Windows Vista Performance Guide

by Ryan Smith on 2/1/2007 12:01 AM EST
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  • nishzone - Saturday, May 24, 2008 - link

    Hi,

    I'm glad tnat your memory usage is similar to mine and therefore I might finally understand this. You have 2 gig of Ram...I understand that superfetch is the reason free ram is 0 (cache increases as free memory decreases). But why is the memory usage 45%? so around 1 gig?

    I also have 50% usage on startup. Is vista using 1 gig memory? There is something I don't understand here because you recommended 1 gig for general users.

    Regards,
    Nishzone
    Reply
  • Dataland - Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - link

    I think Microsoft needs a performance reset. As I've said in some previous posts, I think software in general, and Microsoft software in particular, is getting slower at faster rate than hardware is getting faster. And this problem acutely affects Vista. I think Microsoft needs... (Pingback)

    Performance Reset
    http://dataland.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/performan...">http://dataland.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/performan...
    Reply
  • Kondado - Saturday, February 10, 2007 - link

    I've done my own tests. I sent the same amount of data (51 files, 2,5 GB) once from XP to Samba, then from Vista to Samba (OpenBSD). Then I did the same from XP to XP, and from Vista to XP. XP was always a LOT faster.

    I would really know if it's the drivers or the stack...
    Reply
  • jonp - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    It seems like the budget system area was a little overlooked in this review of Vista. So I have some questions:

    "Memory in Vista..." - It appears that acceptable multitasking performance is found somewhere in the 3GB to 4GB memory size area. Many budget systems have only two memory slots and many new ones support dual memory access. This will force budget systems to 4GB which is fairly pricey now and probably will be for some time.

    "CPU Performance..." - Your love for anything Core2 Duo shines here. But what about the dual core Pentium Ds? Like the D915 2.8GHz processor. Yes it is Netburst, but also easier on the budget than a Core 2 Duo processor. We need something more specific here in terms of benchmarks/guidelines.

    Video adapters - I didn't see anything that talked about integrated video adapters vs. VGA/PCIe video adapters. Are any of the integrated graphic engines, like Intel 950GMA provide acceptable performance for VISTA? How about older video cards? Minimum graphics memory? Graphics engine speed? Again we need more specific guidance here.

    Hard drive - You addressed hard drive performance, in a way, in the "Vista Search for Fast Drives Only" section. But again no specific device selection guidelines like: RPM, cache size, average access, size, data transfer rate, ...

    Virtualization - It appears that MS forbids the use of virtualization products with Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions forcing budget users to more costly editions of Vista.

    Upgrade or "clean" install? - Not strictly a budget system issue; the web if full of warnings about NOT trying to upgrade to Vista --- that it should only be a "clean" install situation. That upgrading is fraught with too many pitfalls that it isn't even worth trying. And not all editions of Vista are allowed to do in-place upgrades of the XP editions; oh, and you can't do an in-place upgrade of anything prior to XP. See http://tinyurl.com/36ljxv">http://tinyurl.com/36ljxv for some upgrade details.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Even with a lengthy preview article, there is still a lot of ground to cover when taking a close look at the final release version of Windows Vista. We have attempted to create a comprehensive look at the new operating system, but even then there are still plenty of items that will have to wait for another day before we can truly evaluate them.


    Basically, a lot of that falls into areas we are going to look at in future articles. Given that we don't really recommend most people upgrade to Vista yet, the lower-end your system is the less we would consider Vista. Pretty much all of the DX9 NVIDIA and AMD cards do fine with the Vista Aero Glass UI, but IGP solutions are slower. Individual tolerance for the UI will vary; I'm sure plenty will be okay with GMA950 and Glass, while others won't want anything less than a $100 discrete GPU. Oh, and GPU drivers for Vista are still flaky, IMO. :)

    HDD, anything 7200 RPM should be fine. CPU, really with a decent GPU the requirements aren't all that much higher than XP. RAM is more important - don't even think about Vista with less than 1GB - but HDD and CPU most people with anything made in the past two years will be fine. Just my opinion there - individual usage and preferences will again play a role.

    I wouldn't say 3-4GB of RAM is even remotely necessary for most people. A few will like it, but 2GB is still sufficient for about 99% of people.

    Virtualization and Upgrades... I'll have to defer to others there. Again, I recommend discretion, so I would tend towards doing a full backup (Ghost or similar) of any system before doing a Vista upgrade. I believe Gary is about to revert his system for the time being, as Vista has just had a few too many glitches. The number of people that worry about virtualization - really intending to use it, not just for test purposes - is again very small. I think mostly we're seeing the vocal minority complaining. Still, I find it odd that MS even worries about whether or not people run the OS via virtualization - unless the glitches are aggravated by such an environment, which is entirely possible.
    Reply
  • jonp - Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - link

    Thanks Jarred...you insights are always very helpful and I am glad that these topics will get more focus in the future. Jon Reply
  • jonp - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    Both of the charts in the Compound TCP section for Windows Vista say "Compact" and not "Compound". Reply
  • duploxxx - Sunday, February 04, 2007 - link

    Its probably me that's missing a page or so but could you guys explain what system you used for these tests? Reply
  • funk3y - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    Hello

    I also spent some time testing the network part of windows vista, and I discovered some quite interesting things:

    Windows Vista is reducing the network I/O when an application using the audio interface is launched, I discovered this when copying large files over my network.

