Windows 8 Pro has been one of the fastest Windows based operating systems which I used on an older Dual core 1.86GHz Intel CPU computer with only 1GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive, DVD Drive and onboard video and sound cards. I love that Windows 8 starts up in under a minute, and rarely freezes during shutdown like other operating systems I use.
Installing Windows 8 was also pretty easy for me. All I did was start my computer from the Windows 8 Pro install disc by leaving the disc in the DVD disc drive during computer startup, and waiting for the disc to load, pressing the install button on the Windows disc program, entering in my serial key, and picking which drive or drive partition to install Windows 8.
Windows 8 start faster then Windows 7 and Vista, and experience a lot fewer freeze and crash related errors when I shut it down my computer. I can also easily launch the shut down program by pressing ALT-F4 shortcut in the desktop mode to quickly shutdown.
The new touchscreen start screen user interface takes a while to get used to, but it is not hard to learn for me. Plus, the new user interface seem faster then the default desktop user interface because all the icons are loaded immediately after startup. The desktop mode for Windows 8 also seems faster, and less likely to crash then Windows 7 and Vista desktop which tends to crash, and slow down because I only have 1GB of RAM, and an older dual core CPU. The file copy and paste program, and Windows Explorer in the desktop mode in Windows 8 is also faster, and more stable then the version in 7 and Vista. I like that the new copy and paste program shows how fast the hard drive is copying, and how much time is left. Plus, it is now possible to pause copy and paste operations easily by clicking the pause button.Changing the visual appearance of the desktop is simple since all you have to do is right click the desktop and click personalize from the desktop right click menu, and follow the personalize wizard program.
It is also easy to remove shortcuts you rarely use from both the Start screen desktop, and regular desktop to make both your desktop cleaner, and possibly load, and run faster because there are less objects on the screen.
In the modern start screen desktop, you can also stop tiles/shortcuts from updating by rightclicking on them and picking the option to disable updates to the tile.
The animations in Windows 8 don't seem to slow down Windows 8, but you can easily disable them by going to Computer, and right clicking a blank space and pick properties from the right click menu, and clicking Advance System Properties in the sidebar of System menu.
Lastly, click on Settings in the Performance heading box under Advance tab. The Visual Effects wizard will launch. Pick Adjust for Best Performance, and click OK or Apply. Now all the animations and visual effects are turned off, and you might experience faster performance if your computer has an older CPU and videocard, or is less powerful like Intel onboard graphics found on many desktops and laptops made by companies like Dell, HP, Acer, etc.
The Startscreen in Windows 8 is the startmenu, but in full screen mode, and I found it pretty easy to use to launch apps with a click of the mouse, or I can use the Windows+Q to leaunch the application search program to find programs like Word, Power Point, and Excel I use by typing them in the search box.
I like that Windows 8 also uses less then 20GB of hard drive space, so it does not take up much room on my 320GB hard drive on my desktop computer. Also, Windows 8 does not read and write to my hard drive as often as Windows Vista and 7 which used to spin my hard drive up and down when I have a lot of programs open, so my computer is now more quieter because Windows is not making my hard drive read and write as much as older versions of Windows.
You can use an USB Flash Drive, or SD card in Windows 8 for Readyboost caching to make Windows faster by making your Flash drive or SD card act as RAM when you enable Readyboost on it. Windows 8 also has video card/GPU acceleration to use your computer's video card to speed up Windows by using your video card as a secondary CPU. Internet Explorer 10 also has video card acceleration to make video and webpages run more faster in the browser.
The Task Manager now in Windows 8 allows you to easily disable third party programs which you don't need to run during start up. All you have to do is press CTRL-ALT-Delete while logged into your user account, and pick Task Manager. From the Task Manager, pick the Start up tab where you can easily enable and disable start up programs by right clicking on them, and pick enable or disable. Task manager also tells you how much Impact it has on your startup time. It is usually safe to disable chat programs, media players, games, and office programs from starting up when Windows starts up.
Windows Defender which is the default Antivirus for Windows 8 also seems very fast since Windows Defender seems like it is based on Microsoft Windows Security Essentials which is a light weight antivirus for Windows operating system like XP-7. The default Windows 8 Firewall, User Activated Control Windows, and SmartScreen for Windows also run very well without slowing down Windows.
Panda Cloud Antivirus is a good antivirus which uses very little CPU, and Memory because it uses the internet to scan and remove viruses, but you need an active internet connection for it to work. In my experience, Panda Cloud Antivirus is good if you want a very light antivirus which is lighter then almost all regular antivirus, and you are always connected to the internet like on a desktop pc which usually always have an internet connection.
Internet Explorer 10 is also a nice improvement from older versions because IE10 seems faster, and crashes less then older versions of IE. Opera 12.11 is a good third party web browser which is also very fast on older computers if you prefer not to use IE web browser.
Windows 8 Pro seems like the second fastest operating system I use from Windows, and best of all, it does not freeze or slow down after using it for a few hours unlike other Windows Operating Systems I used in the Past like Windows 98, and Vista. Windows XP is the fastest on older computers, but Windows 8 seems almost as fast as XP even when installed on older desktop and laptop computers. In some cases, if you have a fast multi-core CPU, more RAM, solid state drive, and faster video card installed on your older computer, Windows 8 might be faster because Windows 8 is probably optimized better for faster multi-core CPU, more RAM, solid state drives, and faster video cards then older Windows operating systems like XP.
Tip: Close unused programs in your Taskbar, System tray, and desktops in Windows 8 to recover free RAM and CPU resources which would make the program which you are using run faster. Also, close web browser windows, and tabs which you are not using, or restart your web browser, and other programs by closing and opening again to refresh the program, so it uses less system resources.
I also use Windows 8 with Classic Shell which is a Free Startmenu button program which brings Windows Startmenu button and menu back to 8, and make 8 look like 7. Classic Shell works great for a startmenu program for 8. You can also setup Classic Shell to start your computer from the classic desktop instead of the modern touchscreen desktop.Using Classic Shell is a lot easier then re-installing Windows 7 on a Windows 8 PC, and you get to enjoy the improve performance and stability of Windows 8 while using Windows 8 like 7 or Vista. Classic Shell is also fast, and does not slow down Windows 8 when it is running. You can also exit Classic Shell at anytime by right clicking it, and picking exit.
My favorite new feature in Windows 8 is faster performance when starting up Windows, opening programs, and shutting down Windows since it now only takes a few seconds to startup Windows, open applications, and shutting down Windows even on my older computer which only have 1GB of RAM and a Dual Core 1.86 GHz CPU, Mechanical hard drives and onboard Intel video which is not very fast compared to todays computers, laptops, and Tablets running Windows 8 which have Quad Core CPU, 4GB and more RAM, SSD solid state drives, and better video cards, so if you buy or install Windows 8 on a modern computer with faster computer parts it would be super fast.