Windows 98 Turns 70 In Dog Years

That’s 70 In Dog Years

This year marks the 10th anniversary of windows 98. Because of this and the fact that Vista is getting so much press, albeit negative, we decided to do an actual comparison using Windows 98, Windows XP, and Windows Vista, just to get a true idea of how far technology has progressed. The results might be surprising to some of you and were certainly an eye-opener for me.

To keep things as fair as possible, the hardware was exactly the same for all three operating systems. The system was somewhat of a compromise in order to satisfy all the requirements of operating systems separated by 10 years. I’ve listed the hardware below. Because memory suggestions always gets a lot of comment from those that think more is always better, and others that think anything over 256 MB is wasted, I used what I consider the minimum amount necessary for anything that resembles computing. I know there are some that question whether Windows 98 will function with that amount but although I’ve heard stories; I’ve never met anyone whose 98 system would not operate with 512 MB of memory.

None of the installs used firewalls, anti virus, or protection software of any sort. All update, and unnecessary background programs were disabled. This included the Vista UAC. All systems were run without themes, or clear type. All systems were run without updates and as the original install disk was shipped. All systems were set for maximum performance in the systems performance section. Drivers were supplied by the motherboard manufacturer or by the hardware manufacturer.

    Test System

  • Processor
  • Board
  • Memory
  • Video
  • Hard drive
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.8 Gig.
  • Intel 864 Perl
  • 512 MB DDR 266 SD Ram
  • Nvidia 6800 AGP (Nvidia Ti 4400)
  • Western Digital ATA/ (Seagate ATA R.I.P.)

In order to accommodate Windows 98, the drives used were older ATA drives. I tried several suggestions to supply drivers for the newer SATA drives but stopped short of making a “slip streamed” copy of Windows. Without that, Windows 98 would not recognize the SATA drives for the OS installation. You will see that I later came to regret that decision.

Notice in the chart below that I’ve left the drive scores out of the mix. That is because a short time after testing Windows 98 using the PC Pitstop test, the drive failed. The disk test scores reflected a failing drive and were not a reflection of the operating system. I was able to transfer/clone the install to a newer drive with similar specifications to complete the testing.

The competition consisted of a combination of CPU, memory, and 2D scores from the PC Pitstop Test, along with3DMark 2003, and 3DMark 2001. The results were then totaled and shown on the far right. This is reminiscent of some of the past benchmark competitions we’ve held in the Custom PCs, Case Mods and Over Clocking section of the forum. This combination is a good representation of how a system will perform on a daily basis.

And the winner is!

OS Benchmark
3D/01 3D/03 PC Pitstop
Test Total
CPU MEM 2/D Group Total
Win98 15,031 10247 1646 510 619 517 26924
WinXP 16,206 10736 1501 543 638 320 28443
Vista 11,307 9476 1295 542 585 168 22378

I think it’s fair to say that most people would have expected or at least hoped for the latest version of windows to dominate a competition like this. Even if there had been some time given to tweak the video settings for the Pitstop test, Vista would not have been close to Windows 98 in performance. It lagged behind its older brothers in every race. Although I included the 2D section of the PC Pitstop test in the totals, any of today’s hardware should be able to complete that portion of the test with no problem.

The competition between Windows 98 and XP was pretty tight. Not much of a gap considering the length of time between their development. Not only are the totals close, but also the scores are evenly matched across all tests.

The one thing that the benchmarks don’t show is ease of installation and operation of tasks and programs. While 98 ran the benchmarks right with XP, getting the Operating System installed with working drivers took a good amount of time. When I bought my first computer it came with Windows XP, so I was not prepared for the problems I ran into trying to use Windows 98.

Just surfing the Internet seemed too much sometimes for Windows 98 and it’s accompanying IE 5. Finding a connection and opening programs are things I expect to happen instantly. This was not the case with Windows 98. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to a person who considers himself an over clocker but it looks like speed is dependant completely on hardware. I just expected there to be a bigger difference between Windows 98 and Windows XP.

Vista, what can I say? It’s pitiful. Blame it on the need for more memory. Blame it on the background apps. Blame it on whatever suits your fancy. It doesn’t perform in benchmarks any better than it performs in ease of use.

As for Windows 98, what the heck not bad for 10 year old technology, after all that’s 70 in dog years.

Windows Vista Test Results Summary

Windows 98 Test Results Summary

Windows XP Test Results Summary

FutureMark 2001




FutureMark 2003




* Special thanks to Doug, Sandy, and Corey.

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132 thoughts on “Windows 98 Turns 70 In Dog Years”

  1. “They think if we upgrade to Vista it would be SO much better and faster! Somehow they think the apps will run better on Vista, after all, it’s the latest and the greatest.”

    That is _hilarious_. Back when I first “upgraded” from Windows 98 to Windows XP, I was using a 350-MHz CPU with 512 megabytes of RAM, and my system was screamingly fast. Then, I upgraded to XP, and it suddenly felt sluggish. I didn’t regain that previous feeling of speed until I went to a 2.8-GHz CPU. That is evil because XP doesn’t do anything more for me than 98 did: browse the web, play music, and check e-mail.

    I’m not saying XP isn’t architecturally more sound, but so was NT. The only major thing NT was missing was Plug N Play, and I can’t believe Plug N Play requires 10 times more clock cycles considering people only change devices say 0.0001% of the time.

  2. Windows 98 is still great to use. I am currently running 98SE with several modifications to the system. I run KernelEX to run XP only programs (FireFox 3 ect) My 98 is skined to look like XP (this dosent hurt my prefomence) I have Unoffical SP3 on it it is awsome! The setups are not to hard to preforme you can get some of these patches at you can look at my blog and see what my 98 looks like.

  3. Kurt, I have a pretty new Vista laptop, and it takes just a few seconds faster to boot than a brand new XP install. Both are fully patched, and the XP install is straight from an OEM media disc (the laptop is an Asus G2S B2, with a lot of the Asus stuff stripped away), and both have almost identical processors (e6600 in one, t7700 the laptop; laptop has 3 GB memory, XP machine has 2).

    Before that, that XP install made the hard drive make lots of noise and pause for a while as the result of years of aborted profiles (going back to 2005!), so this is really based on whether you’re treating your OS right.

    Anyway, one of the many little things that makes older OSes hard to bear after Vista is the newly corrected GUI support for variable size fonts. Try making text bigger in any pre-Vista OS – it’s a freakin’ nightmare. On Vista, you can do it easily; and you can make it as big as old or young eyes require. As a result, you have your big 1600×1200 (or 1920×1200 for that laptop) screen size and you can keep your vision.

    That alone makes it worthwhile – but then we have features like nearly performance impact-free thumbnails, even thumbnails on folders, and a great file replace dialog that will give you all the relevant information to decide whether to replace the old copy, or rename the new copy, or skip it altogether; and you can set it to do that same action on the whole folder when you’re certain you’ve made the right choice. When it comes to the next folder it asks you again.

    No doubt there’s some non-freeware method of getting even Windows98 to act like that, but this is actually integrated with the OS.

  4. my first pc is win98 with a 486 P90 CPU which is worth of a Dua Core of today.
    I have used XP for 5 years and find it is just wonderful. Maybe I am old.

  5. How about that! I googled the internet for “win 98 pc” and ended up here. I never expected to find a “contemporary” site.
    Anyway…I googled because somebody is getting rid of his 98 machine, and he’s throwing it my way. As it has been a while, i wanted to see what kind of hardware (processor, mainboard,GPU…) I might be expecting. I don’t expect to get much, considering I’m trying (and failing) to keep up with OS’es and hardware. I assembled a brand new QuadCore to run Vista, and I’m happy. I’m getting used to it anyway. Due to circumstances, I ended up with a second, simular QuadCore and I really had to hurry to get an XP pro for it. I didn’t want to run Vista on that one.
    I think the Vista PC takes about a minute, minute and a half longer to boot. In all fairness, the XP PC isn’t ‘fully loaded’ yet. I’m not running a lot of programs on it thus far. But still… you tend to notice stuff like that if you have them side by side.
    Anyway…as for previous OS’es,… I remember trying to install an early Win 95 a while back on a AMD sempron. It worked, ’till I tried to connect to the internet. The things I didn’t have to do to get that working! 🙁 … Come to think of it, I never tried Firefox on that machine. Anyway, the experiment was a success, everything worked fine, even the familiar reboots and crashes 🙂 That pc ran Win2000 for a while after that.
    Anyway, my two cents… when XP showed up for the first time, it was the same thing. It needed a lot more resources, lot’s more memory, hard disk space,… it crashed on several pc’s and what have you not. And now, people a signing petitions to keep it alive. Give Vista a chance. If you turn on the “classic theme” it looks just like XP anyway. I haven’t had a single crash since I installed it in December last year.