    When I copy large file through the network the average speed is 40 mb/sec and the taskmanager whow 30-50% of network use, as soon as I start an application playing sound (WMP, Skype, Warcraft III, ....) the rate drop to 8 mb/sec and the network use in the taskmanager never go beyond 12.5%

    I achieved those test on different hardware, with differents drivers and the results are always the same; it is just impossible to get further then 12.5% of network use while playing a sound.

    My guesses are that microsoft voluntary did this, in order to avoid sound crackling. Because of the new driver scheme, bad written drivers having to do many I/O could lead to sound degradation (I had this issue while using my raptors RAID on a NF4 board; making a lot of I/O on the disk just killed the sound quality).

    As you where streaming a film while benchmarking, you may have been in this situation. It could be nice if you could rerun some benchmark taking into account all what I have written.

    As I am already posting, here are some other consideration about DOS and vista:
    -It is just impossible to launch a DOS application in fullscreen mode! This functionnality lack can be really painfull in environnement where DOS application are still well used; I just don't understand microsoft's choice
    -I don't think that vista x64 is still able to launch 16 bit apps anymore (keep this in mind before upgrading to x64!)
    Reply
  • ministerchief - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    I have a "Corsair Flash Voyager 4Gb" usb stick and I can't use it to "BOOST" my system.

    So, how anandtech could use it ?

    Can someone tell me how to use this flash drive with the "READY BOOST" feature.


    THX
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    That's up to Vista, it benchmarks a flash drive to make sure it's fast enough to be effectively used as a ReadyBoost cache. If ReadyBoost won't engage, then your drive isn't passing one(or more) of their tests. Reply
  • mlambert890 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    How is the PC hemmhoraging marketshare to the Mac? You've got to be kidding. Their marketshare in 06 rose from a pathetic 4.4 to a somewhat less pathetic 4.8. Thats with ALL of their ridiculous hype, ALL of the asskissing from the press (including you guys now I guess?) and ALL of the armies of lunatic "Mac priests" that pollute every forum.

    Its hillarious that you would position this tiny growth in a share that declined steadily for 22 years until it hit rock bottom at like 3% in 2003 as a "hemmhorage". I have to wonder why you would characterize it that way. To be honest, it reeks of bias.
    Reply
  • quanta - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Think about it, ReadyBoost is treated by Vista as random access memory, to store temoprary contents than can change very often. Considering typical USB flash drive only has 100k write cycle, you will need to replace it very soon. Worse yet, when the flash drive is gone, so will your critical data at the worst possible time. With the hardware requirement of Vista, no amount of wear levelling is going to help. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    No, this is wrong.

    ReadyBoost is a write-through data cache handled by the SuperFetch system; when enabled SuperFetch uses it as another cache location optimized for small files. Based on the information we've seen, it's used primarily to store DLLs and other static and semi-static data that is needed an intermediate amount of time(not important enough to spend valuable RAM, important enough to cache), with highly dynamic data sent to SuperFetch or the hard disk to avoid unnecessary wear out. It will most certainly put wear on flash memory, but it seems unlikely that it will put 51TB of write-wear(the amount of data that needs to be written on a 512MB flash card to write over all bits 100k times) before several years out.

    Of course, this is as according to Microsoft. We don't really know what exactly is being stored on a ReadyBoost drive at any given moment, however we have no reason to believe that Microsoft isn't really taking efforts to minimize writes. We'll find out if/when flash memory starts wearing out.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    We'll see. Please remember that the 100k write cycle is an average, that the flash is used as a small cache only, and that write leveling of COURSE will help before making assumptions.

    Ive been beating up flash for YEARS thats still going. There are moves to literally put OS's on flash based hard drives. Hybrid drives already use the same concept as ReadyBoost (and are also supported on Vista).

    Using flash as a cache for magnetic media is not some untested concept that is going to lead to global data destruction.

    MS must have really destroyed their mindshare that so many armchair scientists are just fully willing to believe that theyve figured out ALL the stuff that the "idiots" in Redmond dont realize. Give a little credit to the armies of PhDs that work on at least the basic concept for this crap. Maybe implementation gets flawed by the realities of release cycles and budgets, but BASIC CONCEPT is typically sound.
    Reply
  • dugbug - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    UAC is like a firewall -- chatty at first (during installs and configurations), but once you have set up your system you will hardly ever hear from it. This should be obvious to the authors.

    And for that matter, the 6-operation file delete they discuss in the beginning was for deleting a file on a shared desktop (meaning a delete was for all users). This is commonplace for enterprise and workplace users, it should be no surprise that a file used by others would require permissions to delete. Though Im glad the number of operations was greatly reduced.

    As to the comments about vista being sluggish? Perhaps it is RAM? I have 2Gb and vista runs without any slowdown at all. Once you use it for a while you won't go back to XP.

    -d
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Untrue. Enthusiasts use lots of things like the Control Panel, MMC console, etc. and these all require UAC every time. Currently, I also have startup programs on my beta-test box that UAC blocks. This would be fine, if UAC had a feature saying "Yes, I know what this program is, let it run every time all the time" and be done. But, UAC doesn't have this option, so a user has to allow the program to run every single freaking time they boot their machine.

