Windows 7 RC Impressions

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows 7' started by Frank, May 12, 2009.

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  1. ennui

    ennui Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So, I reformatted my secondary boot partition on my LE1600 and set up a clean install of build 7100 since upgrading from 7077 is discouraged. A few bugs have been fixed, a few new ones have shown up, but overall it's a step forward for Microsoft.

    • Win7 definitely seems to use more CPU cycles than XP Tablet, on average my temps are higher with Win7 when idling on account of more background processing. My idle temps dip into the mid 40s which is about the same as my idle on XP:T, although my "average" idle temperature is in the low 50s.
    • Memory usage is also a bit more than on XP:T, about 100mb more on average.
    • Even after shutting down unnecessary services and using NHC to undervolt the CPU, my temps and memory usage are about equivalent to an untamed XP:T install without undervolting the CPU. This isn't to say that Win7 is a memory hungry CPU hog, but expected from hardware that had to have a bios update to enable Vista compatibility with a whopping 1.0 on the windows experience measure.
    • Battery life is the same if not better than XP:T even with the increased temps and CPU usage.
    • Handwriting recognition as at least as good as Vista and the cursor feels more responsive than Vista or XP:T.
    However, I've also found a couple of bugs in the RC already.

    • I had to disable the Wacom Virtual HID driver as it was interfering with the digitizer: the digitizer would map the entire screen to the upper left quarter so using the stylus over the entire screen translates the cursor only to an area in the left hand corner. I first noticed that bug after disabling flicks, so YMMV depending on configuration. The virtual HID driver is essential for detecting pen input on the login/ctrl-alt-del screen, and when UAC greys out the screen for instance. I've managed to kludge my way through most areas I'd need the virtual HID driver by navigating with the side buttons on my tablet instead of the pen, but it is annoying.
    • If my power profile has both screen brightness on batteries and plugged in set to the max, the screen still dims down to minimum brightness as soon as I switch to battery power. Interestingly, setting on batteries to a lower brightness and keeping plugged in at max, the display dims the proper amount when unplugging, but as soon as I plug it back in....... the display dims the maximum amount. Have not found a workaround for this one yet, but it is minor annoyance in that I just have to manually adjust the brightness.
    Win7 is a nice improvement over XP and Vista, however XP may be a better choice than Win7:Ultimate on hardware limited machines for the time being. Starter edition may or may not be an option depending on how well it is optimized for low end hardware, but we'll just have to see. Overall, I'm enjoying Win7 so far aside the bugs, however since RC is just another term for beta, I was expecting as much.
    In fact, I'm impressed at how well it set itself up on installation. I started the install from within XP, mounting the iso stored on my USB thumb drive on a virtual drive within Windows this time around, and was duly surprised it was still able to install like a champ.
    In a nutshell Win7 is worth trying out for free, and while it still has issues that need to be worked out, for the most part it is successful at packing in the better features from Vista into a package not significantly heavier than XP.
     
  2. Allaman

    Allaman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, till now I`am very impressed by the new Windows RC 1 on my tx2140eg because I had bad experience with further builds...(JDK/eclipse and Rm cpu clock now works fine)

    So far everything works out of the box but there is one little bug: There is always (in a certain interval) the Windows sound that indicates that a new device is ready to use but I don`t plug any new devices at my Tablet...

    Compared to Vista/xp(boottime, cpu usage...) you can say that it´s between them but closer to xp and I think MS did a good job
     
  3. Leni

    Leni Pen Pal - Newbie

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    On a clean install of 64 bit RC onto my M700, there were no tablet drivers. Thankfully, the system pointed me to Wacom to install them and it went along pretty smoothly. No pressure sensitivity in 64 bit Photoshop CS4 but there is in 32bit version. Toshiba's HDD Protection program causes the OS to fail on startup so that was a screw in my plans because I had to reinstall everything. I made the stupid mistake of cut+pasting from my backup, not copy+paste and most of it is gone : \
     
  4. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I also tried Win 7 RC.
    So far I'm not impressed.
    I think it's more confusing than XP, the control panel is just huge and similar options are spread over many different locations.

    I also had an issue with the digitizer.
    If I use the Windows drivers then I get a 16point calibration the first time, if I do a second calibration I get the old 4 point calibration. I have to delete the calibration to get the 16 point calibration again. But in portrait mode the calibration failed at all.
    If I use the Wacom drivers then I got different results. One time I got a very simple 2 point calibration routine, I had to remove the driver again, that was useless.

    I also have the feeling that the ink is not as smooth as the ink in XP:TE.
    I wrote a lot of things in Journal and it just does not look as nice and smooth as it does in XP:TE.