  6. well… if you put vista to a pc with 4gb ram it will be for sure much faster. this is the situation for windows 98, it just simply was not designed for a pc equipped with that much of ram memory and that fast processor 😉 the test was pretty unrealistic.
    you cannot make a race with a windows 98 and windows vista in a 2008 computer environment. 😛

  7. It’s pretty ridiculous for them to “expect” Vista to run better than 98 or XP. XP does a little better because it improved on the underlying core of the OS, but Vista is a newer OS with new features built on that same core, so it was made with the expectation that it would be running on newer hardware.

    If you ran Mac OS 9 on a new Macbook, I doubt anyone would be impressed that it runs really well.

    I still don’t like Vista, but they’re not really offering some shocking revelation here.

  8. This test really isnt fair. You ran vista gimped on memory. Saying a new os that is optimized to run on current equipment loses to windows 98 is not fair. If you could have benchmarked dos, dos would have won.

    I work quite a bit with vista at work and we run it decently well on older machines but the minimum ram we install is 1 gig for standard users and 2 gigs for people that use lots of diffrent or special software. The main problem on the older laptop is that the old 5400 ata mini laptop drives really choke on the indexing stuff.

    I have had vista on my laptop since the RCs when it launched at first i found it kinda buggy and slow. Now since sp1 i dont think i have ever had a single problem with speed or crashing. People that complain vista is too slow on a new machine might have some problems with the machines themselves. Its true windows xp will always outperform vista in speed tests. However in most cases id say that the performance diffrence on new computers wouldnt be really noticable to standard users.

    The fact that vista defragments the drive automaticaly and the more granular control we have over administrator priveledges (which prevents people from getting spyware at all) means that the vista machines in our it infrastructure maintain a very constant performance. Our XP machines would often after 6 months be full of spyware and the drives would be fragmented and they would run like mollases.

    For the Home user vista is not really worth it. Most of vista’s good features are aimed directly at enterprise use. Bitlocker, Image bassed installations, UAC. This is where vista shines but to most home users all those 3 things are completely useless.

    I can personally say that vista has benefited our company greatly. I did a vista deployment to a 450 users across 3 sites with 1 image. 1 image to maintain,1 image to rule them all. 2 of our 3 sites are made up of mostly french users the other is english, 2/3 sites are made up of all ibm/lenovo the last one is using half HP and half lenovo.
    The idea that i can cover this kind of enterprise with 1 image is incredibly timesaving.

    We did a survey after the migration on 2 key factors, Speed and functionality the overal results were over 85% satisfaction which is a big win when dealing with a product that has so much negative press.

    Well anyway. Im starting to feel like a dirty dirty microsoft whore now so il just stop here.

  9. I did a similar test to this in an Algorithms & Analysis class in college just a few months ago. We compared Windows XP, Windows Vista, and a release of Debian Linux (Linspire 5.00). The benchmark was a number of different sorts on a some-odd million number array. Interestingly, Windows XP and Linux went back and forth, but were always right in line with each other in performance…Vista? Horrible. I had to make my Excel graphs bigger so you could see the line spin off into outer space on the Y-axis for “time”.

  10. Yes, Vista is made for modern hardware and so will use up more resources itself. That is why you should run XP for gaming and system intensive things like a server. But, of course, Micro$oft doesn’t want you to do that. In the case of gaming, they limited DirectX 10 to Vista. For businesses, Windows XP isn’t supported anymore. Their actions simply don’t line up.

  11. So, lets see… Minimum ram for 98se is 64Mb, XP 128Mb (256Mb for SP2), and 512Mb for Vista. The majority of this “wah wah Vista sucks” is very similar to the same outcry about XP when it first came out. This is because people do not like change. Computer usage went through the roof during XP’s reign, and when given something different, people are too lazy to figure out how to use and tweak it. Yes Vista has it’s issues, but so does EVERY other OS. OSX needs 2Gb of ram to run smoothly, just like Vista. I don’t have a Mac yet, But I do have other fully functional (and great performing) systems: a 98se tower, 2 XP towers, a Vista tower, 2 Vista Laptops, and a Linux laptop. I’ve been working on computers for 20 years now (starting writing code in BASIC on an Apple IIe in fifth grade) and know that each system is best when tweaked, modified, and supplied with the proper hardware to run the system. The hardware at Vista launch was horrendously underpowered to run vista properly. Most Hardware in pre-built machines are limited to 4Gb of Memory addressing which causes problems when trying to run Vista with 4Gb of ram and a video card since they will fight for memory addresses. 4Gb is Vista’s sweet spot. What I’m really trying to say is that people need to learn how to use and tweak a system to get the best performance out of it before they start to bash it. Don’t be lazy, learn something. I’m starting to build my next Vista desktop: Intel QX6850, Asus MB, 8GB pc8500 ram, and 64bit Vista Ultimate. Not sure about the video card or HD setup yet since I’m going to try to have 4 different OS’s (64 bit XP, 64 bit Vista, Linux- probably ubuntu, and OSX AKA the hackentosh) on the machine and try for a quad boot machine. I think the test results for that box might be a bit different.

  12. Hey man, you should of used the MINIMUM requirements for each OS as opposed to one for all; that’s like putting a WWII era car engine in a Lexus & then comparing torque. Silly

  13. Don’t FORGET, that you have 100x times faster machine now to run VISTA, over what you may had in 1998 to run WINDOWS98, with at least 20-30x times more RAM.

    Still, in 1998 WINDOW98 ran lot faster on a 1998 machine that VISTA runs now in a 2008 machine.

    It’s all about HOW FAST the operation system reacts, do you have to wait AGES for programs to run or NOT.

    That’s SO SIMPLE. And, you have to wait LOT MORE than you had to WAIT in 1998.

  14. Ridiculous test. Vista got a lot faster with SP1, as did XP with SP2. And that PC is way too slow to run Vista well anyway. You’re running 2007 software on 2002 hardware and you’re surprised it chokes?

    I’m running Vista at home and it’s terrific. No problems whatsoever and it’s a lot more responsive than similar-spec PCs running XP.

  15. Could you run the test again with 1GB and 2GB of RAM? It would be interesting to see if the same performance differences exist with the larger memory.


  16. Ohh boy That’s like putting a [deleted by admin] motor on a brand new ship.. Of Course Xp And 98 are going to fair better with 512mb… vistas a beefy, meaty, juicy OS it cant be put up Against its older brothers without meeting its system needs.

    Also is this a updated vista machine? Or is it like super buggy first release of vista? Cause then your just stacking the odds in your favor. Im guessing you were using updated windows 98 and xp boxes..

    Seriously whats everyone’s issue with Windows Vista? I work retail and its surprising how many people i hear rant about how they hate vista.

    The big super dooper question i always ask “Have you ever used vista?”.. Of course they haven’t they hear all this crap from their friends, and who wants to spend like 700 hundred bucks on a new Computer; when they just bought their xp comp like 3 years ago? So instead of being neutral they complain that vista sucks because of uhhhh.. Incompatibility issues…. UHH That annoying allow pop up (Uac) (Which can be easy be turned off) UMM. MICRO$OFT IS EVIL 66666666

    Ive been running vista since it was in beta though it was admittedly buggy i honestly have only had ONE compatibility issue, it was with star trek Legacy and the ability to play online..

