Posts Tagged ‘Aero’

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.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 20, 2007 at 7:45 am

Categories: Reviews, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , , ,

Windows Vista and ReadyBoost

One of the new features in Windows Vista that I really want to take a look at is the Windows ReadyBoost, which allows you to use thumb drives, or jump drives, enter your favorite USB drive term here, to speed up Windows Vista. So, if you have a system that doesn’t have as much memory as you like, or as much as Vista wants, you can plug in your USB drive and Vista will use it as virtual memory, that is not quite as fast as system memory, but quite a bit faster than accessing the swap file on the hard drive. This one commenter said he has a 4gig USB drive and is thinking about just leaving it plugged in his computer, since it speeds it up so much.

If there is one thing that can really help applications on Windows Vista run better, it’s memory. When comparing the performance of Windows XP and Windows Vista on a PC with 1 GB of main memory, Windows Vista is generally comparable to Windows XP or faster. However, we also know that in some cases, on PCs with 512 MB of main memory, applications on Windows XP may seem more responsive. Why? Mostly because the features in Windows Vista use a bit more memory to do the things that make it so cool, like indexing your data, keeping the fancier AERO UI running using the desktop window manager (DWM), etc. The less memory in your machine, the more often the OS must randomly access the disk. This slows system performs in cases where your applications just barely fit in memory on Windows XP but not quite in Windows Vista.

While I fully expect the generation of PCs that ship with Windows Vista to include more memory, we also know that many existing PCs have 512 MB. While memory has gotten much less expensive, many (non-geek) people I know are just not comfortable opening up their PC and installing more memory. While there are some great PC shops that will do this for you, a lot of people may not want to bother. Well with Windows ReadyBoost, if you have a flash drive (like a USB thumb drive or an SD card) you can just use this to make your computer run better with Windows Vista. You simply plug in a flash drive and Windows Vista will use Windows ReadyBoost to utilize the flash memory to improve performance.

So, if you just want your PC to run faster with Windows Vista — it’s pretty simple — connect your flash drive through any USB 2.0 socket or PCI interface and when the auto play interface comes up, choose “Speed up my system using ReadyBoost.” You need to have at least 230 MB free on the flash drive and some flash disks are not fast enough to support Windows ReadyBoost, although you’ll be told if that’s the case. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog

What would be cool is if system manufacturers actually included some USB drives with their systems, you can get a 1gig drive for less than $50 nowadays. They noted that if you remove the USB drive, it won’t affect your system, because it is using files on the USB drive that are also on the hard drive, you will just loose the performance gains. The data on the drive is also encrypted, so you don’t have to worry too much about loosing the drive. He also noted that Windows Vista will learn what you do most often and will try to optimize your system for that as well.

Windows Readyboost FAQ is here and some good shots of the install screens are here.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 21, 2006 at 4:25 pm

Categories: Software, Windows Vista   Tags: , , ,

MANY People Will Not Be Able to See Windows Fancy Graphics

Thinking of upgrading to Windows Vista as soon as it comes out? You’ll definitely want to check your machine out to make sure it is capable of running the Aero display. You will need to have a legitimate copy of Vista, and not just any copy, Vista Basic will not show them at all. You’ll also need a Windows Vista specific video drivers. You’ll need a minimum of 1,800 MB per second of graphics memory bandwidth. Has anyone ever seen such a measurement before? I probably have, but it’s not something you see everyday or we would remember it. Microsoft said a tool would be available to measure it, to make sure your machine is capable of doing it. And you will need lots of graphics memory, a of 1280 by 1024 pixels or less will require 64MB, and for a larger screen, 256MB may be required.

Windows Vista plans to offer you spiffy new graphics, as long as you’re not a pirate.

With the new operating system, Microsoft is offering plenty of new graphics tricks, including translucent windows, animated flips between open programs and “live icons” that show a graphical representation of the file in question.

But before Vista will display its showiest side, known as Aero, it will run a check to make sure the software was properly purchased.

But it’s not just pirates who will be blocked from Windows’ fanciest graphics. The Aero display also won’t be available to those who buy Windows Vista Basic, the low-end consumer version of the operating system. And even those with higher-end versions won’t be able to see the fancy graphics if they don’t have enough memory, lack sufficient graphics horsepower or have a graphics chip that doesn’t support a new Vista driver.

Those Aero requirements are not easily understood by buyers or computer salespeople, said Michael Cherry, an analyst at market research firm Directions on Microsoft. He said, for example, that he has no idea how much memory bandwidth his computer has. “I wouldn’t even know how to begin to measure it.” Source:

Me either Michael. Microsoft did say this was not the final draft and it somehow got posted by mistake.

With the big graphics requirments, this will be limited to home users and gamers probably for awhile, most businesses will not upgrade their pc’s to make it work, they will just wait until it starts showing up on new pc’s and then start dealing with it, much like we did with XP. Although, Windows XP has been the best version of Windows by far for me. I never have any trouble with it.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 13, 2006 at 12:48 pm

Categories: Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , ,