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Can Your PC Really Handle Vista?

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February 26, 2007 10:01:06 AM

Our $300 PCs are powerful enough to take on everyday workloads, but can they cope with Vista's requirements? It's all in the components.

More about : handle vista

February 26, 2007 12:03:00 PM

argh, not again whats up with these articles?

when i read the title i was expecting a nitty gritty look at how the system would perform under windows vista.... not a random number chucked my way with 6 pages of crap text around it. should of just said heres the amd system, then pic of vista rating, then heres intels rating.

for christ sake what about your view point, how do the progs run, does one feel snappier than the other, what happens when the features are turned off? does overclocking the components make a difference to the rating even!

/rant
February 26, 2007 12:41:01 PM

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor is not available for 64bit OS systems.
Related resources
February 26, 2007 1:21:18 PM

given the discussion on the $300 PC @

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/300-PC-ftopict224875.html

it is hard to justify spending almost as much money for windows Vista as the PC itself (xp/vista varies from ~$100 to ~$300 depending on feature)...

so the bottom line is:

If you are building cheap, get a $100 video card and use your existing XP (in case you fried your other rig or something) or linux so to keep cost down. Get Vista when you are rich enough to get the parts to do the test (Vista upgrade advisor) then decide if you still want to have vista given it will suck on most if not all OpenGL games
February 26, 2007 1:36:50 PM

Did you really expect a VIA IGP to be able to run anything other than XP decently?

This and the previous article we're Intel biased heavily.

Instead of a budget $300 build, let's see an article about pre-built budget PC's from makers like Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, E-Machines, Acer, etc.... you know the kind of $300-$400 systems people who spend that much on a computer actually buy.

Benchmark those in Vista and XP.
February 26, 2007 2:16:44 PM

i am sorry but the K8M890 vga onboard does support Aero glass Please goto VIA web site and get the driver from there and Aero is supported on that card (not that well i must admit but it does work it gets an score of 1 i think on the score heh)

these reviews need reviewing before posting them by some one els sorry

i did not even bother to read the rest of the review once i got to that page but i continue reading now as i complaned
February 26, 2007 2:22:36 PM

Quote:
i am sorry but the K8M890 vga onboard does support Aero glass Please goto VIA web site and get the driver from there and Aero is supported on that card (not that well i must admit but it does work it gets an score of 1 i think on the score heh)

these reviews need reviewing before posting them by some one els sorry

i did not even bother to read the rest of the review once i got to that page but i continue reading now as i complaned



never said it couldn't run Vista just said it couldn't run anything other than XP decently, and granted Vista without Aeroglass is just a pretty XP that eats more memory to use.
February 26, 2007 2:35:52 PM

allso the price Should have the Vista priced in as well unless an illegal ver is been loaded on (asume OEM as no one in there right mind would pay for retail box)

XP be better for this system if your are trying to run Vista tho do not plan on running norton as your boltware anti virus try avg or some other free ones
February 26, 2007 2:47:45 PM

Yes I'm afraid I have to post a couple of mistakes as well, hohum

Leexgx beat me to the first one the fact that K8M890 can run aero and the WDDM drivers are available.

Also the comment that the P4M890 is the pentium equivalent of the K8M890 is completetly wrong also, the P4M900 is the pentium eqiv of the K8M890 both sharing the Chrome 9 HC graphics core. The P4M890 chipset uses the older Unichrome Pro gfx core and as such will not run Vista.
February 26, 2007 4:21:47 PM

well i have core2duo e6600 and 1gb ddr533 and when i run the windows assesment utility I see on the sidebar wich has a dual core performance monitor that the processors never get to more than 80 % and they're supposed to be on 100 % if your benchmarking I mean .
February 26, 2007 6:15:56 PM

Potential Vista users should be strongly advised to research their particular setups beyond the Upgrade Advisor. It will tell you for instance it will run Nf2 but there is no support, or Soundstorm drivers. VIA chipsets unless 2006 or newer might also have issues, it's case by case. Again, the Upgrade Advisor can be wrong!
February 26, 2007 6:29:09 PM

Quote:
the Sempron comes with a tiny L2 cache of only 128 MB

8O That's a lot of L2 cache! :wink:
February 26, 2007 6:39:14 PM

Quote:
Potential Vista users should be strongly advised to research their particular setups beyond the Upgrade Advisor. It will tell you for instance it will run Nf2 but there is no support, or Soundstorm drivers. VIA chipsets unless 2006 or newer might also have issues, it's case by case. Again, the Upgrade Advisor can be wrong!