    Win 7 also always consumes much more power than XP:TE does. In XP I get down to 6.5 Watt, in Win 7 I wasn't able to go below 9 Watt, even after I've deactivated almost everything possible. That caused a hotter CPU, shorter battery life and louder fan. :mad:

    The CPU gets also more stressed while writing with the Pen than in XP.
    Finally the knock-out criterion was that PDF Revu stressed the CPU always while writing with the pen. This does not happen in XP. I've tried both Win 7 32bit and 64bit, bot PDF Revu 32bit and 64bit, no success. Don't know if I have to blame Bluebeam or MS, but because the ink does not look that nice in Win 7, Journal also taxes the CPU more than it does in XP, I doubt that Bluebeam can solve this issue in the near future.

    I also tried the other new features. The TIP became a CPU hog, the Math input panel is still useless, and it was quite difficult to get everything working in the 64bit version (I haven't tried everything in the 32bit version)

    At the moment I have removed Win 7 again because I can't use it with that many failures, but I'll try my luck in the next days again.

    So if anyone has any suggestions then give them me :)
     
  5. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    @ Frank i think you should try the 32 bit version, i have it installed with no issues.
     
  6. Kyle Porter

    Kyle Porter Veteran Moderator Senior Member

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    @ Frank.

    AFAIK i have zero issues with the 64 bit RC
     
  7. ennui

    ennui Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I concur about the control panel and the general organization of the OS. I'm not a fan either and about half of it is just confusing as hell, especially when trying to diagnose hardware and driver problems. I'm personally wishing death and VDs upon the entire network and sharing center right now.

    I found the sixteen point windows pen calibration to be more accurate than the wacom calibrator especially at screen corners and deleted my wacom .dat file. Looks like you found another bug there, primary and secondary portrait do not calibrate or detect as penabled at all through windows, although the Wacom calibration tool still works for that. I set Pen_Tablet.exe and TabTip.exe to realtime priority before really getting my paint on in PS, but I haven't had an issue with inking since I did that.

    I've noticed NHC fighting Win7's CPU voltage management a lot more than XP. Furthermore, Win7 also does a lot more background processing when "idle" and likes to spike CPU usage to the max if possible: most often svchost.exe is consuming it all. This does not help battery life at all, and I hope this will be remedied soon. Setting a lower max processor state for the battery plan helps a bit, but does not fix the core problem. When actively working and using my tablet, I rarely use more than about 20-40% of my CPU on average, with momentary spikes upwards. That Win7 will just decide to use 100% of my CPU when idling is completely insane for notebooks and tablets that already have enough trouble dissipating heat as it is.

    I noticed the same increased CPU usage in Foxit and vanilla Adobe as well, seems to be a common problem in the Adobe libraries conflicting with something in Win7. I'm blaming both Adobe and Microsoft for now.
    edit: I tried installing Sumatra PDF Viewer instead of Foxit and it doesn't seem to suck CPU cycles like Foxit, Adobe, or Bluebeam when using the stylus. If you just need to view PDFs without editing, this might be a good option for now.

    The RC definitely needs to be ironed out further before it can be a fully functional primary OS: I'm only running the RC so I can analyze it and because I'm dual-booting XP:T.
     
  8. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I've tried it for a short moment, but I had the same problems with not so smooth ink and CPU load in PDF Revu while inking.
    I installed the 64bit version because I use 4GB RAM and wanted to see how it runs, but next time I will try to optimize the 32bit version, maybe there I have more luck.

    Well, this aren't really issues I have. Every driver worked fine, only one Fujitsu tool does not work that great in 64bit, but still works fine.
    How much power does your 2710p consume, what pen driver do you use (wacom or Windows),?

    @ennui:
    Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I will try a few of them in the next days.
    I use PDF Revu as my note taking program, so I have to use it the whole time, and thus it's useless if it stresses the CPU every time I write something.
    I will also post a few images of the ink difference in a few days.
     
  9. Kyle Porter

    Kyle Porter Veteran Moderator Senior Member

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    I use the windows pre-installed driver. Care to remind me how to measure how much power it uses?
     
  10. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well, I hoped you knew a good way to do this :)
    I did it with RMClock with the modified RTCore64.sys driver which you can find at the end of the linked first post.
    I haven't found a single Desktop Gadget which displays the discharge rate and other well known battery monitors don't work properly in Win 7 x64. Notebook Hardware Control may work, too, but I haven't tried it.

    Pen driver: Do you have pressure sensitivity in Photoshop.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
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