The Big Windows 7 Defragmenter Test

Finally it's here, the sequel to the Big Windows XP Defragmenter Test. This time, with the most advanced desktop operating system from Microsoft: Windows 7 in the 64-bit edition (*).

Although the capacities of modern hard drives have now breached the terabyte limit (1,000 gigabytes), they are still a mechanical component which is the bottleneck in the system. To speed up the system, an affordable (if not free) alternative to the fast (but still quite expensive) flash drives (SSD) is to use a defragmenter. If you search the internet for the "Best defragmenter for Windows 7", you'll encounter strikingly often comments like "use the Windows defragger" or "Windows takes care of that by itself".

How good is the Windows 7 Defragmenter actually?

Apparently, a lot has changed since Windows XP. Whether the Windows 7 Defragmenter can do justice to its reputation or not will be revealed in this test
So much can already be confirmed beforehand: In Windows XP only a boot and program optimization was performed automatically every 3 days, in Windows 7 there is also a complete defragmentation scheduled weekly.

This also changes the requirements for the defragmenters which are to be tested: While these had to grapple with an unoptimized volume back in the Windows XP test, they are now faced with a file system that has been fully optimized by the Windows 7 Defragmenter.

Which defragmenter is the best?

Given the preparatory work of the Windows 7 Defragmenter and its reputation, it is questionable whether third-party defragmenters can get even more performance out of the system.

This undertaking becomes even more difficult for the defragmenters by a feature introduced with Windows Vista: SuperFetch, an addition to the familiar Windows XP Prefetch. In order to optimize the access time of the slow hard drive even further, Superfetch already loads data of programs into the fast memory before they are even started. Since the defragmenters will be tested with an active Superfetch, only a slight performance boost is to be expected.

As always, comments and criticism of the test setup, execution, etc. are encouraged and can be posted in the Forum.


>>> Continue to the test setup.

>>> Or right away to the benchmarks.

Update v1.1 06/09/2013

(*) The latest Microsoft operating system is currently Windows 8, but this is in my opinion a tablet operating system, which usually runs on a SSD.