Do you mean like how it tells you that the ATI ALl in WOnder cards are supported, but neglects to tell you that the Multimedia Center capabilities such as PVR and TV Tuner, aren't? Yes, this is partially AMD/ATI's fault, but the blame also lies with Vista, since as I understand it, it is vastly more difficult to enable these technologies in Vista.
February 26, 2007 7:46:04 PM

I'm a bit dissapointed by the following statement "The Sempron 3400+, for example, is somewhat equivalent to a first-generation Athlon 64 2800+ (socket 754) or an Athlon XP processor (socket 462)."

This is true only based on processor power however the article made me feel like the author is stating that this computer is equivallent to one of a few years ago. This is not true becasue motherboards and chip sets vary. The AM2 motherboard is much more advanced than the socket 754 or 462 variety unless you have the high end motherboards (not what this article was about). The SATA issues alone will make installation a nightmare. Drivers are coming out but try to install Vista on a SATA drive without having the drivers in-hand because you're looking for a nightmare. Trust me, drop back to an IDE drive if you have an older computer and save yourself the headaches.

The other compaint about the article is the concentration on two specific items, Areo and the lame benchmark score.
February 26, 2007 7:49:43 PM

cheap systems with 1 GB of RAM are still not common. (in europe)

It's possible to find systems shipped with Vista and 512 MB memory, try running Vista with that amount of memory.
February 26, 2007 8:37:34 PM

I find it interesting that my processor, an Opteron 148 Venus gets the
same 4.1 rating as the Sempron.

I dual boot XP and Vista Home Premium and I've noticed it pegs my CPU to 100% more than XP.

Seriously..you need better than a $300 PC to do anything worthwhile with
Vista Premium. I suppose if you don't want to watch TV, listen to decent
sound or play games then your report makes sense..

This report is a disapointment. I'd like to see a report on how Vista craps
out your audio and Video and runs everything in software and craps out
even a high end PC processor.

I'd love to run Vista all the time but my Opteron 146 with 1 gig ram and
SATAII drive can barely keep up with audio and video encoding that
now have to be done totally in software. Applications that XP handles with ease cause stutter, dropped frames and audio that is lower in volume and
lacks EAX and 5.1 but still taxes my CPU.

It may all be solved by new drivers..well..some of it.

How about an article about how we were all super powered with XP and now have weak inadequate machines because Vista does everything
in software and requires the CPU to do all the work..

I could just throw my Audigy and Radion 1900xt in the trash now because
they seem to be useless for taking the load off the CPU.

I'd love an article comparing the experience on a mid level Home Theatre
PC XP vs Vista. Vista Home Premium is not ready for Home Theatre!
February 26, 2007 11:08:19 PM

First off i would like to comment about vista being a memory hog/slow/drive thrashes constantly blah blah blah!

the culprits are services called superfetch and windows search. I don't care how good anyone or microsoft says they are. these 2 services SUCK!

and they gring the harddrive so bad you will have harddrive failure in no time.

i reccomend disabling as soon as the OS is installed.

vista is SOOOO snappy now. im using it on my laptop right now and i only have a amd turion 64 dual core at 1.6 gig. not a very fast CPU compared to my core 2 duo desktop but its fast now. fast enough that i can no longer tell the difference between vista and XP.

here are some very interesting articles about superfetch and windows search and why you should disable it.

