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Which OS 2000 or XP for older hardware?


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2) USB Mass Storage access (pendrives or sticks) appear to be WAY faster in 2K

not only 'appear' but they ARE faster.

There is no DRMs built-in into the code of W2K (as opposed to XP).

Thats the sole reason why.

Interesting :), do you have any link with some details and data?

(I used "appears" as I have no exact comparison/test data to show the amount of lag you have under XP.)


I don't, and IMHO no link will ever exist until Windows code is publicly known (apparently never).

Some smarter than me people came to this conclusion in the past, and I believe this explanation to be correct, because testing i.e. exactly same computer with same pendrives but different OSes always is faster on W2K (test it for yourself, dont take my word for it). What other possible reason in WinXP OS could slow it down when compared to 2K?

Edited by 888
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  • 4 months later...

XP is faster, and actually uses less ram than 2000 after you configure it & disable the extra services. I've tested this under an extreme situation; I took a machine with 96mb of ram, booted 2000 and booted XP, XP was visibly faster.

Yes XP does some pre-fetch stuff and makes use of un-used ram, but who cares, once you need the ram it's given up and that doesn't slow you down at all. Why do you think XP is faster than 2000 in the first place?

Plus there are tons of security improvements to XP, it's the first MS OS where you can fully run as a non admin, and use RunAs to run admin functions or use some of their un-official tools like MakeMeAdmin, DropMyRights, PrivBar and such to make your non-admin life easier. These things don't work with 2000.

Keep in mind most MS OSs are in 2 steps: revolutionary and evolutionary. The first is an overhaul (big ram & computing increase) the 2nd is improvements & tweaks (faster, sometimes even leaner). So Win95->98, Win2000->XP, Vista->Win 2009 (WinME didn't get a sequel because, well it sucked). So generally speaking you'll always want to run the 2nd OS when you can choose as it contains huge improvements over the one before it.

PS: Task Manager does a HORRIBLE job reporting ram usage, for example it puts shared memory under every program. So if you have two 5mb programs that can share a 10mb block of memory (ex: .Net apps or a common DLL), Task Manager will report each program uses 15mb of ram (30mb total), when technically it's 10mb (20mb total). A better program to use (but much more complicated) is Process Monitor as it will list the shared amount of memory.


I know, its old post, but made me chuckle :D

By your logic (which might have some substance actually) it is actually Win2000 that should be the best 'second OS' because you missed NT4 (pls dont say the name fooled you to think it was something different than 2K/XP ;)

IMHO it should look like this:

Win95->Win98->WinME :: 1st so-so, 2nd great, 3rd completely overdone (too many mostly useless changes)

WinNT4->Win2000(NT5)->WinXP :: 1st so-so, 2nd great, 3rd completely overdone (too many mostly useless changes)

I have 2 identical old PCs (actually 3... but third doesnt run any Win). P4 2.0GHz/1GB RAM each, all same hardware

We set' these 2 with 2K and XP, and I dont mean default settings - each one was *properly* set (no nliting but all apropiate tweaks and settings). In every prog/app/cpu/ram/.../test we did, Windows 2000 always won or was the same as Windows XP. Yes, most of the time it was better not by much, but it still did.

I dont know why would you post such bulls*** here. Sheesh.

The only things XP is better is "the look". I hate the "Win98 style" of Windows 2000, but thats about all anyone can pick on.

(Yes I'm aware some software deliberately refuse to work on W2K while it works on XP, but - not surprisingly - its usually Microsoft's software, or software relying on DRMs deeply woven into XP OS and missing or thinly-supported on 2K).

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This has actually been investigated somewhat, and was found that XP and 2000 had basically the same footprint and performance, and the user opted to go with XP for updated hardware and software support with XP after running nLite on the XP install to remove the unnecessary (for him) features.

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  • 7 months later...

win2K is problematic with some old games. Even with the 'application compatability toolkit' ACT30.pkg (if you can actually find a copy).

in my experience XP is better for older games, and a more up-to-date ACT is available for it.

-problematic games, e.g European Air War, problems getting win2K to detect USB joystick, and I never could get the online multiplayer part of the game to work in win2K, whatever I did.....nor can anyone else, for that matter. But works a treat in XP.

Edited by bikerbrom
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I know this is a OLD thread but this is my response to all that are with the same doubt with a similar computer.

In that computer?

Windows 2000.. Definitely.

Windows XP just lag and lag in system with less than 512 MB.. People just like that Windows too much, and nlite it to the max to make it run in computers with about 64 MB ram what I think it's comic.. Probably it will work, but if you install some bull**** program it will lag like hell.

win2K is problematic with some old games.

I don't think so.. Actually Windows 2000 have a compatible mode for .exe aplications like windows xp do.


I have tested it with applications that only ran in Windows 98 and with this I was able to run them in Windows 2k.

I also was with the same question 1 year ago.. People always said me that Windows XP is the best, run better, is more secure, more faster, more all..

However I have used Windows 2000 in pcs at school (at long time), they had upgraded the pcs that were running Windows 98 smoothly but unstable. I remember when I use Windows 2k in there first time.. Never saw any more crash, never saw any ctrl + alt + del problem and applications run always smoothly that in Windows 98. The bad thing was the boot time that increased since windows 98.

So I decided to run Windows 2000 in my system (P4 1.7, 256 MB ram, Nvidia Geforce 2 mx 400, 40 GB hdd). I was sick of Windows XP lagging.. I loved in that time that skin and gui. Never saw nothing similar before. :)

When I tried Windows 2000 I have noted some positive points and some negative ones comparing with XP (this also includes recent points):

+ Stuff

Windows 2000 eat much less ram than Windows XP (this is important in a 256 MB ram)

Windows 2000 is more stable (at least my computer never needed a format after that)

Windows 2000 only eats about 500 MB in a normal installation, while Windows XP eats about 3.5 GB.

- Stuff

Windows 2000 boot time is more than the double of the Windows XP*

Windows 2000 can't run some applications especially mad for Windows XP and Vista**

Windows 2000 don't have a basic theme customization that makes it ugly than Windows XP***

This is my opinion. However actually the bad things with * can be improved:


-Windows 2000 boot time is more than the double of the Windows XP

I have reduced the Windows 2000 boot time from 42 seconds to 38 seconds.. Its not a big difference yet, but probably can be improved replacing or tweaking some Windows 2000 boot files. Have a look here:



-Windows 2000 can't run some applications especially mad for Windows XP and Vista

Other thing that was actually been fixed by the member Windows2000 and his XP API for Windows 2000.Have a look here:



-Windows 2000 don't have a basic theme customization that makes it ugly than Windows XP

Actually Windows 2000 can be more pretty than the default Windows XP. You can actually make it look like vista without eating much resources. (I am running this in Windows2k with 512 MB ram, with all active if you have a worst system you may need to deactivate some theme options) (don't forget to upgrade true transparency to latest version since the version that come with vista pack is unstable)

You can actually have transparency like in Vista, A task bar like vista, icons like vista, a Aero Skin, all system visually upgraded to look like this:


look here:


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