Upgrading to Windows XP

If I upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, but leave the rest of the PC alone - how much of a slow down in performance (if any) should I expect?


      • This is essentially an IMHO question, really.
  • In my experience, a lot. I run a dual-boot Win98/XP Pro on a T-Bird 1200/256DDR system. I forget the FSB but the mobo is an Asus A7A266, it’s 100 or 133Mhz… Win98 runs way faster than XP at everything, playing FPS games on XP would be a waste of time. XP also crashes often, or has errors or whatever the official name of them is, where you have to “engage the hardware reset feature” of the computer.
  • I installed XP off of a P2P copy so I got it for free, but at this point in time if it stopped working (or I knew it would stop working, because of an impending “automatic update” or service pack) I would save off all my data on the Win98 partition and fdisk XP off. It certainly doesn’t work any faster or crash any less and I have no hardware or software that requires running anything later than 98, and so (IMO) XP simply is not worth paying for yet.

That hasn’t been my experience at all. WinXP takes a lot more in the way of system resources (rough estimate: an XP machine with 256M of RAM runs about as well as a Win98 machine with 64M-128M) but once you get that out of the way, XP runs like a dream. And RAM is cheap these days. Besides, the OP asked about Win2K, and Win2K is a lot closer to XP’s resource-hungriness than Win98 is. So, to answer the OP, you might see some slowdown moving from Win2K to WinXP, but it’s not likely to be a huge amount. If it’s too slow for your tastes, turn off the various bells and whistles (those menus that “fade in/out” instead of just popping into existance, etc.) and, if necessary, add some more RAM to your machine.

So your copy of XP that you got for “free” off of a P2P network runs really crappy and crashes alot and you think its because Win XP is crappy? :rolleyes:

I’ve been running XP for over over a year now and works great. I’ve never noticed any slow downs. My primary use is for games, especially FPS. But from what I understand if you have Win2K and it works fine for you, you shouldn’t bother switching to XP. It’s more of a lateral move than an upgrade.

Here ate work my co-worker and I have doen everything in our power to keep IT from “upgrading” our Win2K-Server machines to XP Pro. I have one around for compatability testing, but there doesn’t seem to be any compelling reason (performance wise) to migrate from 2K to XP. The one PC my co-worker had that did get XP installed crashed often and did decrease system performance noticably (when it was running). He has since reinstalled 2K on that (P4-2GHz) system.

Check your hardware against Microsoft’s recommendations. If your RAM and CPU speed are borderline then there may be a speed difference. Otherwise there probably won’t.

You will notice that WinXP boots much faster than 2000.
MS accomplished this at the cost of breaking Group Policy, but that’s outside the realm of the OP.

I know that XP will run slower than Win 9x, that’s to be expected… which is why I specifically asked for a comparison with Win 2K.

As for why we’re doing it - consistency, at the moment we have three different OS within a single building.


XP and 2K, under the hood, are nearly identical. XP has a lot more “bells and whistles” in and around the desktop, and possibly a few extra unnecessary services it starts by default. Any “slowness” is likely to be the result of whichever of these bells and whistles you fail to turn off.


      • Yea, but the funny thing about this is that people say “XP is so stable you can leave it on all the time”…-soooo, who cares? You only have to reboot, , , , , -if the OS crashes. Hmmmm…
  • Yes. …Unless it’s a totally fake copy that some 733t h4x0r wrote, that just happens to contain drivers for nearly everything and work completely with the Microsoft sevice pack/automatic update system.
  • That’s what I said, “Win98 runs faster”. Or put it this way: if you paid for a 2000Mhz computer but found out that the factory installed a 1600Mhz chip in it, you’d want some kind of a refund because you paid for 2000Mhz performance, but the computer doesn’t deliver that, right?
  • I have often heard that 98 and 2K are still the best two OS’s going. I also note that the parallel-port scanner that works fine in Win98 doesn’t work at all in XP, and XP insists I reinstall my serial-port hardware modem every time I wish to use it. And of course the oddball crashing things too, often with legit-copy software (even Office2K) that Win98 had no problems with. I haven’t paid for XP and I’m not particularly ashamed.

It’s only one man’s experience, but I find XP to be enormously more stable than W98. Under '98, I had at least one crash/reboot per week, and essentially everyone I spoke to reported the same sort of thing. (Some were amazed I had so few.) I’ve used XP for 14 months and just once had a crash requiring a reboot. I would never go back to W98.

I can’t say I’ve noticed much speed difference. As you’d expect, my new PC has more memory and a faster clock than the old one; its performance seems to be in line with the hardware improvement. YMMV.

All subjective stuff, but… WinXP is noticeable slower on my home-built Pentium 4 1.8Ghz than Win2K on my P4 1.8GHz machine at work, which is a different brand. I have to imagine that my home-built is a better machine, because, well, I didn’t buy parts from the lowest bidder, and know I’m running a fast buss with fast memory and have a really, really good video card.