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000688.html

http://4sysops.com/archives/how-to-disable...windows-se...

http://www.nsharp.org/09/vista-tips-and-tricks-1/

all great articles. read with care because very important points are made

after disabling it i cant tell the difference in speed between my laptop with 2 gig of ram and a 7200 rpm laptop harddrive by hitatchi or my core 2 duo desktop with 1 gig of ram and a raptor drive.

well the raptor drive i cand obviously tell the difference but performance is very similar!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad i did this!!!!!

thanks microsoft i wasted 300 bucks on 2 gig of ram and a 7200rpm hitatchi drive for my laptop only to find out that i never needed them in the first place because all i had to do was disable 2 services which take like a minute!!!!!!!!
February 27, 2007 3:15:53 AM

flakes --- i agree with you. What the hell is going on. Its rather disappointing that the review is coming down to a a number system that is based on a result from microsoft based software. This is hardly a third party review --- it would be nice to get something directly from the author rather than microsoft.

The article states "The system setups aren't exciting at all, especially when compared to Athlon 64 X2 or Core 2 Duo machines with powerful graphics solutions. But they do represent what the vast majority of users actually have"- end quote. I dont think that these two system represent the vast majority of what users "actually have". For example, most people (including myself) do not actually have 2 megabytes of ram nor do they have the cpu power you are representing.

Part of the title also says "even low budget pc's can run vista" --- this might be true but think having this in the title of the article is somewhat misleading as people who buy a budget pc should be running xp based on all information that I have; however, the article seems to want to convey they should be running vista. It may have been more accurate to place a statement saying that "low budget pc's should be running xp".

The article is really vague in a lot of areas --- there is really no defined testing protocol other than you were using microsoft software to perform the analysis. Your article also seems to compare that more recent cpu are equivalent to different past cpu's --- unsure of what all this about as this appears to be an assumption (not on actual testing) on your part.

My overall take of the article is that somehow microsoft influenced the writing so as to convey the message that low budget (as well as the vast majority of existing pc's) pc's can be used for vista while not conveying the message that xp is a better alternative under these circumstances.

On a general note, I have to wonder if this site is controlled by microsoft. Would just like to see impartial reviews ---- please start giving us some good non-biased reviews --- this is all I ask.
February 27, 2007 4:14:05 AM

This article is really pathetic. not one single comment on how well vista actually ran on either system, just six pages of "we ran a program that gave us a score"....... :( 
But my biggest complaint is this
Quote:
We did not run application benchmarks since they wouldn't differ very much from the results under Windows XP

This is a tomshardware article, and you DONT WANT TO PUT IN BENCHMARKS??!!??
And id dispute the claim that they would run at much the same speeds, vista would be using more RAM meaning more page file usage meaning most of the applications would be running slower. and at the very least it would have given us an idea of how well vista would have actually ran on the PCs.
Can we start a vote to get this article taken down/rewriten??
*bleeeggh*
February 27, 2007 3:14:04 PM

Good Eye! - It also states that an X800 - X850 doesn't have shader 2.0 to support Aero. I think they meant shader 3.0
February 27, 2007 11:28:49 PM

Looking objectively, I'd say that this article is aimed at people buying a new 'off the shelf' system today.

For a comparison, my high end PC running Vista has the following:

- E600 clocked at 2.7 ghz
- 2 gb RAM
- 7900GT (stock)
- 2 x 300gb hd (7200rpm, 16mb cache)

To compare, I have a notebook which also did run Vista with the following:

- P-M 1.6
- 512mb RAM
- 9700 Pro 128mb
- 1 x 80gb hdd (56300rpm I think)

I didn't keep the performance score for the notebook as I gave up on Vista for this system and went back to XP Home. Graphics capability was fine, however the lack of RAM and power in the CPU really just made the system turn to a crawl.

My current (first listed) system runs Vista with a 5.5 rating - everything is 5.9 apart from the hdds which are 5.5.

Vista wants RAM - as much as you can spare. Vista does not however seem to draw much on the CPU - with an additional 1gb RAM I think the notebook would have been fine. Without this RAM (only 512mg) applications are really slow to load, and the general system respone time is poor.

I've got a P4 1.6 ghz with 1gb RAM and an X1300 card - I'd like to try this out as it looks like a decent minimum spec PC for Vista based on my experience so far. But that's for another day... I'm not going to keep buying OEM copies of Vista just to see how they run on another PC spec. That's the job of the reviewers here ;) 
February 28, 2007 3:20:14 AM

I also noticed that in the review it was stated that you cannot boot from an upgrade DVD when in fact you can boot from one of them (if for nothing than to do repairs) and do a "clean" install of Vista via the double install method.