    This test is obviously a very cleaver troll ORR shogan is a mac user ORRRR he bought a xp machine right on the brink of that OS’s VERY NEEDED death, and wants to justify not spending another grand on new shiny Pc outfitted with THE VISTAS (What old people call it)


  17. More and more it just proves the point, newer isn’t always
    better. I run xp and win98se on computers and with good
    hardware and 512mb ram, win98se is still very capable.
    if I have to, I’ll go to linux……. maybe.

  18. Nah, that’s (way) too little RAM for Vista to perform as it should. That said, Vista runs excellent here. Boots fast (within 30 seconds), applications, games, etc. run fine. That said, I have a total of 4 GB of RAM. And well, an operating system functions as well as it’s drivers do.

  19. I have all three OS’s running on 4 computers, heck I even have a laptop running a Linux distro. I will be honest and say this: Vista is made to run on current hardware. When I built my new machine (not new anymore) I bought XP and it ran like a dream for a few months. Then I got a Vista upgrade and guess what – it runs much, much better than XP did on the same hardware. It loads a lot faster, it shuts down faster and it has never crashed in the 1+ years I have had Vista. XP crashed several dozen times in the couple of months I had it. Don’t get me wrong, XP runs very smoothly and fast on my 4 year old desktop and 3 year old laptop, but I would not go and put Vista on either one of them and complain that it runs slower. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the results from this run – the setup was fairly mid range about 4-5 years ago when XP was the king. That setup gave XP the advantage as well as 98, but Vista??? Never stood a chance. You might all spit at Vista, but why don’t you go out now and build a proper current system and see if XP can run faster than Vista. I think it will either tie Vista or lose – it will not be better than Vista. One thing I wanted to see is a popular Linux distro against the 3 MS OS’s. Why not do that for the next article? I would really like to see the results.

  20. Seriously what the hell?? This test is as so unfair its unbelievable, did you really expect vista to run faster than Win 98 which I might add will be far more unstable than XP or Vista. Of course its gonna run faster, software requires better hardware over the time, you could say the same about Macs or even Linux, you won’t be running the latest copy of Ubuntu on a 486 anytime soon.

    What you SHOULD be doing is comparing it to similar hardware when each came out. Besides Vista also manages RAM considerably better than any Windows version before it. RAM is so cheap now that it would be insane not to have anything less than 2GB.

  21. Well, i have some machines here running on dos, some on variuos flavors of linux, and yes indeedy, one on win98SE, several on win2k, and several on xp. I have been running computers for well over 20 years, and fondly remember the good old statement of 640k being more than enough ever…
    those were simpler times indeed.
    I’ve tried vista… it’s very pretty.
    But in all honesty, i get better functionality from an xp install, on comparable equipment.
    Meaning a gig and a half of ram, and a 3 ghz cpu on xp, and 4 gigs of ram, and a dual core 3ghz cpu…
    the xp box smokes in comparison. let alone the xp installed onto the “vista” box.

    like it or not, you have to accept that vista is slower. moreover, while vista requires heavy duty hardware, xp will run on that hardware a lot quicker.

    why would i go out of my way to choose a slower alternative for my hardware?
    seriously. if you had to choose between an engine which would get you places faster, on less fuel… wouldn’t you? or would you choose the slower, and mroe cumbersome alternative in the same car?

  22. Do a large percentage of people out there really expect that new software will be faster than older software? What a funny thing to think. The truth is exactly the opposite and it’s not a screw up or conspiracy theory, I’m a programmer myself. Old software was designed for and developed on old machines. If a function or feature seemed undesirably slow it got additional time spent on it. You would either optimize it as written checking for speed improvements or approach the problem in a completely different way. Fast forward ten years and assign someone to do the same task on a newer, faster computer and hey what do you know the feature seems fast enough without any additional time spent making it more efficient. This should be obvious for anyone who has been using the same software for many years. Photoshop 5 ran great on my machine in 1999. Today CS3 runs great on my modern machine. Try to run CS3 on the 1999 machine (i’ve done this) and you’ll want to slit your wrists. The sad thing is I don’t really use any of the new features… might as well switch back to version 5 and go at light speed.

  23. Doesn’t surprise me that the Vista machine got the worst score. Just like many other posters have stated…. Vista Requires MUCH more memory than 98 or even XP.

    I do miss the days of win 98… Though i think my most stable systems had either Debian or WinXP on them.

  24. It is unfair to test Win98, XP and Vista on the same hardware for the following reasons:

    1) You are running Win98 (and to a lesser extent XP) on hardware that would have been top-end, expensive hardware during the time those operating systems were released.
    2) You are running Vista on a PC that doesn’t come close to meeting its (advertised) minimum requirements.
    3) Vista has features and uses that were not included (or needed) in Win98, which is why the OS is ‘slower’. The OS is actually doing a lot more work in the background, such as supporting advanced graphics cards, different storage types, etc. XP originally didn’t even support USB 2.0, for example.

    How about doing one of the following:
    1) Test each OS on a machine that meets its minimum requirements
    2) Test each OS on a typical machine of a mid-price level from the year that OS was released. Sure Vista needs 1GB RAM and a fast processor, but these are available on sub-$500 PCs these days.

    I now run Vista exclusively because its performance is comparable to XP on the same hardware and Vista is far more useable (after a brief learning curve). I can do several things in Vista with less mouse clicks than with XP. I recently did fresh installs in the same day of both XP and Vista and the XP install was a total pain compared to Vista. Vista is also more stable than XP and less prone to security risk. My Vista PCs have only ever crashed due to bad hardware drivers. When I ran XP I remember it used to crash quite regularly. Win98 crashed a lot.

    And people keep making the same argument of ‘why should I give Microsoft more money when what I have is good enough?’, which is a moot point. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade, and Microsoft have gone out of their way to recommend that Vista only be installed on modern hardware.

    My first PC didn’t even meet the requirements to run Win 3.1, so does that prove that MS-DOS is better than all versions of Windows? No, because with DOS I can’t do a fraction of the things I do on my PC today, nor is it as user friendly.

  25. I wonder how well Windows 2000 and ME would fair in these tests? I realize that ME was the bastard child that no one wanted, (kinda like vista) but Windows 2000 runs almost everything that XP does (same core) and did it with a lot less overhead.

    I still use Win2k for one of my virtual machines. runs my fax program like a dream and hardly takes any space.

    Anyone for going back even further and trying win 95 or 3.1?

  26. Whats the point in this? you’re surprised that Vista doesn’t perform well on that old hardware with 512mb of ram and that Windows 98 screams along on it?

    Sorry but no sh*t sherlock, one is an old DOS based operating system while the other is the latest NT incarnation with greater hardware requirements.

    Vista is just fine, for some reason (likely the very same crowd that moaned upon the release of XP and claimed how superior 2000 was) some people just don’t seem to want to give it a fair chance. Yes graphics drivers (nothing to do with Microsoft) need a chance to mature but to suggest it is somehow inferior to XP and 98 on such weak grounds as this test is dumb.

  27. Surely it’s not fair to compare Vista vs Windows 98 on a machine with just 512MB of RAM. Vista requires 2GB to perform at it’s optimum level, and Windows 98 needs about 256MB.

    Sometimes like for like just isn’t a fair test.

  28. I strongly agree with those running XP. I ran Vista on my custom rig Epox Motherboard and AMD Athlon-64bit Processor with 512 cache and it ran crappy. XP It runs extremly well! I see they havent worked out all of the bugs out of vista. Ill stick with XP

  29. We have to find out what the OS is doing that we don’t need and stop it. Vista does more (that we don’t need) and we’ll just have to wait until those that know tell us which bits we can stop all of the time and which bits we can stop some of the time.

    We and Vista will be OK then.

  30. The move from 3.1 up to 95 was dramatic – took me a couple of weeks to get used to (then love!) this “new” system.
    Then moving from 95 to 98 took me a few days, then I was happy.
    Ditto when my 98 gave way to XP.
    But – I’ve now been on Vista for about 6 months, and the only thing that’s “growing on me” is the wrinkles on my brow. :-[
    BRING BACK XP, I say!