Okay, for you sticklers, that’s not a good enough comparison. I could say that Gnome and KDE just rock on my home-built machine, while the default XP is pokey.

Not a good enough comparison? This one is then, because when you have a slow computer the effects are much more noticable: On my Power Mac QuickSilver using VirtualPC6, WindowsXP is barely usable, even with all the ugly themes and Wizards and effects turned off. Win2K, on the other hand, is perfectly useable for just about anything but games. You know, given the same exact apps (Office XP, Delphi 6, etc.). Yeah, compiling with Delphi is a real, real difference. For some reason, though, KDE and Gnome both kind of suck on VirtualPC, but it doesn’t matter – ssh’ing into the Suse box (if Windows isn’t up) and doing a remote X session is like having a dual-processor Mac, kind of.

In all cases, Win2K and XP are the pro versions.

grimpixie, wouldn’t this depend on what kind of computer you have? Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what it is.

They are nearly identical, but XP has drivers for home based stuff.
      • No, but you would have to be able to dual-boot both on the same machine to really tell. Most XP users are people who bought new off-the-shelf PC’s that didn’t even come with XP reinstall CD’s, and so will never see how much faster an older/cheaper OS would run, or if it would lack anything they use XP for…

First of all, ignore all the microsoft hype and just look at how each operating system identifies itself. Windows 2000 is NT 5.0, and XP is NT 5.1, so despite the fact that the user interface got a major facelift, underneath the hood it’s just very minor changes. The only thing you have to watch out for is programs that some programs will get confused by the version number change. The reason for this is that a lot of software does something like this:

If windows 4.0 (aka Windows 95), jump to windows 9.x code
If windows 4.1 (aka 98), jump to windows 9.x code
If windows 4.2 (aka ME) jump to windows 9.x code
if NT 4.0, jump to NT code
if NT 5.0 (aka 2000) jump to NT code

The problem is as it goes down this list, NT 5.1 isn’t in the list. Hopefully the programmer has some way of handling something that’s not in the list, otherwise your software could do weird things. You can try the compatibility modes of XP if your software misbehaves. In my experience, software with bugs like the above are very rare. YMMV.

If your software runs (which if it works on 2000 there’s a good chance it will) then I wouldn’t expect any slowdown on XP.

If it’s a legit copy of XP, you may need to look at the hardware you’re running, RAM, CPU, system settings (startup programs, background settings, etc) I bought my copy of XP after using pirated Pro that crashed a lot.

Since upgrading from 98 last July, it hasn’t crashed ONCE!

Oh yeah, and I leave mine on 24/7 for web services

I did some benchmarking of Win98 SE and WinXP at work, using Ziff-Davis’s Business Winstone benchmark on a Compaq EN P600 Pentium II 600mhz with 128 meg of RAM. The purpose being to see how much hardware upgrading would need to be done before converting these older machines to XP.

The result wasn’t what I expected. The difference between the numbers was small, but, XP actually scored better than 98. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but, if I remember correctly, Xp scored a 12.3 and 98 scored 11.9. I’ll double-check the numbers at work tomorrow and re-post if I’m wrong.

Yes, it depends on what kind of PC this is…which I still dont know.

dell for example, uses a bios lock activation for XP home. I’ve heard that you can only use XP home on some of them due to that bios lock, but haven’t verified it.

handy - the PCs in question are Compaq DSDTs, Pentium III or IIIE, 800 MHz, variable RAM (but all to be upgraded to 512 Mb).

Thanks for the advice everyone…


This seems like a good opportunity to ask an XP question of my own.

I bought an USB external hard drive case so I could use an 80GB HD from my old computer, but I haven’t been able to get the OS to recognize it. I also have an external hard drive with the same problem. I’m currently using XP Home, but I have a copy (legit) of XP Pro. Does XP home have problems with USB that XP Pro doesn’t, or is the problem with the drives, or should I just wipe everything and install 2000?

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

XP home and XP pro should be the same with respect to USB or any other hardware. XP home has certain other features (like logging into an NT domain) disabled, but that shouldn’t interfere at all with normal operation of the machine.

With respect to speed tests (cstamets post), there is a fundamental difference between Windows 9.x (95, 98, and ME) and NT (NT 4.0, Win2k, XP) in that the NT versions have the “hardware abstraction layer” and the 9.x versions don’t. The HAL is the basis of NT’s stability and also it’s incompatibility with older software. By refusing to let software directly access the hardware, NT won’t allow a misbehaving program to trash the computer at the operating system level. However, HAL accesses are slower than direct hardware accesses. Software written to directly access hardware (like games, which sometimes try and bypass the OS in order to run graphics faster) will run faster on 9.x than on NT, if they run at all on NT.

Non-game software often doesn’t worry too much at all about hardware access, and only use windows operating system calls. This type of software often will run faster on the newer operating systems due to Microsoft improving their code.