    I've tried changing the program properties so that it runs as Administrator; that hasn't solved the problem. I turned off UAC, which gives me a lovely annoying red-X shield in the system tray that every so often decides to warn me with a popup balloon that UAC is turned off and I could be in danger, so it's annoying even when turned off, and there's no easy way around it. Enthusiasts do a lot with their computers, and what they do is likely to increase their number of UAC prompts. Bottom line: Unlike OS X's methods, Vista's UAC happens far more often, and is far more annoying. And because it doesn't require a password (like OS X) and is just a click-through, I'll put money down that within a year, it will be worthless, as the average user will learn to click through it without reading a single bit of info.
    Reply
  • funk3y - Sunday, February 04, 2007 - link

    The red cross can also be disabled for sure; on my computer, which is a member of a domain I recieve no error message at all, even if UAC & co are disabled. Reply
  • haplo602 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Realy. What's the hype all about ?

    SuperFetch - trivial change to caching mechanisms. Anybody that would require it would have already implemented it in *NIX systems. This is a purely desktop user feature to hid some processing overhead. There's nothing new about this that would prevent implementation in w2k already except MS incompetence ...

    ReadyBoost - So the new standard is to have a permanently attached USB stick to have some performance ?

    Compund TCP, Receive window auto tuning - I laughed like mad. So they finaly made a proper implementation of something network related? End even then Vista is SLOWER. I'd suggest take a stand-alone NIC that Vista nad XP have drivers for themselves and test it. Should rule out driver bugs.

    I/O improvements - so I make an app that makes a high priority high capacity I/O operation (say 1GB) and you can go for lunch till the system is anyway usable. Seriously. I/O in small chunks makes perfect sense in multitasking environments since you have more entry point and can adjust the stream on OS level and tune performance. That XP or Vista are stupid enough to do this is their fault. I guess MS will hype this as the next best thing in a future OS ?

    All in All every feature hyped in the article does not deserve a Marketing Name(tm) because it is a normal concept. So we have a shiny new bigger and slower OS that is hiding this behind hyped features. F.E. memory compression could very much improve system performance without relying on external devices (ReadyBoost).
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Just admit your bias man. There is NOTHING MS could do that would cause you to give them kudos. I spend my days arguing with guys like you for a living (unfortunately) and its just exhausting.

    I could point you to REAMS of documentation of all the crap that has been rewritten and overhauled in Vista, but whats the point? You want to hate it so hate it.

    Its sad that technology debates are STILL religion for so many after all this time :(
    Reply
  • haplo602 - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    Yes I am biased. I am fed up with MS. All the delay was for what purpose ?
    Yes please, point me to the documentation, I'd be glad to learn something.
    Reply
  • vailr - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    A quick look on Newegg shows the least expensive DX 10 cards (all NVIDIA 8800 based) are priced around $400. When can we expect to see DX 10 cards costing: <$200? Reply
  • Brazos - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    I believe that Nvidia is releasing a broader range of directx 10 gpu's in March. They're supposed to be for the low - mid range video cards. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    BitLocker is the only feature that the Ultimate edition has that no other edition has, but given it requires a Trusted Platform Module to be used...

    Vista Enterprise/VLK also includes BitLocker, it is not a feature unique to Ultimate Edition, but like you say it requires a TPM to be used and if I had a TPM on my mobo, I certainly wouldn't have the hateful chip enabled.

    quote:

    So far however this does not appear to be the case for Vista, as Microsoft has done away with VLK in favor of requiring activation on all copies, with the Enterprise version of Business using a keyserver. The lack of an immediately piratable version of Vista will undoubtedly slow its adoption compared to XP, and the Business versions' popularity will not be as lopsided.

    Before you say that Vista Enterprise is not a copy that any of us are likely to personally choose, because unlike XP it still requires activation, bear in mind that Enterprise edition activation is rather different from other versions and likely to be the first that is cracked indefinitely. Given that you also recommended Vista Business as the preferred version of Vista for experienced users unwilling to pay the extra for Ultimate, that makes Enterprise even more viable as it includes a superset of Vista Business features and the only things it is missing from Ultimate are a few entertainment oriented apps that no one will miss. That's not to say I condone unlicensed use of Vista Enterprise, I'd never say anything like that here, but I think the use of it may be a lot more prelavent than the article suggests.
    Reply
  • stash - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Vista Enterprise/VLK also includes BitLocker, it is not a feature unique to Ultimate Edition, but like you say it requires a TPM to be used and if I had a TPM on my mobo, I certainly wouldn't have the hateful chip enabled.

    BitLocker does NOT require a TPM chip. It can also use a usb flash drive to store the key material.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    BitLocker requires a TPM chip. This confused us at first too when we were working on the article, but the documentation in Vista for BitLocker clearly states a TPM chip is required. If it's a 1.2 chip or higher the key is stored on the chip, otherwise it's stored on the flash drive.

    If it was possible to use BitLocker without a TPM chip, we would have more than likely thrown in some BitLocker benchmarks.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    You're wrong Ryan. BitLocker does NOT require TPM chip. You can store the decrypt AND recovery keys on a USB FOB. Just go here and read scenario 3:

    http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/libr...">http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVi...57-b031-...
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    Interesting; we looked for something like this when we were doing the prep for this article and came up empty-handed. It's nice to see it's there, though I'm not sure for the reason on why MS would go out of their way to disable this option and not leave any instructions in the Vista help on how to enable it. Thanks for the link. Reply
  • stash - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    Couple of reasons:

    First, it is a hell of a lot more secure to use a TPM to store key material than a USB flash drive. A TPM is essentially a smartcard soldered directly to your motherboard. It is physically and logically tamper-resistant.

    Secondly, BitLocker will only do repudiation checks of the system files with a TPM. When using a TPM. the hashes of certain system files are stored in the TPM. On boot, they are compared and if they have been changed, the user will be notified.