  31. Vista is basically half-baked beans. It’s a pity that Microsoft with their years of experince, cheat their cutomers. Probaly that’s thr result of virtual monopoly.

  32. My point is technology changes sometimes for the better sometimes worse.I tried an tested vista against my xp machines.Vista uses more memory but was stable.I wouldn’t try vista on 512kb of memory it lagged an was sluggish.Even on 1 gig of memory vista was slow when i got two gigs installed vista ran ok an booted up fine.

  33. This test is a total laugh to anybody that uses an works on computers.Maybe the the test should of been done on a good old 233mgh mobo with with a bios limited hardrive an 32 megs of memory and 8mb of graghics.Oh maybe windows 95 c edition should of been in the mix as well I heard it was great in the day.

  34. Vista is slow, but microsoft came out with SP1 that should fix the slow problem. Plus 1gig of ram won’t hurt. 512 is good for running vista OS. Not the stuff you put on it like games, other media players, anti-viruses ect. The more stuff on the OS the more ram you need. Win98 has no security if you put the security from vista on 98 it won’t function properly.

  35. Yes, this is using the BetaPit OverDrive test. The hardware used for this article is at least a couple of years old. There would be that big of a difference in scores for hardware that old.

    The score you are getting seems just about right for a new machine at that price point. I think a similarly priced Gateway M6319 which is a 1.7 GHz dualcore scored about a 2880. It will be shown in an upcoming article that will come in the next newsletter. I don’t find anything unusual about what you are finding. You will be able to see results on laptops similar to yours within about a week. You should find quite a bit of information on tweaking Vista and how several laptops scored on the OverDrive test.

  36. i just came upon this searching for a hardware profiler for my new $600 gateway laptop with vista. when they say “pc pitstop test” do they mean the overdrive test? because i just ran it on my cheap little new computer, and i got a score of 2771, with a similar weighted score. the machines they listed scored 1200-1600 on these tests? i mean, if this is the case, expensive hardware has nothing to do with it. i wanted a $2000 alienware, but as a struggling student, settled on something “cheap”. in my limited vista experience, this machine is comparable to my older desktop running XP that i spent twice as much building about 4 years ago. enlighten me.

  37. I realise that this thread is about done, but My mistake (must be that old age) it was 95 that was so bad. 98 was way better. But I still think XP is the best windows so far. Maybe Vista will be like the NT/2000 step. Lets hope Microsoft learns from this release before the next.

  38. I wish I knew where to get a copy of Windows 98 for my old Toshiba laptop. I really liked that version of Windows.

  39. I’m old enough to remember when there were no windows, when Windows came with version numbers, WordPerfect operated off F-codes (remember the cardboard keypad overlays with the spiral flip pads?) computer games didn’t have graphics, and when Windows 95 was a welcome advance over the 93 version. I vividly remember when Windows 98 arrived in the office, everyone wanted to stay with 95 because 98 was so unstable. It was a nightmare! Granted I haven’t used Vista (I’ve built two new machines since Vista came out and installed XP on both).

    In my non-technical experience, experience based on more years using these systems than many of you have been out of diapers (I remember using ticker-tape units – that’s even before punch cards), I believe that XP is the pinnacle of the Windows systems and 98 gets my vote as the low point. I’ve heard both pros and cons regarding Vista and I game (WOW) with a friend who plays on a laptop using Vista (and he loves it). I would say, benchmarks aside, 98 is the worst OS (maybe it does work well when its up, but then that’s sort of like the line by the matchmaker lady in the musical Fiddler on the Roof “he’ll beat you, but only when he’s sober, so your okay”. Benchmarks don’t account for crashed time and lost client documents.

  40. IE5 in Win98? The last time I looked at my win98, I was using IE6. I did a search for it in and found the install for it.

  41. Steve Sz you cretin. The tests weren’t run on up to date machines.

    Did a search on the futuremark site for a p4 running XP and with a 6800 and it came up with a score of 3861 in 3dmark06. My PC which has an X1950 XT which is hardly state of the art gave a score of 6299.

    I bet you where whinging about how crap XP was when it came out and how much better 98 was and how crap 98 was when it came out and how 95 was better and so on. People like you surface everytime there is a new OS release and spew your mindless opinion while others just adapt to new things and live happy lives.

  42. What a stupid test.

    Vista was always going to lose. You’ve used a processor that is probably about 5 years old. Now that’s old even by XP standards. It’s a 533mhz fsb one which means it’s not even the best one you could find and we should all know that back in the day P4’s were crazy about having bandwidth. So you’ve used a PC which is well above the reccomended spec for 98, about par for the course for XP and barely minimum spec for Vista and you claim that your results say everything about Vista.

    I personally don’t see the point of getting Vista and installing it on a machine that was happily running XP. For most everyday people it’s simply not worth the outlay. But when you build that nice new PC with a nice Core 2 Duo processor and 2gb of nice cheap RAM and a low end graphics card then buy Vista. It’ll be worth it then. I’ve heard enough moaning from people who have an old/underspecced machine and aren’t getting great results from it to last me a lifetime. If you want a PC that runs the latest software well then spend a bit of money. Don’t think that going into the shop and buying the cheapest PC is going to result in anything less than disappointment. If you want a PC that is fine for word processing and going on the internet then stick with your old machine and 98 or XP but don’t expect support forever and don’t expect to be able to get software which works on it forever.

  43. Vista is a failure, be it business or home environment. XP, a mess in it’s earlier years, is the best Microsoft has produced for the home market, and is a strong OS for small business. However, after many years of computers in general, and Windows from 3.1 (not to mention all those flavors of MS-DOS), I have XP as dual boot for one game, and everything else on Linux. If you need stability from a Microsoft OS, XP is the only way to go.

  44. Win98SE was a lovely OS. I had a Win98SE box that would run for weeks without requiring a reboot. So long as you avoided generic no-name hardware Win98SE was super stable. We still use it on half of our office machines and crashes/reboots are very rare with Win98SE on name brand hardware. WinXP, the orignal release that allowed you to be hacked by simply being connected to the internet, was a piece of garbage, but WinXP Pro SP2 is a great OS.

  45. Bevan, please re-read the test results. All OS were running on up-to-date machines, the blog even says that there were difficulties in getting 98 to use modern hardware – but it still beat Vista.

  46. Ok, well I am one of visa’s largest detractors and I’m a gamer still running on an AGP card and windows xp professional. But this test is frankly rather silly.

    You cant expect a OS designed to run on a contemporary machine to perform well with largely outdated hardware.

    Vista has alot of bloat it naturally uses more ram I would even go as far to say that 2gig is the more realistic “minimum requirement”

  47. It seems that Bill G. should have really concentrated on the development of artificial intelligence in computers as this does appear to be his true vocation. Windows is the first truly paranoid schizophrenic OS ever developed.

    I really fear for the sanity of computer users the world over when he finally rolls out his next bloated, clinically-insane abomination

  48. For you who talk about running the test on equipment compatible with the OS, it’s true that you’d get a better idea of what the OS is capable of. However, that’s not the whole story.

    I’m a computer repair tech, and I get PCs in every day that were designed for Windows 9.x and that have been upgraded to Windows XP. When the end user complains that it’s too slow, I just upgrade the RAM to 512Mb (the majority of the old machines can handle that much), and the problem is solved. That’s impossible with Vista. Vista is the first MS OS that -requires- you to buy hardware technology upgrades if you want to unlock its full feature set. If you install it on a machine not designed for it, it runs in crippled mode, and you don’t get to use the program features you paid for.

    So the question to me is “how does the OS do on the average PC that is owned by my customers?” The answer to that is “it stinks.” An OS that needs 1Gb of RAM to run well – and very specific hardware requirements before you can use several of its advertised features – means that it effectively cannot be installed on almost two out of every five computers my customers own. So in that respect, this test was quite valid; it reflected what would happen if existing PC owners installed Vista.

    We don’t sell Windows Vista at my store. We won’t until we have no choice – the day that Windows XP cannot be purchased from distributors and we run out of copies. Like many Microsoft products, it was rushed into production and forced on consumers before it was ready. It requires consumers to either invest in pricey hardware upgrades or buy new computers, so it isn’t an option for people who want to upgrade from older Windows installations. It’s unreliable. Many of our customers hate the unnecessary changes made to system navigation. In short, Microsoft shoved a product down our throats before it was mature just to make a quick buck.