This was a very disappointing article. I expect more out of Tom's.

Ralph
February 28, 2007 6:44:39 AM

:p  Signed up for Vista Beta tester in flash few years ago, email spams got tiresome so I quit. Then year ago, rejoined. In july '6 recieved beta & took Microsofts advisement, researched upgrade options & picked shader model 3 pci 4X card FIRST out year ago & cheap.(It was special upgrade niche card) on Celeron 2.0 ghz on asus 2001 mainboard with open GL arch. very mid k7, software had to teach it dvd in 2005.

Thats cheapo that worked by quirk of fate & still is running Vista in all its aero glory in 32 bit, dvd ok after 6 months, no hangs, just earthlink tech entered in by my dumbness run code that took out dsl function totally, so its dead in water in living room, yet with activated vista.

my other early machine, like microsodt stated is not sero glass capable, made 3 years latter than celeron, its amd 2600+ with lateer K7, pre sata mainboard with built in audio & video, built in is catch as no way to upgrade shader models with that. indeed it played vista in non aero glass, which was as good as xp & is best vista has, in many ways.

Lastly, I built one claiming to be VISTA ready & it plays aero glas fine. yet only in 32 bit, which has severe audio issues, beyond turning it off & installing card, issues created by pci card in first place? with too powerful system driver/software in both & incompatible on start up to boot.? well funny that XP on same X2 mvp deluxe system always runs media like champ & Vista always crashes audio with tap_tap_tap_ sieze or overrun ding.

fails+, So its not size or price: its what is enabled for that particular mainboard/system. Look closely & you'll see NO, that ZERO vista mainboards coming out, its just too unsettled today. whole direct X 10 line of cards is delayed till late MAY at earliest, So getting balanced dual channel with two sli cards heating it to red hot with Vista, red hot yheah, red hot & busted. Also due to mainboard not being Vista in disc drivers. you need to install XP first then /Vista, so you never have swirling sirens at start up, just old slunk, slunk,slunk of XP. Not so with celeron, which has media 11 radio & sirens of better system, yet is so old & most capable? go figure.

So look carefully at cheap stuff with high end potential, sata II, sli, EEC, opteron cabable, Use Vista READYBOOST, to really get low end above par & you;ll be happiest people communicating since alpha letter.s.

its creamy soup base of aero glass that is mandatory to make it work & you cann't have upgrade in software unless you have XP Pro, no home users may apply (ME), just won't work & you'll be at bottom of heap once again with no ladder.

Its good time to do your research throughly or STAY HOME. Just any old machine is 85% likely to be failure with vista ,& the'll pick out failures for promotion, if your unlucky.

Signed:p HYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART VON DRASHEK M.D.

P.S. Vista here is running on 4 gb of memory & needs it all, with ECC, slightly slower, yet that tightens up Vistas' inherrent unstability at present. Opteron Duals are step above single core, never use single core, fromm celeron to Athlon 64 its slow gradation from sluggish to smooth, yet always same in game capability, 350 mb or less, while dual core does 750 mb fames with ease. Also to poster on SATA II, it is really great benifit to use SATA II in Raid 5 with XP as prime or first O/s, yeton sata ystem only, not in ide, just VISTA 32 on c drive & 64 on D drive, best & most stable, allowing VISTA to blossom into media storehjouse.::) =BUY VISTA OEM ON 8 SLOT DESKTOP QUAD FOR BOTH CHANNELS TO BE FULLY ADDRESSED & WHEN THATS AVAILABLE TO GENERAL PUV=BLIC, THATS WHEN BASIC IT RUNS AT TOP WILL BE TRUE, UNTILL THEN CAREFULL SELECTION FROM BOTTOM SCAVENGERING CAN BE AS GOOD, YET LESS TOP END TOTAL POTENTIAL, OF COURSE, AS YOUR TESTS INDICATE.?
February 28, 2007 4:00:14 PM

Quote:


Vista wants RAM - as much as you can spare.

