Okay, so there's been a lot of talk about which is better, which runs leaner, which takes more space, etc. So I decided; Hey! Why not test them all, in a controlled environment, allowing them the exact same treatment to get as accurate a result as possible? Good Idea? I think so too. So here comes Kyle's Windows XP/Vista/7 Resource Test + More! Environment First things first, the environment I used. Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ stock (2.4 GHz, I reset the clock to get an accurate test) 3 GB System RAM (800 MHz DDR2) ATI Radeon HD 3450 256 MB @ Stock (Again, reset) Asus Motherboard Integrated 10/100/1000 LAN connection Windows 7 Build 7000 Ultimate x64 as the base OS Then, I installed Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (64 Bit installer) on that platform, with nothing running in the background. I then allocated 1 GB of RAM for the Virtual PC I then set up three disks, One 10 GB disk for XP, and two 20 GB disks for Vista and 7. The virtual machine itself only uses one core, so I let it have the full 2.4 GHz core. I then installed each OS (Using XP Pro SP3, Vista Ultimate SP1, and The Windows 7 Ultimate Beta, all 32 Bit OS') Then, I booted into each separately and ran the First boot memory tests. Memory Test Results: Windows XP Professional SP3 Results: No Optimization (Untouched): http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/6011/xpsp31ncfp1.jpg Optimized (All unnecessary processes and services disabled): http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/7503/xpsp32cfk5.jpg Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 Results: No Optimization (Untouched): http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6092/vistasp11ncyx8.jpg Optimized (All unnecessary processes and services disabled): http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/5572/vistasp12ckx0.jpg Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) Results: No Optimization (Untouched): http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/6951/7beta1ncwl2.jpg Optimized (All unnecessary processes and services disabled): http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6461/7beta2cxi1.jpg --------------------------- Conclusion: That's it so far, showing that (obviously) XP SP3 has the lead in RAM usage (76-82 MB), followed by 7 Beta (288-320 MB) and Vista SP1 (295-347 MB). Overall XP also has the least bloat, with 6.3%, followed by Seven with 10% and Vista bringing up the rear with 15%. --------------------------- Hard Disk Space Test: Windows XP Professional SP3 Results: http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/4320/xpsp3hdfitestmy5.jpg Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 Results: http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/1181/vistasp1hdfitestgm4.jpg Windows 7 Ultimate Beta Results: http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3/7betahdfitestbk0.jpg --------------------------- Conclusion: Again, XP comes out on top, its clean install footprint only being 3.68 GB. Second place is 7 Beta, with 6.09 GB, and Vista comes in last with 7.34 GB. Seems like Vista has the most bloat on the hard disk as well. As for direct comparison, if XP = 100%, 7 Beta comes in at just over 65% more bloat, and Vista brings up the rear with over 99% over-sized. -------------------------- More tests coming soon, suggestions? They can't be graphic based, due to the limitations of a virtual machine, but any other test I can administer easily. .