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Switch to Vista, or stick w/ XP?

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November 29, 2008 4:17:21 PM

I currently have XP Pro SP2 32. I've been questioning if I should make the switch to vista for a long time, but I dont want to make the switch if I'll take a hit in game performance.

I mostly play World of Warcraft, but I also play some first person shooters from time to time.

My rig is as follows:
Pentium Dual Core e2160 OC'ed to 3.2ghz
2GB RAM
ATI 4850 graphics
Soundblaster X-Fi
250gb Western Digital SATA HDD

My concern is that having only 2gb in Vista will result in poor performance compared to what I'm used to in XP. But i've also heard that the Vista service packs have improved performance dramatically for systems with RAM < 4gb.

I could live with maybe a slight performance hit, but I'd really like to have access do DX10, and would like to see sometime new. From what i've seen I like vista's GUI, I enjoy an OS with some eye candy, and would really like the change of scenery from XP.

So, do you think 2gb will be too much of a limitation for me to switch to Vista 64 if I plan to use all the "eye candy" that vista has to offer?

More about : switch vista stick

November 29, 2008 8:30:27 PM

Im currently running 2G in Vista and I have now troubles at all.
Here is a idea if you want. (I currently do)
Set it up to dual boot XP and Vista and see for yourself.
I have run Msoft flight Sim X on Vista and on XP and see no difference. (No DX10) Trust me it will stress the system just as much.
I also run Crysis on both sides XP for the kid and Vista for me with no troubles.
Vista is much better at releasing memory for current tasks, where XP had to be done manually.

Also note: To save HDD space install the same programs to the same directory. eg WOW to the same directory as it is now. 99% of the files will be the same and the installer will keep track of the differences.
It saves some major HDD space.

PS Tiger Direct has Corsair and XMS DDR2 5600 2x2048 for $25 after rebate
until tomorrow (30th)

Also note 4G ram is all that Vista 32 will handle. Same as XP 32
You seem to have a good setup why not Vista 64 bit and move up to 8 or 16 G memory?
Get it while its cheap and youll always have it.
My new 4Gs comes Tuesday
Git R Done
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November 30, 2008 12:03:22 AM

I personally would hold off getting Vista for a while because Windows 7 is on it's way. And it might possibly be better than Vista...
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December 3, 2008 8:23:49 PM

Well....Windows 7 is not something which will happen soon so this option is OUT
In regards with Vista I would suggest to stay away from it for LOTS of reasons, BUT especially because you have a Creative X-FI sound card which is well known for heaps of problems in Vista due to crappy drivers.
Next...... do you want slow file copy? do you want to run into problems trying to watch a mp4 movie due to Vista's well known incapacity to play MPEG4? do you want to have problems running your sound optical output for 5.1 or more ( dolby live ) etc etc etc...than go for VISTA. If you want a quick, reliable OS and non of the above problems than stick with XP. I highly recommend XP Pro x64 - best OS I ever used ! ( and YES I do have a lot of experience with Vista...I am not talking from books :)  )
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December 5, 2008 2:48:30 PM

If you on the fence about switching to Vista. I would personally wait it our since Windows 7 will be released, according to reports, by Holiday season 09. If your main reason to switch is for DX10.1 then I would still rest with XP. Personally (take with a grain of salt), I'm a moderate gamer, and I've only used DX10 once for one game over the past year, and the difference wasn't anything remarkable. To look at it another way, save the money you were thinking about putting in Vista, and put it on Windows 7.
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December 5, 2008 3:09:23 PM

As for gaming: early on XP held about a 5 -10% advantage over Vista in an EXHAUSTIVE test at extremtech, they revisited post SP-1 and that advantage was completely gone, yet you still see this ame 10% figure tossed around by Vista haters despite the fact that is now totally untrue and this gives you some idea of how much mindless Vista bashing there is out there.
Quote:
Game Results
It's clear that driver issues in Windows Vista have been largely ironed out, as the five to 10 percent performance drop compared to Windows XP is virtually gone. In fact, the only test out of these three in which Vista didn't match its predecessor was in the pre-SP1 World in Conflict result.


from here: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2302500,00.a...

Firing squad came up with very similar results mid 2007.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/amd_nvidia_windows_...

I have a Creative X-fi extreme gamer card and I have no issues running games or movies, maybe some people do, but you'd think I'd have seen some evidence since I end up playing most new games. Perhaps there were isuues which have no0 been fixed? I'd buy that. Early Vista drivers were crap.

As for mpeg4, hmmm, as in xvid or divx? I'm playing an xvid in WMP as we speak, could you elaborate on that please? Is it a WMC issue? I never use that much.

