Revealing The Power of DirectX 11

by Derek Wilson on 1/30/2009 8:00 PM EST
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  • Mr Roboto - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    How about this for the Windows 7 release, a DirectX 9 Halo 2 Port For Windows 7 But Needs it DirectX 11 To Run!

    OK so there was and still is no reason that Windows XP couldn't have DirectX 10 or DirectX 11 right? These were just more strong armed tactics by Microsoft to force us to hand them our cash for an aborted OS. Like the 4 year old DirectX 9 Halo port that somehow needed DirectX 10 to run, LOL it still makes me laugh. Whoever though up that idea should be shot. Fucking idiots.

    So how many DX10 games have been released to this day? Ten? How many have been exclusively DX10 like MS wanted? The answer is one the four year old Halo.

    I hope MS continues to hemorrhage money and eventually goes out of business. Nothing would make me happier and it would spur innovation simply by them dying off.
    Reply
  • MadBoris - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    Unfortunately the API will not be supported until consoles support it.
    Consoles now control game development technical design, thx to Microsofts sly ways.

    Until next gen consoles come out with the next DX API support then DX9 will still be the standard due to multiplatforming. We can barely get a developer to make the proper PC support changes in their multiplatform games, they aren't going to write seperate render paths unless MS pays them to, like with DX10.

    The only redeeming effect is the Nvidia 8800 GPU is one of the best GPU's I bought because it looks like it will last me many years.
    Reply
  • vistaisfine - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    personally i hope windows LIVE grows. they need it to. its a slick system that works well. at least in dawn of war 2 and gta IV. i don't think your assesment of how quickly developers are adopting DX 10 is accurate. Alot of gaming companys go for a wide demographic and that usually means creating content that can scale depending on the hardware. the reason why there are so many dx 9 game is because the lowest common demoninator gamer runs a dx 9 card. People are finshing maxing out their AGP builds. (crazy as that sounds). Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Are you high? GFWL is an abomination. It has absolutely ruined GTA IV as well as all other games associated with it. It's a straight XBox port and it's total shit. There's no dedicated servers, no anti cheat mechanism, no easy way for matchmaking, constant disconnections, I could go on and on. It's very unfriendly and in typical fashion they treat something as trivial as save games as their own property. Go ahead try backing up your GTA IV save games folder and using them on another PC or game installation. It won't work because Microsoft either didn't think about it or more likely purposefully made it difficult because they think it belongs to them and they're in control of it.

    The only value GFWL has for MS (which I should have seen coming) is they're going to launch a digital distribution service. Punks. GFWL is so goddamn broken and yet they're going to try to sell games through it before it's even in decent form? Nice. You can bet they'll be ultra slow to in responding to critical bugs and spyware ready made to steal your info on launch day.

    Fucking garbage. You're settling for garbage. Valve knows how to do things, development, marketing, listening to their fan base, updating their games above and beyond what any other company would do. Even Steam isn't perfect and I'm not asking MS to become them (an impossibility) but Microsoft has a LONG way to come before they're even in the same conversation.

    I hope it crashes and burns even more than it already has because it's ported console junk.
    Reply
  • jharper12 - Thursday, February 05, 2009 - link

    americunts... that's clever. You got us!! We're idiots! I can't believe we never realized it before! You sir, are pure genius.

    I just feel absolutely terrible that 43 other countries joined us in our latest war. I feel even worse that the entire world economy was brought down by our financial sector that represents about 1% of our $14.33 trillion GDP... I mean I truly feel awful that we are dragging everyone down with us. I wish I could do something about it, but it seems as though everyone believes "americunts are idiots" and then continues to follow us into oblivion. Sorry about that, I wish there was something I could do to help.

    Sincerely,
    Americunt
    Reply
  • Matrix888 - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    I'll not be bother with the 2000 or so comments here and reply every one of them, but this is my 2 cents about VISTA:

    1) Drivers issues - there was some initial problem with drivers issues especially old hardware and lazy 3rd parties. But this wasn't MS fault. I've installed VISTA since day 1 and the only problem encountered was an X-FI driver from Creative...which isn't available until like 9 to 12 months later (and it's a beta!!!). Tell me which new O/S doesn't have drivers problem? Win98 was forever plagued with drivers problem, WIN XP suffers similar fate initially, but once the driver matures, it was ok. Hell i've waited for 1 year for an X-FI driver for Ubuntu 7....finally released and the next thing i did is upgrade to Ubuntu 8 (by the time the driver was releasead, UBuntu 8.1 is made available) and it bombs my X-FI.

    2) Memory hogging - another urban legend by people who have no ideas. VISTA does not works the same way like XP. What's the point of having idle memory and not used? VISTA pre-cache ur memory to make it better. 2GB of RAM ran just fine.

    3) You need a high spec PC for VISTA - BS. I've ran an Atom 330 PC with VISTA Premium with Aero on just fine. Even stress test it by opening tons of apps (including a Virtual PC running XP) and it multitask great with all your everyday apps...MS office, Firefox, e-mails, bit torrent etc....only 2GB RAM.

    4) Gaming performance suffers - if you have a moderately new hardware, you are not going to see any difference. I ran my games max settings at 1680x1050. Runs great.

    5) UAC? - Cmon. It's only because XP users never use any other OS like Linux or MAC/OS and they can't get this idea in their head it's for their own good. Linux and MAC/OS will prompts u administrator and password when u try to install something or do something funny. It is perfectly fine and u can always turn it off.

    So far, i really have minimal problem with VISTA. VISTA MCE makes a great front-end for HTPC and believe this, the start up is MUCH FASTER than XP. Sure a fresh XP will beat VISTA in terms of boot up time, but once you installed tons of apps into it, XP will slow like a turtle while VISTA will have minimal degradtion and you get response to your desktop much faster.

    I've finally migrated all my PCs and notebooks last year to VISTA and dump XP forever.

    I've no doubt Windows 7 will be great, but to me, it'll be nothing more than VISTA Edition 2. It'll be re-packaging to wow idiots who simply believe all those VISTA rumours without ever using it (or try to run it on a Pentium 3). Seriously, nobody ask you to install a 3.0 engine into a Japanese kei-car!!! :x

    For the rest of us, it'll simply be a moderate update of a already fantastic OS.

    Hasta La Vista!
    Reply
  • volgagerman - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    One thing that hasn't been stated yet is that the success of any API is directly related to market forces and timing.

    DirectX 9.0c has been successfull largely for two reasons. One, it took advantage of the market shift that developers would target consoles first and port to PC second in order to extract the largest possible return on investment. Two, many of the gaming engines we enjoy today began their life with the release of DirectX 8. It took 3-4 years for those engines to be built, and they finally meshed with the feature set of DirectX 9, as it was an evolution over 8 and not a true revolution.

    DirectX 10 has not revealed any jaw dropping improvements in shipping titles over 9 because developers are still leveraging those engines for exploitation on the console market. They can easily up the visuals for a port to the PC by removing texture compression, upping resolution support and increasing texture sizes, but the major underlying changes to truly support 10 will not happen in the immediate term.

    That brings me to my next thought. From everything I've read, the next generation of consoles are targeted for release in the 2011-2012 timeframe. A true next-gen game engine takes at least 4 years to fully bake. That means Unreal Engine 4.0, Id Tech 6, next-gen Gamebryo are all now in development to be ready when those next-gen consoles hit. It's a safe bet they are leveraging DirectX 11 to its fullest. To go one step further, I would guess that market forces are not going to change in the future, and game developers will still target consoles first and PCs second. What that means in the 2011-2012 timeframe is a solid install base of DirectX 11 on even low-end PCs by that point. It would be a no-brainer to anticipate Microsoft leveraging it's latest and greatest API in the next generation XBOX. With market forces and timing in alignment, the next-gen gaming engines and the the next-gen consoles are set to take full advantage of DirectX 11. I will expect nothing less than revolutionary changes to the quality of gaming graphics in that time frame.

    Here's one final tidbit. If Microsoft takes Intel's bait and utilizes a 32nm modified version of the Larrabee project for a single chip CPU/GPU solution in the next XBOX, developers will have to shift gears yet again and prepare for a rendering model that is mostly software based. That is beyond DirectX 11 and will lead to even more revolutionary changes...Microsoft would no longer be constrained by the capability of their CPU/GPU, but by the efficiency of the software algorithms to achieve playable frame rates. I look forward to a future on consoles and PCs when a simple patch improves frame rates significantly. No hardware update required. :)
    Reply
  • mechBgon - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    Touching on the "rejected" Vista:

    Valve's monthly user survey was updated today. WinXP lost 2.48% in just the last month, and Vista has gained 2.47% of that. The ratio of Vista to WinXP is now 1 to 1.91. I guess you could say Vista is "picking up Steam," ;) and rapidly, too.

    Ten months ago, this AnandTech thread also indicated (much to the OP's annoyance, I'm sure) that even then, the Vista adoption rate among AnandTech Forum users was already about 50%:

    http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid...">http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid...

    In light of the readership's tastes, also pretty clearly illustrated in the comments here, I suggest calming the anti-Vista rhetoric and not reading more into things than what's really there.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    Do you think someone over there at anand could do an article explaining exactly WHY DirectX 10 can't be supported by XP? PLEASE!!!!!! Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, February 06, 2009 - link

    because Microsoft chose to tie in driver specific features to DX10 that make a retrofit not technically possible. Microsoft could have chosen to spec out DX10 so that new hardware features were exposed while simply allowing for a new driver model, but they did not: they required the new driver model features.

    this stuff has to do with power management, threading, OS managed/virtual memory, hardware virtualization (sharing between software and even VMs), etc...

    Now that what DX10 is eternally locked into existence as is, porting back is not possible. We're in a similar boat with DX11.

    There is ZERO technical reason that microsoft couldn't have chosen at the outset to enable the Geometry Shader, to extend const/register limits, and to do all the other things that game developers actually use on Windows XP. It would have required hardware companies to implement a distinct WinXP DX10 driver and Vista DX10 driver, but now that can't be done.

    The /why/ of no DX10 on XP is that MS simply decided not to make that an option when developing DX10 and built in features extraneous to game development that require the Vista platform.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    This is one of the most poorly written articles I've ever read on anandtech. It's like the author couldn't organize his thoughts properly. Also, the speculation was riddled with subjective assumptions. I'm not sure if the author just doesn't know this topic very well or if he hadn't slept in 3 days, but this could have been done much better. Great topic though, and interesting subject matter. Reply
  • GourdFreeMan - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    Derek, the DX10 geometry shader was never really intended to do tessellation, and really should not be thought of as a generalized tessellator. It was designed to offer a generalized hardware implementation of vertex effects such as skinning, vertex blending and tweening (see the dolphin demo in the DX SDX for what I am refering to here).

    If it becomes desirable at some point in time in the future to offer fully programable tessellation, then vertex shader, hull shader, tessellator, domain shader and geometry shader could all be merged into another compute shader earlier in the pipeline to do generalized vertex manipulation.

    Of course, it is also possible that the existing tessellator will prove more efficient as fixed function hardware, and only minor functionality improvements will be added.
    Reply
  • eXistenZ - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    Hello

    I just wanted to add, that ATi graphic cards have tesslator included since Radeon 8500, but i can be wrong...
    I remember "Truform" technology, which is working in Serious Sam, or Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Counter Strike 1.6 (it is not working now in Counter Strike).

    I want to know, if author of this article forgot about it, or im wrong about this technology.

    Sorry for my english, im from Slovakia :)
    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    There has been a tessalation unit in ATI cards for some time. It's not the same as is reguired in DX11, but guite near. I think that it was mentioned in the article...

    From what I know is that DX10 has been slow because in most games it's just dx9 with some clued features from dx10 above it. With pure dx10 codepath it would have been faster, but that would have left all those XP-customers out, and would not have been sound economically...
    The author hopes that Win7 win encourage the transfer from XP, so there will be larger amount of DX10 and DX11 platforms. So it would become enonomically possible to make DX11 based games (just leaving out some pure DX11 features so that older dx10 cards could handle the games.) So actually when dx11 games comes out, they would be actually first to make use of all dx10 features...
    Well there are so many dx9 machines in the world that even that will take time. So we will see poor dx10, dx11 performance until the XP customers are not needed by game companies, and even then there are those pure console transfers without any optimization like GTA...
    I hope that "Chattered horisont" from Futuremark shows what DX10 can really do. It is goint to be pure DX10 game, so it can use advantages that dx10 can offer. On the other hand it can be next Crysis that looks really good, but makes your hardware moan for more power. We will see...
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    "On the flipside, DX11 will be able to run on down level hardware."

    Um . . . Eh ? English ?

    "This may not significantly speed up the graphics subsystem (especially if we are already very GPU limited), but this does increase the ability to more easily explicitly massively thread a game and take advantage of the increasing number of CPU cores on the desktop. "

    ... and significantly slow things down even further.

    " These code resources are huge and can be hard to manage without OOP (Object Oriented Programming) constructs. But there are some differences to how things work in other OOP languages. "

    I think you would find many experienced programmers who would say that OOP is a way of programming, not necessarily a language type, and I would have to agree with them. Now if you mean languages that *support* OOP, then sure, I can live with that.

    Also, one other minor thing that kind of bothers me. You speak of Directx 6, but was Directx 6 an actual redistributable ? I definitely do not remember it, but I *do* remember Directx 5, Direct 7, 8, . . . and even that thing MS claims never existed . . . WinG.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, February 06, 2009 - link

    down level hardware == hardware that meets a lower DX spec (like DX10 hardware).

    allowing games to be more mulithreaded using a fine grained synchronization scheme ala DX11 should not slow things down if developers take advantage of it correctly (which will be much easier than doing your own management here).

    yes i did mean languages that support the OOP model.

    DX6 was a Win98 thing ... it existed and actually was (iirc) the first version of DX to be hardware accelerated ... at least that's how I remember it.

    DX4, on the other hand, never existed -- MS skipped from DX3 to DX5.
    Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    I was initially unhappy with both Vista and DX10. However, I have come to accept Vista, but dont know if it is that much improved over WinXP. I only have Vista because I bought a new computer with that OS intstalled. I dont really know of anything I do with Vista that could not be done with XP. The only advantage to Vista is that it is supposedly more secure than XP, but I never had any major security problems with XP, nor have I had any with Vista.
    DX10 is still more of a disappointment to me. It requires too many resources and does not seem to offer corresponding improvements in visual quality. Nearly every game I have that is DX10 compliant, I run in DX9 mode because the performance improvement in DX9 more than makes up for the slight visual improvement with DX10. (Yes, I know I need a better graphics card.) I have an HD2600 pro, which was supposedly a "mid range" DX10 card when it came out, and it is virtually worthless for trying to play in DX10 mode, as I stated above.
    I wonder if DX9 will still be supported when DX11 comes out. If not, they had better make DX11 run better on low to midrange hardware than DX10, or there will be a lot of unhappy users.
    Reply
  • epyon96 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Since Derek claims that Direct X 11 is simply a superset of Dx10, why does Microsoft release it simply as 10.2 instead? I am curious what makes a Direct X version and what determines an incremental move forward. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    I'd like to know that too. Since to me DX9.0c (SM3.0) seems to have been a pretty major step forward from DX9.0 (SM2.0), even a whole new shader model, yet it was only given a letter subscript. It should have at least been DX9.1.

    My cynical view? It's all marketing and Microsoft appeasing hardware vendors for their own benefit. For example DX8.1 was supposed to be a decent step forward, going from SM1.1 to SM1.4 with longer shaders and other features. Yet nVidia refused to support SM1.4 and managed to convince Microsoft to call SM1.3 DX8.1 compliant even though it's closer to SM1.1 than SM1.4. My suspicion is that Microsoft agreed with nVidia, because at that time nVidia was making the GPU for the XBox and Microsoft needed them.

    A similar situation occurred with DX9.0c and SM3.0. This time ATI wasn't going to offer immediate support for SM3.0 in their GPUs. So in order for ATI's X8xx generation to not look so far behind, SM3.0 was only marketed as DX9.0c instead of DX9.1 or something more major. Why would Microsoft appease ATI? Conveniently, ATI was making the GPU for Microsoft's next-gen XBox 360, so Microsoft needed them.

    This might not actually be true, but it's interesting that the swings in XBox GPU choice corresponds with Microsoft's degree of emphasis on DirectX capability.

    In the case of DX11, I think there is sufficient new capabilities with Tessellation and Compute Shaders to justify a major number increase. I believe what Derek means is that DX11 is a superset of DX10 in the same way DX9 is a superset of DX8. They both offer backwards compatibility. In contrast, DX10 is not compatible with DX9 and Vista actually has separate DX10 and DX9 APIs (and third Vista specific DX9.0L) while DX8, DX7, etc can run on the DX9 API.
    Reply
  • GourdFreeMan - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    Microsoft originally had some soft guidelines in this respect. Letter releases were to represent minor changes in the API such as the range and precision allowed for constants, max number of loop iterations in pixel and vertex shaders, etc. Point releases would permit added functionality to stages of the rendering pipeline. Version releases could include changes to the rendering pipeline itself. In practice, point and letter releases have been to support vendor-specific functionality, and version releases have set a baseline for all vendors.

    Microsoft's guildelines fit for all DirectX changes except 9.0c, which was really a vendor-specific change to fit the nVIDIA 6000 series hardware. (ATi did not have SM3.0 cards until its next hardware generation).
    Reply
  • epyon96 - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    That's very insightful. Can you go into more detail?

    I am confused because there appeared to be significant differences between Dx9C and Dx9B since NVidia made it sound like the difference was like the difference between Dx8.1/2/3 and Dx8.4 which did seem very significant if memory serves me right.

    The difference between 8.4 and 9 seemed minimal in quality of the final output.
    Reply
  • GourdFreeMan - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    The guidelines I spoke of were mentioned on the MSDN Forums circa 2003 regarding how changes to Direct3D would affect DirectX versioning, but seem to have been abandoned in favor of the bimonthly SDK updates following the DX 9.0c release. Bimonthly updates led to faster bug fixes, which in prior versions of DirectX sometimes required a letter update.

    If you are interested in the exact technical changes between DirectX versions, I suggest downloading the old SDK versions prior to the move to bimonthly updates and looking at the Changes section of the documentation.

    Regarding the move between DirectX 8 and DirectX 9, Shader Model 2.0 was introduced making way for games such as Far Cry (admittedly Far Cry was a DX 9.0b game, but the changes from 9.0 to 9.0b mainly involved SM 2.0a and SM 2.0b which for Far Cry meant enhanced performance on ATi and nVIDIA cards). Far Cry would later be patched to support DX 9.0c and SM 3.0, adding features like HDR, but I would argue that the unpatched game still looked considerably better than DX8 titles.

    (Incidentally there is no DirectX 8.3 and 8.4 -- there was 8.1a and 8.1b in the progression instead).
    Reply
  • epyon96 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    I wish the article had more background on what you just hypothesized (obviously with some substantiated facts) instead instead of the unnecessary vista bashing. It wound satisfy an actual curiosity.

