For multibooters, Windows XP or Linux: Which is faster?

I ask because ever since I started using Linux (not that long ago, SUSE 9.3) I have been dual- or triple-booting. After clean installs, the fastest OS on my systems has almost always been Windows, not Linux.

I also ask because on one system I just replaced 10.3/KDE3 with 11.2/KDE4, and 11.2 is noticeably slower without any desktop effects enabled. Now on that system, Windows XP has an undeniable lead in performance.


  1. Beginning with SUSE 10.0, a performance-tuned SUSE has been as fast or faster to boot up than Windows XP. Only after the desktop is fully loaded is Linux noticeably slower. (However, after my recent install of 11.2, XP is the faster booter of the two.)

  2. After a few months, Linux is always the faster for me. This is because the more software is installed in Windows and the more usage it gets, the slower it becomes.

  3. Perhaps the single biggest indicator to me that one is faster is my use of Firefox. Firefox, in every version, has always been faster in Windows. And now with 11.2 the gap has widened even more. But perhaps Firefox isn’t the best indicator?

  4. I use KDE almost exclusively.

Anyways, I want to hear about your experiences!

Fresh install XP is faster
XP + ALL updates (there is a lot of them) then openSUSE is faster.

And Firefox is an absolutely horrible indicator.Run Firefox under wine and it will outperform the native version. Next version (3.6) they’re making it 25% faster for Windows as well while leaving Linux performance untouched.

If you don’t like Firefox’s speed, or lack of it, go to Chrome on both Linux and Windows. I’m using it for half my browsing now and like it a lot. It still fails on a very small proportion of pages though, and I haven’t installed Flash yet.

Linux by a margin, though most of the dual boots I have are with Ubuntu and not openSUSE.
But these dual boots are with Ubuntu because most of the users of it only heard of Ubuntu, or only marginally familiar with linux in general.
Ubuntu is a good ice breaker though

Dah… Linux of course

Maybe not booting, but else, of course windows is faster!

Here mi benchmarks:

My patience decreases 50% faster than in linux.
I’m getting bored 10 faster than in linux.
The magical addition of lot of bugs and virus is twice fast (maybe more, who knows?) than linux.
The resources slow down too fast than linux, in fact this starts since you choose “Windows…” entry in grub.
It includes the bandwith.
My IQ reduces at 0.000005 % faster than in linux, better smoke green, at least you enjoy that.rotfl!

Do you want more reasons? Why you doubt?

Linux. It’s not just boot-up, either - shutting down in Linux is WAY faster than Windows, on the same machine. Oddly, I find that XP, running in VirtualBox, behaves itself much better than it ever did when it was the OS on the system.

And don’t just count boot/shutdown times - you need to add in the number of times you install a piece of software or a security update or whatever that requires you to reboot. Happens almost every time with Windows, hardly ever with Linux.

I have Windows XP and openSUSE 11.3 on my aging ThinkPad. The startup time for the desktop to appear for Windows is around 50 -60s, while for openSUSE its around 45s. Even with the desktop, Windows continues to load various drivers and utilities incl anti virus, and is not responsive for another 20s or so. However, openSUSE is ready to go almost immediately. It offers faster shutdown times as well, and I notice its far less laggy than MS when undertaking similar equivalent tasks such as file sorting, navigation etc.

Installing openSUSE 11.3 has given my laptop a new lease of life (even when compared to openSUSE 11).

minix3 is my other os, it’s fast but since its featherweight, no surprise. I have Win 7 Ultim64 as well, but openSuse beats it pretty fairly, ( not that i would boot it too often :):):slight_smile:

Depends. Shutting down XP goes lightning fast. openSuse takes much longer.
But Photofiltre in Wine was slightly faster then with native XP.

Lucid is pretty quick, way quicker than XP and I run Maverick Meerkat too, super quick.

I have a box at home with 2 hard drives. One has Ubuntu and the other has Windows 7. There is no question about it, Linux is faster.

My son gets 45 minutes of computer time and a couple of times I had to give him his time back because Windows takes so long to start up, or run anything or do anything online because it has to do updates for everything under the sun! I’ve been trying to log into it more often, just to try and keep things more up-to-date and even then it runs dogged-slow in comparison to Linux.

For me, XP boots a little faster that opensuse 11.3, while Vista is noticeably slower. I mainly use linux.

I suspect that the faster XP boot is because I have very little installed in XP, so there isn’t a lot to start up.

For me when I used to dual boot XP and openSUSE - openSUSE booted faster than XP. Can’t compare now because I don’t have Windows on my computer anymore rotfl!

I have suse with xp. XP’s gui loads within ~1.5 minutes, SuSE-s gui loads within 3 minutes. XP is much faster on this computer.

On 05/05/2011 10:06 PM, Geri lgfx wrote:
> I have suse with xp. XP’s gui loads within ~1.5 minutes, SuSE-s gui
> loads within 3 minutes. XP is much faster on this computer.

well, lets see…openSUSE 11.4 is a couple of months old and is more
feature rich, stable and reliable than Win7 but you want to compare its
speed to something made when? ten years ago!!

so, what you really wanna compare XP boot time to is SuSE 7.x…

but, you will need to make sure you don’t blink 'cause i guess it would
load up right snappy like…

tell us about the hardware you have there…because i have just 1 GB
RAM and an old AMD chip more than 5 years old and my 11.3 cold boots up
to the KDE chime in about 63 seconds… (and, i have done nothing to
try to make it faster)

XP? i would say it will never boot on my machine…mostly because no
Windows has ever booted on my machine.

if you wanna compare to see whose is the best lets compare apples and
Bloat from the same era.

[openSUSE11.3 + KDE4.5.5 + Firefox3.6.17 + Thunderbird3.1.10 via NNTP]
HACK Everything →

When it’s a choice between “I can do it with linux” vs. “I cannot do it at all with Windows”, then linux is a clear winner.

The desktop comes up faster in XP, but the system is slow for a while. It looks to me as if XP is bringing the desktop of prematurely, to give an impression of speed.

The AV (anti-virus) slows down some operations on Windows.

System updates are more intrusive in Windows. And then you have to count the time for a reboot as part of the cost. Updates of non-system software are often worse, because you have to seek them out.

I would agree that xp did seem to boot quicker than kde in opensuse 10.? when it appeared. However XP ignores a few clicks after logging in and takes some time to act on the first click it actually takes notice of. Also once xp has been updated sp2 etc etc etc it’s no longer as quick as it was.

Things change though. The latest as below boots quicker than xp but will not accept actions until the start up music plays. It’s still quicker though and even quicker than vista. The delay to the music seems to be related to kde desktop effects or more correctly the lack of them.

One note - dual boot? No - install virtual box and run windows under that if I like me you have too for certain things.

Gee, this is again so a nerdy question.
I never pay attention to when my pc is ready. Perhaps XP is slower, since it is a decade old anyway. I think my Amiga OS 2 was quicker than anything else. haha…

If the linux is Ubuntu Maverick, then Maverick by a mile.
But other distros it depends, I find openSUSE 11.4 to be a bit on the slow side.