    How typical.

  49. I picked up an old P3 last year to use as a music server. Since I was expected to buy another license with XP I dug out my old Windows 95 disc and installed it, downloaded Firefox, did a few updates and now have a highly funtional server. I even found it easier to setup for the network than XP. I think sometimes we are too eager to move on to the latest technology while these old workhorses still have some life left in them.

  50. After depending on Windows 98 for several years, I switched to Windows 2000 sp4 on an HP Pentium 3 machine, 650MHz with 512MB of RAM. I find this stable, quick and considerably more responsive than much more powerful computers I have used set up with XP or Vista. Vista does need at least 1GB of RAM to run reasonably efficiently.

    The main problem with Windows 2000 in my experience is that although it has rightly, I believe, been called the most stable version of Windows, the boot process is more fragile than 98’s and can be relatively easily disrupted, leaving a machine that either boots very slowly or not at all. It then has no system restore facility to reverse damaging changes easily. I overcome this problem by using Horizon Rollback, a very ingenious program which achieves the same goal as system restore, but offers far more possibilities, including a pre-windows boot screen which allows non-booting systems to be recovered quickly.

    Unlike windows 98, Windows 2000 can still be used with all but a few current programs, and hardly ever crashes in use. It was rare for me to reach the end of a 98 session voluntarily! I only wish it were possible to turn off the multiple users facility in 2000 and later systems permanently, though, as for me it is an unnecessary complication.

  51. Just add two cents worth to my previous comments: Also had Explorer 6 with 98 and XP Pro. No problems with 98 but not so with XP. Kept getting booted off internet, upgraded to Exp 7 but didn’t improve. Used Firefox and had much better results. With Vista Ultimate have Exp 7 and works great, never been booted of the net.

    Like so many things improved capabilty and versatility makes 98 outdated. If all one did was use it for day-to-day programs like Word/Works, internet and music 98 does fine. But so many other uses for PC now requires OS that has up to date technical ability. Technology is changing and keeping your PC current is extremely important if you want to take full advantage of what a PC can do.

    Probably the most important changes you need to really get robust use of Vista (and I would advise Ultimate)is you must improve your video and load up on ram (nothing less than 2gb). Chip speed isn’t that crucial, but most people now have at least 1.8ghz and that will do fine. But ram is an absolute essential.

    My previous PC had 2.4ghz Pentium and nearly 1gb ram and I never lacked for speed in transferring files from one medium to another, but bought wife a 1.8ghz dual core Pentium with 2gb ram and it was faster and she has XP Media and it really has been a good OS.

    But my experience with XP Pro was horrible so bought new PC with dual quad 2.4ghz and 3gb ram and this PC lays your hair back. File transferring or copying from one medium to another is more than fast. Old tasks you didn’t like to do because of the time involved is no longer an excuse to delay. Music downloads or copying from CD’s is quick – I only use wav format as it has the highest playback quality but it needs more space but its the only format I ever used, even with 98.

    Will upgrade wife’s computer to Vista Ultimate soon, but even with her computer’s capability we will upgrade her video and add another gb of ram.

  52. Just a comment for the W98(SE) users who are (or were) having system crashes — it’s probably the graphics accelleration. That’s preset to max.

    Just find where it resides (I’ve forgotten, now) and slow it down to 1/3, and that should stop the crashes. It did on mine.

  53. It sure would be nice to see 98 support. I still have a 386 box on which I use AMIPRO for forms designing. Won’t run under 98SE. But then, I also have a WIN95 box still running, a DOS 3.11 machine and you may not believe this, but I still have a running Radio Shack TRS-80 Model ONE in near original shape with a Z-80 processor running at 1.4 mb (yes, as in “one point 4″ megabyte) and a 300 baud modem, 48k RAM, four 5.25 inch drives and an original working RS Color Graphics Printer (CGP-115) that uses 4.5” rolled paper and 4-colors. Its actually a “pin-plotter” at best. When I first got my Trash-80, we used a cassette tape recorder to boot the thing and load other “programs” — then TECHNOLOGY advanced to DISK DRIVES, first 14 inch then 5 & a quarters, then double density… .and the advancing TECHNOLOGY story goes on….. all that was before the standard IBM PC box in the early 80s. All this goes back to the days when a 4-banger calculator (+, -, x & /) was the size of a cassette recorder weighing pounds and priced above $400. I finally got smart and quit trying to keep up with technology & the Jones’s when my bankroll kept going down and settled into being just an appliance operator using computing to its fullest capability… letting others keep up with the “Jones'” to work out the bugs before “I” splurged for the “latest” technology AFTER the bugs were exterminated.

    So, today, I still run my NEWDOS 3 (os) on a Trash-80 (just for fun to play “pong” and the first version of MS’s Flight Simulator), a 386 box and a laptop with WIN95, another box with WIN98SE (which I’m on right now) and a gift HP with XP Home. I’m satisfied that at my age of 71 I can do what I do without all the whiz-bang bells ‘n whistles everyone else seems to “need”.

    Speed (and features) cost money. How fast and frequent do you wanna go?

    Bill Ford
    Joshua Tree CA

  54. Between work and home I work with NT4.0 Server and WS, W2K Server, Server 2003 Std R2, XP, and Vista; THEY ALL HAVE THIER QUIRKS!.
    I believe that Microsoft has to bo what GE, Siemens, and other PLC/BAS software writers have done in recent versions, that is the next release, “W7”, needs to be a clean break from the PAST! Forget all the backwards compatable code. When you upgrade the “project” there is NO going back without doing a total memory wipe and subsequent reprogramming. Interfacing with the previous version and drivers for epuipment 3-5yrs max should be it. Vista basic can run on computers that were considered outdated (and not just by marketers or gamers)before XP came along, and Office 2007 can work with Word 6.0 docs nice but come on people, this eats speed, which is the primary reason we upgrade. How many NEW cars come with 8-track or cassette decks, I’d bet some of us have these audio media storage units. “Come On” the days of the CD are numbered! So why expect Microsoft, Apple or any other OS provider to make things work with 10,20,or 30yr old technology.

  55. Any AVG free users be aware that support for 98 in that antivirus program will be discontinued this year also. Already in effect, based on my experience! Go with AVAST! Free.

  56. My 98 is actually 98SE… for you ‘techs’, that may be the difference, since that minor upgrade was an improvement.

  57. Running win98se (with unofficial SP2) on a 800 mhz ibm machine with 512 MB of memory. Surfing the web with Firefox. A fast boot, stability and no frills. What do you want more ?

    The only reason i see that this OS was pulled out is because Micro$oft could not make more money when everyone is running multiple machines and paying for only one license.

  58. Boy, am I ever glad I read this. I have a couple of W98 (and a W95!) machines sitting waiting to go to the re-cycle company. (they fix them for dis-advantaged kids)
    They were replaced by XP2 units.

    Now I not so sure!

    I’m setting up a simple sound system – “burn CD’s”, control video and sound to my big screen plasma – with the idea of giving more control to the operation. One of the W98 should do the trick, shouldn’t it??

    Think I just saved a couple of bucks!!

  59. Shogan, I thank God everyday for users that are not tech savvy. I make my living on them. I meant no malice by the statement, just that some people may be unduly influenced by comments made by people that are not qualified to critique the technology. I will admit the learning curve is a little much, but most techology has its aggravation threshold these days. There has been a small spike in MAC purchases in the last couple of months driven mainly by misinformation. That will eventually reverse as those people find their options limited. And God help anyone that think that Linux is a consumer ready OS. Talk about having to be a Tech to use your computer.

  60. Further – My typical use for my system is development, programming and some 3d Modeling (soon with a physx card). However, I also do alot of gaming and running 32″ HDTV/TFT – 1600x1200x32bpp@98+/- FPS Crysis Online DX10 seems to be pretty good. On my swap drive I get slightly less with xp and have problems with the high resolution *not dx9 but, the software drivers for the larger monitor.