    I remember that's one of the reasons why the in depth analysis of the development cycle of R770 was so well liked.
    Reply
  • gamerk2 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    The issue with DX11 is this: You need to supply a DX10 codepath for those who won't update GFX cards (you can't release a game no one has hardware for), but also would need a DX9 codepath for XP.

    Why would anyone release a game with three seperate grpahics code paths? Its for that reason I see a slow use of DX11, as long as XP holds 15-20% market share.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    If I remember those OS market share reports correctly, as of the end of last year Windows XP had about 65% market share, Vista has about 20% after 2 years, and Mac is nearing 10%. Even if Windows 7 is a roaring success, XP just has too much built-up market share to disappear overnight, so XP and DX9 compatibility will be required for at least another 2 years. The other thing that works against Windows 7 is that even if it isn't released until next year, it's introduction looks to be right in the middle of this economic recession, since things probably won't really pick up until late 2010 or 2011. When the economy does pick up again, there will be huge demand as companies finally switch from XP which would be 10 years old by then, but the first year of Windows 7 sales will probably be slow. Reply
  • bobvodka - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Well, to be fair, you don't have to have a DX10 path and a DX11 path as such. A few important features work on DX10 cards anyway, such as the multi-threaded rendering stuff, so you need a DX11 and a DX9 path at most; you just have to do some feature detection to find out if you are on a DX11, DX10 or DX10.1 card.

    Still a slight pain, but not as much as 3 real code paths.
    Reply
  • DarkMadMax - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    And main reason is consoles. There are practically no PC exclusives anymore among large budget titles (e.g. the ones who concentrate on graphics) . So all games target xbox360 hardware (if they dont they are ps3 exclusives). So until new generation of consoles appears there will be no progress in graphics. Period

    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    To me, this article mostly talks about new features of DX11 and that some fundamental fealtures can benefit allso dx10 and dx10.1 hardware...
    To me it seems that the Vista part was only there to say why there are not any real DX10 games now, even the features are there. I didn't read it as an Vista hate like many people here seems to think of it.
    All in all it was very good article abou how DX11 can allow those promises that DX10 promised to flourish better this time.
    Reply
  • scruffypup - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    That though this article was supposed to be about DirectX 11, Derek's bias and opinion about Vista overshadowed the subject of the article,...

    This article shows poor writing at its finest,.. afterall doesn't writing 101 teach one to make the article about the subject you are writing about and not something else?

    Again I say,... Derek does a disservice to anandtech with this bias. If you want to put in your bias towards an unrelated subject,.. at least show clearly the links (relevancy) to your intended subject material and how you come by a conclusion to support that claim other than just spouting off needlessly,... for that is what you have done essentially, as it held no relevance to the subject material the way you wrote the article.
    Reply
  • chizow - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Article summary:

    1)DX11 offers nothing new over DX10, as quoted in the article its just a strict superset that builds on and adds features to DX10 capability.
    2)Vista and DX10 sucked because no one wanted to use them.

    Derek, like many others I disagree with your assessment of Vista's importance in the overall OS hierarchy, here's just a quick list:

    1) First OS to bring 64-bit support to the mainstream.
    2) First OS to offer multi-threaded driver improvements. Look at Rel 180 and 8.12 Hot Fix, where multi-threaded drivers are all the rage.
    3) First OS to offer DX10 support. We're finally seeing some of the performance benefits we were promised in DX10 with multi-threaded drivers and improved AA with reading of the multi-sample depth buffer.
    4) Much better OS stability compared to XP. It wasn't always the case, but contrary to your article, most of the problems were fixed in July/August with the various video hot fixes (Ryan Smith can probably confirm or deny this).

    I think Win7 just emphasizes how good Vista is, and how many light years ahead both are compared to XP. You could say Win7 is like Mojave SE, not Vista SE, as you can clearly see all the Vista-haters who are running Win7 glowing about all the features and stability they've missed out on for at least a year (since Vista SP1).
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    "DX11 offers nothing new over DX10, as quoted in the article its just a strict superset that builds on and adds features to DX10 capability."

    aren't you contradicting yourself? :)
    Reply
  • chizow - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Oh right, that should read nothing new with regards to hardware requirements. They could've just as easily added the features and called it DX10a or DX10.2 etc.... Reply
  • FesterSilently - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Hrm...all I really pulled from this article was:

    - "...the rejection of Vista" pg. 1
    - "...no one knew how much Vista would really suck" pg. 2
    - "...slow adoption of Vista" pg. 3
    - "...ends up being a more expensive Vista in a shiny package" pg. 3
    - "...because of Vista's failure" pg. 7
    - "...as Vista still sucks" pg. 8
    - "...better upgrade option for XP users than Vista" pg. 8

    Oh, yeah! And:

    - "...DX 11 looks to rawk" (my quote)

    Well.

    I'm glad we cleared all that up. Now where's that XP disk...?

    :/
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Sorry for posting this again, but Derek, have we had any more news on Larrabee? Weren't the first samples supposed to be ready by the end of 2008?

    I also read somewhere that Intel bought Project Offset to use their technology in the launch title for Larrabee.
    Reply
  • scruffypup - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Interesting there is still the bashing on Vista,..

    Some say it "sucks"

    Answer this:
    Does Vista do everything Xp does? YES
    Does Xp do everything Vista does? NO

    So how can you say Vista sucks in comparison to XP? The driver issue? That has happened on most releases of Microsoft operating systems and is not the fault of the operating system? The fact old software does not always work on it? That again is not the operating system fault,.. the software was written for a certain operating system,...

    Security? I think we all know that Vista is inherently more secure
    Performance? Does a new software package (OS, driver, game) always mean better performance,... most often NO!!! GAMES especially,.. they do more,... but are bigger resource hogs,... most drivers you can say the same,...

    I feel that Derek's article was unprofessional and filled with a bias which will lead me to steer clear of his future articles,... and ESPECIALLY any opinions he wants to chime about,... sorry to see the Anandtech site have such "craptacular" articles that "suck"!!!
    Reply
  • MightyDrunken - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    To love or hate Vista - either way is an opinion. For me there is no correct answer regarding Vista. If the article writer is not allowed an opinon which disagrees with some of it's readers then AnandTech articles will be worthless.
    I use Vista daily and my impression is it sucks, sorry.
    On a two year old dell its slow, very slow(2 Gig RAM, Dual Core duo). All drivers are up to date. My slower windows XP machine was much faster.
    The only improvements with Vista I notice are the breadcrumb trail in Explorer and search on the start menu.
    Those improvements are not worth 13+ gigs of files and a fairly recent computer. Someone will pipe up and say, "Oh but hard drives are cheap", but what if I want to backup my install to DVD, memory stick...?
    Vista is pure bloat. Lets hope the Windows 7 hype is not as misleading as Vista's hype before release.
    Reply
  • epyon96 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Suffice to say the article does not have the flair of Anand Shimpi but it was educational. The Vista comment was unnecessary and seemed out of place.

    You kept emphasizing how Dx11 is a superset of Dx10. I am wondering why Microsoft just named it Dx10.2 or something of that nature to indicate the superset nature of it? What is the fundamental difference between a 1 and 0.1 or 0.2 advancement in Direct X technologies.
    Reply
  • bigsnyder - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    I think many of you are trying to interpret what you want to hear from his Vista comments. Bottom line, it is his article, he can say what he wants. I would say that there is far more people agreeing with his comments than what is posting here. There is no denying the fact the Vista did not live up to its hype at launch. Sure, XP had teething problems as well, but the difference here is that XP does offer a significant reason to upgrade over its predecessors win98/ME (w2k was a different market segment). Outside of DX10, what does Vista offer that I should be compelled to upgrade? Vista does not offer that same compelling reason. The current state of Vista is almost irrelevant (I'm sorry, but even with the improvements, Vista still does not paint a rosie picture). The damage is already done. Why do you think MS is accelerating Windows 7 development? Derek, thank you for your honest perspective. Reply
  • Intelman07 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Urgh Vista bashing from Anandtech...

    Vista simply does not suck.
    Reply
  • bobvodka - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Ok, lets cover a few things with one post;

    1) Vista "sucks".
    I find this claim today intresting; 99% of those I know who have used Vista have seen it as a large improvement over XP, myself included, and those who haven't generally have low spec or unsupported hardware. I've used Win3, 3.11, 95, 98, 98SE, ME, 2K, XP, XPx64 and now Vista and out of all of them Vista has been the smoothest OS I've had from day one (this was March 2007 when I accidently killed my XPx64 install by not paying attention) with the only troubles being 3rd party drivers (such as Creative's inability to write drivers which work first time out and NV apprently forgetting how to write them for around 9months in 2007).

    So, Vista far from sucks, what Vista suffers from is being bashed left, right and center even before it was released by 'tech sites' who brought into the whole 'Vista sucks' thing and continued the myth. I can only assume this is because you get better readership from saying something of MS's sucks rather than 'hey, it isn't perfect BUT...' type thing. Hey, that's journalism all over I guess.

    2) Vista's development time
    This was always going to be a problem for MS. XP was built upon Win2K, indeed they share the same driver model, which was built upon NT and the 9x kernel (in places) so it had a very long development history behind it. Vista had a whole new design thrown at it, new driver model, improved security model etc etc; this stuff doesn't happen quickly nor cheaply. The fact it had such a major overhall and worked so well out of the gate is nothing short of impressive.

    The problem however is that many of these changes are 'under the hood'. All the end user sees is a new shiney interface and wonders 'why did this take so long?'. Now, I guess MS could have tried to explain this to the ordinary person, much like they did to technical people, however I suspect this would have been a waste of time because all average Joe User cares about is if it will run his stuff.

    (side note: this is something MS really don't get enough praise for, the mindbending amount of work they put in to maintain backwards compatbility between their OS revisions. Take program written for Win95 and chances are it'll work just fine in Vista, THATS impressive.)

    3) DX10 and the performance quest
    This is another one of those things were people needed more information than they were given to understand whats going on here. The simple truth is, yes, DX10 allows you to write programs which use the GPU better and reduce CPU overhead (this reduction was infact a major part of the performance they were talking about, however everyone assumed when they said 'performance' they meant 'frames per second'); however this would require writing DX10 code, not naively port their DX9c code across and hope everything works out. The problem is this cost time and money, and with the major 2 consoles being DX9 level hardware (more or less) anything which needs to be crossplatform isn't going to have 'shiney DX10 renderer' high on their 'todo list'. (site note: the PS3 doesn't use OpenGL, it has an OpenGL|ES library but anyone with any sense codes to Sony's own graphics library instead).

    Of course, once these DX10 renderers are done they add more things to the scene as well, be it particles or general increase in the level of detail. So suddenly you are getting more things on screen for around the same cost in many cases.

    End of the day however the DX10 API IS a better API than DX9c and OpenGL; OpenGL did have the chance to 'catch up' but with the dropping of Longs Peak and the release of OpenGL3.0 they threw that away. (personal note; I'd used OpenGL since 1999, however that dropping of the ball made me move away from it).

    4) DX11 on XP.
    Not going to happen.
    Cost and development time don't make it worth while; unless ofcourse everyone was prepared to pay $150+ for an upgrade, because it makes no financal sense to even consider doing this for free and at that cost, well, you might as well get Vista or Windows7.

    5) DX11 and Multi-threading
    I was at the XNA Gamefest 2008 in london and I'm 99% sure that the multithreaded stuff DOESNT require a driver update. Granted, you'll get better performance with one but the runtime itself can deal with it.

    (As for who I am; I work as a programmer for a UK based games company. I wrote the chapter on GLSL for More OpenGL Game Programming and I've been coding now for over 15 years on various pieces of hardware. Just incase you felt I was some newbie :))
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Hi, thanks for the feedback ... I've already talked the vista issue to death elsewhere in these comments, so I'll skip that, but ...

    3) You are right that to get the most out of DX10 you need renderer designed for DX10 not ported from DX9. At the same time, there are things that can be done to make DX9 stuff faster by using DX10 capabilities that don't require an engine rewrite. Yes this also requires development time, but it seems developers have opted to put time into adding effects with DX10 rather than increasing framerate. I'm not disappointed with that direction, but performance was an option.

    I agree with what you said about OGL.

    4) I know it's not going to happen, but it didn't need to not be possible. MS could have designed the API to expose new hardware featuers without requiring the driver model change. DX9 can run on XP or Vista's new driver model for example. They chose to make it so that it was impossible to back-port rather than designing DX10 (and subsequent versions) to be tied to the driver model. OpenGL exposes most of the featuers of DX10 to WinXP and all of the things that are interesting to graphics programmers).

    5) You are right -- it's not required to support multithreading but it is required if you want a performance benefit from that multithreading.
    Reply
  • bobvodka - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Well, to be fair, many of my comments were directed at others in the thread :)

    4) The thing is, OpenGL and DX9, specifically D3D9, live in different places. D3D9 had alot more kernel side code which caused expensive switches when issuing certain commands; this is why D3D9 got all that instance draw stuff and OpenGL didnt, because on small batch sizes OpenGL could be between 2.3x and 1.4x quicker at executing the draw call then D3D9. OpenGL sits the otherside of the kernel calls and gives the implimenters more control on when that switch occures. D3D10 also sits the other side, again not wasting that time.

    There were also changes in the resource model, the driver model and various other areas; some of which were to make the Vista windowing system possible. This resource model and everything about it was very much tied to D3D10 and how it does things. OpenGL's resource model was also fundamentally different to the D3D9 model, with again the implimenter having alot more control; you never suffered a 'lost device' in OpenGL for example and the runtime automatically controlled allocated memory unlike in D3D9. There are some things OpenGL could do which D3D9 couldn't as well; such as on-card async memory copies and render-to-vertex buffer (well, ATI had a hack for it but the OpenGL method was cross-hardware).

    Could they have done it? Well, of course they could have done but unlike previous DX updates it would have taken alot more effort, time and money. All for a, at the time, 5 year old OS they were hoping to begin getting rid of.

    Personally, I think this was a good move all in all, the problem was with how it was presented to the general masses who suddenly saw they had to pay a few 100 USD for a new DX version.
    Reply
  • Dribble - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    The reason all our games are DX9c are because that's what the consoles support (yes I know PS3 uses open GL, but it has 9c feature support - basically has 7800GTX in it).
    Most games are made for console as well as PC, the majority use some cross platform renderer (e.g. unreal 3 engine) and that will support DX9c. Cross platform DX support won't change until the Xbox 720 and PS4 arrive.
    I don't see how DX11 will change this?
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    That's a really good point and something I should have considered.

    I think the gap in performance between the PC and consoles will so heavily favor PCs that it will inspire developers to once again shift their focus to the PC. I could be wrong though.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    That will change if Microsoft choose Larrabee for XBox 720. Cause then it will support all the DirectX (even unreleased) versions and all the OpenGL versions. If MS chooses Larrabee, and it also becomes popular for PC gaming, we PC gamers may see a huge benefit because then the games will be built for the latest DX version. Reply
  • bobvodka - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    It's all well and good saying that but Larrabee is currently utterly unproven technology.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see it do well if only because 3 players in the GPU race will be better than 2 from a technology and consumer stand point, however everyone seems to be pinning their hopes on this technology when there hasn't even been a working demo of DX9 at the same speed as NV/AMD, never mind DX10 or DX11.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    You're right. But I'm really excited. It would be so nice if Intel can really pull off such feat. we'll have 2 TFLOPS of general purpose parallel processing power! Reply
  • bobvodka - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    The problem is, the consoles is where the money is. Combine that with a fixed hardware platform (well, hard drives and different screen sizes not withstanding) it makes for a much easier time for devs. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    That's definitely a good point. Any game engine these days has to support the major consoles for it to be successful - even if that only means the 360, you're still hamstrung by DirectX9, regardless of whether XP has it or not.

    From a personal point of view I'm still running XP because I run a clusterfuck of graphics cards that vista would shit the bed thinking about.
    Reply
  • William Gaatjes - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    "Many under-the-hood enhancements mean higher performance for features available but less used under DX10. "


    I must be remembering it wrong but the same thing was sad about dx10. However it turned out to be nothing more then getting people to buy vista. I wonder how much will come true this time.
    Reply
  • Logikal - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Derek , For the most part I enjoyed your column. Some of it was over my head, but generally it was very informative. I believe its "geek nature" to slander and pull bias in one direction or another regarding certain technology/software/hardware, but honestly What you call "just information" is more personal opinion about your experiences with Vista then anything else. this is evident when you talk about "slow or poor adoption" or "compares to Win ME" like you actually know for sure that was the case. I work for one of Canada's larger computer retail/corporate sales entities, and we had more people buying Vista at a faster pace then any other OS i can remember. the small amount of technical issues that were monumentally blown out of proportion by..maybe...the competition (which you notably mentioned making larger strides in its technology :) caused more "slow adoption" to DX10 then MS's OS and its proportionately smaller problems themselves. I can admit bias, jumping from Windows 2000 directly to Vista, that I haven't had any problems at all. Small ones, mind you (again in proportion to the sheers vastness of what a OS needs to be today) sure. But honestly Vista was a huge step in the right direction, and It did well all things considered. As an end-user, If you had 2 year old hardware, No vista was not going to run functionally. And if you were stuck in the past software wise, or you were backward thinking in that, then no vista wasn't going to work for you. But the step needed to be made, and today we are able to download Windows 7 (in its refined glory) and experience what the vista motif' can be. After all, look how long it took for them to polish up XP ? :)

    Reply
  • flexy - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Logikal,

    an opinion is ALWAYS biased.

    The interesting thing is that you want to counter his opinion, but you don't really give a solid argument but rather list that "...more people were buying Vista" which hardly can be a serious argument, now in regards to technical details.

    I share derek's opinion, i am not "selling" Vista but i work with all kind of OS for a long time already. The comparison to ME is legitimate, IMHO.

    And yes, its Geek nature to be able to criticize, compare and see shortcomings where the "common" man (avg customer)might not see any. That's a good thing.

    Reply
  • flexy - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    that he is so open and just says it.
    Yes, Vista SUCKS <---

    Related to the subject:

    I haven't read the entire article (yet)...but tesselatlion reminds me somewhat of a few years ago when we had Radeons 8500 w/ hardware tessellation features. What was it called again? Truform.

    Sadly, in practice this feature rather flopped.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    On the issue of OpenCL's potential in games being limited by the availability of DX11 Compute Shaders, I think one way to get OpenCL incorporated into games is to rewrite the Havok physics engine in OpenCL. For one thing, OpenCL was developed to not only run on GPUs, but also CPUs, so the Havok engine can be GPU-accelerated on newer hardware with a software CPU fallback for older GPUs all with the same codebase. I'm not sure if DX11's Compute Shaders were designed to run on CPUs. OpenCL also has the largest target base allowing Havok to maintain it's portability across Windows including XP, OS X, and Linux compared to DX11 which would be limited to Vista and Windows 7. Havok itself is well placed to promote OpenCL since it's made by Intel, who would support it for their increasingly multicore CPUs and Larrabee, is actually backed by AMD over PhysX and who is now also promoting OpenCL over their own Brook+ language, and using OpenCL will also allow compatibility with nVidia GPUs unlike the proprietary CUDA PhysX. Havok already claims interoperability with 3ds Max, Maya, and XSI which rely on OpenGL, so going to OpenCL would be a natural fit in the development ecosystem. The more general nature of OpenCL compared to DX11 Compute Shaders would also help expand Havok's market beyond gaming to simulation and science which probably fits well within Intel's Visual Computing parent group. And of course, moving Havok to OpenCL may also encourage more game developers to use OpenGL, which probably isn't a bad thing.

