OK, so I must admit, I am growing increasingly tired of the anti-Microsoft rants about how “bad” Vista supposedly is. Claims of poor gaming performance to UAC phobia to just plain old not understanding how the damn operating system works, the complaints are endless…but do they hold any water?
A recent post from ExtremeTech comparing the gaming performance of Vista SP1 vs XP SP3 finally puts to rest the claims that Vista just can’t work as a gaming machine. It works!
User Account Control driving you nuts? It’s supposed to! But if you want to turn it down…and not off…check out InformationWeeks article on How To Tame Microsoft Windows Vista’s UAC.
Now I do have to admit, my Vista Reliability Score earlier this year was a dismal 1.98 out of 10. Currently however the score sits at 9.61.
So who or what is ultimately responsible for the change? Well, the constant barrage of application crashes I was experiencing were ultimately caused by Bit-Defender, who, to their credit, updated the security suite free of charge and happily it now works properly with Vista, eliminating ALL of my application crashes completely…dear GOD KNOCK ON WOOD!
My second and only other issue was with my “high-end” ATI Crossfire setup for which I spent an additional $1000 premium on…sheeze, what a mistake that was! Driver issues from both ATI and nVidia were responsible for slightly over 38% of Vista crashes, with nVidia taking the lions share at 28.8% according to Engadget.
But the problem I was having was with gaming sound, or rather, the lack of sound when I was gaming. Turning off the Crossfire option brought the sound back, but frame rates were unacceptable, making the Crossfire option maddeningly just out of reach…games just aren’t much fun without sound…or low frame rates!
My solution was to rip the ATI cards out, once the nVidia drivers became more stable, and install a single 8800 GTS 512 card from XFX eliminating the SOUND issues I was having when the ATI cards were linked in Crossfire mode and ensuring acceptable frame rates in COD4 and Crysis.
Both of my issues were with 3rd party vendors who had not properly readied their products for Vista, even though they had almost 5 years of development time to do so…I can’t fault Microsoft’s Vista there!
Now I like Vista, I really do, because I find it easier to use than XP, and certainly light-years ahead of WinME, 98 and 95. The Vista start menu is an absolute dream compared to the never ending cascading nightmare of the previous iterations. Everything I need to find can be accomplished with a few strokes of the keyboard by name.
The Areo interface, while pretty, is not mandatory of course, but in my general usage doesn’t slow down the system noticeably whether I have it on or off.
In short, Vista just plain works! Isn’t that what an OS is supposed to do?
For a complete review of Vista (SP1 and Pre-), from someone I consider “thoughtful” on the subject, check out Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows …