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Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Torture Test


Staff member
Ah. Windows 8. The Windows OS that was almost as hated as Vista, but this time for very different reasons. As we all know, the interface was redesigned and focused a lot more toward touchscreens. They even removed the Start Button! Now, while this was technically added back in with the 8.1 update, it did little to assuage people's legitimate concerns about the interface when 8.1 was on a desktop. However, if you can get past that, what you actually have underneath is just Windows 7 but with some nice improvements. Now, 8.1 is actually my current workhorse OS of choice for a lot of reasons, and I've been loving it ever since I installed it with Classic Shell, but I should probably do a post about that later on. For now, let's see if they managed to make 8.1 a little leaner and meaner than 7.

A small note by the way. Below, it says "Metro Disabled" or "Metro Enabled" even though in 8.1, you can't actually disable Metro. You can, however, disable a bunch of graphical settings around it, so while you can't turn it off entirely or switch to something else, you can cut out a lot of the extras. So, for brevity, I just say "Disabled" or "Enabled".

The final results with VMware Workstation 15 Player:

CPU: 1-2 Core (3.3 GHz)
RAM: 256 MB-2 GB
HDD: 10 GB
Monitor: 1024x768

(Generally speaking, RAM always peaked during startup (second number), then settled down afterwards (first number).)
RAM Usage @ 4 GB (w/ Metro Enabled): ~695-1020 MB
RAM Usage @ 2 GB (w/ Metro Enabled): ~555-1000 MB
RAM Usage @ 1 GB (w/ Metro Enabled): ~535-800 MB (Slightly longer boot time.)
RAM Usage @ 512 MB (w/ Metro Enabled): ~360-500 MB (Boot time extended a little longer.)
RAM Usage @ 256 MB (w/ Metro Enabled): ~210-250 MB (Finally started to notice small dips in performance. Boot time is the same.)
RAM Usage @ 128 MB (w/ Metro Enabled): (Boot not successful.)

RAM Usage @ 1 GB (w/ Metro Disabled): ~320-610 MB
RAM Usage @ 256 MB (w/ Metro Disabled): ~210-250 MB (Boot times much better than with Metro fully enabled. Performance is better too though still not quite as fast with 1 GB of RAM or more.)
RAM Usage @ 128 MB (w/ Metro Disabled): (Boot not successful.)

This one is sorta weird because, as we see, 8.1's Metro is clearly somewhat more RAM-heavy compared to 7's Aero. But when all the graphical fanciness is disabled in settings, 8.1 absolutely runs lighter and faster than 7, although not by much. Which brings to mind the question, why did Microsoft make the Metro design look like MSPaint rectangles when it doesn't even run better than Aero?

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