    I'm actually kind of surprised with all the talk of DX10 not taking off because of the huge existing XP market that developers didn't think to switch to OpenGL since both nVidia and ATI exposed all the features of their DX10 GPUs in Windows XP through OpenGL extensions. The same will no doubt be true with DX11 GPUs with features available in XP through OpenGL extensions.
    Reply
  • bobjones32 - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Derek needs to stick with the hardware and stop making the ridiculous comments about software. "Rejected" Vista? Slow adoption? Porting DirectX 11 to XP?

    Give me a break. I thought it was common knowledge by now that the only people "rejecting" Vista are those buying into the sensationalist blogosphere that built the ridiculous perception in the first place. And since when is 150-200 million users of an OS in 2 years considered "slow adoption"?

    And finally, I would have certainly expected Derek to understand how ridiculous the proposition of DX10 or DX11 on XP is. One of the fundamental design purposes of DX10 was, as Derek actually pointed out, to interface with Vista's overhauled driver model.

    Are you really expecting Microsoft to spend millions in development resources to back-port a completely different driver model to an 8-year-old operating system just to make it possible for DX10/11 to run on there too?

    *sigh* Please. Stick with the hardware. Anandtech's informative articles are not where I want to see butthurt opinions. Save it for your blog.
    Reply
  • AlphaTango1 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link


    Derek, great article and very informative, thanks for taking the time in putting it together.
    It's very interesting to see the changes in design and architecture from earlier DX versions, and improvements being made to assist in moving our current graphics forward.

    It's hilarious to sit back and read through the replies and see the Vista purchasers barking out emotional comments, defending how they love using Vista on their own PC at home.
    It's also funny to note that this is the main thing people have commented on from a multi page article that goes into great depths about graphics, and the future architecture our games will be utilising, and yet we have people still barking on about how much they love Vista.

    Let’s forget your emotions for a minute, and the need to defend your purchase, or your love for Microsoft; and look at the actual outcomes to the user here in relation to graphics.
    Derek's point about Vista is mainly that it's deployment strategy, marketing, performance issues and initial instability didn't assist in moving DX10 forward for us to significantly benefit from. It also resulted in setting some tracks in place that actually continued preference for DX9 over DX10.
    I remember when DX10 was originally being marketed and pumped by Microsoft, and was going to deliver unparalleled graphics improvements to gamers. Comparison split screen vidoes of games were shown, with DX9 and DX10 samples, and talk of "a field of individual blades of grass all moving individually" etc

    Well what has that actually provided you with today? What benefits are you seeing in your games now, versus the natural improvements developers have made over time by learning how to use DX9 even better? I've read countless articles comparing DX9 and DX10 versions of the same games, with screen shots in 1920x1280 and above, and you often literally have to sit there for a good minute to actually see some slightly extra textured dirt, or a slight increase in transparency in the water. "Oh, ok there's the DX10 feature...Hmmm was that worth the 20fps hit in performance?" These improvements are not substantial, and wouldn't be noticed during gaming anyhow.

    Fact is, DX10 has not delivered on the promises and marketing hype, it will be purely a stepping stone in evolving DX11 to what it is.
    For all of you now rushing to type replies of all those extra texture changes you've noted in your DX10 games, seriously don't bother. Even if you can come up with a few examples, you'd be fooling yourself to think DX10 has actually made a significant change to current games, versus the millions of dollars and thousands of person-hours spent developing it.
    You'll also be madly trying to type a reply to defend yourself for the extra $$'s you've spent on hardware to get that DX10 game running, while your mate running the same game on XP with DX9 is laughing at you trying to defend your water transparency.

    On that point, yes XP was shaky in the first period, but that's simply why you never adopt a new OS until a SP or two come out, otherwise you're just a lemming beta tester for MS. My gaming group has 20+ players, and those of us still on XP had many laughing and banter sessions during the first year or so of Vista. We'd regularly be in-game playing, while the guys with Vista were still trying to get the sound driver working with their new game, or getting the fps to a playable level (and these were IT peopl). I was always rock solid on XP, with DX9 and my game looked just as good and was running faster, and that to me is a good way to measure the success of something. What improvement was Vista and DX10 going to give me, and why in the heck would I bother changing!?!
    Yes agree! Vista is probably quite fine for most people to use now, and the issues will have been ironed out. But back to the graphics topic, has it been worth it in relation to the DX10 experience received? This is what this should be about, not how much you love Vista! The question is, has your Vista vehicle and the associated DX10 version provided you with anything substantial? (Besides some Aero graphics interface to make you feel better for buying it).
    From seeing and using both, I can say the answer would be a 'No', versus the cost you paid for Vista, the cost of extra hardware required, the marketing hype and spend; and then wrapping that up and comparing it to users on XP SP3 playing games on DX9. The justification ego of people and the effect of marketing can be a funny thing to watch.

    I suggest some of you go an actually read some articles from industry researchers and advisors such as Gartner, and the view on Vista in the industry, and advice to Business on selection. Sorry to say, but it's a little bigger than your experience on your little PC and home.

    From reading Derek's article I think he's trying to put forward the fact that DX11 has the potential to actually deliver on those DX10 promises and that we may actually see some results, and big changes in our gaming experiences. He also is saying that if the vehicle in which DX11 will be released on (i.e. an OS, Win 7 mainly in this case) is a success, then we have a good chance of it also being adopted in greater numbers by developers of the games we'll be playing.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    I NEVER said DX11 would or could be ported to WinXP as it is.

    However, there really is little reason that MS couldn't have chosen to design DX10 so that applications written to target DX10 could still run on XP. But they did not. For the sake of DirectX I think this was the wrong decision.

    The change in driver model is very largely an issue in how the graphics driver is implemented to handle DX10. Graphics IHVs developed new DX9 drivers for Vista as well using WDDM, while they still had XP DX9 drivers using the old model. If MS had divorced the API from the driver model changes then they could have implemented DX10 in both XP and Vista with no problem and we'd see higher adoption today.

    There is NO technical reason that the functionality in DX10 that is useful for graphics programming (pipeline changes, numbers of registers and resource constraints, stream out, programmable AA, etc.) could not have been implemented without requiring a new driver model.

    Let me paint the picture: there is no reason you need fine grained power management and linked adapters to add the GS to the pipeline. Developers could have had an software interface that exposed the functionality of the hardware without the new driver model. Case in point is that OpenGL on Windows XP is able to exploit all DX10 hardware functionality that is not tied to the driver model (read everything that is really useful for programming a game).

    So, yes, it would be stupid and wasteful to back port the driver model to XP. But it was stupid and counterproductive to design DX10 in a way that required the new driver model rather than being capable of running under both driver models (like DX9/DX9L).

    Microsoft wanted DX10 to push upgrades. They wanted to give people a reason to buy a new OS. But by doing this they instead hampered the uptake of DX10.
    Reply
  • LeStuka - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Vista adoption was slow. Driver support wasn't very good early on (not really Microsofts fault). It's resource intensive and runs more slowly than people expected. It performed tasks more slowly than other OS's.
    SP1 fixed a lot of issues - people seem to forget what it was like pre-SP..
    Microsoft has admitted that Vista wasn't all it should have been. Why do you think Windows 7 is coming so quickly to market? Hint: It's not because Vista was a huge success and is still bringing in mountains of cash.
    Also, the extended and re-extended support & supply of XP. Why? From a marketing perspective it makes no sense if Vista is a successful OS.

    I'd like to see a link to this "150-200 million users" article/quote (that doesn't include bundled copies that were "down"graded to XP right?)
    It'd also be interesting to see how many computers are running XP..

    Derek sounds like he's just telling it like it is to me.
    You sound like just another one of those internet tossers that take digs at other peoples work for the sake of it; just because it's there.

    Are you sure you want to post this reply?
    Are you sure you're sure?
    Are you suuure...?
    Reply
  • bobjones32 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    It doesn't matter what the OS *was*, the only thing that matters is what the OS *IS*.

    Today. On January 30th, 2009.

    XP was an utter piece of crap for the first two years of its release. Unstable, insecure, and far worse compatibility and driver support than Vista ever dealt with. But of course, you're not judging XP today based on XP on release, are you? Of course not. On the contrary, you're comparing XP now to Vista on release. Hardly fair, and absolutely not relevant.

    Why do I think Windows 7 is coming so quickly? Based on what? You realize that the Windows Vista --> Windows 7 timeframe (~3 years) is *longer* than any other release of Windows outside of XP-->Vista, right? You realize that's nearly twice as long as any subsequent release of OS X, right?

    Extension of XP, why? Because people are dumb enough to continue to think they need it. Microsoft already lost the perception war, may as well milk the uneducated while they can. However, the 150-200 million number is absolutely accurate:

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/vista/vista...">http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/vista/vista...

    Microsoft shipping 150 million licenses of Vista as of May of 2008. If you don't think that number of people are *using* vista by now, 8 months later, then you are completely oblivious.

    Derek is not "telling it like it is." He's buying into the anti-Vista sensationalist nonsense without using real facts and figures to back it up, making ridiculous assumptions in lieu of evidence, and making impossibly absurd requests like asking for DX10/11 on XP.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    most of my customers prefer XP over Vista with AICH been used and no option to turn it off its an big fuss to get XP onto new OEM computers now
    to run vista you need 2gb of ram good hard disk (250gb) and an dual core cpu, OEMs selling systems with single core cpus and 1 gb of ram with 256mb shared video on an 965 intel IGP that only needs 64mb for aero, no one likes vista for the lower end laptops

    allso this comment box has not been tested with opera (box is to small)
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    These figures include "shipped" versions of Vista that people chose to downgrade to XP. It includes systems that came preinstalled, even the "vista capable" systems that people might have chosen to replace with another OS out of the box or after it didn't deliver what they expected.

    No Vista isn't as bad now as it was at first, but that first impression really does matter and significantly affected DirectX10 adoption, development efforts, perception, and all sorts of things that have a lasting impact on the entire industry.

    Also, MS designed DX10 to be tied to the WDDM when they didn't need to in order to expose functionality for developers to use the new features of hardware. They didn't need to do this at all, and we could have had DX10 and DX11 on XP if MS hadn't wanted to push sales of Vista through needless requirements that tied future versions of DirectX to it.
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Vista bigger problem was Image. It started a bit rocky, and by the time it was 'fixed' people allready wrote it off. M$ was/is smart enough to know a damaged brand, and instead of releasing Vista Sp2, they slapped a new name on it.

    I do have a bit of a chip on my should about win7, from what I read, i'd love to upgrade.

    But good lord, I own 2 ultimate, and 3 home preimum licenses. I hope M$ has some nice deals for vista users, because i'm going to feel a bit ripped of having an OS with a 2 year life span.
    Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Sunday, February 01, 2009 - link

    I agree that it is a ripoff to have an OS with such a short life span. Is the "planned obsolescence" in the worst form?? Reply
  • LeStuka - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    I read somewhere that Vista Ultimate owners will get a free/reduced price upgrade.. Not sure how reputable that is (my memory is a bit hazy on it) but is defiantely worth some research. Reply
  • marsbound2024 - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Let me start off by saying I was enthralled by this article. Very well detailed and well explained. There were a few occasions, however, where I wished for more explanation (or maybe my eyes skipped over an explanation you might have provided earlier in the article). I will admit, I am not as highly inclined on software as many people might be here. I am a great deal more interested in hardware usually, but when it comes to APIs such as DirectX and operating systems and their features such as Windows 7, then I am usually engrossed in those. What exactly are LODs and what is OOP constructs and what is HLSL? Now admittedly I can use Google to find all of this out, but it would be nice to have this consolidated into your article (if it was, but my eyes skimmed over that part, then I apologize; though I read your article pretty much word for word).

    There are a few grammatical errors such as instead of "that" you put "than" or maybe it was "then" and you said "a architectures" or something to that effect. This doesn't really matter but I thought I'd throw that out there.

    I'd really like to know if the upcoming generation GPUs in June/July will make use of DirectX11? I suppose this depends on how quickly Microsoft can a good, full-featured SDK out there, perhaps. Also, albeit a bit off-topic, but any thoughts on when Windows 7 might be released to consumers? Are we still thinking later this year in time for the holiday season or the old Microsoft "by the first quarter of 2010" or whatever it was (i.e.: January possibly)?
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Sorry about leaving out some definitions there ... I went back and added in some explanation of what HLSL and OOP stand for and what LOD is.

    We suspect that the first round of hardware that comes out after Windows 7 is available will support DX11 ... We haven't had confirmation on that from either vendor yet, but that's our strong feeling at this point.
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Author just seems to have a huge chip on his shoulder.


    good article, that quite frankly left a bad taste in my mouth because of the unexplained, and un-needed vista bashing
    Reply
  • tommy2q - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    vista 64 bit has been great for me. it's faster than xp pro on my computer and more stable. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    I don't have a problem explaining myself, I just thought it was unnecessary -- I apologize.

    It's not that I have a chip on my shoulder, it is simply a fact that Vista had and has problems that caused issues with the uptake of DX10. It's not a personal problem, it's just information.

    First, obviously an OS upgrade was required to get DX10. People were turned off to this idea because of initial problems that were resolved after a period of time. But much damage was done.

    For the first year of it's life, many drivers and applications were unstable and buggy, especially sound and graphics and especially under 64-bit Vista. MultiGPU support had its own problems, but that's a whole other barrel of monkeys. When SP1 hit most of our problems were resolved.

    Performance for many tasks are decreased under Vista, though, again, much of this has been fixed. But the problem is that uptake of Vista was damaged because of this, especially among hardcore gamers and especially because there weren't any DX10 only titles or Vista only titles that were compelling (and no, Lost Planet was not compelling). Also, in cases like Crysis, DX10 incurs a huge performance hit and many gamers prefer to run DX9 anyway for the higher performance.

    OS X also made huge strides and is a terrific OS. For usability, people have started to realize they had a choice in large part because Vista failed at the beginning to deliver what it promised. And choice is good.

    MS recognized that they had a problem and implemented and extended again and again downgrade options to Windows XP for customers who were unsatisfied with Vista. They have significantly invested in and sped up development on Windows 7 in order to deliver an option that will regain customer interest. They've also dumped tons of money into ad campaigns like mojave and seinfeld.

    Vista is not a failure in terms of total sales or market penetration as compared to other pieces of software, but it absolutely is compared to other major milestone MS OS releases. They needed to deliver a WinXP and they delivered a WinME ...

    The degree to which people hung on to XP and the problems with Vista have certainly caused a delay in a full transition to DX10 programming by game developers.

    Vista failed to be truly viable vehicle for pushing forward graphics technology on the whole not because it totally sucks, is lame, or any one person doesn't like it. It failed on its merits because it didn't come out of the gate as strong as it needed to be.

    Certainly many developers have done some cool things with DX10. Which is great. But building a platform where people like the Beta more than their current stable OS is a good start to getting people interested in dropping Vista for Windows 7 and inspiring hold outs to finally move from Windows XP to Windows 7.

    I wasn't trying to "bash" vista. I feel like I was just calling it like it is.
    Reply
  • archer75 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    All of the "problems" with Vista you mentioned actually aren't even Microsoft's or Vista's fault. Drivers are applications are the responsibilities of 3rd parties. It is they who dropped the ball. Most companies grew up with XP and that is what people learned to write drivers and apps for. With the necessary change to the driver model in Vista these people had to learn a new way of writing drivers. A necessary change but it took time.

    Also everything that SP1 fixed, was fixed long before SP1. All of those updates were available on the knowledge base. All SP1 did was put them in one neat little package. People like myself had those updates long before SP1.
    I also run x64 and have since beta. My system has had quality drivers on day 1 and I never had any stability issues either.

    Obviously an OS upgrade was required for DX10. And why wouldn't it be? Do you give away all of your new features in your old products? What company does that? You put new features in new products. Apple does this. Hell, ilife 09 is leopard only. They force you to upgrade regularly.
    Reply
  • bobjones32 - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Derek, Vista has been out for only 2 years. Take a look at XP's first two years and it was a phenomenal disaster comparatively. How people forget its far more significant performance and driver compatibility issues, and of course the Blaster worm, is totally beyond me.

    Just look at some of the nightmares: http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archi...">http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs...8/06/30/...

    Business uptake? Initial consumer uptake? Driver support? Gaming speed? Security? Compatibility? Vista's first two years have been incredibly successful compared to XP's first two years.

    The difference? In 2001, sensationalist blogging making mountains out of molehills and purporting endless false perceptions without significant evidence wasn't nearly as popular. Apple's ads that only fed into peoples' ignorance only helped that false perception grow.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    Compare XP to 98SE.
    Now compare Vista to XP.

    We have to take things in context.
    Reply
  • CvP - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    TOTALLY AGREE.

    well said.
    Reply
  • Goty - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    So the gist of this comment (Derek's) is that Vista doesn't suck, but you still say, "Vista sucks."

    I'm confused now.

    Anyhow, I personally agree with the other people in the section that say Vista is a great operating system. I installed it in January of '07 and the only change I've made is to move from Business to Ultimate (thanks to the fact that I was using an ATI video card at the time and the fact that they didn't slack off on their driver development).
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Actually, that's an apt statement.

    Vista is currently something it was not initially. This made it "suck" in the hearts and minds of many people at the start, damaging the Windows brand and frustrating users. While, as I said, those issues are largely gone post SP1. This impacted Microsoft's ability to inspire confidence in the industry that everyone would eventually move to a platform that ran DX10, whether or not the OS eventually got to a stable place.

    In spite of this, I use Vista: I have 6GB of RAM and I'm interested in DX10 for the sake of DX10 personally. I'm a bit of a technologist and I like things for the sake of the thing, really, but that doesn't mean that MS didn't drop the ball in their delivery of Vista.
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    What made it suck in the hearts and minds of many people was the refusal to move away from what they allready knew. Changing your operating system has always brought alot of grumbling from the majority... but it's even more overstated with XP which has been around and in wide use far longer then previous Microsoft Operating systems.

    The beta form of Vista I found to be buggy as hell.. But ofcourse I was testing it on a 1800+ Tbird with 1G of ram. Later when I adopted it (before sp1) it was fine with very few problems. I'd even go as far as saying way way less then what XP had at launch.
    Reply
  • CvP - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    and XP was much better *when* it was released?!
    until XPsp1, it was a piece of shit.
    until XPsp2, it wasn't worth switching to XPsp2.


    and all those lack of driver etc..it was not MS's fault.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    "calling it like it is"? i have vista64 premium and i much prefer it to win XP. I have the hardware to run it flawlessly ofcourse, and in that context it's anything but "sucks". would never go back to XP, so please vista has come a looooooong way and doesnt need superfluos opinions like this in 2009. Reply
  • mechBgon - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Derek, if you take a look at Valve's monthly user survey, the ratio of Vista to WinXP users is now at about 1 to 2.1 and climbing by the month. That's not what I'd call "rejection of Vista." I think you've been reading The Inq too much :)

    As for your remark about Vista being a "WinME," I disagree. WinXP was the WinME of this era; it was basically Win2000 with a few bonus features, like WinME was a makeover of Win98SE. Once WinXP SP2 was released, *then* WinXP actually had some real merit over Win2000 in the security department, but that was late in the game.

    Vista, however, is a paradigm shift, a watershed in Windows history. Stuff is not run at Admin level by default anymore, and never will be again. Pulling that off without breaking 80% of the existing software in the world was an amazing accomplishment that involved virtualizing the Registry and file system (a little-known facet of UAC, as it happens).


    This is another misguided factoid:

    "MS recognized that they had a problem and implemented and extended again and again downgrade options to Windows XP for customers who were unsatisfied with Vista."

    Well heck, OEM Windows XP Pro comes with downgrade rights to run Win98 or WinME. It's not a backpedalling measure, nor a confession that WinME is better than WinXP. That's normal Microsoft policy so customers can license the current OS but use the previous version, temporarily or permanently, for whatever reason.

    There will be downgrade rights with the appropriate versions of Windows 7, too.
    Reply
  • suryad - Thursday, February 05, 2009 - link

    I am not so sure you can just take Valve's survey which is just predominantly consisting of gamers as a good statistic. Thats just my 2 cents. An OS is not just meant for gaming...sure thats a good amount of Vista users in the survey but what about the rest of the people who are not gamers? I am pretty confident that most people who are on Vista and are on the Steam survey are/were sold by the appeal of DX 10 and next generation gaming and graphics and all that. Reply
  • Havor - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    DX10 is Vista only ware XP and 98SE/win2k shared a common DX

    And yeah XP was Win2K but it had better gaming support then W2K so there was no reason not to use XP over W2K, and only very old games gave some problems whit XP over 98SE.

    Ware Vista almost had no RL benefits over XP just a high resource hog and steep learning curve.

    If people could had a those between XP and vista i think Vista Nr's would have bin 75% lower

    Other then DX10 and x64 there is no reason for me to go to Vista, so i will wait for Win7 and upgrade to i7/i5 till then my X2 6000+ and XP sp3 will do
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    i agree with most of your logic. And it makes sense. It didn't feel right with the rest of the article though.


    I will however disagree with it being compared to Win ME.

    Win ME was just junk, unstable, worthless, and never improving. And while vista had teething issues, alot of it was due to a huge shift in the actual OS.

    I haven't tired 7 yet, but from all I read,it seems like vista re-tuned. However I doubt Win7 could have ever gotten to where it is without Vista. Vista was a trail by fire, and in most cases it made it. A huge problem early on was hardware specs to run it were set too low, and it was hell for people on cheap low end hardware.

    My experance has been overall very postive, esspically when I moved to 4gb's of ram. Driver problems now are minimal (x64), and no matter how stable XP ever was. IMHO, and in my experance, vista has been leaps and bounds more stable. I can't recall having an OS crash/lock up that required a reboot. If not for hardware changes/updates, my vista box would never reboot.
    Reply
  • Havor - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    The compering to ME holds up some bid, do vista is not as bad as ME was.

    How ever on my computer club there was a 100% return to 98SE ore win2k, most users(70%) here that run dual-boot Vista/XP machine, returned to XP after trying Vista for a wile (me included)

    And there has never bin Any love for the OS especially compared to XP.

    The bigger problem for dev. is that DX10 is Vista only, and there are way to many XP machines out there to develop DX10 only games, so from a dev. point of view Vista was/still is the next ME.
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    WinME is what Vista will eventually be compared to no matter what. I had less problems with WinME then I did with 98, or 95 but it got a bad rap.. Nowadays people just all say it was crap. Im sure 5-7+ years from now they will say the exact same thing about Vista. (shrug) Reply
  • marsbound2024 - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    I agree with what you have said. Microsoft had years to develop Vista where previously its OS releases came within two years of each other. It should have been optimized at the very least and we have seen that it is resource-intensive and one might even say "bloated." While Vista does work and I rather like working with Vista 64-bit, I think it should have been more than what it is for having such a lengthy development timeframe. While many of us superbly informed on computer operating systems and application support, the average consumer seems to really dislike Vista. From UAC to horrible startup times on occasion (usually due to services such as Cyberlink), to the network connectivity problems that seem to be related to IPv6 and the fact that it used to bring budget systems to their knees (when they were manufactured with the purpose of running Vista), most people have a bad taste in their mouths from running Vista. Vista had a lot of promise on the table from what was on paper, but in execution it simply generated more headaches than it should have. Windows 7 should hopefully be getting back to what an operating system should be: streamlined GUI with robust, yet optimally programmed features that range from security to file management on NTFS. Reply
  • srp49ers - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    The vista comments seemed out of place considering the tone of the rest of the article. Reply
  • Cuhulainn - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Agreed. Even if you think it sucks, give the reasons related to the article. I would like to know what issues there are between Vista/DirectX, as I am a current user. Rather than being told that what I am running sucks, tell me what is wrong with it, or what is right with 7 that is an improvement over Vista.

    That being said, I have little to no knowledge of these things and still found this to be an interesting read. Much appreciated.
    Reply
  • Staples - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    And the fact that a year ago, most people who said that Vista sucks are ones who unsurprisingly never actually used it. When someone says Vista sucks, I always think there is a high probablility that they are someone who has never used it (and therefore stupid for saying something like that). Anyway, I have been using Vista since it came out and except for the fixes which made it use less resources, there never has been anything wrong with the OS despite what the legion of "I read it on the internet so it must be true" people would have you believe. Seems like the majority of geeks thought it sucked without having ever used it which is just idiotic. When I realized this, it was sad to know how gulible people really are. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    It will be great if MS releases DX11 for XP. I multi-boot XP and Vista and Ubuntu. I think I'll replace Vista with Win 7 and not XP.

    By the way, why haven't we heard anything about Larrabee? Intel said that the first samples would be ready by the end of 2008. It seems to me like it will be a revolutionary step in graphics computing.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    It won't happen, it can't happen. DX10 goes hand-in-hand with a massive rearchitecting of GPU threading and memory management, which is why we transitioned from the XPDM to WDDM for Vista. You can't backport that kind of stuff, it's a fundamental change in how the OS addresses the GPU and allocates work & resources for it. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    oh ok. thanks. :) Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    I was aware of the idea of the Tesselator in AMD's DX10.1 hardware, but this article was excellent in putting everything together in how it will (or might) function in the DX11 pipeline, and everything else associated with the additions DX11 builds on top of DX10, and the reasons behind what has been done and the implications of it.

    This is definitely up there with the best of the articles Anand himself posts here; well done Derek. It was the sort of article that first made AT my favourite site to visit first for reviews-- in depth and written by someone who knew what he was talking about. Thankyou.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Just because you don't use like it doesn't mean that lots of people are using it day-in day-out on PCs it was pre-installed on. Admittedly I dual-boot Vista and XP, and 99 times out of 100 it is XP (the Vista installation is only used either to help my father when speaking on the phone and who bought a laptop with Vista last year, or to run 3DMark Vantage), but Vista is very popular with most people who use it. My father hasn't any complaints with it (okay so he hasn't used any other O/S, but does that matter).

    Personally, I intend to jump from XP to Win7 SP1 when it is released. My current Vista installation is 64-bit Ultimate SP1 and it works, but with only 2GB of RAM, I find that XP does everything just as well or better. I would say Vista is very successful though, as almost all computers sold with Windows today have Vista installed rather than XP. There are probably more computers now sold with irrelevant OS's like Linux or OS/X, than there are those that come shipped with XP (netbooks excluded).

    PS: actually I like some Linux distros, so if you found the previous paragraph at all offensive, I apologise. But the average user isn't going to want a PC with a Linux distro, unless it comes fully pre-configured with every app they need pre-installed.
    Reply
  • ameatypie - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    sorry, but i completly disagree with this. Vista is RUBBISH. If you use it on your average comuter, it is slow. If you use it on a computer worse then that, it is worse then slow - it is useless. If you use it on a fast computer, it wastes half the reasorces that get thrown at it and it doesnt use the other half efficantly enough.
    The only reason people now days are using vista is because they are forced to with new computers - espically laptops.
    I have seen the windows 7 beta, and THAT is going to be pretty good........ But vista is still RUBBISH. :P
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    No one is FORCED to use Vista and it's certainly NOT rubbish. It is definitely a step way up from XP. I am using the Win7 Beta right now and it's a improvement but why anyone would say its pretty good and Vista is not is beyond me as they are very similiar.

    I really do think all the Vista bashing has come from people who just don't use it or never really gave it much of a chance. NO instead they go back to (what one user said..) That Bastion of security and stability ... Windows XP. Note the sarcasm. Xp was good for it's time but Vista blows it out of the water.
    Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    By average, do you mean a processor slower than a Athlon 64 3000+ and a 4 year old graphics card?

    Just curious, because I've got a machine like that that has no problems running Vista (and gets an Vista Experience score between 4 and 5).

    Clearly your idea of average is a machine that was, at best, average 4 years ago.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    Well, if you throw lots of ram (8GB), fast new graphics card, and use nLite to remove/disable crap like UAC, Defender, firewall, readyboost, and make programs run with administrator privileges by default, it's usable.

    Nothing like Ubuntu though. However, Ubuntu doesn't run games, or rather, developers don't write mainstream 3D games for it, so I just use VMs or remote connections.