    So, are you going to answer my question about which common 3rd party apps require admin rights to work properly? Cause right now, my impression of that comment is that it is pure FUD.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    I was concerned about this too, but my new issue of MaximumPC shows how to use Vista's BitLocker without a TPM.

    Instead of the TPM holding the security key, you need a thumbdrive to do it instead. Doesn't require a high-capacity one, so any cheapie should do (though I'd choose one with a somewhat bulletproof casing to ensure you never break it and end up screwed).

    Reply
  • Zak - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I've finally got around to installing RC2 last week: Dell Inspiron 2GHz CoreDuo, 2GB RAM, 7200RPM HD, 256 Nivdia video. Vista is slow, network transfers are 50% slower or so than in XP, GUI is sluggish and all the improvements are pretty annoying. Interface is too busy and overdone. A simple copy message contains a long unnecessary explanation of what's about to happen. Even after turning off the security features one can't escape the annoying popups and messages. And my hard drive was crunching non-stop all day, I can't even imagine what it does to battery life. I haven't had a virus or spyware in years and I don't see any compelling reasons to switch to Vista. I haven't even tried any multimedia features as none of my DVD and video playback software worked properly and I will not use WMP if my life depended on it, so I can't comment nt on DRM and stuff but I've had enough after few days and restored my XP image back to the laptop. If MS tries to force this on people as its, without major improvements, I see Apple and Linux getting lots of switchers. But them XP was bad at first too so maybe Vista will become usable with SP2:) I myself will desperately look for an alternative to Vista. I don't play games that much any more so this won't be "a must" for me.

    Z.
    Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I'm very afraid Zak. I will upgrade due to Microsoft forcing the issue on us gamers with dx10 vista only but with total dread. I may have to start listening to those console fans and linux fans after all. But the lack of TBS games kills consoles for me...SIGH..

    I totally agree with you about Virus and spy/malware issues. All are resolved or blocked with free third party apps many years now for anyone with the slightest clue. Same goes for Firewall/searching and other features MS lists on their "100 advantages" site. Vista is just late to the party with what we all know how to do and cripples your computer performance and makes everything so dumbed down visually and practically.
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Saturday, February 03, 2007 - link

    You guys must be using a different OS. I havent heard of anyone with this dismal of an experience at all. If you hate the UI, just run it in legacy mode and it will look like XP. Disable all of the security add ins and they ARE gone. Ive take a Vista machine and set it up to the point that the person using it had no real clue it was Vista but did notice that their laptop seemed quicker.

    Have fun on Linux though. Linux is a LOT easier to use/live with than any MS OS! (I need an eyeroll smiley here)
    Reply
  • jonp - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    I would be interested to know if you have installed and worked with SUSE 10.2? as I assume your "...a LOT easier..." is sarcasm. Reply
  • kalrith - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    The second sentence of the third paragraph states, "The reason the low end AMD cards look better off here".

    I think you meant ATI instead of AMD.
    Reply
  • kalrith - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Another typo is in the last sentence on the first page. It says, "What's a question we hope to answer..." What's should be That's. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Technically, ATI is now AMD, which is why we are now referring to the cards as AMD cards. Same thing as ATI, but since they were bought out.... :) Reply
  • kalrith - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    You're right...I completely forgot about that. Reply
  • stash - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    WMDC was RTM'ed yesterday: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?Fa...">http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta...0-af33-3... Reply
  • stash - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Similarly, launching an application that requires administrative rights is still more difficult than it needs to be. As we touched upon this briefly last time, with the launch of Vista a lot of common 3rd-party applications will continue to require administrative privileges to run correctly, and it will continue to be this way for some time until everyone has had a chance to retrofit their applications for Vista


    Which common 3rd-party apps are you referring to here?
    Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I'm still on 2k pro which I think is faster and more power-user friendly than XP. Is this true in general? I've never noticed a security issue in the first place so these security features and especially those silly "do you really want to run this program" dialog boxes drove me crazy on XP when I tried it. Does vista have a lot of those? Stupid OS I wouldn't have clicked it if I didn't want to run/install/throw it away etc. Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Zebo, it sounds like if you run Vista and don't disable UAC (User Account Control), you will drive yourself crazy. UAC almost literally warns you about every executable opening (I believe certain ones are allowed automatically, like Windows Explorer. I can't remember since I turned it off :P).

    Other than that, I don't see anything really different from XP in terms of user warnings and such. There's still the balloons from the system tray and such.

    One interesting change that I haven't seen anyone mention is how Windows Update is now an application instead of a website. It seems a bit nicer having it that way as the website with the ActiveX controls always felt so slow to figure out what needed to upgraded. This new WU also includes Ultimate Extras and direct program links to adjust your WU settings (which is handier I think).
    Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    One interesting change that I haven't seen anyone mention is how Windows Update is now an application instead of a website.



    I guess thats a good idea if you use windows update. I don't update just for updates sake subscribing to the "if it aint broke don't fix it" axiom...probably why I still use w2k:)
    Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    There's still the balloons from the system tray and such.


    Oh that's maddening. I literally offered $100 to anyone in a forum thread who could turn those yellow balloons off completely when i tried XP. No one could do it. You can't turn certain ones off despite tens of registry tweaks we tired.
    Reply
  • Zorba - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    The balloons are easy to get rid of. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/power...">TweakUI - FTW

    Not sure if it will be in Vista or not, but works great in XP, never seen a balloon except right after I install XP. PM me and I'll let you know where you can send me my check ;).
    Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    BS doesn't work. Been there done that! Show me a SS with you holding mouse over Start button and it doesn't say "click here to begin" I'll gladly pay you $100 for the fix. You can't do it. BTW this drives me fusken crazy! I've been using MS start buttons for eight years like I don't WTF Start means and designates ..Arrr Reply
  • Zorba - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Ah I thought you were talking about the system tray balloons like that one that always pops up for no reason that always says "now connected to wireless network." That one drives me crazy when I use someone else's lappy.

