New Performance Data for Windows 2000 Pro

Thanks for a successful launch of Windows 2000 Pro UPDATE. Judging from the feedback I've received, it's a definite hit! Thanks to everyone who subscribed to the newsletter and all those who’ve written. I’m digging through all that mail now and trying to respond to everyone. If you haven’t received a response yet, don’t take it personally—I’m swamped!

Several folks wrote with server and Active Directory (AD)-oriented questions. Although I’m interested in AD and will investigate it further when time permits, this is the Windows 2000 Professional UPDATE newsletter—which means I’m primarily interested in the desktop. (If you aren’t up on the new names, Windows 2000 Professional—Win2K Pro—is the replacement for Windows NT Workstation.) Windows NT Magazine has several other newsletters of interest to server administrators; browse for a list. Now, on to this week's news:

Microsoft has released some performance data on Win2K Pro Release Candidate 2 (RC2), including Winstone scores for several different configurations. Here’s a summary (remember that with Winstone, a higher score means better performance):


Win98: 1.6
NT 4.0: 1.3
Win2K: 1.39


Win98: 2.16
NT 4.0: 2.69
Win2K: 2.71


Win98: 2.31
NT 4.0: 3.06
Win2K: 3.14

These results show that Win2K RC2 outperforms NT 4.0 in all cases, and outperforms Win98 in 64MB+ configurations. The results also show that 64MB isn’t really enough memory—note the considerable performance difference between 64MB and 128MB. I’ve completed some slightly different testing and obtained similar results; for my particular configuration, the sweet spot is about 80MB—a good fit with the 96MB I have on my system. I’ve also found some benefit to moving the paging file to a physically separate drive or running two page files on physically separate drives (not just partitions). I’ll have more to say on this topic in my debut column for Windows NT Magazine’s print edition, next month.

Last week, I complained that neither Microsoft nor HP was being particularly helpful on the problem of drivers for my OfficeJet 710 multifunction (printer/scanner/fax) device. Microsoft has gotten back to me—not once, but twice—to tell me that an OfficeJet 710 driver is coming from HP and will be available a month or so after the OS ships. Microsoft also said it is working with other multifunction device vendors to get support for their devices.

Now, before you deluge me with questions, I don't know about drivers for other OfficeJets or which vendors Microsoft is working with. I am trying to find out, and I’ll post more on this topic when I get it.

Last week, I mentioned that you could find Microsoft’s Win2K compatibility tool (chkupgrd_1.exe) at, and several people have had trouble finding it. The page in question is support/updates.asp, and the link to the tool is at the bottom of that page.

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