    One thing I have not figured out is to change the mouse behavior in windows to more closely resemble linux: mouse wheel should scroll the window the pointer is hovering over, regardless of the active window. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem possible. Therefore, Vista sucks. ;p
    Reply
  • gochichi - Thursday, February 19, 2009 - link

    Ubuntu is also bloated. I mean, I can't get my hard drive to stop making noises on Ubuntu.. NOR on Vista... which annoys me to no end. I was finally able to stop the noises in Vista but Ubuntu still grinds it away.

    Ubuntu is the stuff though. I run Office 2003 on it using Wine and that runs great. But the truth is that Office 2007 is actually better and so Vista is better. you start taking games into account and Windows is clearly the best period... consoles and everything... I'll take a Windows box anyday.

    Ubuntu is here to stay, it's getting better every six months. Because Windows XP hasn't died and refuses to die... it gives the open source community time to play catch up. Like Wine, it can reach Windows XP status and if it does (when it does, hopefully before Windows XP is totally dead) it'll be a great option.

    Ubuntu is always a great option, the problem is that Microsoft OSs are as "free" money-wise because they come preloaded on 99% of PCs. They only people buying separate versions of Microsoft OSs are Apple users (the irony! OH THE IRONY!) and the handful of people builiding their own systems.

    The typical case is like my laptop. By default Vista Home Premium... and it does dual boot to Ubuntu sometimes mostly for my Unix class. I think it's a joy to use it either way, but Ubuntu doesn't have any price advantage at all. And it never will because it's cheaper for Dell (in this case) to pay Microsoft the OEM fee for Vista (or Windows 7 in the near future) than it is to offer the technical support on Ubuntu. Vista (even Vista) also gives the system synergy and enhances the value of the hardware which more than justifies the OEM fee. I like dual booting, and I know that I'd get better at Ubuntu if I didn't have Vista but I find dual booting too irresistible.

    So Ubuntu is great, it can't be denied. And one of these days Wine (the windows "not" emulator) might catch up enough so that productivity software can run better on Ubuntu than on Windows XP. Windows XP is Microsoft's Achile's Heel.

    Because if new Macs didn't run Windows XP in a virtual machine as well as they do, they wouldn't be so widely adopted.

    Windows XP symbolizes the overall lack of progress in the industry, and other companies are approaching its usability or swallowing it whole (like through a VW like with Macs and Fusion etc).

    Overall, the computer industry has stagnated. Windows 7 might help, and DirectX11 might help, but I think it'll just keep things from slowing down so rapidly. So they'll continue to slow down, just less quickly.

    Reply
  • ameatypie - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    but then, how many people apart from myself and a few select others are going to throw 8GB of RAM, an 8800GT or higher series graphics card, and a beefy quad core at it? not many, if any. Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    1. You don't need that for Vista.
    2. 8GB of ram can be had for under 100 bucks
    3. Vista would run fine on a $20.00 PCI-e card
    4. Vista ran fine with a 6600gt or a X800 card (both over 2 years old by the time Vista was generally available).

    If you're talking about a card for gaming, well that has little to do with Vista and most tests now show that games run about the same on XP and Vista. This is no different htan XP upon release. It took a year or 2 before games ran about as well on XP as 9x.
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    While there might be some programs out there that definitely do take advantage of 8G of ram.. I haven't noticed that for Vista. It seems to hit a sweet spot at 4Gigs (or 3.3 for 32bit) I don't think 2Gigs of ram is optimal for Vista at all tho, and always push for 4 with all my builds. Reply
  • dzmcm - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Do yourself the biggest favor and Google kat mouse. I used ubuntu for a while and got spoiled by the mouse wheel functionality. This little program will allow your to scroll windows not in focus. And it adds extra functionality to the middle mouse button (which I just dissable). Plus you can set up per application rules. Reply
  • SoCalBoomer - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    Fail. Sigh.

    A: 2Gigs works great. 3 Works FINE. 4 works happily with 64.
    B: DECENT video cards work fine. By Decent, I mean anything in the past couple of years - nVidia 7xxx cards, for instance. PCI vid cards? Prolly not. . .
    C: Why not just do it within Windows? UAC is easy to turn off. Windows Defender actually works okay. Readyboost doesn't do anything if you don't turn it on, etc.

    "Nothing like Ubuntu though" - true. I have Ubuntu on my laptop (although it's got Win7 on it and is a TON more functional now) but then Ubuntu doesn't have ANY common use programs written for it - Open Office is about it and . . . much as I like it, it's missing stuff that I use every day on my desktop.

    Games? Well, yes, but there are things other than games - like Office. . . yeah, you know, that behemoth office suite that controls the world? Yeah, not necessarily my fav (except for OneNote - which is awesome) but you gotta do it.


    You can't make your mouse work the way you want and THEREFORE Vista fails? Dude. . . epic fail.
    Reply
  • stmok - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - link

    Vista IS a marketing failure.

    * It failed to get massive adoption as expected by Microsoft. A good majority of people and businesses are sticking with XP. Go and actually search for world wide statistics, and you'll see for yourself.

    * No matter how much Microsoft spent on marketing (see Seinfield+Gates ads and Mojave), it never caught on...Viral and deceptive marketing don't work.

    * Why do you think the next one is called "Windows 7" (even though you can basically call it Windows Vista Second Edition). Simple. The name "Vista" is a marketing failure. Its kryptonite to the Windows brand name. That's why they dropped it.

    Linux works well when the user has strong motivations to learn and adopt it. When they don't, they are better off using something like Linux Mint (which has all the video codec, and Flash, etc pre-installed) or not even using Linux at all. (Which is better for all involved).

    When a user treats Linux like Windows, it just doesn't work. Hence, all the complaining about how Linux on the desktop won't happen. (Linux was never intended for the desktop. The point was to create a cheap Unix-like solution for the x86 platform).

    Many don't realise that in Linux, the people take responsibility, not a company like Apple or Microsoft. Its about getting your butt off the ground and doing things to make it happen.

    Nothing happens when all you do is sit and complain how Linux isn't this all or that. Its up to you (if you choose to), to do something about it...This is identical to life itself.
    Reply
  • gochichi - Thursday, February 19, 2009 - link

    If Microsoft wants to go Windows 7 early, they need to reconsider their pricing for Vista upgraders. B/c I have 3 Vista computers and I'm unwilling to spend more than $100.00 to upgrade all 3 of them to Windows 7.

    That's $33.33 per computer as my ceiling. And I'm not going to upgrade one and not all of them. I have more than earned the right to a good price from Microsoft. If they want to charge me full price for Office 2010 (or whatever it'll be called) that's fine, but OS upgrades can't be $100+ a pop, not if Microsoft wants to change OS's every two years.

    I kind of wonder if Vista will pick up traction in the piracy circles once 7 is released. I don't even know if I'll want to upgrade period... I mean, Vista really is fine, and why fix what aint broke.

    I've tried Windows 7 and other than being unusually unstable (which is "alright" technically because it's a beta) it does offer up some decent usability improvements. I'm quite sure that most Vista users will feel like I do... namely, that we should be getting the cosmetic upgrades for free... since we're footing their bills and all. Windows 7 is just warmed over Vista... and frankly if you're excited about Windows 7 yet you "hate" Vista... you're weird b/c they're the same thing.

    Like I said, Windows 7 is UNSTABLE which given the "mission statement" is truly alarming. I mean, I'm running Windows 7 by itself (no apps installed) and yet sometimes Windows Explorer needs to restart (one of my biggest gripes (probably the only legitimate one) with Vista).

    I guess those of us even considering buying OSes separately from PCs are crazy, and now with Windows 7 we'll be even crazier (pricing pending). Hopefully Microsoft will offer us a hand so we can all leave Vista (not because it's horrible, just for uniformity) together. Otherwise, Windows 7 will probably have even worse adoption rates than Vista.

    Microsoft: Don't be greedy! Don't split your user base so much. Let me have computers with the same OS without charging me an arm and a leg. Let Vista users have access to DirectX 11 too... b/c the "gaming" community is just going to backlash and boycott 7 like they did Vista.

    We all "naturally" want the latest version of the OS, coercion isn't necessary at all.
    Reply
  • x86 64 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    Nah, Vista is already easier to pirate than XP ever was. All you need is a BIOS with an SLIC table and a VLK (easily done yourself with some research). Then you activate it using Vista's Software License Service (SLsvc.exe the way big OEM's like Dell and HP mass activate PC's) and MS can't tell the difference between a bogus or a legit installation, unless they overhaul their validation methods (not likely).

    With XP you had to deal with trying to remove the WGA nagware. Also there are some WinXP Pro student editions floating around that don't need activation because they don't contain WGA. The thought was that eventually MS would ban these keys but it has yet to happen.

    I imagine Windows 7 will be just as easy as to pirate as Vista, either through a BIOS softmod or foolproof BIOS hardmod.
    Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    WTF are you talking about? Why would MS have expected Vista to get 30 or 40% market share after 2 years?

    For all the BS that XP is God and sold like gangbusters out the door, a little research shows that XP had less than 40% market share in 2005

    You'd have to be a complete idiot to think that Businesses were transition to Vista quicker than they transitioned to XP.


    Reply
  • swaaye - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    I think Vista has "failed" only because there's little reason for the vast majority of users to switch to it. It's very expensive to upgrade to it, and there's just little reason to. The fact of the matter is that for everyone that doesn't care about DX10 gaming, XP can do anything Vista can.

    Personally, I think Vista is ok. If Win 7 improves on it, there's nowhere to go but up. But I also have no dislike of XP, either, and certainly see that it has its place on every PC with <2GB RAM.
    Reply
  • michaelklachko - Monday, February 02, 2009 - link

    That's a good post. Especially about Linux. Thanks! Reply

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