This is one of the most important features that sealed Vistas doom.
We take a quantitative look at Vista and XP performance to determine exactly what penalty, if any, you pay when you upgrade to Windows Vista
To test Vista versus XP performance, we built what we think is a fairly middle-of-the-road rig—an Intel Q6600 quad core with 2GB of memory and a GeForce 8800 GTS videocard. We then ran a battery of benchmarks in three different OS environments: XP with Service Pack 3, Vista sans Service Pack 1 (with modern Nvidia drivers installed), and Vista with SP1. Our tests measure everything from overall system performance to network speed to gaming prowess.
Unsurprisingly, Windows XP remains faster in almost all of our standard system benchmarks. More noteworthy is how SP1 has improved Vista’s performance, narrowing the gap between that OS and XP in key tests and even allowing Vista to surpass XP in our MainConcept encoder test.
Unfortunately for Vista, our desktop benchmarks do reveal areas where Vista continues to suffer substantial performance hits compared to XP, namely in ProShow and Quake 4. We’ve talked to the ProShow developers, and they don’t know what causes the slowdown with their app in Vista, but they’re investigating. We attribute the Quake 4 performance hit to poor OpenGL drivers in Vista.
As we mentioned before, we’re perfectly willing to sacrifice a few percentage points of performance from an operating system upgrade. However, the difference between Vista SP1 and XP SP3 in ProShow and Quake 4 reaches a dismal 10 to 25 percent.
It's not the fact that it merely runs things it's the fact that it doesn't run them well or at optimum performance levels vs XP.
More quoteable quotes from Microsoft itself about Vista. They even admit they botched it all up and tried to blame it on everybody else but themselves.
Microsoft Concedes Vista Launch Problems
Abandoning the pretense that Vista is the perfect OS, Microsoft reps sat down with us to discuss the OS’s problems in a (kind of) frank conversation
We were surprised when Microsoft reps agreed to discuss Vista’s launch problems and what the company has done to fix them. We were surprised not only that they agreed to answer our questions with candor, but that they were speaking to us at all. Our initial conversation occurred in June and set the stage for the article you’re reading. This dialogue also marked the first time in eight years that we had a private conversation with any Microsoft employee without a PR manager present.
The answers we got during this mid-June background conversation were brutally honest: Our source, a high-ranking Windows product manager, conceded that Microsoft botched the Vista launch. He added that the company’s biggest concern wasn’t the OS but rather the eroded faith in Microsoft’s flagship product among users of all types and experience levels.
Our conversation was refreshingly frank, and no topic appeared off limits. To wit:
Our Microsoft source blamed bad drivers from GPU companies and printer companies for the majority of Vista’s early stability problems.|
He described User Account Control as poorly implemented but defended it as necessary for the continued health of the Windows platform.
He admitted that spending the money to port DirectX 10 to Windows XP would have been worth the expense.
He assailed OEM system builders for including bad, buggy, or just plain useless apps on their machines in exchange for a few bucks on the back end.
He described the Games for Windows initiative as a disaster, with nothing more than 64-bit compatibility for games to show for years of effort.
He conceded that Apple appeals to more and more consumers because the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn’t annoy its customers (or allow third parties to).
Yes, the June conversation was dazzlingly candid, and we were looking forward to an equally blunt follow-up meeting—a scheduled late-July on-the-record interview with Erik Lustig, a senior product manager responsible for Windows Fundamentals. But then the universe as we know it returned to normal, and Microsoft became Microsoft again. Our interview with Lustig was overseen by a PR representative and was filled with the type of carefully measured language that we’ve come to expect from Microsoft when discussing “challenges.” A “challenge” is Microsoftese for anything that isn’t going according to the company’s carefully choreographed plans. In the text that follows, we’ve combined the information conveyed during the mid-June background conversation with decoded translations of the “on the record” conversation we had in July. The contrast between the two interviews is stunning.
We herewith give you a snapshot of Microsoft’s take on Vista launch problems.
According to now-public internal Microsoft memos, 18 percent of all Vista crashes reported during the months immediately following its launch were due to unstable Nvidia graphics card drivers.