    I never even notice the ones over the start button, I guess I never hold my mouse over it long enough. I could see how you would find them annoying though.
    Reply
  • Zorba - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    BTW: I just checked and Win 98 has those boxes over if hold your mouse over the start button, etc too. So it isn't just an XP thing. (Yes I still have 98 on a box at home) Reply
  • stash - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Zebo, it sounds like if you run Vista and don't disable UAC (User Account Control), you will drive yourself crazy. UAC almost literally warns you about every executable opening (I believe certain ones are allowed automatically, like Windows Explorer. I can't remember since I turned it off :P).

    Not even close. UAC will prompt you for things that require elevated rights, which besides installing apps or making changes to the system, should be very infrequent.

    Which is why I want to know specifically which common 3rd-party apps the author is referring to on the first page.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Well, I guess my statement may've been a bit zealous, but you can't forget that literally every application that I ran while UAC on was an install or a system executable to install software that I needed or change settings. The changing the settings may've seemed the worst, as trying to open the system menu from another menu required your authorization. It was a bit crazy sometimes... Reply
  • redpriest_ - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Did you guys run the 64-bit tests solely on the Intel Conroe platform? Or did you test an AMD based platform as well? Recall that Conroe has a few performance enhancing features that *only* work in 32-bit mode (branch fusioning, for one - some decoder limitations as well).

    That could explain why a Core 2 Duo system might have seemed slower in 64-bit than in 32-bit mode.
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    SuperFetch is by far my favorite new feature of Vista. I put my first copy of Vista on my laptop, which has a 5400 RPM hard drive. Opening apps Outlook and VB .NET 2005 EE weren't really slow under XP, but there were those few extra seconds it took to load that would often leave me tapping my finger on the palm rest while I waited. Now under Vista, Outlook, VB .NET 2005 EE, and IE7 all seem to be able to fit in the SuperFetch cache, as they all open nearly instantly with just 1 GB of RAM. I'm considering upgrading to 2 GB just to see what else I can get to open really fast. :D Reply
  • bldckstark - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Was superfetch disabled when you tried the Readyboost feature in Vista? Whichever way you ran the test it bears mentioning. If it was off, then how does it do with it on? If it was on, it may make a difference in how it relates to XP.

    Also, as I understand it Vista has a system backup now that creates a "ghost" of the drive. Could you check out this feature and get back to us?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I'm not sure it's possible to disable SuperFetch, so I'm pretty sure all testing was done with it on. As far as the "ghost" goes, that's part of System Restore which can be disabled quite easily. I'll have to let the other editors say whether it was enabled or not, though. Reply
  • WT - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    What drives me nuts are the plentiful comments about how slow Vista is compared to XP. I mean, anybody hear this before when MS came out with a new OS ? Same thing for XP,W2k,98 ... ad nauseum. Yea, its a new Operating System with more 'toys' built in, what were you expecting ? You aren't gonna load it on your P3/256 RAM rig and enjoy the Vista 'experience'. Damn, this thing runs better than XP on my rig !
    It's understood that it won't be as quick (keep in mind the OS has been available for retail purchase ... 2 days now) as XP, but drivers will improve that performance gap to a smaller number within 3 months time. I waited until just last year to upgrade to XP (W2K all the way for me !) but find myself with 2 copies of Vista and would prefer to dual boot one and go Vista all-out on the other one.
    I griped back in my W2K days about being forced to upgrade due to content (MS games were announced that would only run in XP) so this time around I will be ready.
    DX10? Marketing genius !!! We shall force an upgrade upon the masses !! I upgrade frequently, so DX10 and its graphical splendor is a priority, but if I would have to fork over $200 to actually buy Vista, I would be less than impresssed with DX10 eye candy.
    Reply
  • EODetroit - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Hopefully, now, finally, Anandtech will start testing motherboards for stability while loaded with the maximum amount of memory. So if the MB supposedly supports 8GB of RAM, you test it with that much, and make sure its stable. I've wanted this done for years... memory is expensive and it sucks to load a MB up and find out it doesn't really work or only works if you cut the speed in half.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • manno - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    ... no mention of DRM then? No mention of Linux? Personally I hate Linux, but I've switched to it because of Vista's use of DRM. Not all Microsoft's fault, but they put it in there... My computer, my hardware, I choose what to do with it, not MS, not media companies. Why shouldn't I be able to watch High def content on my old, and once expensive non-HDMI LCD screen?

    Get a Mac, Apple is the lesser of 2 evils, they aren't the 800lb gorilla in the room. MS could have told media companies to stuff it. Apple has no choice, it's too small, yet their the ones that forced DRM-Light(TM) on the media companies. MS had the media companied force DRM-Oppressive(TM) on them... how the heck does that work?