  61. I am have been an early adopter of vista. I’m on a pretty damned good machine as well and well, frankly. My scores are within the top 10; Starting from XP Pro (which I had alot of issues with) I migrated to Vista ultimate and now this system is aces. Fast, efficient and a multitasking powerhouse.

    AMD X2 6400
    Dual Nvidia 6800GTX
    4 GB of RAM
    1TB HDD

    In this I can play anything, run anything and have only had one app not work with it. Philips – Voip Phone (pos).

    Other than that I love vista and expect to continue to love it. And as for IE7 Crashing etc…sure, it happens…but so to does Firebird, Opera and etc when you throw countless add-ons, history and cache at em.

  62. There is a known issue about running WIN98SE with more than 512 MB RAM but there is an easy workaround. In the system.ini file add the lines


    I have also seen mentioned to use MaxFileCache=61440 but I do not know what the line does or means so I have no idea. I use 524288 and it works. You can try to see what works. Googling should show many instances of this workaround.

    With this remedy I am using WIN98SE with 768 MB and it works fine. I have several machines running win98se and they work fine for what I need from them. I have an old scanner and printer which will not work with XP. I see no point in switching these computers to XP. I only have XP in my main computer and there is not a chance I might consider switching to Vista any time soon. If it ain’t broke I’m not fixing it.

  63. Windows 98 was great; XP Pro was the worse OS with constant blue screens, worked better once killed ckdsk; would give me blue screen because “disk is dirty” or some other garbage, then after restarting and letting it “clean” my disks the results were always the same – nothing wrong, no corrupted files – nothing. Would do this 3-4 times in a day, sometimes within an hour of the last ckdsk. Useless piece of garbage. Have it on my back up computer, and just sitting w/o any activity for a couple of hours, turn on the monitor and have message that OS had fatal whatever, and had to restart.
    Bought new computer with Vista Ultimate installed and works like a champ, nice and smooth, no interruptions, stays on all day whether used or not, just like good old days with 98. Only thing Vista wanted to do when first began using was keeping me from opening all files in Windows Explorer, but once learned the settings needed to avoid that issue, the OS has performed beautifully. No more crashes and blue screen of XP. Will upgrade backup from 764+/- ram to 2gb and will install Vista and eliminate useless XP. In Vista I use all “classic” settings with are typically the 98 appearances and simplifies usage. XP set up same way but the OS just can’t relinquish trying to control all internal systems and anything it finds “different” it blue screens you all day long.

    With Vista I can relax and enjoy all the benefits of using a PC for all my business and personal usage just like 98.

  64. John, Most computers are used by people who are not techs. Microsoft and the others wouldn’t be in the “personal computer” business if everyone had to be a computer tech.
    Most don’t want to be techs.

  65. Microsoft recommended (after I complained to them)that if I insist on using 98, to install AVAST! anti-virus (free)…believe it or not they were right! No problems, even works with Zone Alarm (free,used for firewall), and simple to use. They are finding out just how many are protesting the anti-98 thing going on. Hope this helps another 98 user.

  66. It’s pretty simple. Time changes, hardware changes, graphiacl interfaces take up more memory. Vista is fine if paired with the right equipment. Grow up people, you sound like a bunch of kids complaining that your new ball isn;t the right color. Were talking about computers and advance hardware here not your kids freakin’ Speak and Spell! Learn how to trouble shoot or just stay with you outdated systems. Hey, I think I have a TI calculator you can all share. Better yet, why not duct tape the Speak and Spell to the calculator and you’ll have a lap top that’s more your speed.

  67. Hey John, I’m one of those “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” types and was happy running Win98. Unfortunately, I have to visit several Indian govt.websites and they require that I have at least Win2k for interaction – so I’ve upgraded to Win2k. Now you’re actually saying I should use bloated Vista? For what?

    Also, in all fairness, who are these programs designed for? Only for you “TECH PEOPLE”? Come on, MS is bloating at a rapid rate – unfortunately, they’re everywhere, so you can’t avoid it.

  68. my first P/C was an ADAM, ran a 600bps modem to bbs’s. That will give you an idea of how long i have been ‘out here’. not only am i running win98, but my system hardware is all about 10yrs old. just added memory. can’t afford all the new toys. just remember youngsters ‘OLD DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN OBSOLETE, AND NEW DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN BETTER’ save your $ 4 a rainy day, you’ll need it.

  69. I’m sure that most of you have heard that Mac OS/x’s securitywas breached on day one of the pwn2own competition. Vista fell on day two. The Linux Ubuntu system was never cracked.

  70. Where do you find these people that comment. I have been running Vista Ultimate for 8 months now and have only had a few minor annoyances with it. I am a tech by profession and have been supporting people since Windows 3.11 for workgroups. With few exceptions, problems with an OS boil down to users. The real problem is the OS is rapidly exceeding the IQ of the user. Most of these comments are from wannabees, not true tech people.

  71. As a systems admin, XP (SP2 especially) truly is a well built OS and I’d hate to go back to the Win 98 days. MS has had some really good product releases recently. Office 2007 and IE7 are amongst them. They contain major interface changes and even file format changes which can cause frustration, but fundamentally they increase productivity and empower the users to do more than the previous versions ever allowed. Vista on the other hand doesn’t seem to have that much over XP in terms of features to make any of the performance issues justified. Seriously from a business sense the security, interface and search changes don’t do enough to encourage upgrade. The results of the tests don’t surprise me and realistically new OSes have always required more resources than their predecessors because they do more and make it easier to do the stuff most of us want to do. I’m just hoping that Windows 7 will be what Vista was meant to be and be a more justifiable upgrade than Vista.

  72. It took me a few years before I moved from Win98se to WinXP, the same will be for Vista, I have no intension of using Vista for at least another 18 months and they have ironed out 50% – 75% of the bugs within it, I am happy with XP.
    Think of it this way, Would you put up with a brand new car which more than half does not work, of course you wouldn’t, and as far as I am concerned the same applies to microsoft vista, and have you noticed how the price increases each time a new OS is released, and with more problems than the last one, only fools go with the latest OS as soon as it is available, so let them have the problems, I am not prepaired to spend extra for an OS that doesnt work correctly.

  73. I run vista on a machine that meets the specifications for vista, not an antiquity that was chosen to meet the specifications for win 98. I have no problems with it. Win98 was one pf the shakiest systems I ever had. Win2000, which probably was the best (and best means for me stability sice I have to work with it) OS MS ever made, is’t mentioned here… would have been more intersting to see in comparison.

  74. I would have preferred to see these tests between Vista, XP and 2000. To run the two NT derived OS’s against one of the 9X series is silly. Testing Win2K would have been a fairer test. Vista wouldn’t have been hampered by the lack or RAM. Also multi core CPU could have been used.

    The thought of people using unsupported OS in this day and age fills me with horror. Like there aren’t already enough botnet targets out there!

    I run a mix of hardware of different ages, there is no problem using old kit. You just have to use the right software, the most important is to make sure that the OS is supported. So all of the old stuff runs Linux (Including a 486DX 100MHz on DSL)

    Of cource the headline of 10 years would have been tricky, unless maybe NT4 could have been tested?!?

    I was one of the Vista Beta testers, I don’t use Vista! At first because I believed it lacked maturity. Now a year later because I simply don’t see the point! It gives me nothing I can’t do using other OS’s. Here are my rules for using Vista, these were written from the gamers point of view. So Vista’s “Killer App” is DirectX 10.

    1/ You get a new computer and it comes with it.
    2/ You want to play a game that will only run on Vista or where Vista gamer have an advantage over the XP gamers. (No one wants to get fraged, to have it happen cos the other guy runs a different OS is a pisser…)
    3/ You have the DX10 hardware and want to see what all of the fuss is about.

  75. Ok, been playing this game with os’s since MSDOS 3.3. All operating systems have problems when the first come out. The only one that I truly disliked was ME…. Didn’t jump to XP until just before SP 2. Vista has issues just like XP had at first. Loaded SP1 for vista and now having fewer problems. Not perfect but working better than it did before. Yes I also run Linux and still have XP systems running in the house. Just because some things have not been optimized for Vista….

