Tom’s Hardware has benchmarked Windows Vista, but somehow we missed it (we’re a month late). Our apologies. “We are sure that mainstream users will appreciate the improved usability of Windows Vista, and the average office/multimedia user will likely never notice the lack of OpenGL. However, a chapter on the overall performance of Windows Vista requires more dedication.”
Windows XP vs. Vista: the Benchmark Rundown
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2007-02-27 5:30 pmjjmckay
Just because the OS doesn’t perform as fast as XP doesn’t mean it won’t feel as fast or faster. Most people are vastly over powered already in the CPU department. How much CPU does flash or Firefox need?
At the end of the article they mention that Vista feels better (“Vista is the better Windows, because it behaves better, because it looks better and because it feels better.”). Just know that since the GPU is doing the graphical work that the GUI can feel smoother and more responsive. This is important to distinguish between.
If a mouse pointer is moving around the screen at 10 frames per second, the OS feels slow, no matter how fast it compresses my music into MP3s. On my AMD4200 X2 I can copy a 1GB file from one hard drive to the next quickly and it use only about %5 cpu in XP to do it. For me though, execution speed is important for games and I think that’s the primary application that will suffer the most as far as numbers of people.
I’m not installing Vista until I upgrade my RAM. I find Vistas RAM usage more of a hindrance than its CPU.
2007-02-27 6:01 pmJimF
“Just because the OS doesn’t perform as fast as XP doesn’t mean it won’t feel as fast or faster. Most people are vastly over powered already in the CPU department. How much CPU does flash or Firefox need?”
Actually, following this logic, I attempted to make a lightweight VIA C3 system that drew very little power. Sites that were very flash heavy slowed down in every OS I tried (Windows 2000, XP, Several Linux distros). Installing a GeForce 5200 made no difference, so I was forced to conclude that flash was being processor-intensive. So, in answer to that question, more than a VIA C3 800 can supply.
“If a mouse pointer is moving around the screen at 10 frames per second, the OS feels slow, no matter how fast it compresses my music into MP3s. On my AMD4200 X2 I can copy a 1GB file from one hard drive to the next quickly and it use only about %5 cpu in XP to do it. For me though, execution speed is important for games and I think that’s the primary application that will suffer the most as far as numbers of people.”
True. Ironically enough I could run games with better framerates with Linux and Cedega than I could with Windows Vista Beta 1 & 2. I don’t know if this has improved by the time it went gold, but I can imagine a lot of people will either keep XP or move to Linux because of similar issues.
“I’m not installing Vista until I upgrade my RAM. I find Vistas RAM usage more of a hindrance than its CPU.”
I’ve heard a lot of people say this. From my own testing, 1GB of ram is more than sufficient. What you may wish to consider as a true upgrade with Vista is a faster HD for when it DOES seek. Moving from IDE to SATA3.0 made a far larger difference in Windows Vista than it did in most Linux/BSD distros I’ve used, and it made a larger difference than going from 1GB to 2GB of RAM.
Edited 2007-02-27 18:04
2007-02-27 6:27 pmA.H.
“Just because the OS doesn’t perform as fast as XP doesn’t mean it won’t feel as fast or faster.”
Why does it have to be application performance or GUI and not both? Why after offloading GUI rendering from CPU to GPU apps are not running faster? How come all those whizzbang performance improvement features in Vista add up to the lower overall performance?
“Most people are vastly over powered already in the CPU department.”
Well, I didn’t buy a powerful computer because I wanted an OS to eat up half of its resources. I use the computer for the applications and that’s where I want the resources to go. OS is just a foundation for those applications, and, metaphorically speaking, just because there is a lot of concrete available to me does not mean that I want the foundation to be ten storeys high.
Also, there is no such thing is being “too fast” as far as computers go. Ideally, I don’t want to ever wait for computer to finish anything. I want it to instantly render images and encode videos, play games at maximum resolutions will all effects on at 100+ fps, and solve the entire worldcommunitygrid.org project set in under 2 seconds. And when I pay for an OS upgrade, in return for my hard-earned money I expect to get at least one step closer to this goal, not two steps farther.