Microsoft has never issued any public comment concerning who’s to blame for the driver crashes, but during our background conversation, our source conceded that hardware OEMs were writing WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) drivers for a moving target during Vista’s beta and release-candidate periods. Our source told us that because of low-level OS changes, hardware vendors didn’t have sufficient time to develop and test their drivers. This mirrors what Steven Sinofsky, the head of the Windows team, said in an interview with Cnet earlier this year: “The schedule challenges that we had, and the information disclosure weren’t consistent with the realities of the project, which made it all a much trickier end point when we got to general availability in January.”
Launch problems aside, once Vista is updated with SP1, it seems much more reliable than it was early on. The Maximum PC Lab isn’t equipped for long-term stability testing, but in our anecdotal experience, Vista’s stability problems are largely fixed, even on somewhat exotic hardware. Whether Vista is more stable than WinXP really depends on the actual hardware configuration you’re using more than anything else.
While discussing this story on background, Microsoft placed blame for incompatible software and hardware on its third-party partners. However, during our on-the-record chat, Lustig simply said, “I honestly don’t have the exact numbers for that,” in reference to the ratio of crashes attributed to Microsoft versus third-party entities.
Regardless, we’re well aware that Microsoft had been talking to hardware and software developers about Vista compatibility issues since the 2005 Meltdown, Microsoft’s annual gaming conference. At that conference, Microsoft informed game developers that they needed to write apps that behaved well, or they would face problems with Vista. The requirements were, for the most part, simple—caveats like not writing to C:/Program Files/ or C:/Windows/.
It’s also important to note a shameful truth that everyone in the PC industry is aware of but rarely discusses: When a new OS comes out, third-party vendors will often withhold compatibility support in order to drive sales of new units, turning the cost of supporting a new OS from a liability into a source of revenue. The same goes for software like antivirus utilities and some CD/DVD burning apps, both of which hook into the OS very closely.
And now the light at the end of the tunner or the "I Told you So Syndrome"
After Windows Vista's disappointing performance versus Windows XP, and controversial benchmarks of a pre-beta build of Windows 7, everyone's wondering how Windows 7 compares, not just with Windows Vista, but also with the "operating system that will not die" (Windows XP SP3).
ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 maven, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, rose to the challenge and has put Windows 7 build 6956 up against Vista SP1, Vista RTM (the original and worst), and Windows XP SP3 in three benchmarks: boot time, Passmark Performance Test 6.1, and Cinebench R10.
Not surprisingly, Windows Vista SP1 blew the doors off its RTM ancestor, but was similarly run off the road by Windows 7, which also made Windows XP SP3 eat its dust in virtually every test. The only test in which Windows XP SP3 held off its two-generation newer rival was in the OpenGL version of the Cinebench R10 benchmark. If this performance level continues until Windows 7 sees the light of day sometime next year, Windows 7 users will be very happy, and Windows XP diehards who have resisted "Mojave" will finally upgrade.
Windows 7 is showing it is going to blow XP and Vista off the map in performance and as stated just like Millenium faltered and fell so to will Vista as Windows 7 makes it to the forefront in the near future. As someone else said about 'resistance is futile' Windows 7 will rule the day. Going to be a nice OS upgrade with the new Intel processors I7's kinda coincidental don't you think? I7 and Windows 7?
One more fact in closing. Most users just weren't ready for a new OS when Vista was released. XP was running fine and well and the immediate turn off was no directx 10 capability for their well beloved XP OS. Microsoft even admitted it wouldn't have been that much of an expense to convert dx10 to XP, but, for 'projected' sales and revenue I'm pretty sure that's why they didn't do it and it backfired on them as anyone can see just reading the articles and the uproar about Vista.
For those that have Vista and are happy with it I don't begrudge you I'm glad you don't have the headaches that Vista once was out of the chute. But, had you waited you could have gotten the better performing Windows 7 in a few more months since Vista just isn't necessary for gaming atm. It hardly has a library of dx10 games only and the ones that it does certainly doesn't warrant an upgrade to it. I'm more than happy with XP still and will take a good look at Win7 before I buy as I did Vista and didn't buy. I was a diehard Win98 user as well though when XP came out and I did the 'I told you so's' about Windows Millenium as well. Does anyone still run Windows Millenium by the way here?
< Message edited by killroyishere -- 12/24/2008 7:51:59 AM >