  76. Like windows 2000, stable as Xp and easier to use. Microsoft wont let my 32 bit pc cards work on 2000 or XP [only 16 bit], but work om 98 and some 95 [IBM P1 765l thinkpad}so 98 is useful sometimes.

    Changing OS every few years only creates much work and problems.

    A real improvement would be for modules to be improved, not a whole system with too many cute pictures.

  77. i am very suspicious that ms give vista to oem’s for free or at least for a huge discount
    with dell laptops, you have to go to their ‘business machines’ before you get the option of (free) xp
    ms probably are trying to get a large installed base of vista so the poor customers (suckers) do their beta testing for them
    because vista has not got the relevant code revealed (except to big software companies) and the small companies have to pay for it–they are reluctant to write drivers for vista, but if enough base is installed they will have to
    at last we have linux to force some compromise out of ms

  78. I built my cumputer about seven years ago, with 512 MB of RAM. The only OS I had was W98 and I’ve been running it happily until about six months ago. Never had a problem with that amount of memory, but, because MS will no longer support W98, I decided to switch over to XP. The only difference I’ve noticed is that XP has more fluffy junk to deal with. If it weren’t for the support issue I would go back to W98………………and keep it simple, in a flash.

  79. I have to agree that using 512mb of ram was not a fair test for Vista. Who says you can’t use more than 512mb in Win98? My first computer ran Win98. I put a second stick of 512mb in it and followed the instructions of the ram manufacturer and changed the v-cache and Win98 ran great on 1gig of ram. Don’t know if it will run on more because that was all my motherboard would accept. Yeah, I still think Vista is crap, but at least test it fairly.

  80. I wish you had benchmarked windows 2000 as well. You conclusions simply confirm what I intuitively figured out for myself. I have a desktop that has W98 running a fax server application that operates flawlessly, and has for near the entire life of W98 (70 dog years!) and it only has 128mgs of memory at that. I really object to the control that Vista has taken out of the users hands. I can’t believe it can take 30 minutes to remove or install a simple application that take only few minutes in XP or W2K. I do tune ups on friends and neighbours PC’s (and find PC Pitstop a great tool for this) but refuse to even try with Vista. And won’t until I start hearing some good news. Microsoft needs to wake up before they become the next Chrysler!

  81. I am a odd fish out. Vista is fantastic. More and more I realise I am very alone in a big pond. However 512 mem is the mininum to run Vista come on. When MS says minimum it means litterally minimum, we all know that. 1 gig still not the best. Try 2 gig and above on a dual core and above cpu, very different animal. I have no problems at all. I am in IT and pound the system with Dev and testing, no problems.

    Having worked with the system on diff hardware platforms I think many manufacurors are not getting it right yet though they are claiming to.

  82. I am so pleased to let you know that I have an ancient Dell laptop (ole Bessie), and it has Win 98! Its like the energizer bunny it keeps going and going .. I have 256MB on that one and run it very lean – no frills .. Tell you what, I am happier with Win 98 than with Vista Home Premium on my Toshiba Satellite. Microsoft really messed up BIG TIME with Vista !

  83. I’m still running Win 98 on 2 computers, both purchased in 2000. Both run great and due to diligence in keeping both machines “cleaned up” I have no problems. I surf the web, do embroidery digitizing, photo editing, and mt business bookwork on both and don’t have any problems. I’m forever having to talk my daughter through problems with her XP. The only thing I don’t do is gaming. Bring back 98 testing, please!!

  84. Carey Crittenden

    I’m still running Windows98 and wouldn’t have any other. Does anything and everything I want with absolutely no hassle and you wouldn’t believe all the other programing I have loaded in with it. You name it and I probably have something to fill the need. I can’t believe how many others still run it and you would be surprised at how many organizations still use it. Still the best all around operating system around. It’s a shame that there are some dropping support for it when there is no good reason for that. Just as it is stated in this article; they all want you to dig into your wallet and spend more money on nothing really new or any better.

  85. I just loved win98 but most of the games out now days don’t run on this os, I run winxp sp2 turned on auto updates got a blue screen 4 to 5 times per day. formated hard drive and sp2 turned off updates no crashes in 7 months!! sounds like I will pass on installing Vista!!!!

  86. Keefy

    I am sure I could supply you with a backup copy of win 98SE if you mail me.
    I for one will NEVER downgrade to VISTA from XP Pro. It’s absolute rubbish.
    I’ve given up counting the ammount of people I know that have bought new PC’s with Vista on, that I have been asked to help revert them back to a decent OS, that is XP, and are now MUCH happier.

  87. Don’t you perceive?
    Xp was also subject to criticism for some time after its launching.
    The real intention behind Vista is to have the users now considering Xp as a near perfect OS, so allowing MS to say: – Once upon a time, we did a perfect OS.
    “”Evil laughter of a truehearted UNIX user…””

  88. I am still using Windows 98 on one of my computers. I continue to use it because it handles audio tasks with less distortion that any Windows XP machine I have used. It rips wavs from CDs and then converts them to MP3s using ‘obsolete’ (DRM Free) hardware and software that are better than anything now available.

    The machine with Win98 is dual booting with WinXP and is a Pentium 3 Dell with a max of 512MB of RDRAM (doesn’t allow more). The XP OS IS more stable but the Win98 OS is NOT unstable enough to discourage my using it as long as it lasts.

    Win XP does not allow startup sounds of more than 15 secs or so and also distorts startup audio from games (those that still play on the hardware like d2).

    I have tested this machine on PC Pitstop this year and it has been getting decent scores. And it did not matter which OS I tested (98 or XP) the scores were the same. But coincident with the PC Pitstop article on Win 98, XP, and Vista, they (PC Pitstop) have stopped supporting Windows 98! So, I can’t test it again today.

    Oh, for web surfing, MS has fixed IE6 so it will not run on Win98 but Firefox runs perfectly (kudos to the Firefox team!). Also, if you want to keep Win98 on a dual boot machine, NEVER accept a hardware update (like for a network card) when updating the WinXP partition using Windows Update. Hardware driver updates from MS (and their partners) will cause the Win98 partition to stop functioning!

  89. Bill

    I just loved Win. 98 S.E. It ran great no problems.Would like to get a copy of it . Have X.P. now and it is ok as long as you have system restore. Had Vista on other computer and had it changed to XP.

  90. If you were testing two automobiles, one running on regular gasoline and the other requiring premium, would you be making a fair comparison by using regular in both. I’m certainly not defending Vista, but a fair test of the OS’s should use the minimum requirements for each, not uniform hardware that is inadequate for the newest one.

  91. Well to all of you money loaded super tech types, go ahead enjoy the latest and greatest it’s your money, but some of us aren’t that rich and frankly don’t trust our beloved M$N. I have worked on computers for probably 20 years and have seen it all from DOS and basic to Vista. It never stops amazing me how people can have a nice computer that runs all the software they need but with in 18 months to 2 years its to SLOW or cant run my software. I guess you just need something to keep spending your money on, but like I said its yours to spend but DONT begrudge us poorer folk who are happy with older stuff!

  92. This is absolutely ridiculous. It is like putting an engine from 20 years ago into a car today. Sure it worked fine 20 years ago, but now most people would think it is comparitively slow. Besides it would get less gas mileage and pollute more. People need to realize that technology improves and that the supporting software improves too. And it isnt fair to run comtemporary software on ancient hardware, for these very reasons.

  93. Win 98 was a house favorite for my family. Just last year I finally got my daughter in law to give it up. We used it with DSL without a problem except that web site have stopped supporting IE 5. Of the 4 computers here that ran win 98 all were P4s with the slowest being 1.6ghz and the fastest being 3.4ghz.

  94. We still have four Win98 computers at our radio station. The rest are XP with one Vista. Most of the employees ask why we run Win98. They think if we upgrade to Vista it would be SO much better and faster! Somehow they think the apps will run better on Vista, after all, it’s the latest and the greatest.

    My favorite is XP, but I do work with Win98 every day.