    I can't believe you left Linux out of the final comparison, is it as capable an OS, yes. Not nearly as user friendly, but it also has 0 DRM, doesn't phone-home isn't beholden to any one entity. I'm not against DRM, as a whole, just Vista's implementation. BS like MS creating D3D to subvert open standards like OpenGL, then removing it from the OS, using it's monopoly-based-ridiculous-margins(TM) to finance D3D's uptake, again rather than take an existing standard and expanding on it. They create their own to reinforce their monopoly. I know why they do this stuff I'm just peeved so many people don't give two flying f...

    grr...
    -manno
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Youre insane dude.. No offense but there just isnt anything else to say. Posts like these always read like the transcript of a Weather Underground meeting in the sixties. "FIGHT THE POWER!!! FIGHT THE POWER!!!"

    Look out! The black helicopters have deployed from the underground helipad in Redmond and are circling!!! Send up the penguin symbol to summon the dynamic duo - Torvald and Stallman!
    Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    There is no more or less DRM in Vista than in XP, or even OS X. The platform does not determine the playback of DRM'd media, the content does. The choice is simple: If you want to play back DRM'd media, then you have to support the decryption scheme that the media requires to decode it. In so doing you have to legally accept the limitations defined by that DRM scheme.

    It is no different for OS X, Linux, XP or any other OS. They either support the DRM schemes or they do not get to playback the media that uses them. This is why it is unlikely that you will be able to play DRM'd High Definition content anytime soon on Linux. That is the alternative, no support for the content at all.

    Also, you can play high definition content on Vista just fine without HDMI/HDCP on your monitor. You simply cannot play back such content if it is coupled to a DRM scheme that requires HDCP, but that is true of every OS. Any other HD content will play back without issue.

    Again, there is no difference between DRM on Vista from DRM on any other platform.
    Reply
  • pmh - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    The DRM in vista is the major reason that I will only install it if physically forced to. Having bought a new Dell in order to get their very nice 24" LCD last december, I have an upgrade coupon which will lie unused until/unless the DRM can be disabled. MS refuses to display HD on my new monitor using Vista? Screw em. Reply
  • thebrown13 - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    This is TOTALLY false. Microsoft allows content providers to do what they want with their content. Again, THE CONTENT PROVIDERS DECIDE WHAT THEIR CONTENT PLAYS ON. MICROSOFT DECIDES NOTHING. Reply
  • MAIA - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    The architecture is still x86 with 64-bit extensions. The correct naming should be 32-bit x86 and 64-bit x86. Although some vendors use the x64 "slang", this only serves to create more confusion, making people believe it's a different architecture. More, editors and reviewers should use the correct definitions, they also have an educating factor which have to live up by a good standart. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    It makes little sense on our part to use something different than Microsoft's own terminology here when talking about Vista. The x86-64/EMT64/AMD64 versions of Vista are all called Vista * x64, so we're going to be consistent on using Microsoft's naming to avoid possible confusion among Windows versions. Reply
  • Myrandex - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Eh I don't know how x64 can get confusing, but x86_64 is pretty typical as well. Reply
  • smitty3268 - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Actually, it is a new architecture that just happens to be backwards compatible with x86. That is why there are twice the number or registers available and not just the same amount doubled in size. You're right that x64 is not the correct name, (it's technically called x86-64) but what does it matter? Everyone knows what it means. Reply
  • Gunlance - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I wish I could agree about the new installer. My experience with trying to boot windows vista so far is worse than when I learned how to put NetBSD on an Apple G3.

    In fact I am still trying to get into the Windows Vista setup as I type this comment. I have been up all night :( I simply just don't get it. Every OS I have ever put on my desktop at least boots, and the vista beta's installed fine. Ugh.

    The article was great! Heh. It has made me a bit more frustrated though. Because here I am with vista but still only being able to read about.
    Reply
  • erwos - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Your OpenGL performance numbers are radically higher than what Tom's has. Could you comment on the drivers and installation that you used? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Normally I tend to avoid commenting on anything involving competitors, but...

    Assuming I'm looking at the right article here, they were using the Catalyst 8.31.100.3.2.1 driver, which was released back in December. We were using the Catalyst 7.1 driver(version # 8.33.something). ATI did not include an OpenGL driver until 7.1(and just barely at that).
    Reply
  • ktgktg - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I'm surprised that the article didn't mention how much ReadyBoost could lower the boot time. A member of notebooreview forums claimed that http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=1...">he lowered the boot time on a laptop (slower HD) from 80 to 43 seconds (including POST) with a 2 GB SD card. Remember that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_memory_...">SD cards are slow compared to USB and CF. Although they're all slow compared to RAM, they have the benefit of storing the data until next boot.

    SuperFetch seems to be just another reason for using standby mode.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Any word on FireFox compatibility with Vista? That is, does it run just as flawlessly as it does under XP x86 and x64?

    Just wondering. The comment on the Conclusions page about IE 7+ being the new standard for Safari is what made me think to ask.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Firefox runs just fine on Vista. I've been running versions of it (both 1.5x and now 2.x) on Vista since RC1 (I've tested Beta 2, pre-RC1, RC1, and am running RC2 on a spare box).

    While IE is fast at loading pages on Vista, I've never been able to get used to IE7's UI. After trying to keep my beta-testing experience as MS-app-oriented as possible, I couldn't and loaded FF.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I have to say, LoneWolf, that I agree with you when it comes to IE7 on Windows XP. I installed it and it simply didn't fit at all. Although, for some reason, IE7 doesn't seem weird on Vista at all. It's probably because of how Windows Explorer also looks the same (lack of a menu bar).

