This test by ExtremeTech appears to suggest that Windows Vista has finally reached performance parity with XP as far as gaming goes. Another interesting note – Ars Technica has also started recommending Windows Vista (with Service Pack 1) as the operating system of choice in their monthly system guides.

Is it time to bite the bullet and upgrade to Vista? Perhaps along with a nice DX10 graphics card like an nVidia GeForce 9600GT, or an 8800GT…

Vista tends to get a bad rap from a lot of people, but it does have a lot of good features that Windows has been needing for a while (user access control, a composited window manager, integrated desktop search, lots of under-the-cover kernel improvements). The main thing keeping me from upgrading was the possibility that my games (the only real reason I keep Windows on my hard disk) would take a performance hit.

It does sound like a lot of things were changed just for the sake of changing things (like the location of Control Panel apps) which may be a problem when switching initially, but other than that it doesn\’t sound like there\’s much of a barrier to me upgrading any more.

Can any Vista users (who also use their PCs for gaming) comment?

9 thoughts on “Time to take the plunge?”
  1. I can verify that games actually run pretty snappily on my Vista laptop. I’ve thrown HL2, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Jedi Academy at it and I don’t notice much in terms of performance loss.

    There might be minor compatibility problems (for instance, I need to run Jedi Academy’s multiplayer as an admin for reasons that I will never know and Raven/LucasArts probably won’t patch), but for the most part, gaming is hassle-free on Vista.

    1. Hm, those are all reasonably old (2004) games…but the benchmarks suggest that newer games like Crysis and World in Conflict have no issues running under Vista SP1.

  2. Vista runs well enough for me. I have Vista Home Basic and basically I’m making it an updated version of Windows XP which is an updated version of Windows 98/2K (for me).

    The thing is that you may have an issue with SimCity 4 since it doesn’t like DirectX 10, and it crashed when I first played it, but that’s quite a while ago. The solution I had by then was actually installing DirectX 9.

    Also for TF2, most of the time I finish playing and close the program, a “hl2.exe has stopped working” popup appears. So maybe it crashed or something, I dunno. Not that it’s a bad problem, my TF2 still works fine and dandy – just that Valve hasn’t fixed it yet.

    Otherwise if you have enough RAM I think you can go for it.

    And what is with that…comment thing up there? D:

    1. It’s a pingback. A comment like that appears when someone links to my blog post. Most of the time it’s just one of those spam blogs that pick up random links in an effort to increase their page rank in Google, though. 😛

      And yeah, I think it’s a given that I need to have both DX9 and DX10 installed. I should probably check that some of my other games don’t have Vista compatibility problems either.

        1. I remember reading somewhere that the DX9 that comes with Vista is only sufficient for accelerating the GUI and not any games.

          Time to do more research…

          1. That’s D3D 9Ex. Microsoft uses that for the GUI and plain old D3D9 for older games. And it looks like we were both wrong; the only overhaul API-wise was Direct3D – otherwise, everything else in DirectX 10 is backward compatible with it’s predecessor (albeit deprecated) so there’s no need to install DX9 separately.

            As usual, Wikipedia has most of that info:

  3. I thought you were talking of marrying your well-kept secret woman. Turned out to be tech talk. That’s our SS!

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