Windows 7 vs Linux: What's the Best OS for Your Netbook?

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lien_meat

I myself favor linux on netbooks, but really, even I felt this was biased!
Xp works really freaking well on a netbook.  I can't speak for 7, but I can for XP and Ubuntu on netbooks.
Here's how I see it:
For someone who wants an internet appliance with an occasional small bit of work (word processing, spreadsheeting, etc...) ubuntu is probably a good choice, just based on it's relative lightness and straightforward UI.

For someone who wants to run DX 9 compatable games or something else MS only...then you just have to go with XP.

or, why not just have both, since you might as well?
My friend paul just went to Europe, and bought a netbook to keep in touch. Since I'm the only guy he knows that has any working linux knowlege, he asked if I could help him dual boot ubuntu on his netbook which already had xp on it.  Of course I helped him.  It seemed to work pretty well when I got done.  We didn't benchmark it, and I don't know if he ever even uses ubuntu on it, but my point is, why not have both?

### I'm an idiot, and I approve this message ###

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AntiHero

I planned on getting one just to have and my plan was to put Ubuntu on it. Why have windows? it's not as lightweight. I will use a linux distro because even though i really, really like windows 7 (and i do) i will not use Microsoft Office, i'll use Open Office. The monitor is too small for Adobe Flash or Photoshop, in turn leaving me with just basic functions (and maybe some Warcraft III haha)

I don't like Microsoft, I associate with it.

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rls_1128

Normally I do not comment on the internet . . . but every once in a while I'm compelled to.  Usually it is because I have read something so crazy or just plain false it bears correction.  Like when a tech writer of Maximum PC doesn't understand the most basic underpinnings of Vista.  Now before I write one more word, I am in no means sticking up for Vista.  It is a turd, just like pre SP2 XP (anyone remember the complaints people had in '03?).  The authore wrote "a memory hog like Vista."  That is a MYTH.  It comes from when users look at Task Manager and see half of their memory being used.  Their knee jerk reaction is "since I don't have any apps open, Vista is using all of memory!  Vista Sucks!"  Again, False Thinking!  Tech writers should know that Vista uses free memory to cache or "preload" data it will likely use in the future . . . . resulting in a faster experience in many cases.  Check out the task manager yourself.  Mine says: cached - 943, kernel - 250.  Half of my memory is being utilized, but only 250 k is being used for the kernel.  Vista is using the memory for superfetch.  The thinking behind this is - you paid for the memory, so use it to make things load faster.

 

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lien_meat

On my definately "vista capable" inspiron 1525, that is NOT the case.  Vista does run poorly on this laptop, and is the sole reason why I dual boot win7 rc and ubuntu.  They both perform TONS better than vista does on my laptop, and yes, some of that reason is indeed memory consumption.  If I open everything I need to get work done in Vista, I do run out of ram fairly quickly, and then the OS starts putting things into the pagefile, which results in very slow response times due to it accessing the misserably slow hard drive.  This isn't the case with windows 7 or ubuntu or xp for that matter.  Yes, in my experience, windows vista IS a ram hog.
### I'm an idiot, and I approve this message ###

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NAYRhyno

I hve to go with Win 7, or XP, strictly for software compatibility. Maybe Linux will give better performance, and if you dont do anything on your netbook that you cant do in Linux, it may be best. For me, and many people, Windows is still king.

___________________________________
Game-Central.org

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internetReklam

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Catalog

There are plenty of twitter gadgets available for Windows Vista and 7, which put twittering right on the desktop. How much more built in do you need it to be?

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wk

u can consider me a loyal reader to MPC magazine and website for a long time but i can't disagree with many comments below.

lately i had noticed that many reviews and articles are not up to previous high quality material.

i don't know the reasons, may be staff changes, magazine policy ... etc but all i hope that MPC will return to their excellent quality.

 

MPC is my home page

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guoruiwu1994

How come the Software Compatibility about Ubuntu Notebooks Remix is about Windows 7?

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imperium999

I left a comment which basically said the exact same thing, but it is now gone...

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bart3385

"No one is going to play World of Warcraft on one of these thin machines"

 I've been playing Zero Hour on my Asus N10J Netbook for some months now. Set  to the highest video details in the game, it runs smoothly. No lag whatsoever. Even when battling 3 brutal-team opponents simultenously. It's like playing the game on a regular fulltime core2 duo machine. (I tried 4 brutal-team opponents too, still no lag, but my chances to win against 4 is rather slim.)

Atom 1.6ghz, 2gb ram, nvidia 256mb discrete, wifi-n, vista home premium 32-bit.

No problem.

I just love this tiny machine.

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computer_freak_8

The ASUS N10J is not a netbook - it is an ultraportable, which explains why it has more power.

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ilfipian

There should have been a security category as well. Windows obligates you to a fairly high level of defensive computing. There are plenty of free applications to do the job but it adds a fair bit of overhead  when you're comparing speed and performance.

 It's in this area I feel that a non-standard OS picks up some points.  And it's one of the main reasons I removed XP from my Acer and went with Ubuntu.

 Also, I'm not a fan of the Netbook remix interface. The OS tweaks are useful, but the interface isn't.

 Ubuntu isn't all glory. There are problems with recogntion and hotswapping of SD cards and some minor video problems.  Windows device drivers are more robust and battery efficient. 

 So there are some important features in the various OSes that were ignored. 

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jbrandonbb

A security category would have been a good addition, just not enough tiem to cover everything. I agree with your comments about Ubuntu versus Windows.

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theresapartyinm...

I have an HP mini note 2133 netbook. It came with Windows Vista and I have become so frusterated with it in the past year that I finally am looking for something new. That something new will be Windows seven. This article is clearly Linux-centric. Although i am a big fan of Linux i firmly believe that any of the operating systems reviewed would work in a netbook. The only OS that i dont believe is good enough for a netbook is vista because on a netbook it takes about 5 minutes to boot evne with a 7200 rpm drive an 2Gb of ram. windows seven is much faster and does not hog nearly as many resources as vista. Almost any type of linux works well on a netbook because linux uses minimal resources. I just believe that you are comparing these OSes based on your love for Linux and not which one is actually best for the user.

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dankers

We advise you to skip Windows 7, even though it is newer than Windows 7

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Denis63

I just wanna say that my Acer AspireOne AOA-150 runs Windows 7 like a champ. and to get over the slow boot time, i just make it hibernate all the time. i "boot" in under 30 seconds, thank you very much. It's also snappy and responsive, which is more than i can say about my Windows 7 Virtual Machine on my core2 gaming rig at home.       -Denis

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ghot

Surprise surprise. :/

 Now don't get agry Will....but twitter....so what?  It's just another place for kids to run their mouths.  What's next, youtube functionality?  I can only assume this review of netbook OS's is biased because of max PC's extreme exposure to OS's in general.  Most people don't go through 15 OS's a day, so tend to be less "bored" with the one OS that does it all....XP.  I'm also getting sick and tired of you dissing XP's search....I can find any file on my comp in 1-3 seconds.  Maybe you just have too much crap on your comp...eh?

I'll just put this review down to a bad day...(no coffee) at Maximum PC.  I'm still a fan of your mag and website...I try to take the biased reviews with the accurate ones. 

Do you realize that you haven't reviewed an AMD motherboard since January?  Did the manufacturers stop making them?  Do you realize that the AMD phenom II X4 was for sale on Newegg.com three months before you mentioned it on the back cover of the mag.....and STILL had to toss in i7 crap in the whole paragraph where you deigned to even mention the 955.  Whats going on at Max PC lately?  Where's the beef?

Do you realize that at least 50% of the time, that the "coming next issue info is not accurate"?

It would really be nice for a change if Max PC stopped trying to steer its readers down some preset path and just got back to plain old reporting.