I've got a P4 1.6 ghz with 1gb RAM and an X1300 card - I'd like to try this out as it looks like a decent minimum spec PC for Vista based on my experience so far.

did you read my post above????????????

geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez

the reason vista runs slow is because of two services
1. superfetch
2. windows search

disable them and you're machine can run vista as well as xp.

and if you read the articles in my post above you will see why!
February 28, 2007 4:04:42 PM

Quote:
:p  Signed up for Vista Beta tester in flash few years ago, email spams got tiresome so I quit. Then year ago, rejoined. In july '6 recieved beta & took Microsofts advisement, researched upgrade options & picked shader model 3 pci 4X card FIRST out year ago & cheap.(It was special upgrade niche card) on Celeron 2.0 ghz on asus 2001 mainboard with open GL arch. very mid k7, software had to teach it dvd in 2005.

Thats cheapo that worked by quirk of fate & still is running Vista in all its aero glory in 32 bit, dvd ok after 6 months, no hangs, just earthlink tech entered in by my dumbness run code that took out dsl function totally, so its dead in water in living room, yet with activated vista.

my other early machine, like microsodt stated is not sero glass capable, made 3 years latter than celeron, its amd 2600+ with lateer K7, pre sata mainboard with built in audio & video, built in is catch as no way to upgrade shader models with that. indeed it played vista in non aero glass, which was as good as xp & is best vista has, in many ways.

Lastly, I built one claiming to be VISTA ready & it plays aero glas fine. yet only in 32 bit, which has severe audio issues, beyond turning it off & installing card, issues created by pci card in first place? with too powerful system driver/software in both & incompatible on start up to boot.? well funny that XP on same X2 mvp deluxe system always runs media like champ & Vista always crashes audio with tap_tap_tap_ sieze or overrun ding.

fails+, So its not size or price: its what is enabled for that particular mainboard/system. Look closely & you'll see NO, that ZERO vista mainboards coming out, its just too unsettled today. whole direct X 10 line of cards is delayed till late MAY at earliest, So getting balanced dual channel with two sli cards heating it to red hot with Vista, red hot yheah, red hot & busted. Also due to mainboard not being Vista in disc drivers. you need to install XP first then /Vista, so you never have swirling sirens at start up, just old slunk, slunk,slunk of XP. Not so with celeron, which has media 11 radio & sirens of better system, yet is so old & most capable? go figure.

So look carefully at cheap stuff with high end potential, sata II, sli, EEC, opteron cabable, Use Vista READYBOOST, to really get low end above par & you;ll be happiest people communicating since alpha letter.s.

its creamy soup base of aero glass that is mandatory to make it work & you cann't have upgrade in software unless you have XP Pro, no home users may apply (ME), just won't work & you'll be at bottom of heap once again with no ladder.

Its good time to do your research throughly or STAY HOME. Just any old machine is 85% likely to be failure with vista ,& the'll pick out failures for promotion, if your unlucky.

Signed:p HYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART VON DRASHEK M.D.

P.S. Vista here is running on 4 gb of memory & needs it all, with ECC, slightly slower, yet that tightens up Vistas' inherrent unstability at present. Opteron Duals are step above single core, never use single core, fromm celeron to Athlon 64 its slow gradation from sluggish to smooth, yet always same in game capability, 350 mb or less, while dual core does 750 mb fames with ease. Also to poster on SATA II, it is really great benifit to use SATA II in Raid 5 with XP as prime or first O/s, yeton sata ystem only, not in ide, just VISTA 32 on c drive & 64 on D drive, best & most stable, allowing VISTA to blossom into media storehjouse.::) =BUY VISTA OEM ON 8 SLOT DESKTOP QUAD FOR BOTH CHANNELS TO BE FULLY ADDRESSED & WHEN THATS AVAILABLE TO GENERAL PUV=BLIC, THATS WHEN BASIC IT RUNS AT TOP WILL BE TRUE, UNTILL THEN CAREFULL SELECTION FROM BOTTOM SCAVENGERING CAN BE AS GOOD, YET LESS TOP END TOTAL POTENTIAL, OF COURSE, AS YOUR TESTS INDICATE.?


turn off superfetch and windows search and you're pc will fly.

read my post abouve and read the articles and you will se why.

just don't understand that after i posted that that people still claim vista NEEDS memory when its not vista. its that SUPER RETARDED windows search and superfetch services that DO NOTHING SPECIAL. they don't speed up you're system like microsoft says, those 2 services CRIPPLE IT!
February 28, 2007 5:27:01 PM

Superfetch and Windows Search do use a lot of RAM, but they are not the only services that use up RAM. And, while Windows Search is completely useless for anything other than wear and tear on your HD if you have even a half sensible system for storing your files, Superfetch does have its uses.

