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The 12 biggest technology myths

Find out the truth behind tech's tallest tales

As much as we love the internet, there's no doubt it's a breeding ground for myths. And its not only rumours about your favourite celebrities, it also covers the world of technology, which means consumers are at risk of being being fed lies, half-truths, and misinformation.

We've dug up some of the web's most notorious nuggets of conventional wisdom to see which hold up to scrutiny and which are merely urban legends.

Of course, there's often a grain of truth in even the most fanciful myth. That's why we provide a handy set of numbered warning signs to indicate how accurate each of these myths is, with 1 being True and 4 being Outrageous - a complete fabrication. After all, they say numbers never lie.

Vista is slower than Windows 7

When Windows Vista came out, it soon acquired a reputation for being slow and a resource hog. Once Windows 7 arrived, people were quick to tout it as the speedy, slim operating system that Vista should have been.

PC Advisor's sister title, PC World, conducted performance tests on a handful of laptops and desktops using both 32bit and 64bit versions of Vista and Windows 7, shortly after the latter OS was released. While results varied across configurations, a few trends stood out. Windows 7 raised WorldBench 6 scores from 1.25 percent to almost 10 percent (but most often in the vicinity of two to three percent); it also resulted in much faster disk operations (in Windows 7 our Nero disc-burning software tests ran twice as fast on an IdeaPad laptop, and 2.5 times as fast on a Gateway laptop), and in slightly longer battery life (the IdeaPad lasted only an extra minute; the Gateway got an extra 15 minutes).

While Windows 7 did seem to speed things up somewhat, a few tests actually showed some slowdown. Applications launched more slowly across the board (the most dramatic change was a 2.7-second Photoshop CS4 launch in Vista turning into a 9.6-second launch in Windows 7), and the Gateway laptop saw a slight increase in startup time (39.6 seconds in Vista; 43.6 seconds in Windows 7).

As it turns out, the 'snappy' feeling Windows 7 engenders has to do with Registry tweaks and minor changes to the window manager that make the OS feel more responsive, even though it isn't that different.

The verdict: Windows 7 is faster, but not by as much as you may think.

Warning: 2, Mostly true

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