    Also to go along with LoneWolf, I have had no issues with Firefox (2.0.0.1) in Vista so far :).
    Reply
  • Spacecomber - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I didn't see this covered in my first pass through this article, but I was interested in learning more about the potential impact of MS's new Universal Audio Architecture on gaming performance, which I recently saw covered in a http://www.dailytech.com/Underneath+Microsofts+Uni...">DailyTech news item. Reply
  • quanta - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    There is NO performance to speak of, because Vista does not support hardware DirectSound acceleration. Alchemy only works on X-Fi, so anything older is useless. Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    One thing ive really been wondering about is what MCE is like in Vista? The article briefly mentioned TV Tuner support worked fine, but was MCE tried? Was it different? How was its performance under Vista? For me, thats the deciding factor. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I'll be doing a look at MCE in Vista as soon as we get a system in house with the ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner (formerly known as OCUR). I'm hoping that this will happen in the coming weeks.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Anand, doesn't that digital tuner require some special sort of hardware to run? I believe I remember a thread on the forums (under Video if I remember correctly) that discussed how it won't run on every system regardless of how powerful they are.

    One thing I'm curious of... does Windows Vista's MC application have the same tuner restrictions as MCE's MC application? Because I originally purchased a TV Wonder Pro awhile back for normal use, and now it sits in my MCE machine dormant, because MCE doesn't support it (although open source MC-esque applications do). If it weren't for the nice ATi RF remote, I probably would've sold it already for one that works in MCE :P.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    To be honest, I have never more than glanced at MCE, as I don't have a HTPC to make much use of it. I could tell you a bit about it, but I'm not really qualified to go in-depth about it, so we left it out. Reply
  • Myrandex - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    same here too. I used to run XP64 full time but then switched to MCE for the MCE app. I am really interested in Vista x64 with MCE and I would have loved to see something about it. Reply
  • ATWindsor - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I really hope there is som driver-issue that explains the poor network-performance in this test, XP is already pretty bad in this regard, one of the big things with Vista is that the network performance should be better.

    And furthermore i have two questions: The search, does it support network-drives? Search Desktop for XP does not...

    Is there software raid-5 support in Vista?

    A few disappointing things with Vista:
    - Still the 255-charachter-limit, that is really annoying.
    - Still an enormously primitive file-copying-application. This is basic important stuff that should be better.

    AtW
    Reply
  • Lifted - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    The search, does it support network-drives? Search Desktop for XP does not...


    That's odd. I can search network drives using XP Pro. Maybe it's a Pro vs. Home issue?

    Was also wondering about the network test myself. 10MB/s file copy on XP Pro seems abysmally slow when using gigabit NIC's. Just testing right now I about 35MB/s between a pair of 5 year old servers (dual Xeon 1GHz) with Intel GB NIC's. I haven't checked transfer rates with XP as I'm on a 10/100 switch at the moment, but I can't believe it's really THAT much slower than 2003.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I remember running a gigabit cross-over (CAT6) cable between my roommate's computer and my computer in college. We achieved about 33MB/s (through FTP) running Windows XP Professional on each. So I'd say that you'd probably see about the same speed if you were running a gigabit switch. Reply
  • mjz - Monday, February 05, 2007 - link

    i think windows xp sets a limit when downloading from another computer to 33MB/s.. Reply
  • Nehemoth - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Same here.

    I just wanna Vista for the improve TCP/IP Stack, now I'll wait for SP1
    Reply
  • tallsummi - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I'll wait for SP2 of vista and then go for it.. Reply
  • keitaro - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Perhaps Microsoft should have copied the idea from Novell's SUSE Linux Desktop (powered by XGL and compiz). The compiz software package (compositor and window manager) comes with its own alt-tab that surpasses Flip 3D in every way. http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/features/xg...">See here for a look at what XGL and compiz can do. Reply
  • mlambert890 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    I think that xgl crap is an overenginered waste that adds 0 productivity. Flip 3d gives you the one thing you need - a live shot of running apps. Who the hell needs some spinning cube? And look how bad video playback perf is in that Novell demo...
    bleh... I dont feel myself drawn back to 1992 when I lived and breathed Novell; sorry...
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    I dont' know, personally I like flip 3d better.. Reply
  • archcommus - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    The article makes me a bit sad about Vista. It made me realize - wow, yeah, it really IS a shame that Vista doesn't totally smash OS X Tiger given how long it's been in development and how long Tiger has been out for. I guess they just got in such a rut of catch-up that not many new revolutionary features could be developed.

    In particular, I'm disappointed with how similar (and ugly) certain aspects of Vista look compared to XP, for example the quick launch area, system tray, clock, and the overall taskbar. With the exception of the Start buttion being replaced by an "orb," it looks EXACTLY the same as XP, and this could have been and should have been revamped to improve productivity. Quick launch is just...stupid, and ugly. All it is is additional shortcuts, and they waste taskbar space. I think a small menu that appears and disappears on the fly would be nicer. I'm not sure what improvements to suggest for the taskbar, all I know is, with how pretty the rest of the OS looks, the application blocks down there just look out of place. Same with the system tray icons.

    Explorer is better though and the transparency is great. It's too bad x64 performance and drivers aren't up to snuff yet.
    Reply
  • thebrown13 - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Microsoft has to cater to about 349852395472039 more software programs.

    That's why. Updates, bug fixes, feature designing, it all takes A LOT longer than with an OS with 5 people that use it, like Apple.

    We're lucky the mainstream OS isn't MUCH farther behind.
    Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Quick launch is just...stupid, and ugly. All it is is additional shortcuts, and they waste taskbar space. I think a small menu that appears and disappears on the fly would be nicer.