Superfetch is the next generation of prefetch, and loads portions of the programs you use most often into memory at system startup (almost the same thing happens in XP). This allows your programs to start faster, which isn't as big a deal for notepad as it is photoshop, but it still makes a difference.

Further, from what I've read, Vista aims to use as much RAM as possible all the time to cut down on page file usage, and should free up that RAM for process usage when its needed.

That being said, I still don't like Vista and CAN'T use it, even though my system is more than powerful enough for it.
February 28, 2007 10:57:57 PM

I don't see the point of running Vista over XP if you disable superfetch and Windows search.

Seems to me this article is for the average Joe who buys his PC from Kmart/Walmart on the cheap. I don't agree that these systems will run Vista as well as the article states, but its good that someone finally addressed the systems that 50% of the world actually buys.

When TG does a review and turns features off or changes to the classic interface, people jump all over them. When TG does a review leaving these features on, people jump all over them. Seems they can't win either way.

Vista Home Premium isn't designed to run HD anything beyond minimal performance. If you want HD performance, you need to spend twice the money on Business or Ultimate Edition to get all the bells and whistles.
March 1, 2007 11:56:28 AM

Quote:

That being said, I still don't like Vista and CAN'T use it, even though my system is more than powerful enough for it.


same here lol, i find Vista almost imposible to use, its not because i dont kno how to use a computer its cause i am a power user, and trying to find an option by having to select a category drives me nuts, i kno where it is i just cant get to it sort of mentality. absolutly hate it and the first time i right clicked on the desktop, and i read "preferences" instead of "Properties" i was completly baffled about what option to choose.

cant stand all the nice features theve put in to help make "average joes" life easier while mine gets harder trying to find ways of turning everything OFF, i hate aeroglass too, give me win2000 style anyday over that ram/GPU eating piece of crap


/rant over

p.s

bad mood today... :twisted:
March 1, 2007 6:34:19 PM

Quote:
We did not run application benchmarks since they wouldn't differ very much from the results under Windows XP

Well, I have run some application benchmarks and can tell you that you can get some very different results from XP for certain apps. Clearly whoever wrote this article has no idea what they are talking about.

Some apps will give similar results to XP. Apps that do not do much interaction such as MPEG encoding are going to be much the same as XP. Apps do lots of complex graphical work (e.g. CorelDraw or Word) can run significantly slower depending on what you are doing.

My company is currently in the process of attempting to get our software to run on Vista with the same or better level of performance as we get on XP. Our software does a huge amount of 2D graphics. Unfortunatly on Vista all of the hardware accelleration for 2D graphics has been removed. Try running some really old 2D graphics benchmark apps (winbench or wintach from the 1990's) on Vista and the results show Vista handling 2D graphics up to 20x slower than XP on identical hardware.

Bizarely, GPU's that share system memory actually perform better on Vista for 2D graphics than high-spec expensive cards with their own video ram. (this is because system memory can be accessed quicker than video ram, and is why the "graphics" experience index in Vista gives unexpected results). Aero doesn't help matters either, because when Aero is on, your graphics card is spending it's entire time composing the desktop in 3D. The actually content of windows still has to be drawn by applications and in Vista that's all done in software.

Our conclusion is that the "experience index" in Vista is fairly meaningless for certain applications. Apps that are primarily graphics, cad or DTP orientated take significatly longer on Vista to redraw due to the complete absence of any 2D graphics hardware acceleration.

Unless of course you do NOT have Vista drivers for your video card and Vista is running in XPDM mode - when 2D graphics go much faster because XP graphics drivers have HW acceleration - although you won't get Aero!

All I have to do now is explain to our marketing department why our app performs better on a cheap integrated GPU than on the latest Radeon...
!