    I love PC PitStop, especially the “Full Test” section. HOWEVER, I was quite disappointed a few months ago to find PC PitStop no longer supports Win98 on the “Full Test”!

    Now that you have this great comparison test, I bet some others are trying to check out their old Win98 boxes too.

    Keep up the great work!

  95. I have xp on 2 machines, vista 32bit on wifes machine and vista 64bit on my games machine.

    I find tweaking and streamlining Vista no harder than XP and any issues I have had with vista has been due to games publishers and hardware manufactures.

    Certain publishers of games seem to intentionally slip in OS dependent code others take a more forward thinking view, I have games 3-4 years old which run like a dream on Vista even 64bit others don’t even recognise it as an operating system.

    If you get past the MS hatred club and XP love, give Vista a try especially 64bit version (crysis runs faster on my pc 64bit than wifes 32bit) I love the extra security, and easy ability to setup mediacenters and lets not forget Vista if you have a compatible pc is a dream to install.

    Give Vista a modern budget home pc (i’m talking intel core 2 e6400, Gigabyte mb, sata hd, and 4gb ddr2 mem (uk price 300 or for those of you overseas $600) with an ATI 3850) and you will blow 99% of games away.

    Having used pc’s for about 15 years and upgraded/built my own for 13 years i’m very happy with Vista.

  96. The Windows 98 rollout came with great anticipation. I was like a kid on Christmas eve. Upgrading from 95 promised to be the best experience ever.
    I first installed and ran it on a machine at work, and then on two successive machines at home. It was a new world!
    And a big pain! In a typical eight hour workday, ’98 crashed or froze 3 to 4 times. This was a vast improvement over ’95, but still annoying. Running devices was a crap shoot, except the odds were better at craps.
    Moved on to ME with its great graphical look, but not much better performance. That didn’t come until XP. The stability was priceless. I can still remember the first whole day without a crash. WOW!
    Running VISTA now. Have had no problems. The great advantages are graphics handling, quicker startups and shutdowns, and tighter security.

  97. I have two computers one a 4 year old windows XP pro sp2. 3 gig of ram. Nivida 5500 vido card and SB audilogy sound. this computer runs rings around my Windows Vista Home Delux with 3 gig of ram, nivda vidio card with 256 on board ram, and SB sound card. It works like this in the morning. Turn on vista machine, make coffee, Turn on XP machine, pour cup of coffee.
    Weather bug comes up on XP machine, check the weather radar.
    Ahh yes Vista finaly opens the desk top and is ready to run.

    This is about 3-4 minutes differance in boot times, and you say Vista is better?
    xp maachine is a P-4 at 2.8ghz Vista is a duel core P-4 at 3.0ghz.

  98. Arthur Kendrick

    As a volunteer at a poor school who rely on donated computers, I have installed W98se on nearly all these (Relatively cheap OS to get hold of and also will run on the minimum hardware configurations available). We have installed USB software courtesy of Dell’s website and are able to use USB memory sticks fine. We are relatively happy though speed sometimes is an issue, especially with Open Office! Why should we spend money which is better spent elsewhere?

  99. You tested Vista on a box with only 512 MB RAM? And you are surprised that it didn’t excel? Why stop there? Let’s howl and moan because Vista won’t run on a 486 or 386 or even a 286. We see all the same moaning and groaning every time a new OS comes out. The OS is designed for the hardware of today, and hopefully tomorrow, but not for the hardware of yesterday.

  100. I feel very sorry for those buying pre-built machines these days. Limited options for O/S’s and they are usually a bucket of poo as well. Build your own, or have it built, with XPsp2, even though I have fond memories of 98, it’s just not “capable”. I have a dual boot Vista/XP and even the kids say “the old one, dad”.
    Now we have to pray that M$ will continue to support the O/S, or allow or remove activation requirements.
    Not holding my breath!

  101. Of course it’s faster, has everyone completely forgotten what happened when XP came out? It was much slower than 98 (for many of the same reasons – primarily crappy drivers and bigger RAM footprint) and everyone swore they wouldn’t switch (many still swear by 2000, but mainly because of WGA). And yet, here we are again with XP somehow being a “speed demon.”

  102. Now you need to do one and include 64-bit versions of XP and Vista. I believe you will find that Vista 64 is faster than XP 32 and XP 64 is faster than Vista 64.

  103. I agree about bringing back Windows 98 into the PCPitstop arena for testing. Moreover, you could do us 98 users a huge favor by listing sites/utilities, work arounds, etc. for Windows 98. Something like the Fred Langa series of “things to do” as MS dropped its support for Windows 98 would be of great service.

  104. Vista has been good to me

    In all honesty, Vista has been good to me. I use it daily on a homebuilt system that’s getting close to three years old. The only thing I had to do to it was upgrade to a dual core processor. I got vista legally for free through a giveaway at work. The processor was about a hundred bucks, and I prefer the computer as it is now to how it was with pirated XP before.

    AMD 64×2 4200
    Nvidia 6600
    2gb PC3200 DDR

    This runs vista well enough. The only problems I have are in games that I don’t have time to play anymore… and that’s incompatibility issues, not performance. The games that are compatible work as well as expected considering the now weak stats of the computer.

  105. I have Windows 98 on an old desktop (purchased in 2000) and XP on the laptop and it’s a happy, tremendous choice to work on either. BUT now PCPitstop no longer supports Windows 98 for testing!! WHY? Bring it back.

  106. Wouldn’t it have been better to run the machines on the top of the line equipment for their heyday? That way you can see what the OS can do with what it was designed for. How did 98 run compared to it’s hardware specs? How does Vista run compared to its hardware specs? XP? I am guessing that if you did them based on their preferred specs, they’d probably all run about the same for things like start up time, etc. Hey, guess what!?!? DOS 3.1 runs SOOOOOO much better than Vista on my Vista machine. DOS just screams along at unreal speeds.

  107. Ya still don’t get it. MS wants you to buy new hardware every 18 months. They want to make your perfectly functional equipment junk as often as possible. I got a cheap HP PC with vista only to try and get video on my Zune. I do my real work on XP machines and still have two running 98 so that I can play great games and use that older equipment until it falls apart. Those guys are not stupid. We are for putting up with it. I’m at the point of learning linux soon. Just had to vent. Nice article.

  108. I thought Windows 98 could only address 384MB of RAM?

    Also, I have to agree that there’s something fishy about the testing methods used. I game from time to time and my Vista performance is on-par with XP, which is supposedly on-par with win98 if I were to take this article on its word. And yet we have a huge discrepency in the results here but not in the real world use of Vista?

  109. Hey Hakr, Once upon a time Bill Gates said that 640KB (KB!, not MB) should be plenty for everyone. Now you are saying that 512 MB isn’t enough? Get real! I used to work on IBM mainframes that had 4 MB of RAM, and they thought that was big. No problem handling 200 users either. The point is, with good engineering, both S/W and H/W don’t have to be huge to make something work. Micro$oft’s credo seems to be, “If it don’t work, throw more RAM at it.”

  110. sorry, and dont need this to turn into total flaming war, but how the hell ‘hakr’ would you expect the test to be fair in any way if you dont use the same amount of RAM for all 3 OS’s? i clearly read that Win98 barely tolerated using 512 RAM.. so of course using more for Vista and less for 98 would ‘possibly’ put Vista on top. still love my XP.. and our Vista laptop blows.

  111. He ran VISTA with 512kb of RAM?

    It’s a setup. Try running with a proper amount of RAM in the VISTA machine. And try a contemporary machine.

  112. it only took me 2 days to realise this WITHOUT doing any benchmark testing! wouldn’t have thought 98 would come so close to xp, but one thing you CAN’T benchmark test is stability. 98 sucked there, and that the clincher with xp.

    case closed

  113. i’m running both vista and xp. vista is a disappointment. Microsoft has some things to work on with vista. It seems there to busy watching porn on there xp pc’s. I believe vista will never be better than xp in performance or anything else EVER.

  114. Lisa Romanelli

    Vista has its problems for sure. I don’t know how many more times I can see the warning “internet explorer has stopped working”

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