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Windows 7: Windows 7 x32 SP1 on old Single Core computers

03 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
Windows 7 x32 SP1 on old Single Core computers

Contrary to popular recommendations about Windows 7 and what everyone is saying.

I am running an Athlon Barton CPU at 3200+ Speed, 2 GB of DDR2, and I have successfully been using Windows 7 x32 on this single core system to do almost everything I need to do.

Basic document editing
Web Surfing
Flash at 720p
H264/x264 L4.1 video playback at 720p with CoreAVC and MPC-HC
Music Playback --> Dual Analog Output, 1 to AVR and 1 to PC Speaker system Simultaneously

The only thing that is not possible with Windows 7 is sending 1 audio stream to Multiple Output Devices such as sending the same Audio track to SPDIF and Analog at the same time.

I am running Windows 7 on a 15GB Partition on the Primary Hard Drive, and it is very responsive and infact it is running much more Stable and Faster than Windows XP.
I am also using a Windows 7 Basic Black theme so I've turned off Aero, but window docking, and a few other features are still active. The Black Basic theme looks professional and not as ugly or instrusive as the original Basic theme.

Where Windows XP would sometimes Hang, Freeze, and Lockup, Windows 7 has been running Flawless and reports a Minimum of 42 Processes to a Maximum of 55 when I have all my programs Running.

It is also making good use of the 2GB of RAM.

So for those who have Older systems and do not have the money to upgrade, Windows 7 will perform just as good if not better than XP on these single core systems. I was slow to embrace Windows 7 but I am glad I did.

I can probably use this computer for another 2-3 years and it will most likely fail due to a Power supply or motherboard capacitors failing rather than software.

I hope you guys enjoy Windows 7 on your older computers as much as I do.

Addition: Windows 7 seems to use RAM much more efficiently than Windows XP. It seems to make an effort to use ALL of the RAM available to it, so you can safely lower the size of Virtual Memory which uses the Hard Drive. I have 2GB of RAM on this PC and I have lowered my Page File to 1024MB.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

Doesn't the graphics card support Aero? You could get better life out of it by using Aero. It will run on the GPU all the fancy effects, but Basic resides purely on the CPU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
In my experience...

Using Aero was problematic and slower in responsiveness, so I used a resource hacker and found a basic black theme and this makes the system much more responsive.
The video card I am using is an EVGA Nvidia 6200 AGP with 256MB RAM. I have also heard that Aero runs on the video card and this is why I am using Aero on my newer PCs. I will do some more research and see what I find but for now, my system is rock solid. I put this system together as a test bed for all my programs before I put them on my laptop which is a Core2Duo. But I ended up using this as my main Music player.

The only concern I can foresee is when it comes time for cleaning. Because the PC is so old, anything could go wrong. I clean my PC once every 3 months, and time is coming up for all those dust bunnies to be removed. At the software level, I cannot complain.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask and again, don't feel the need to go spend hundreds if you have an old PC laying around, Windows 7 will run just as good as XP.

1) Always do a fresh install of Windows 7. Its much less error prone.

2) Get the latest drivers (in my case I had to use an older Nvidia driver because one application would not work in OpenGL mode)

3) If you have a specific chipset, like Nforce2, you can google for the latest Nforce2 vista / windows 7 compatible drivers. I did not notice any performance issues with using built-in windows drivers, except some drivers offer better options for control such as the Nvidia networking driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Sep 2012   #4
Big Monstro

Windows 7

It's not specific to Windows 7, a lot of people tend to greatly overestimate the hardware requirements for the Microsoft operating systems.

Consider Windows XP : at release, a lot of people believed that OS needed a very recent computer with a 1 GHz processor or a Pentium 4 to get a decent speed. Actually, it runs at usable speed even on a 350 MHz Pentium and very nicely on a 500 MHz Pentium. 256 MB RAM was enough to run Windows XP and contemporary softwares. While most modern software cannot properly run with only 256 MB RAM, it has nothing to do with the OS itself.

About Windows 7, you don't need a dual-core and 4 GB RAM to get an enjoyable experience. A relatively fast older single core processor such as Athlon XP Barton or Pentium 4 with HyperThreading is still enough to handle everyday tasks and Windows 7. 1.5 GB RAM is often well enough for 32-bit edition. At home, I have Windows 7 on several Pentium 4s (2.4 GHz, 3.2 GHz and 3.6 Ghz), it runs fine on all of them, while a bit slow on the oldest one at 2.4 GHz (but still perfectly usable though). Windows 7 is designed to run on single-core Atom netbook, which is even slower than older desktop single-core processor described above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional (64bit)

yes i know this is an old post however still useful info for some. i picked up off the side of the road an emachines that someone placed there due to a bestec power supply failure. replaced the power supply and installed windows 7 pro 32 bit. it has a 3.6ghz p4 661 cedar mill and geforce 8400 video card 2gb ddr2 ram 80gb 7200rpm hdd and got to say it runs everything fine. no complaints. not everyone can afford pc upgrades so yeah squeeze whatever life you can from you old pc. old don't mean outdated or not able to still be used. just my opinion. thanks poorguy
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 x32 SP1 on old Single Core computers

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