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July 25, 2012

Windows 8 ‘Project Butter’

We’ve been hearing a lot of stories regarding the complete absence of the performance-sucking ‘Aero transparency’ on the latest build of Windows 8 (similar with windows XP and older), Microsoft has finally decided to stay true to its roots by bidding farewell to the excessive eye candies and gaining raw performance by taking the ‘less is more’ approach.

Steven Sinofsky, (President, Windows and Windows Live Division) has just revealed that the jaw-dropping framerate increase of overall UI graphics in Windows 8 [over its predecessor] is a result of re-engineering how 2D graphical elements are rendered on the desktop/Start Screen.

The mission is to make sure that screen animations and transitions are kept at a smooth 60FPS and matching at least a minimum refresh rate of 60Hz which is standard on most built-in displays (sounds familiar?), basically they’re trying to render pretty much everything off the GPU, including the fonts through the use of Microsoft’s new DirectWrite API, talk about overkill.

They’ve done a lot of memory usage optimizations and a ton of tweaks to the DirectX 11.1 API as well since Windows 8 will now fully rely on the DirectX runtime to render the overall computer visuals — didn’t the Windows 7 have this? Microsoft has also upgraded the CPU graphics utilization by making sure that the CPU and GPU tasks are distributed evenly thus, letting the cores do other things even though it’s preoccupied with some GPU-related processes, resulting to an overall improvement in user interface responsiveness.

Windows 8 is designed for use mainly on tablets so making the UI as responsive as possible is the top priority, the improved hardware acceleration isn’t all about the user interface though. Microsoft has promised that with DirectX 11.1, 3D games will also gain immense performance bumps, something that gamers would be happy to hear.

We’ve been using the Windows 8 Release Candidate for a few weeks now and so far we’re really impressed with how fast it performs. It boots up in about 17 seconds, shuts down in a little over 3 seconds, apps open in a flash and It’s running on a pretty outdated Core2Duo platform mind you! We’re just not a big fan of switching between the old desktop and the so-called ‘Start Screen’ frequently.

This is all great news to us consumers and It’s certainly a step in the right direction, let’s hope that Windows 8 will deliver in real-life.

To know more about the hardware-accelerated enhancements on the Windows 8, please click here.

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14 Responses to “Windows 8 ‘Project Butter’”

  1. Rex
    Twitter: angkarasu
    says:

    While people thought windows 8 is worse compared to 7, and that it is made for “tablets” and not for desktops or laptops, there is actually only improvements for those desktop and laptop users. Faster ang boot at shutdown, faster to remove flash disks (almost instantly you can safely remove devices). I’m excited for windows 8 :) Malapit na!

  2. cdr king says:

    I’ve tried installing the developer version of Windows 8. I couldn’t stand the interface. I think traditional Windows users would feel awkward using Windows 8. It gives you a tablet feel and does not give you the classic look of Windows. It even has effects such as popping up the menu like in Gnome. Really weird.

    • grayscale00 says:

      what part of it is awkward exactly? The only use of the start menu is to type the rarely used apps/settings and that just takes a second or two. Freq. used apps are pinned on the taskbar.

      Also, people should at least try the release preview before going bazumzum with screenshots taken from tech sites as their only basis.

    • Iyan Sommerset
      Twitter: iyansommerset
      says:

      I use a lot of apps. A *lot*. Some frequently, some very rarely, and a lot occasionally. Not regularly enough to be worth pinning to a taskbar but not rarely enough as to be very annoying to have to search every single time I need them. In many cases, I don’t have the exact names memorized either, so I need to look at them in menu form to know what exactly it is I need.

    • grayscale00 says:

      ^Since you don’t seem to like searching, then I assume you’re more of a mouse user than a keyboard. well, then the start screen is even better. you will easily access your “lots of apps” and be able to organize them in groups and not just in alphabetical order that the old start menu provides. You can organize them based on what the hell they do, or based on the developer, however you want it.

      I can understand the concerns about the full screen ‘menu’ being invasive but if you’ll gonna think of it, the only time it will be invasive is when you’re doing serious work and when you do serious work, you won’t access those occasionally used apps cause that alone will be invasive.

      I do get your point, though. Personally, I don’t stare at the start screen often unless when testing Metro apps but since I’m more of a winkey(or winkey+q/w) -> type -> enter type of user, the under the hood improvements and imo, better desktop ui sans theme-ing makes the start screen negligible.

    • edgar says:

      grayscale00 tama ka. Pwede namn view all apps and group pa din sila by Product or company name. Mas madami nman makikita compared sa previous start menu programs. You may regroup them if you want it too in your metro UI start menu items.

  3. edgar says:

    I’m now using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. It’s now my main OS and i’m not going back to windows 7. I used this as development pc. There is a lot of improvement in the consumer preview compared to dev. preview. If you want windows 7 start button you can use 3rd party app Start8 for that feature.

  4. sadasd says:

    May I ask whether the 17 seconds boot up was run on a hard drive of an SSD?

  5. paul0289 says:

    I’m planning to upgrade my Asus laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium with Windows 8 Pro just because I’m after the performance benefits of Windows 8. The rest about Windows 8 is just interesting…specifically the interface and the boundary between the Metro UI and the traditional Desktop interface.

    • paul0289 says:

      whoops…I intended to replace the word “interesting” with “uninteresting”. My bad.

  6. paul0289 says:

    I’m planning to upgrade my Asus laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium with Windows 8 Pro just because I’m after the performance benefits of Windows 8. The rest about Windows 8 is just uninteresting…specifically the interface and the boundary between the Metro UI and the traditional Desktop interface.

  7. Arsie
    Twitter: eyesfortech
    says:

    I am really wondering why the author is calling this as Project Butter. Project Butter is for the latest Android OS also known as Jelly Bean update.

    • Benchmark says:

      Though it is not the official term used by Microsoft, but the writer intended to use the Proj. Butter (ala Android) due to the fact Microsoft is making it’s new OS smooth and fast like “butter” as what the Android use.

      Also, the Project butter is enclosed in single quote.

      For me, as I read the title, it already gives you the idea what the article is all about. :)

      just my idea. ;)

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