2007-02-27 8:17 pmDoc Pain
“Well, I didn’t buy a powerful computer because I wanted an OS to eat up half of its resources.”
The quotient “average usage speed” = hardware / software tends to stay the same if you’re using MICROS~1 products. Furthermore, people seem to be doing the same things on their PCs all over the last years.
Regarding the OS as a power consumer, you’re right. Imagine what you could do with good software on a 150 MHz Pentium with 128 MB RAM, or on a SGI Octane. Exactly the same things (in a slightly other form and another time factor) as on modern PCs.
2007-02-28 11:41 amjjmckay
“Why does it have to be application performance or GUI and not both? Why after offloading GUI rendering from CPU to GPU apps are not running faster? How come all those whizzbang performance improvement features in Vista add up to the lower overall performance?”
Yes I sympathize with you on this point. Yes its too bad that MS is loading Vista up with all this stuff that slows the system down so much. Hopefully optimization guides and tweaks can return Vista performance to that of XP. Yes the system should respond faster than XP considering it’s offloading so much to the GPU.
2007-02-27 8:18 pmjello
> What an “upgrade”! At this point SP3 for XP seems more exciting than Vista.
You are certainly right.
What comes to mind is that with Service Packs MS doesn’t generate money or accelerates the sales of Vista.
Hopefully MS will not cancel SP3 for XP in favor of a specialized (for a few dollars or so) “Vista upgrade” and this way switch all users that actually wanted to stay with WinXP/Win2000 to their new OS.
What lack of OpenGL? Vendors’ drivers will enable full OpenGL support with aero compatibility (see here http://digg.com/software/OpenGL_Gets_Native_Vista_Aero_GUI_Support) and I guess full DX 10 compatibility will require the same drivers.
Hard to believe that some rumors are so hard to get rid of.
2007-02-27 5:29 pmraver31
That link you stuck on is 195 days old.
Vista has been released since then.
No OpenGL support was included with Vista on release.
Thats what Toms hardware was saying.
I call attempted FUD on your post.
2007-02-27 5:36 pmsuryad
I dont know if I would call that to be FUD. More that he didnt know about the OpenGL situation. He is not trying to put Fear into anyone that OpenGL has been included. Nor was he trying to spread Uncertainty on purpose. Maybe he was spreading Doubt but it was probably by the lack of his knowledge.
2007-02-27 5:44 pmraver31
But on Digg, it clearly shows how old a story is.
games players do have a fear that they cannot continue to play, so it was negative fear on that…
uncertainty and doubt, yes, if someone was deciding if they should get Vista or stick with XP, then that post he put up would confuse the issue.
They might think, “ok, I will install Vista, as my games etc will work great in a couple of weeks”
When we all know this is untrue.
So, in conclusion you are correct. He was not spreading FUD, instead he was spreading UD…
2007-02-27 5:46 pmDittoBox
Do you even know what that acronym stands for?
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. His post was highlighting the supposed fact that Vista would include OpenGL, a Good Thing. How is stating Good Things, ‘FUD?’
He was factually incorrect, this does not constitute FUD.
2007-02-27 5:51 pmaGNUstic
FUD is actually Scottish slang term meaning … a female sexual organ.
People should research the meanings of a word. Maybe they did.
2007-02-27 5:59 pmkrausest
I choose that link because it was the first non german link that talked about OpenGL and Vista.
Wikipedia also claims that OpenGL is included with Vista and you can install a vendor’s ICD driver to get full OpenGL and Aero.
Can you please post some links (besides that short sentence on Tom’s hardware) about the actual OpenGL situation?
2007-02-27 6:13 pmraver31
Here is a link you might find usefull.
It gives you the information I think you are after, but it is also a little disappointing when you see Vista will be stuck on OpenGL 1.4, when the rest of the world is on OpenGL 2.1
2007-02-27 7:14 pmcasuto
OpenGL 1.5 and 2.1 are fully supported in Windows Vista by ATI and NVidia Drivers (also in Windows XP you needed a driver for OpenGL):
Microsoft has enabled support for OpenGL ICDs that work with the Windows Vista compositing desktop, as of the February preview build. This is taken from a Microsoft blog:
“Windows Vista ICD’s – this is a new path for 3rd party ICD’s introduced for Windows Vista that will work in a way that is compatible with desktop composition. Essentially allowing direct access to the GPU for hardware accellaration, but then having the final surface that appears to be the front buffer to the application actually be a shared surface that gets composed by the DWM”.
This means that the OpenGL API and the Aeroglass window manager will work in harmony and fully accelerated once the hardware vendors get their Vista ICDs written and released.
Kudos to all developers who contacted their ISVs/HSVs to ensure that OpenGL was fully supported under Vista. You made the difference.
Edited 2007-02-27 19:26
2007-02-27 7:37 pmkrausest
To bring this discussion to an end:
anandtech has benched Quake 4 which is OpenGL based on vista here:
There’s a thread about using the Java Binding for OpenGL on vista here:
In summary this means that vista offers the same kind of OpenGL support that XP did (or even linux has). To get full hardware acceleration and all features (OpenGL 2.1) you have to install a new driver – nothing new here (though the drivers might not be as good as the xp drivers).
2007-02-27 8:20 pmcyclops
What are you on about?
The only interesting thing about your link is Vista x86 is worse that x32 now that is interesting.
Vista is slower for gaming and apparently for things like “desktop operations, menu latency, and mouse precision” than XP.
Also having looked at these benchmarks you will notice that earlier benchmarks; those ending 01-04 normally suffer the most. You will notice that some sites focus more on OpenGL games which suffer badly under Vista, or will use Nvidia not AMD drivers which seem to be worse.
The reality is Vista preforms worse for everything, with the exception of what is cached than XP…and that requires its *serious* memory usage.
Vista is slower; less compatible, why say otherwise? Seriously put 95 on your computer…it will fly. Whats interesting is whether the advantages of Vista; advances in hardware compensate for this.
2007-02-27 8:57 pmsappyvcv
Again I will post this:
edit: That’s cute. My comment was modded up then modded down immediatly. Someone doesn’t like the truth.
Edited 2007-02-27 21:16
2007-02-27 10:23 pmcyclops
@sappyvcv I modded you down, because you provided a link with no reason or explanation….and its to a link to a forum…which quotes from somewhere else!?
I still do not understand what your point is. Make one, and point to a source.
The reality is quite simple OpenGL upto 30%-40% slower on Vista. Say something about it. Anything!
Edited 2007-02-27 22:24
2007-02-27 10:40 pmkrausest
> I still do not understand what your point is. Make one, and point to a source.
Maybe I can explain – THG said that Vista lacks OpenGL support (which sounds like “you can’t run OpenGL”). Some posts and especially those with the fitting subject “Lack of OpenGL?” are only related to prove that that claim is wrong and are not about performance.
2007-02-27 11:49 pmsappyvcv
So you are openly admitting to modding me down for reasons that are not under the list of “things to mod someone down for” on osnews. Nice.
My link was self explanitory. It’s a very short and concise post explaining the opengl situation on vista from a reliable source. What the hell else are you expecting?
in my opinion, a new operating system should be always FASTER than the previous version. I think that is the sense of bringing a new version. It should be improved.
And as the autor mentioned: “There is good news as well: we did not find evidence that Windows Vista’s new and fancy AeroGlass interface consumes more energy than Windows XP’s 2D desktop.”
what’s stealing your performance? – Or microsoft just didn’t do anything to improve performance and just to keep it on the same level als XP.
2007-02-27 7:23 pmTommyD
Well, so far, in the Windows World (3.1, 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista), as well as the Linux, BSD world, I have not seen this happen. New releases generally have new features that require increased hardware. As far as I can tell, this has been the primary driving force of change in the whole PC world. New software requires new hardware, and the cycle of PC profits continue.
2007-02-27 7:33 pmraver31
Try KDE 2, then KDE 3, then 3.1,3.2… lastly try KDE 3.5
Things sometimes do get faster.
2007-02-27 7:58 pmSK8T
mh okay, you’re right.
But I don’t know if this example fits:
I’ve got an (old) PowerMac G4 with 350 Mhz. And he became faster as I upgraded from Jaguar to Panther, and again faster as I upgraded from Panther to Tiger.