Slow file copy? Maybe a tad slower. You are aware that Vista does not close the copy dialog box as fast as XP for reasons not related to actual speed? Still Vista may be a tad slower but having watched this issue closely since the SP 1 tests I think you can say that the benchmarks were all over the place and inconclusive and at this point that any speed differential is probably marginal.

5.1. I get 5.1 out of my X-fi but I'm open to hearing that it's not really 5.1, maybe I have been decieved? To be fair I do not use an optical output so I could easily be missing something here.

As to switching to V 64 or not, it's a coin toss - XP is still good enough, Vista offers no compelling reason to switch and 7 is coming. Though it is usually wise to wait until sp1 of any OS before switching, so you could be looking at 2 years or so. In the meantime if you like the idea of DX 10 and a fresh face on a new OS then switch away, Vista 64 works great now.

In case the OPs concern was 32 vs 64 I offer this from the firigsquad article from over a year ago:

Quote:
you were debating between the 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows Vista, fortunately it looks like performance is similar with either version. Both AMD and NVIDIA’s drivers for both versions of Vista perform practically identical to one another. And if you were concerned about game compatibility with 64-bit Vista, one of the guidelines Microsoft has required for Games For Windows certification is that games must be compatible with Windows Vista x64. This means if the game has a Games For Windows logo on the box, it’s been tested to run with 64-bit Windows Vista. Upcoming games like Alan Wake, Crysis, Fallout 3, Gears of War PC, and Hellgate: London are all Games For Windows compliant.

Considering all this, we’d recommend our readers opt for the 64-bit version of Vista if you’ve got a 64-bit CPU. It runs just as fast in games with the added advantage that it’s more secure and can address considerably more memory (4GB max in 32-bit Vista versus 128GB in 64-bit Vista Ultimate).


Any enthusiast or gamer would be crazy NOT to go 64 at this time, a year later the situation has only gelled more in favor of 64 and of Vista itself. Of course those who have staked their reputation on "vista sux and it will always suck' will never acknowledge any of this. Having watched the situation here and at other forums closely I can also tell you that Vista 64 has now become the OS of choice for newish PCs - it's actually popular now - the rest of them will catch up eventually.
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December 5, 2008 10:01:38 PM

I have to agree with Notherdude on most topics.
I cant agree on all aspects either as I havent tried all possile options.
I can say that if you have a decent rig Vista will not be a problem.

I have been running Vista x32 for about a year and have never had trouble.
It boots faster than XP with most of the same software (security and add ons)
I also have the Ultimate edition which Notherdude doesnt and think the dreamscape running(which I think is awesome).
As stated above I run Flight Sim X on both which stresses a op system pretty well and I think Vista produces a better visual appearence, and Im only using a 7900GS.

As for copy speed I have a SATA internal, a ESATA external, and a USB external at various times. Aside from the different interfaces (speeds) that I know to be of different speeds honestly I dont see a difference in real life. (remember from the above post I dual boot to XP)
There may be a difference overall but in my less than scientific studies some things copy faster than others and the version of windows doesnt seem to be the deciding factor.

As for Bildos comment on saving money, the same could have been said about the switch from 2000 to XP. It wasnt a huge upgrade as they were born of the same code but it was a fairly dramatic step considering the security upgrades and overall better (over time) performance.
XP maintained much if not most of the compatibility of 2000 and even some 98/ME.
Eventually XP will not be a viable option due to hardware advances, security concerns, transportability etc..
With Vista being written with newer more adaptable code And all of the speculation of V7 so far not being a giant leap I recommend getting Vista and be able to upgrade before V7 comes out at $500 for Premium or Ultimate like they did for Vista. and get the 64 bit version as it is the wave.
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December 11, 2008 1:57:30 AM

To clarify : I AM NOT A VISTA HATER, I actually have Vista on two laptops, but my gaming rig is running on XP Pro64 for several reasons AND after I have tested and super tested both options. I was tempted like others by DX10 - because I have a GTX280 but clearly the advantage of running DX10 was far away from other problems I have encountered with Vista. I am running 5.1 on optical via Dolby Live and I can confirm this is not possible with satisfactory results in Vista. I have tested file copy on USB and over LAN and Vista is slower - not a big deal tho ! I own a Auzentech Prelude based on X-Fi chip and unfortunatelly I can confirm neither Creative or Auzentech released a decent driver for Vista as yet. They still fighting wind mills making alchemy to work properly in Vista. Last feedback - I am working for a company servicing HP and Dell...I have seen hundreds of PC's having all sorts of weird problems in Vista, including fresh installed and corrupted for some weird reasons after Vista updates, so yeah....I highly beleive VISTA was and still is pretty unreliable OS, Microsoft itself confirming this quietly by releasing W7 so soon. This happened only once in Microsoft history - when they releasd Win Me :)  - draw the conclusions yourself !
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December 11, 2008 3:23:25 AM

