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XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

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  • XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

    I recently ordered parts for a new build and one of my big struggles was trying to decide between XP and Vista. In the end I went with XP even though I knew I would probably end up buying Vista within a year but it just seemed the more reliable choice for the time being. Well, there is some new evidence to support this.

    [H]ard|OCP has just published the results of a comprehensive evaulation comparing the gaming performance of XP vs. Vista. Using the same test rig but doing each test with two different graphics cards (7600 GT & 8800 GTS). They tested both OSes in 8 different games to see how each fared. Some games were close, but for all 16 different tests (8 per card), Vista only outpeformed XP once (WoW with the 8800 GTS). Sometime XP really buried Vista and other times it was close.

    [H]ard|OCP's final take can be summed up in these two lines I think:

    "This article is not to slam Vista and label it as a poor gaming operating system. However, we will say that at the current time, gaming is not what it could be on Vista."

    "We have every confidence that gaming in Vista will come around. At the moment, however, if you’re concerned about squeezing every last framerate out of your system, there is not a compelling reason to leave XP."

    Here's a link to the full article. If you do not want to read all of the individual results just go to the "Conclusion" page:

    Full Article: XP vs. Vista - A Tale of Framerates
    LoyalGuard

  • #2
    Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

    I totally agree with what they are saying. I am running Vista 64bit and have seen minor changes to the gaming performances. Until recently it was terrible with performance until NVidia came out with supporting drivers. That being said, Vista does have some advantages that are coming on strong with the ability to alt tab out of a game in a split second versus a bit a time with XP. With the framerate performance, I did see a decrease in certian games like CSS going from around 150FPS to around 120 FPS average, but I can't tell the difference. With other games Like ArmA I increased about an average 10 FPS. I still use both XP and Vista on my machine, but as new drivers are coming out, I am starting to use Vista more regularly.
    "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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    • #3
      Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

      50fps vs 35 for oblivion?

      Sticks with nLited winxp and will for a long time.

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      • #4
        Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

        In building a new PC, I don't think it matters to go Vista. The 50fps vs. 35 is for a 7600GT so there's no worries in a new high end gaming rig. For an older machine, it's best to stick with XP until the move to Vista is absolutely necessary (ie. DX10 games).

        - It's who you game with.

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        • #5
          Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

          i dont plan on getting Vista for another couple years. Im still not convinced its better than XP...

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          • #6
            Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

            The only feature I can see that Vista has over XP is per-application audio settings.

            Other things kill me, like the fact that it takes 10 full seconds to delete a shortcut - not because I/O is slow but because it takes that long for the vista ui to draw the pretty delete dialogs and calculate the time remaining. Or the fact that I have to click 6 more times to do almost anything due to the computer not trusting what I want to do ( and DO NOT say this is necessary there are PLENTY of better systems in linux/osX that implement security and permissions that are much less obtrusive ).

            Bottom Line: Windows XP works fine and is faster in most cases, why should I pay hundreds of dollars for something that at best is just even with what I have now? I have yet to see a *single* person answer me with legitimate reasons to switch to Vista - in fact the only two reasons I have seen are 'To keep up with the times / future-proof my pc' (which is wrong because you are obsoleting your pc due to the fact you need better hardware) and 'per application audio settings' ( which is an advantage but I am unsure whether that feature alone is worth the cash and time and disadvantages of the 'upgrade' ).

            I am all ears to improvements Vista has over Windows XP, it just seems like no one knows what they are!

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            • #7
              Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

              The main performance features is the new caching system. Programs load/exit much faster and you can alt-tab from games quicker. Overall, it utilizes your RAM better. Instead of having 2GB of RAM that isn't used, you have 2GB that is used for caching (this is freed if a program needs memory).

              The sidebar is quite useful. It may not be for everybody but I've been using it for the weather, free HD space, CPU/memory usage and other little things. There are plenty of other sidebar gadgets that people might find useful. It's kind of like FireFox extensions.

              UAC can be disabled to Vista can behave like XP with deletion permissions and such. It's sort of nice to have but I think everybody is so used to deleting the XP way that we don't want to see this feature.

              For a gaming machine, it should move to Vista at some point. DX10 is different architecture that it can't be used with XP. So, all the optimizations and features will only be with Vista. Of course, any gaming machine will require new hardware to play the newest games. It doesn't matter which OS was just released. Gaming machines cost money to keep up with the newest games.

              Another feature is that drivers don't necessarily need a reboot. I've installed nVidia graphics drivers without rebooting. Vista can reload the graphics part in a few seconds. It's not an awesome feature but it's there.

              The fact is Windows has become the gaming OS. With Vista, there are more features to support gaming. They've added a Games Explorer where newer games are automatically added. They also get rated so you can see if your PC meets minimum requirements. You can add your own game shortcuts there if they don't automatically show up. It's a nice central location to access all your games. It's a stepping stone and it enforces standards for games. All games rated GFW (Games For Windows) will support widescreen and other things. I think that's a move in the right direction.