And as far as I know, Leopard will be much faster as Tiger on Intel Macs.
2007-02-27 7:32 pmcasuto
Windows Vista is faster than Windows XP on every day tasks: in Windows Vista the boot is faster because services are loaded in background, applications loading is istantaneous because Superfetch is an intelligent memory managment, responsivness is improved due improved multitasking, improved I/O with different process/thread priority and I/O cancellation, improved memory managment and page priority, etc..
Aero doesn’t consume more resources!
With Aero enabled the full desktop is rendered using the graphics card’s GPU and so the CPU is freed, the system is more responsive; and Aero doesn’t use your system RAM but it uses the memory on your graphics card.
Edited 2007-02-27 19:52
2007-02-27 7:59 pmSlackerJack
Boot speed wise it’s different, some people it’s slightly faster some it’s not. Application loading is NOT instantaneous and the benchmarks prove that Vista is not as fast productive wise than XP.
Vista is like a new car with bad tires at the moment, if cars were like this you’d have alot of complaints.
2007-02-27 9:02 pmCPUGuy
I would expect major upgrades to be overall slower as they most likely will have new services adding new features and such which require newer hardware.
Minor updates should improve performance.
Unfortunately this is not the case with Microsoft. XP should have been faster than 2000, but it wasn’t. 98 should have been faster than 95 (4.0 to 4.5), etc…
If things were the way you are talking about, then we would progressively need less and less computing power over time.
2007-02-27 9:16 pmMollyC
So your opinion that a new OS “should be always FASTER than the previous version” may be an ideal, but I’ve not seen it in practice in my years of experience with Windows and Mac.
DOS was faster than Windows 286.
Win3.x was faster than Win95 on comarable hardware.
Win3x was faster than NT3.1 on comparable hardware.
Win98 was faster than XP on comparable hardware (my mom’s computer, for example. :p)
Mac OS 7 was faster than Mac OS 8 (on my Macs, at least).
Mac OS 9 was (waaayyy) faster than OSX 10.0 on comparable hardware.
Mac OSX 10.3 is faster than Mac OSX 10.4 on many Macs.
Generally, new OS versions provide more features and therefore require more power to run them. Indeed, the only time I’ve seen OSes increase in speed was OSX 10.1 and 10.2, but that was because OSX 10.0 was dog slow.
Edited 2007-02-27 21:36
2007-02-27 9:51 pmSK8T
okay you are right.
Expect OS X 10.5 on Intel macs that will be faster than 10.4 I guess.
But on the other hand, 6 years between the release of XP and Vista are a lot of time. I think there is much space to optimize performance for the biggest software company in the world.
But I am no developer, I just can guess. But you are right, an Operating system can’t get any faster because of it’s new features.
Maybe you want to mod me down because of that what I will say now: I just don’t see new features on vista that would consume performance. (As the author said: Aero is as fast as Windows 2D in XP)
Please correct me, I always want to learn something to understand the hole thing.
2007-02-27 10:44 pmpsychicist
I have seen it using various versions of Slackware Linux over the years. Each and every release is as fast as or faster than the previous one.
This is primarily due to kernel performance enhancements, better glibc performance, a faster KDE and better optimized binaries.
My computer is 5 1/2 years old. It’s never performed better than it does now. And I expect this to continue to be true as long as the hardware doesn’t die.
2007-02-28 12:15 amcyclops
@krausest No, read his link
@sappyvcv No I modded you down because I found nothing on-topic about the phrase “Again I will post this: “. I couldn’t agree; disagree; say you were right or wrong. The post was simply off-topic. now if it has been in response to a discussion to “where are gamedev.net’s community forums” you could feel wounded, seriously a) make a point b) provide a reference, and please not to a forum, unless its one which provides first hand knowledge…and then to the post that matters…preferably quote the important phrase or sentence.
I read your post, and although I agree with it. I don’t think its true.
I suspect your 5 1/2 year old machine is a little newer with new hard drives; motherboard; case; memory, or you would have noticed there has been quite a lot of changes in X and your DM of choice; etc etc.