kenzz0 said:
To clarify : I AM NOT A VISTA HATER, I actually have Vista on two laptops, but my gaming rig is running on XP Pro64 for several reasons AND after I have tested and super tested both options. I was tempted like others by DX10 - because I have a GTX280 but clearly the advantage of running DX10 was far away from other problems I have encountered with Vista. I am running 5.1 on optical via Dolby Live and I can confirm this is not possible with satisfactory results in Vista. I have tested file copy on USB and over LAN and Vista is slower - not a big deal tho ! I own a Auzentech Prelude based on X-Fi chip and unfortunatelly I can confirm neither Creative or Auzentech released a decent driver for Vista as yet. They still fighting wind mills making alchemy to work properly in Vista. Last feedback - I am working for a company servicing HP and Dell...I have seen hundreds of PC's having all sorts of weird problems in Vista, including fresh installed and corrupted for some weird reasons after Vista updates, so yeah....I highly beleive VISTA was and still is pretty unreliable OS, Microsoft itself confirming this quietly by releasing W7 so soon. This happened only once in Microsoft history - when they releasd Win Me :)  - draw the conclusions yourself !



The release schedule has simply gone back to what it was before XP. XP was the exception because of SP2. Windows 95, 98, for example. There is no hard rule but about three years is what MS aims for. They also announced before Vista's release they were going back to a three year cycle. Yea, Vista has been smeared and unfortunately the reputation is probably ruined, this for many reasons the least of which was that the OS itself was inherently bad. It was all about the drivers and the crapware infested PCs that the OEMs put out. The situation is pretty close to fine now. If there is a rush to get 7 out is it because of the PERCEIVED problems or the actual? The fact they want it out the door does not tell us whcic now does it? They may simply have realized that the reputation is lost. How could that happen? A zillion dollars of Apple ads, that's how. Not to mention the valley-centric ABM tech press. XP machines also come laden with crap and take forever to boot but nobody blames the OS because the FUD about XP has finally died down, after several years when it too supposedly sucked horribly and idiots were swearing they would have to pry 98 from their cold dead hard drive.

I believe you have seen some real issues but I think your perspective is skewed. How many are using optical and dolby live. Not many ordinary gamers I suggest. My X-fi is working perfectly under vista 64 on a ton of games. I end up trying most of them. I also enjoy 5.1 sound/dolby when I watch movies with no problems at all. I question how much you have really invested in gaming on Vista recently. I have simply seen and heard from too many gamers very happily using Vista 64. It may not have the 100% support a six year old OS enjoys but then again now all of the attention will be on Vista/7 drivers, particularly on 64. XP 64 will soon die out and never did get any serious penetration, my XP 64 install is buggier than my Vista 64 install and oddly slower. as if the OS isn't using more than a one core and the absence of super fetch is clear too. Recommending that as an OS to use for the next four years or so a gamer is going to be using it is silly. XP 64 also has a REPUTATION for lacking support and stability - this may or may not be warranted but that perception got out there too.

As I said to the OP if there is a question of switching or staying with XP there is no compelling reason to switch. It's a coin toss, do what you want. But on a new PC get Vista 64.
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December 11, 2008 8:24:12 AM

I had the same problem, but I think with the system you have, I would recommend to switch to Vista.

Maybe it recommends a little more from the hardware, but is definitely better in my opinion.

I was running Vista on 8600GT 2Gb RAM E6750 @2.66 and had no problem with any game.
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December 11, 2008 6:55:57 PM

I highly agree with notherdude on what he is saying about Microsoft history and Apple campain and YES Vista is a step forward in many ways. Altough I own a expensive liquid cooled gaming machine and I was very keen to keep Vista on it I finally gave up for a few reasons I explained in my posts. Unfortunatelly or fortunatelly I do use Dolby live coz I have a top sound card and a very good sound system - I have tested and super tested with Vista and I could not accept the result. I admit I was a bit dissapointed or scared of so many problems I have seen with branded computers coming for repair, hundreds of them with Vista corrupted system. Than I could not understand how a fresh installed computer can totally craps out after basic Vista updates. NEVER hapened with XP for me. Anyway I trully beleive W7 is going to be way better and I cant wait to test it :) 
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