Older PCs Lack Crucial Advantages in Security, Performance, and Manageability

The analysis in this blog post and the associated benchmark testing was done by Prowess Consulting and commissioned by Intel.

The end-of-life date for Windows 7 has come and gone, and you’ve successfully updated your organization’s PCs to Windows 10 before the deadline. The hardware itself might be getting a little old and creaky, but the PCs can run Windows 10 and all the apps your users need, so you’ve got nothing to worry about, right?

Well, that depends.

Sure, you're now getting all the latest software and security updates for Windows. But if your PCs are three, four, or even five years old, they could be lacking in three key areas that are critical for keeping your users and organization safer and more productive: performance, security, and manageability.

The reason for that is simple: while your PC hardware is still running like it’s 2016, your workloads and applications have grown significantly in complexity and ability. Today’s devices need to process more data and handle more demanding tasks, like video processing and computer-aided design (CAD) workloads. Older PCs typically can’t match the performance offered by newer PCs powered by 8th generation Intel® Core™ vPro® processors.

Older devices also have fewer hardware-based security features, which means they might be more vulnerable to sophisticated malware that can infiltrate systems at deeper levels, below the operating system.

And finally, older devices have fewer remote-management capabilities, making it difficult to diagnose, repair, and update systems in remote locations.

Beyond the Benchmarks: Real-World Scenarios

Intel has performed dozens of industry-standard benchmark tests showing substantial performance gains for PCs built on modern Intel Core vPro processors. But our engineering team at Prowess Consulting wanted to go beyond lab measurements to get a more complete picture of the benefits of modern PCs. Do the added features and benefits make the upgrade worthwhile?

To see how newer devices stack up against older devices, we ran tests simulating real-world scenarios typically performed by a medium-sized engineering fi­rm with 450 employees.[1] We compared three older PCs running 6th Generation Intel Core vPro processors to three newer PCs running 8th Generation Intel Core vPro processors.

The results were clear: Windows 10 devices powered by the newer Intel vPro® platform and processors showed significant improvements in performance, security, and manageability, compared to Windows 10 devices running on three-year-old systems:

  • Performance: We measured the time to perform processor-intensive tasks, such as generating a CAD file or transcoding a video. Our test results showed that modern PCs powered by Intel Core vPro processors and Windows 10 give users the performance they need to save hours on repeated tasks, leading to higher productivity and greater job satisfaction.
  • Security: Our research found that 8th Generation Intel Core vPro processors include out-of-the-box hardware security features that help ensure users’ PCs haven’t been tampered with and help protect PCs from sophisticated malware. Advanced hardware security capabilities work with Windows 10 and anti-malware solutions to help protect machines from the moment a user presses the start button.
  • Manageability: Devices powered by 8th Generation Intel Core vPro processors include technologies that allow admins to repair or remediate remote PCs, even when a remote device is powered off or unresponsive. Admins can also manage remote devices that are in a public or private network or in the cloud by using a console located on a private network, at the edge, or in a public cloud. By adding these capabilities, modern PCs built with Intel Core vPro processors can help businesses reduce support and maintenance costs and decrease downtime for PCs.[2]

View the full infographic to learn more about the results.

Which Is More Costly: Upgrading or Not Upgrading?

Based on our research and testing, we strongly recommend organizations weigh the full costs of extending the lives of three-year-old and older PCs against the benefits of upgrading to newer PCs. Up-front PC costs could be a bargain in comparison to the economic impact that might result from the lower employee productivity, fewer hardware-based security features, and reduced remote-management capabilities of older systems.

See our full research and test results in the white paper, “Newer Client Devices Powered by 8th Generation Intel® Core™ vPro® Processors Deliver Big Benefits,” on the Prowess website.

For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit www.intel.com/benchmarks.


Evan Touger is a consultant and senior technical writer with Prowess, a Seattle-area technical consulting firm, specializing in testing, marketing, and content production. Over his seven years with the company he has written about and performed testing and analysis on a wide range of industry technologies, from mobile devices and edge computing to AI, HPC, and cloud computing. Previously, Evan spent over 20 years in the software industry working as a technical support engineer, technical writer, test engineer, and development services director. When testing devices, Evan advocates performing real-world tasks that go beyond standard benchmark analyses.

[1] The medium-sized business and associated personnel described in our scenarios are ­fictional composites intended for informational purposes only.
[2] Software and workloads in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests are measured using specifi­c computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.

Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation.
No product or component can be absolutely secure.
Your costs and results may vary.