Yes, Windows 7 is out, and I am glad most people like it. Despite the touting feature of increased speed, traditional mechanical hard drives still struggle in making opening new programs swiftly. No doubt SSD is the final solution, but before SSDs starts its killing streak, is there no hope for the pre-SSD era?
The point is to shorten program start time for efficiency. One thing people have noticed is that programs starts much faster the second time one runs it. Why? It’s because due to the large memory size, operating systems let programs stay in memory after people close it, so that next time people run the same program, it’s already in memory. Ever since Windows Vista Microsoft had implemented a feature called Superfetch, a service that loads frequent programs into memory beforehand in order to make launching them faster (cached). Overtime, your free memory is consumed by cached memory – memory that contains pre-fetched or closed-launched programs. It is a good thing, because when most of your memory are cached, your computer becomes very fast in opening your frequent programs. However, if you restart or turn your computer off, all of the cached memory are lost, and has to be re-cached again.
One solution people often use is to sleep their machine – keeping all the memory, instead of turning it off. With laptops this tactic works fine for a short period of time. For longer period time, you’ll need the power plug.
But what’s for desktop? My answer: hibernation.
Hibernation has long been forgotten by most people due to its slowness in shutting down and reviving. At few days ago, I accidentally clicked the wrong button and hibernated my machine. Amazed, I found out its speed is quite acceptable. After turning it back on, its starting up speed is much faster than a normal start-up, with all the previous memory preserved. Same effect as a sleep, hibernation uses no power, and it’s a real shut-down.
Windows 7 hibernation seems to have made further optimizations – making it faster on both ends. I would advise anyone who uses a desktop to give it a try. Those who uses laptops can also use it in place of sleep in order to save the precious battery power.