Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Feb 2009 23:28 UTC
Editorial Does Windows 7 contain more DRM than Windows Vista? Does Windows 7 limit you from running cracked applications, and will it open the firewall specifically for applications that want to check if they're cracked or not? Does it limit the audio recording capabilities? According to a skimp and badly written post on Slashdot, it does. The Slashdot crowd tore the front page item apart - and rightfully so.
Thread beginning with comment 349731
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Also noted in the Ars article
by lemur2 on Thu 19th Feb 2009 01:10 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Also noted in the Ars article:

"In particular, this means disabling high-resolution unencrypted outputs lest they be used to dump the decrypted, decoded video.

Particular complaints have been made about the polling that this requires; digital outputs must be checked every 30ms and analog ones every 150ms to ensure that no prohibited devices are attached. Although the system demands from this polling are negligible, it has nonetheless been blamed for Vista's relatively high system requirements."


My only comment here is that the OS is using the end-user's CPU resources to check if it needs to degrade the end-user's machine's capabilities. How is this in the best interests of the end user? This is a particularly interesting question for end users whose machines do not contain a HD-capable optical drive, and whose monitors are not HD monitors. How does this function serve them?

The other thing to note is that the intervals noted, 30ms and 150ms, are probably constant. On a high-performance machine, the CPU time taken out by the polling is quite small compared with the interval time of 30ms, and so the DRM polling does not tax the machine intolerably. Even so, I have heard that Vista machines when idle typically consume some 15% more CPU time than do the identical specification machines running other OSes.

But that is for a high-end machine. As one goes down the performance scale, the CPU time taken up by each poll would become longer, in proportion to the reduction in CPU grunt, but the inetrval between such polls would of course be kept the same. This means that Vista's DRM would consume even more of a percentage of the CPU's performance as the CPU performance gets less. A sort of a double-whammy effect.

This is, IMO, a significant source of the popular reports of dreadful performance of Vista. On high end machines DRM isn't a burden, but as one considers lower and lower specification machines (which after all are the type of machines that many individual consumers would buy) the double-whammy of the DRM taking up more performance, and the machines available performance being less to begin with, starts to take a very noticeable toll.

And to what end? What does an end user, and owner of a lower-end machine (but still running Vista), gain when he or she gives up this performance in order to run Vista? From the end user's perspective ... very little at all. This is especially so if they don't happen to own any HD-capable hardware ... maybe it takes the polling routine the longest time if there isn't any actual hardware there in the first place ... becuase there would be a need to check if the user hadn't installed any ...

So, in conclusion, I call "bunkum". IMO, the end users do indeed notice Vista's DRM ... they just complain about it in terms of "Vista is dog slow on my machine" rather than calling it as being due to the DRM.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, in conclusion, I call "bunkum". IMO, the end users do indeed notice Vista's DRM ... they just complain about it in terms of "Vista is dog slow on my machine" rather than calling it as being due to the DRM.


Except... This polling only happens when the paths are in use... And that requires that the media use it... Which they don't.

So, besides the fact that the effect of the polling itself is negligible, it doesn't even happen in the first place.

Reply Parent Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

This means that Vista's DRM would consume even more of a percentage of the CPU's performance as the CPU performance gets less. A sort of a double-whammy effect.

This is, IMO, a significant source of the popular reports of dreadful performance of Vista.


There is a small hole in your logic though. The article states (and I think it is safe to assume) that Windows 7 contains the same amount of DRM than Vista does... maybe even more? If that is indeed the case, and the source of Vista's sluggishness is the DRM, then how does Windows 7 manage to be so much faster than Vista, when 7 has the same amount of DRM as Vista? Perhaps maybe they removed some of the DRM in 7? ;) Highly doubtful.

In regard to the anti-Windows camp, I remember there were some discussions on this very site before Vista was released that indicated you would no longer be able to rip audio CDs in Vista with ANY program without DRM being attached. That's ok though, because when claims like that are made, we can see right through them.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I remember there were some discussions on this very site before Vista was released that indicated you would no longer be able to rip audio CDs in Vista with ANY program without DRM being attached


Oh, some people here even made those claims as recent as a few weeks ago, despite being decidedly debunked.

That's FUD for you. Goes both ways, obviously, though. There are people on all sides of the fence that resort to FUD, sadly.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"This means that Vista's DRM would consume even more of a percentage of the CPU's performance as the CPU performance gets less. A sort of a double-whammy effect. This is, IMO, a significant source of the popular reports of dreadful performance of Vista.
There is a small hole in your logic though. The article states (and I think it is safe to assume) that Windows 7 contains the same amount of DRM than Vista does... maybe even more? If that is indeed the case, and the source of Vista's sluggishness is the DRM, then how does Windows 7 manage to be so much faster than Vista, when 7 has the same amount of DRM as Vista? Perhaps maybe they removed some of the DRM in 7? ;) Highly doubtful. In regard to the anti-Windows camp, I remember there were some discussions on this very site before Vista was released that indicated you would no longer be able to rip audio CDs in Vista with ANY program without DRM being attached. That's ok though, because when claims like that are made, we can see right through them. "

A minor tweak in the polling routine might have a very significant impact. For example, if the polling routine first up checked if there was ANY HD-capable drvier installed, and exited straight away if not, rather than checking for the physical presence of any of many possible types of HD-capable hardware ... perhaps in the case of low-end machines such a change might hav had a significant impact?

I don't know ... I'm just speculating. The point is though that I can see a possibility that such an optimisation, or some close equivalent, might have indeed been possible. One can't after all put HD video through the machine if one hasn't installed any HD-capable drivers.

Furthermore, it wasn't until after Vista came out, and netbooks became popular, that there was any incentive to try to make Vista work on lower-spec devices. The big-corporation idea for some while up to the release of Vista, after all, seemed to be to persue an endless upgrade cycle ... consuming ever more CPU, RAM, disk and Watts of power on every spiral.

Edited 2009-02-19 01:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"Even so, I have heard that Vista machines when idle typically consume some 15% more CPU time than do the identical specification machines running other OSes."

Sounds like you've never used it. Mine sits about 1% when idle, except when the indexer is running. Then it may go as high as 15%. Then it settles back down when the indexer stops, which is when it is not idle.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

Funny how 99.8% of the comments about how much of a "resource hog" Vista is, and how "dog slow" Vista is, and how "DRM-happy" Vista is ... come from pinheads who've either never used it, used it only for a brief time pre-SP1, or are too lazy and anti-MS to tweak it.

But don't dare try the same tactic with Linux on the desktop. It's flawless. Really.

Reply Parent Score: 1