Windows XP vs Windows Vista Lab Tests

PCWorld did some testing and the end of the year, comparing Windows XP and Windows Vista running on the same machines, from an older Pentium 1.8Ghz notebook to a 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 and Radeon X1600 graphics card. As always Microsoft has said Vista will run faster, but they have always said that in the past, and everytime, you usually had to have better hardware to run the same speed. Things to note, at the time of the testing, graphics card manufacturers were still testing and tweaking their drivers, so expect some improvement there, and they used an updated version of Photoshop for Windows Vista, so, it wasn’t exactly the same.

With Microsoft’s Windows Vista finally released to manufacturers and on the verge of making its way to retail, we can at last get down to the business of examining precisely how well the new OS performs. In our first tests, we discovered that while Vista’s hardware requirements may be steep, it should run just fine–even with the Aero bells and whistles active–on machines that meet Microsoft’s Premium Ready specifications (1GB of RAM, and a DirectX 9-capable graphics board with at least 128MB of dedicated memory).

  • Vista is generally slower than XP, but it’s better at multitasking on dual-core PCs.
  • Your PC should have 1GB of RAM at the bare minimum.
  • Aero won’t slow you down if you use a discrete graphics processor and enough memory.
  • Apps run slower on the 64-bit version of Vista, but adding RAM closes the gap.

Source: Lab Tests: Vista’s Fast If You Have the Hardware

Some of their conclusions say they did not see any improvements with Readyboost, the system actually slowed down some. The Dual Core machine had a big difference in the multitasking tests, Microsoft had already said there would be a difference because Vista was better at running multiple threads of code. The multitasking and gaming tests did not show much of an improvement in going from 1GB to 2GB of memory, but the comparisons to 512MB showed them to not go under 1GB of memory. The real difference will be whether you are using an integrated graphics card, a decent video card or a high end card, they concluded you should not run Aero if you are using an integrated card, while using a graphics card it did not affect the performance of the machine at all. So, PC’s from the past couple years should run it pretty good, but may need more memory if it is less than 1GB.