This article was previously published under Q259080
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Windows 2000 Professional has more features and capabilities including higher minimum supported and minimum recommended hardware requirements than Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0.
Hardware that works with Windows NT Workstation 4.0 as the operating system may not be adequate for Windows 2000 Professional, and because of this, your computer may start more slowly with Windows 2000 Professional installed.
Also, attempts to increase individual hardware component performance because of the presence of Windows 2000 Professional may actually hinder performance compared to a previously more balanced configuration. For example, if you use a 100 megabyte (MB) network adapter that is running at full duplex speed in a computer that uses a Pentium 133 megahertz (Mhz) central processing unit (CPU) with 64 MB or random access memory (RAM), the network adapter may create a broadcast storm that can slow down the network as compared to the more balanced 10 MB network adapter that was previously used.
Windows 2000 Professional makes greater use of newer hardware features to enhance performance, safety and TQM than Windows NT 4.0 did. Legacy hardware without these newer functions and capabilities often cannot overcome the additional overhead of the increased software capabilities you may seek from Windows 2000 Professional, and because of this, it may reduce the ability of that legacy hardware to provide comparable throughput with the lower requirements of Windows NT 4.0.
For example, software and hardware collaboration on new technologies like Plug and Play, ACPI, APM, WakeOnLan and OnNow functions in addition to the greater capacity for multimedia and audio/visual experiences found in higher capacity hardware such as audio, video and DVD Playback can create significant additional demand for CPU cycles and speed across the board.
The resolution is to match the hardware resources with the operating system you choose and the target role for that computer.
While Windows NT Workstation 4.0 requires a 486 Mhz CPU with 16 MB of RAM and 120 MB of hard disk space may have provided acceptable client performance, that is not adequate to meet the Windows 2000 Professional minimum supported installation of a Pentium 133 Mhz CPU with 32 MB of RAM and 650 MB of free hard disk space, or the minimum recommended amount of a Pentium 200 Mhz CPU with 64 MB of RAM and 2 gigabytes (GB) of free hard disk space.
The slower speed and capacity of all legacy hardware represents a significant disadvantage across the component spectrum of the standard computer, be it a client computer or server.
This includes slower speeds in the following:
Motherboard and memory buses (60/66 Mhz versus 100/133/400/700 Mhz).
CPU speed (133-200 Mhz versus 750+ Mhz/1 Ghz).
Lower total memory capacities (256 MB versus 1-2+ GB).
Slower speed RAM (72 pin running at 60/70ns versus 168 pin SDRAM at 100/133mhz or RAMBUS at 700 Mhz).
IDE hard drive throughput of 8.7/16.6 MB/s versus 33/66 MB/s with UltraDMA/EIDE and 80/160 MB/s SCSI or 200/400 MB/s FibreChannel controllers and drives.
Maximum drive capacities that were 1-2/4 GB or less are now in the 50-75 GB per drive range for competitively priced computers.
Legacy hardware-based computers limit the ability of Windows 2000 to provide increased functionality and innovation at comparable or higher throughput when compared with legacy operating systems and their reduced functionality.
While it may appear something could be wrong because a computer appears to start slower, remember to ask what current and future functionality is forfeited because of the limitations of legacy hardware.
It is not possible to compare performance of the two operating systems (even if you use the same hardware) because of the substantially different hardware requirements and functionality.
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