Vista: Extreme Tech Answers, Upgrade or Clean Install?

So you’ve done it. You’ve consulted with your spouse, your lawyer, your priest, and your therapist and you’ve decided to ditch XP for the wide open fields and OSXivity that is Windows Vista. And you’ve even chosen which flavor you want. But when upgrading one Windows OS to another, the nagging question has always been: clean install or upgrade the current install?

In the past, a clean install always made for a more stable, faster system with less legacy bloat. A clean install, however, would also mean re-downloading and re-configuring all of your favorite applications, if they even worked with the new OS. It’s not an easy choice to make, but fortunately the people at Extreme Tech have done some of your homework and put together a shoot-out between Vista as an upgrade or Vista as a clean install, and the results are surprising.

As it turns out, Vista running as an upgrade to XP scores almost identical benchmarks to Vista as a clean install. What’s more, the system bloat and orphaned files typical of a Windows upgrade are almost nonexistent. This means that upgrading to Vista from XP should actually be quite a bit easier than from older OSes to XP was. If you’re indeed taking the Vista plunge, rest assured that the upgrade process should do the trick nicely, which means less hassle. And you’ll get to try out your huge new OS faster, too.

Vista Performance Shootout: Upgrade Vs. Clean Installation [Extreme Tech]