Maybe one day I'll recieve an issue that details all the bad-side of cloud computing as well.  Like no privacy, like, the user has absolutley no control over what is done with their data thats stored online. Like the encryption offered by the online storage providers is THEIR encryption and that a 14 year old can crack a password in about 13 seconds with the proper equipment.....ya know....like the equipment that the online storage providers have.

I don't want to sound like a complainer, but since 2003, when i started my subscription....the meat % in the monthly issues has dropped to about 30% of what it used to be.  Charge $2 an issue and stay away from the dark side...

 No wonder Gordon .....rants   :)

 Yes I do realize that you, Will, did not pen the article....but you ARE the EIC!

 

 

 

 

Take an OS, and edit out all the efficiency, and what you have left is a post-XP Microsoft operating system :)

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gatorXXX

I have to agree with you ghot. I remember the days of MPC listing all the positives and negatives of all hardware and software alike. They seemed to more unbiased at that day and age. Sure, they added thier two cents about a product and I listened to them wholeheartedly! It just seems now, like you said, they seem to be steering people in a pre-determined path. Just about everything I read about AMD anymore is negative. But just remember, without AMD, Intel would have the monopoly and you would have to sell your 1st born to purchase a core i7. Not to mention the advancements in technology due to AMD.

Don't get me wrong either, I still love MPC and will continue to read to my hearts content. but in this article, win XP is still the victor. It does what it is supposed to do with nary of problems. It's not perfect, but what OS is? As my netbook goes, I will continue to use XP till I feel comfortable installing Windows 7. I pre-ordered 2. One for my main PC to upgrade Vista, and one to upgrade XP on this netbook. We will see how that pans out.

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willsmith

Guys, when Intel made inferior CPUs and AMD was kicking ass, we talked about AMD a lot, and reviewed a lot of AMD boards. With the Phenom II effectively competing with Intel's last-gen CPU architecture, we are going to talk about Phenom II that much. We don't have time or bandwidth to review products that only work with a second (or third, depending on the benchmarks you believe) place architecture.

When AMD is competitive on the CPU front again, we'll cover more products. Until then, we've gotta give the people what they want. 

 While I definitely understand your point about the anti-competitive nature of AMD and Intel's relationship, our job is to tell people what the best hardware is. I'd be doing a disservice to my readers who expect that info if I started recommending inferior hardware in order to push some hidden anti-Intel agenda. 

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coerciblegerm

That's an interesting attitude to have, Will. Readers are asking you to more extensively cover their options for CPUs... and you brush us off because Intel's architecture has the performance edge at the moment. That didn't stop you guys from covering Intel back when the tables were turned and AMD was the clear leader. But, nonetheless, I suppose the same logic about inferior architecture holds true with your coverage of netbooks, right?

You guys don't have time to review AMD products? I have an idea; stop wasting time with fluffy articles about Barack Obama USB Drives (http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/barack_obama_usb_drive_promises_8gb_you_can_believe) and moderating the discussion when (gasp) the discussion turns sour. Is that article an example of your dedication to telling people about the best hardware? I doubt it.

And did you really bring up bandwidth? As a long time reader of your magazine, allow me to personally apologize for wasting your precious bandwidth, as well as all the trees I've wasted on the print edition of your magazine. You can rest assured that I won't be taking up your bandwidth, nor will I be burdening you with any more of my hard earned cash. Thanks for letting us know how you really feel about your readers.

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comptech08

Will, I dont think they want an anti-intel agenda, they just want AMD covered too. 

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gatorXXX

Exactly! I know and I will divulde to the Intel users without shame that Intel CPU's are better to a certain degree. Yeah, intel CPU's slaughter AMD in benchmarks but I'll put it this way: Corvette and camaro race in the quarter mile. Corvette beats camaro hands down but camaro still finishes. They both get the job done. They both finish exceptionally fast. Just the corvette did it faster. All at the expense of the wallet cause the covette cost nearly twice as much as a camaro.

I just want to know what MB, ram, soundcard, cpu cooling, etc., is better for my AMD rig as I am not a fanboi, just COST conscience.