    If you want Quick Launch to work that way, just add the icons you want into the Qucik Launch folder. Then unlock your taskbar and drag the bar which allows the display of the Quick Launch icons all the way left. Then lock your taskbar. Now you can just click the arrow that shows in the taskbar and it will display all your Quick Launch icons snd "disappear on the fly". It's not perfect, but it's closer to what you want. No wasted space AND you get your Quick Launch icons.
    Reply
  • darklight0tr - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Quick Launch is one on my favorite features in Windows, because it allows you to quickly launch commonly used programs. I just wish Microsoft would have enhanced it with additional functionality. I have to use a 3rd party program to the features I want to Quick Launch.

    Despite the issues with x64, that's the version I will get when I migrate to Vista. I just wish Microsoft would have been able to release Vista as a x64 only OS. The availability of a 32bit version of Vista will keep the migration to x64 to a crawl.
    Reply
  • creathir - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I cannot stand it... it does drive me nuts...
    Will most users not use it? I highly doubt that. Turning it off is not as easy as "1...2...3... OFF!"
    It does involve some tinkering to get it to turn off...
    The problem is, this is how things should have been from the beginning, but we have been spoiled by the lack of security. I really do not find that it gets in the way or anything like that.

    quote:

    It's as if Microsoft spent a good portion of the past few years working on an enhanced security design that nobody will actually use.


    I'm not sure if I would QUITE go that far... given the vast majority will have NO CLUE on how to turn it off…

    Just my thoughts.

    - Creathir
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    http://vistasupport.mvps.org/turn_off_user_account...">http://vistasupport.mvps.org/turn_off_user_account...

    One of the many links I found by going to start and typing into the new Windows Search box located there in Vista :)

    Search is going to be one of the biggest selling points, works much better in Vista than it did in XP (I've used it in both).
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Jarred's right, it's actually very easy to turn off. Although if you turn it off, Windows will bug you to no end in their protection center to turn it back on (which you can turn that off too :P). I ended up turning it off when trying to install drivers for my Realtek ALC888 codec on my Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6, because at first, the driver install kept looping and asking if I really wanted to install unsigned drivers. I kept hitting yes, they kept going back and prompting me. After Vista said the driver install failed and asked if I'd like to run it in a higher privileged mode, I did so. Then the install told me that I needed to be <b>ON VISTA</b> to install the drivers. I ended up installing a different set of drivers that I didn't even expect to work with the ALC888-DD.

    Also, to add in with drivers, UAC caused a weird issue with the 100.54 drivers from nVidia. When UAC prompted you, the screen fades into a B&W gray-ish hue ( kind of like when shutting down XP ), but when you're running DualView on Vista and you hit a button to close the prompt (being it accepting the action or whatever), the other screen literally freaks out. It goes to some weird graphical pattern for a second and then goes back to normal. Although the problem doesn't stay, it's quite noticeable out of the corner of my eye.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=vista+tur...">Easy as 1-2-3, or just http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/libr...">get it from Microsoft. My feeling is that most people will *want* it off, even if they don't know how to shut it off, and I'll reword that sentence appropriately. :) Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    Is there still Memory Address limitation with the 32-bit version of Vista?

    Like say, I had a SLI board (eVGA 680i in particular), and I wanted more than 2 GB, would I still hit the 2.25 GB wall due to address bus or does Vista gets around this and is actually able to address the 4 GB if I had that installed? Or is my only option is still go with x64 version of Vista....
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    It depends on motherboard and BIOS as well as the OS. AFAIK, you can't get more than 3.5GB (and often only 3GB) of accessible memory with any 32-bit OS on x86. The top 512MB is reserved. Perhaps it is OS dependent and you can get closer to 4GB, but for MS operating systems I think it's always been 3.5GB max. Whereas in XP you needed to use the /3gb switch for the OS, on Vista you use:

    BCDEDIT IncreaseUserVA [size]

    Or something like that. I don't know if the maximum is any different on 32-bit Vista than 32-bit XP, but I would bet it's the same.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    You're almost right. It's possible to get all 4GB(and more) on a 32bit system when using Physical Address Extension. However most consumer level boards don't implement this at the hardware level past what's required to support the NX bit(which also requires PAE), so most people can not get all 4GB in 32bit mode. With XP and Vista, you can get all 4GB as long as PAE is fully supported, however actually using PAE to get 4GB+ brings about some compatibility/performance problems, which is why 64bit addressing is a cleaner solution.

    The /3gb switch is an entirely different thing, it adjusts the 2/2 split between user processes and the kernel so that user processes can go up to 3GB by taking some memory from the kernel's space(which also can cause problems, oy).
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I haven't read the article yet (am doing so in a minute) but just a thought by having a first look at the article index: I was wondering what impact Aero would have on power consumption. We know that it runs the UI on the graca, so the graca would be in use all the time. Is the load on it high or low? You can collect a lot of data on such a thing (power consumption while idling, moving windows around, ... on vista with aero, without aero, on winxp...)

    It could be that it gets a mention in the review, it's just not apparant from the index. I'll apologise beforehand if it does.
    Reply
  • FireChicken - Thursday, February 01, 2007 - link

    I liked the old article title better.. Reply
  • grzemaz - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    What should you do if the readyboost pendrive had been lost? How turn readyboost off when you do not have your old pendrive and you want to turn readyboost on with another one??? Reply
  • ghd nz - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    http://www.ghdplanchas-baratas.org Reply
  • lordcatalien - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    I'm curious for you to perform the same test above with Adobe Illustrator. My performance didn't seem to be affected even with a 3GB ReadyBoost in place. Reply

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