Until Vista came out, a fresh install of XP looked quite swelt and responsive compared to a standard Linux Distribution.
That is not to say that there has not been *constant* improvements all over linux…many that do improve performance.
Vista makes Linux look great, any advantage that XP had over Linux has gone.
Edited 2007-02-28 00:29
2007-02-28 5:39 amsappyvcv
Not on topic? The article references “lack of opengl”. My link explains the opengl situation and clears up bad information.
How any more topic can I get?
I replied to someone who seemed to be slightly misinformed about the situation.
I’m confused how you are interpreting my posts as off-topic. It’s baffling to say the least.
2007-02-28 11:40 ampsychicist
I have to admit that various distributions of Linux such as SUSE, Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) and Redhat/Fedora felt and still feel slower than Windows XP. But this is not the case with Slackware.
Slackware 11.0 is faster than 10.2 and every previous version. The only thing that’s slower than Windows XP is boot time. But I hardly ever shutdown or reboot my computer.
And the only changes to the system over the years are the addition of bigger hard drives and SATA controller cards, but the OS disk stays the same. So no CPU, motherboard, memory or other changes. I have only had to replace the power supply once.
Moreover Slackware makes it easy to create optimized kernel packages to get every ounce of performance out of your hardware. When friends, relatives and customers see my Slackware based setups they choose it over SUSE and (K)Ubuntu because of its great stability and performance.
My setup includes:
1.2 GHz AMD Athlon Thunderbird
MSI K7T Turbo motherboard
1 GB Infineon 2-2-2 SDR SDRAM
3 Silicon Image SATA controllers
1 PATA hard disk drive for OSes (120 GB)
6 SATA hard disk drives for /home and development (200/300 GB)
I cannot do anything about the fact that bigger hard drives
often have better performance as well
Is the Microsoft Defense Brigade out in full force? I already see several comments by Vista fanboys, Billy Gate fellators and Microfart lovers.
Edited 2007-02-27 19:03
“No new Windows release has been able to offer more application performance than its predecessor.” :blink:
meaning.. what, exactly?
“No new Windows release”
= No new Windows release = None of the releases before Vista (XP, 2000/ME, NT, 98, 95, 3.1)
“has been able to offer”
= to allow for
“more application performance”
= better performance
“than its predecessor”
= then XP
Thus, we got:
“No releases before Vista have allowed for better [application] performance then XP.”
Edited 2007-02-27 20:05
2007-02-27 8:04 pmJimF
What the author is implying here is that, say, if you had an application that ran on windows 95/98/2000/xp…
windows 2000 would run it faster than windows xp…
windows 98 would run it faster than 2000/xp…
windows 95 would run it faster than 98/2000/xp…
I don’t know whether this is an absolute truth or not, but I have noticed that generally on supported hardware that the Windows versions certainly hold to this.
2007-02-27 8:08 pmDarkelve
But… if I keep to a strict interpretation of his words, since XP is also a release before Vista, then he’s also saying:
“Windows XP runs applications faster than Windows XP”…
2007-02-28 7:00 ammmebane
I’m pretty sure he means “No new Windows release has been able to offer more application performance than [that release’s] predecessor.”
2007-02-28 8:02 amDarkelve
Oh! Ok, that makes sense. Confusing phrase, nonetheless.
But then why does the author think that’s a point *in favor* of Vista!?
2007-02-28 2:22 pmJimF
“But then why does the author think that’s a point *in favor* of Vista!?”
The author isn’t saying this is a point in favor of Vista. Rather, the author of the article was saying that since EVERY windows version was slower than that version’s direct predacessor Vista being slower than XP should be expected.
Windows server 2003 R2 needs 90/133 MHz CPU (depends on version) and 128 Mb RAM. Those are specs from microsoft.com. I wonder can it run 3D games and multimedia ? Has anyone tried ?
The following is an opinion and not a fact:
“Vista is the better Windows, because it behaves better, because it looks better and because it feels better.”
therefore it shouldn’t be stated as though it were a fact. but… otherwise not a bad article. It would be interesting if they did the same tests with 1gb ram, 512mb ram, 256mb ram.
What an “upgrade”! At this point SP3 for XP seems more exciting than Vista.