 

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almax

extended coverage of AMD won't change benchmarks

what part of MAXIMUM don't brandname fanboys understand?

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gatorXXX

I bet you, only 10% of readers on here care soley about benchmarks. If you do, great!! nothing wrong with that. but I for one, don't really care as it doesn't matter what the numbers are, as long as it gets the job done.

 

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pcfxer

"

extended coverage of AMD won't change benchmarks

what part of MAXIMUM don't brandname fanboys understand?"

 

Bingo, I will buy AMD because I'm a poor student, but I read MaximumPC because it is about MAXIMUM technology and ridiculous fantasies of machines that I'll never touch until ten years from now ;). That said, I remember some articles recently about file servers with Windows? That is minimum. Solaris is MAXIMUM.

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xs0u1x

MeTo will be all over this one....

 

 \m/ fight the good fight brother.

 

 

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guitronics

OK: So which OS won? I didn't see any "Ratings" expressed in numbers.

 

    It looks to me that each OS has problems....

 

                 Just different types.  Right?

 

I love my country. I fear it's Government.

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almax

The fact that LINUX vs. Win/Mac comparisons have to involve several Linux distributions, clearly explains why there is no comparison.

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n0ctis

Can we get a rewrite on this article from someone who knows what they're talking about?

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Pentium 0

BTW, was Win 7 the default Ultimate edition? That seems unfair.

You can install Basic or Starter edition by deleting a certain file

http://windows7center.com/news/how-to-install-any-version-or-sku-of-windows-7/

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n0ctis

That was my first thought. Comparing an OEM XP tailored to a netbook against the friggin Ultimate edition of Windows 7 is ridiculous.

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Pentium 0

Believe it or not everyone, There is more to life than updating your twitter status every friggin' second.

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n0ctis

RT @Pentium_0 Believe it or not everyone, There is more to life than updating your twitter status every friggin' second.

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MeTo

I chose Ubuntu for Netbooks Remix try it you will like it. And it's free.

Internet box Linux,Dual boot/Vista,AMD Athlon+ x2 5600,3 Gig DDR2 ram,500 Gig HDD,ATI HD 4650 1 gig Video.

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mesiah

Well, it was a good article. The only thing  I would like to say is, who the hell cares wether you can upate twitter from within the OS? I think large companies like microsoft realise that sites like twitter are just a fad and aren't going to spend serious time incorporating them into their OS so that 5 years from now people can point and laugh at the twitter support. While I am sure social networking is here to stay, I just dont see sites like twitter being our default form of communication with the world, and if I am wrong.... god help us all.

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pcfxer

I vote for PC-BSD! Oh wait, MaximumPC only knows what mainstream media mention, fail.

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mesiah

Hang on, let me get some popcorn! Any article with the words Windows vs. and Linux in the title is gauranteed to have some entertaining comments...........

 

alright I'm back, now make with the entertainment!

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dethdeks

i agree with just about every comment post on here except a few (staff posts), and i myself have been reading maxpc.com for some time now about a year n a half or so n i also have noticed how much its gone down hill since i started reading it. i remeber when it was updated everyday with acuall windows, and linux and the odd mac news ( i say odd cause it was like 1 mac post to every 100-1000 windows/linux posts) and now iv noticed linux is getting almost same treatment as mac is getting less n less posts n its going directly to windows. dont get me wrong im in no way shape or form a windows fanboy but seriously maxpc come on you cant tell me that theres so little new in linux that you are going to pretty much wipe them off your site. iv also been threw 2 site remodels and each one seams to get worse. first one being from the good ole plain site to the ugly orange site then to this now rediculasly ugly site skin that looks like it only has 1 purpose n thats to draw in more revenue from ad's, are you telling me that your content has gone down hill so much in the last year and a half that your mags arnt selling as good to the point where you gotta draw in as much revenue from ugly ad's on your site to the point that you pretty much make your whole site ad's good job MaxPC

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