw out the UN Weapons inspectors three times, remember, before they could finish, and this certainly convinced the UN Weapons inspectors, especially Hans Blix, who talked often about the “millions of tons of WMD missing in Iraq” (quote, unquote.) And of course against that backdrop is the fact that Hussein had used WMD before against his own countrymen and in the process killed hundreds of thousands of Kurds. Not to mention that every Western intelligence agency for these reasons and more were also convinced Hussein was harboring the stuff. Last, to this day we still don’t know for sure whether he had it or not–all we know is that by the time we got there it was gone.

            • willyolio
            • 11 years ago

            well, i live in canada and it seemed pretty clear from reports that there were no WMDs. the public in general didn’t support the war in iraq.

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Skeptical like a stopped clock. If the mainstream media were a forum poster, they would have been banned for shilling by now. Anyone can be on the “correct” side of a position by simply picking sides and sticking with them through thick and thin, shouting all the while. Doesn’t mean any real objective research or deep thought was involved.

            • willyolio
            • 11 years ago

            i just like the side that had evidence to present.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        The concept of “professional” journalism is a relatively new concept in public information transfer, and it turned out to have a short half life, possibly because its purveyors found it impossible to remain professional.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          Mmm, I guess it depends upon how long you want to go back and consider history. Professional journalism certainly rose along with industrialization and occupational specialization and goes back at least to the mid-1800s and likely further with fewer examples. Perhaps blogs are like going back to the days of self-produced pamphlets which were often just propaganda that individuals could put out saying whatever they want, same as early on with the printing press. Maybe there’s some hope then that they’ll evolve in to professional, edited news outlets.

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      What’s sad is not so much that many blogs are brain dead, because that’s obvious, but that they are constantly picked up and repeated across the ‘net as if they had merit. To say that these comments as quoted are “a little strange” is to imply that they make much more sense than they do. They aren’t just a little strange, these remarks are completely false. I don’t think I’ve ever heard more rubbish about operating systems condensed into so few words. If he’s this wrong about OSes, what are the chances anything else he says is worth listening to? Not much, I’d say.

    • d2brothe
    • 11 years ago

    ^o)…are they arguing windows 2k uses the HD less and is thus, faster on IO bound tasks???

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    I’m a bit skeptic, but I don’t systematically doubt that it can work well on Windows 2000. I’m fairly certain they’ll be just as dandy under Windows 7 too.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Sounds like a classic case of going back to something that has less features and overhead, and then discovering that it works more efficiently in the absence of same. Well and good if W2k still meets all of your computing needs, but…

      • bhtooefr
      • 11 years ago

      But there’s no technical reason why the added features of XP that don’t add bloat can’t be backported to 2000.

      I think it’s an argument for doing just that, backporting those features.

      Then again, the same effect could be achieved with careful disabling of services…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This