              I don't think it's absolutely necessary to install Vista now. However, a new PC should probably go for it. It's not going to stop you from gaming and it does have some handy new features. It saves time from buying it later or installing it when XP is obsolete. For older PC's, it's probably better to wait. There aren't many DX10 games coming out this year. Plus, you'd have to upgrade for DX10 games anyway.

              For the most part, it's a hassle to upgrade a current computer because you'd have to buy new parts and reinstall a bunch of software. I only made the switch because it was free. I'm happy though and wouldn't want to go back to XP. It's a pretty interface (stupid reason, I know) and I think it runs better and more stable than XP. I like some of the new features so I'm sticking with it.

              - It's who you game with.

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              • #8
                Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                Every Microsoft OS is the same when a new one comes out. Like when XP came out everyone was complaining, "Nothings compatible, none of my old stuff works, It hogs my memory. I'm used to my old operating system's interface"

                Get over it. Sure not all the drivers are 100%, its to be expected. And sure your 5 year old TV tuner doesn't work, big deal. Eventually everyone will move over to Vista and everyone will forget about the initial issues.

                I'm using Vista and I enjoy it. I've only had some small issues but everything is fine.

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                • #9
                  Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                  Thanks Sarc for replying with useful information.

                  So to sum up what you said ( just the facts ), it is much better with caching, has a useful sidebar, better driver procedures, has DX10 support, and is prettier. You installed it now because it was free for you. You mentioned its an eventuality thing - *eventually* everyone will be using Vista so switching while I have the time would be a wise investment for the future.

                  Thanks for your thoughtful reply and I now know a little more about Vista.

                  Thanks Zoopy for completely sidestepping the topic, putting words in other people's mouths, and not providing any facts whatsoever - not even what you like about it or what small issues you have encountered.

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                  • #10
                    Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                    Glad I can help

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                    • #11
                      Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                      Zoopy's point was that every new OS will have teething problems. I probably had the same amount of problems with Vista as when I switched to XP. I encountered some problems with compatibility but switching made my experience better. It was definitely more stable and it did take some time for problems to be fixed.

                      As for paying for Vista, I'm not sure if I'd actually switch if I had to pay. I'd probably wait instead because there aren't many DX10 games coming out this year that I'm interested in playing. I'd only do it if I were building a new PC.

                      - It's who you game with.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                        Originally posted by micr0c0sm View Post
                        I am all ears to improvements Vista has over Windows XP, it just seems like no one knows what they are!
                        Quoted from an earlier post:

                        I've been using Vista for quite a while now. For me, it's painful whenever I have to go back to XP because the UX (user experience) in vista is so much better. It isn't any one thing that does it for me, it's lots of little things:
                        • The new copy functionality that pushes all copy issues to the end of the queue so that all "are you sure?", "unable to copy file, rety?", etc come after every copyable file has been done rather than randomly as in XP.

                        • Speaking of copying...you can see additional useful information when copying files such as the xfer speed in mb/s.

                        • We are finally done with the C:\Documents and Settings directory structure and have a more reasonable C:\Users directory. The Documents and Settings folder always annoyed the hell out of me.

                        • Bread-crumb-like links for directory paths when browsing through folders. So, I can type C:\User\Administrator\My Documents\Backups\2005\Expenses\IBM\Clients in a folder URI and be taken to that folder. Then be able to click on any word in the URI, like "Administrator" and be taken to that folder.

                        • 64 bit everything! All Vista versions except for Basic come in 32 and 64-bit versions. You get both versions when you buy Vista. So, everyone will have access to the 64-bit version at no extra charge.

                        • To pass driver certifications venders must supply both 32 and 64-bit versions of the driver. Being able to have a fully supported 64-bit OS will be nice.

                        • Security is completely revamped and includes offline and boot-level protection via BitLocker Drive Encryption.

                        • Searching is thoroughly integrated into the OS. For example, open any folder and you'll see a google-like search toolbar alongside the URI which allows you to instantly filter what you see in that folder. I said any folder and meant it. Open control panel and there is the same Instant Search toolbar on that folder. Or open the "Searches" folder from anywhere and see a bunch of pre-configured searches. Looking at mine I have instant searches for "Shared By Me", "Recently Changed", "Recent Pictures and Videos", "Recent Email", "Recent Documents", "Recent Email Attachments" and "Recent Music". You can of course customize new searches.

                        • Tags! Tag your pictures with useful information. After a recent trip to Italy I added metadata tags to all the pictures I took there. Now I can do a filter on "Rome" and see all the pics from Rome or "Florence" and see all the pics from there or even search for Rome museums and see all the pictures in Rome that were taken in museums. Tagging metadata is integrated into the OS and any file can be tagged with metadata, not just pictures. Tagging rocks.

                        • Many new column header controls for folders. For example, looking at my Documents folder I can click on the dropdown for the "Name" column header and choose "Stack By Name". I now see three document stack icons: A-H, I-P, and Q-Z. Clicking on these will take you to those stacks.


                        I could go on and on. There is a lot of new functionality that you may not notice unless you make an effort to learn the new OS, just like you would learn a new game. Most people focus on the flashy stuff like the Aero interface, which is nice, but what I really like are all the things that make me more productive like the items above.
                        Twisted Firestarter
                        a.k.a |TG| Harkonian
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                        • #13
                          Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                          Originally posted by Twisted_Firestarter View Post
                          Quoted from an earlier post:
                          • The new copy functionality that pushes all copy issues to the end of the queue so that all "are you sure?", "unable to copy file, rety?", etc come after every copyable file has been done rather than randomly as in XP.

                            Ok nice improvement.
                          • Speaking of copying...you can see additional useful information when copying files such as the xfer speed in mb/s.

                            ....and this is why it takes over 8 seconds to delete a shortcut (the drawing of the progress bars specifically). In addition any decent filemanager does this anyway. Still a nice touch.
                          • We are finally done with the C:\Documents and Settings directory structure and have a more reasonable C:\Users directory. The Documents and Settings folder always annoyed the hell out of me.

                            I have C:\Users in WinXP its pretty easily renameable (agreed though its a good change).
                          • Bread-crumb-like links for directory paths when browsing through folders. So, I can type C:\User\Administrator\My Documents\Backups\2005\Expenses\IBM\Clients in a folder URI and be taken to that folder. Then be able to click on any word in the URI, like "Administrator" and be taken to that folder.

                            That is nice
                          • 64 bit everything! All Vista versions except for Basic come in 32 and 64-bit versions. You get both versions when you buy Vista. So, everyone will have access to the 64-bit version at no extra charge.

                            Whoop-de-doo you get simultaneous 32 bit but have to choose from 5 different versions of the actual OS :/
                          • To pass driver certifications venders must supply both 32 and 64-bit versions of the driver. Being able to have a fully supported 64-bit OS will be nice.

                            Glad to see M$ keeping up with the minimum standards for an OS.
                          • Security is completely revamped and includes offline and boot-level protection via BitLocker Drive Encryption.

                            That's a very useful feature especially for the computer-illiterate. Again, I have already used solutions that encrypt in winxp but its nice to have it built in (and i assume a pretty easy to navigate gui / simple on off box ).
                          • Searching is thoroughly integrated into the OS. For example, open any folder and you'll see a google-like search toolbar alongside the URI which allows you to instantly filter what you see in that folder. I said any folder and meant it. Open control panel and there is the same Instant Search toolbar on that folder. Or open the "Searches" folder from anywhere and see a bunch of pre-configured searches. Looking at mine I have instant searches for "Shared By Me", "Recently Changed", "Recent Pictures and Videos", "Recent Email", "Recent Documents", "Recent Email Attachments" and "Recent Music". You can of course customize new searches.

                            ^^ thats a biggie. definitely a top 3 feature contender in my book.
                          • Tags! Tag your pictures with useful information. After a recent trip to Italy I added metadata tags to all the pictures I took there. Now I can do a filter on "Rome" and see all the pics from Rome or "Florence" and see all the pics from there or even search for Rome museums and see all the pictures in Rome that were taken in museums. Tagging metadata is integrated into the OS and any file can be tagged with metadata, not just pictures. Tagging rocks.

                            ^^ that is a nice built in feature. definitely a big up on xp.
                          • Many new column header controls for folders. For example, looking at my Documents folder I can click on the dropdown for the "Name" column header and choose "Stack By Name". I now see three document stack icons: A-H, I-P, and Q-Z. Clicking on these will take you to those stacks.


                          minor improvement, but nice nonetheless

                          I could go on and on. There is a lot of new functionality that you may not notice unless you make an effort to learn the new OS, just like you would learn a new game. Most people focus on the flashy stuff like the Aero interface, which is nice, but what I really like are all the things that make me more productive like the items above.


                          Thats what I was looking for - the end user differences. I can now expand my list to:

                          Major Improvements:
                          Built in disk encryption, tagging of all files + smart searching, directX10, the sidebar, higher quality drivers.

                          Minor Improvements:
                          More clickable UI - most elements do SOMETHING (see bread crumbs) instead of just being static.
                          Prettier interface


                          I am gonna leave out the negatives because as Zoopy mentioned its a new OS and will take time to mature.


                          Unfortunately for me, I don't use disk encryption in windows anymore, and don't do too much work in it and I am organized enough that the benefits of taggin/searchin are outweighed by the negatives, but all in all it looks like a decent improvement over XP. One thing that irks me is that all this functionality could have been XP SP3 and in fact is already provided by third party programs.

                          But at least I have a much clearer picture of what Vista is and isn't, thanks for helping me out.

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                          • #14
                            Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                            I believe only Vista Ultimate edition has disk encryption on it. The other versions do not.

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                            • #15
                              Re: XP vs. Vista Gaming Performance Evaluation

                              Hmm, now I'm confused. I was going to set up my new Vista machine to dual boot with XP this weekend (if I can install XP from a random XP disc and use my old, dead-HD'd PC's XP key with it). Is it worth me going to the trouble to do all that then?
                              2142: |TG-Irr| Silverfish
                              BF2: |TG-Irr| Maus


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