I'm going to run some benchies comparing Vista SP1 and SP2 on my notebook. I'll be updating this post through the day.
I'm running marks on:
3D mark 05
3D mark 06
Audio MP3 encoding/ripping (decided the video would take too long - I don't have all day)
Vista x64 SP1 Scores:
C:\Windows\ directory size: 22.3 GB
3d mark 06: 7186 @ 1920x1200
3d mark 06: 7898 @ 1680x1050
3d mark 05: 11379 @ 1920x1200
3d mark 05: 11761 @ 1680x1050
Crysis: 17.70 fps @ 1920x1200, High, DX10, 64bit
Crysis: 21.59 fps @ 1680x1050, High, DX10, 64bit
Single MP3: 00:24:95 - 6:00 track @ 128kbps
Audio CD to MP3 rip: 03:04:59 @ 192kbps
WinRAR compression: 7:06 - My starcraft program folder (660MB)
Vista x64 SP2 Scores:
C:\Windows\ directory size: 24.8 GB
3d mark 06: 7182 @ 1920x1200
3d mark 06: 7888 @ 1680x1050
3d mark 05: 11354 @ 1920x1200
3d mark 05: 11745 @ 1680x1050
Crysis: 17.18 fps @ 1920x1200, High, DX10, 64bit
Crysis: 21.20 fps @ 1680x1050, High, DX10, 64bit
Single MP3: 00:22:73 - 6:00 track @ 128kbps
Audio CD to MP3 rip: 03:04:64 @ 192kbps
WinRAR compression: 6:14 - My starcraft program folder (660MB)
C:\Windows\ directory: +11.2%
3d mark 06 (1920x1200): -0.06%
3d mark 06 (1680x1050): -0.01%
3d mark 05 (1920x1200): -0.22%
3d mark 05 (1680x1050): -0.14%
Crysis (1920x1200): -2.94%
Crysis (1680x1050): -1.81%
Single MP3 (128kbps): +9.25%
Audio CD to MP3 rip: -0.03%
WinRAR compression: +12.21%
Vista SP2 is a hair better at certain multimedia operations, but really, there's no noticeable performance drops or gains, aside from WinRAR. The features it brings though, which are more qualitative, may make it worth the hour or so it took to install.
Microsoft is currently working on getting vlite to work with sp2. there having issues with vlite removing some windows files. I have used vlite for vista SP1 slip steaming but you have to download and install windows automated installation kit. its over 1gb
vlite will slipstream SP1 on VISTA 32, but not 64. A slimstreamed Vista 64 disk may be possible now, it has been about six months since I tried to slipstream a Vista 64 SP1 disk unsuccesfully.
SP2 does not offer much in the way of processor/Ram speed incentives to an SP1 installation. I notice today after installing SP2 on four Vista 64 machines, IE8 appears to be more 'responsive'. Interesting to see what you find with the benchmarks.
SP2 adds support for the 64-bit central processing unit (CPU) from VIA Technologies, which adds the ID and vendor strings for the new VIA 64-bit CPU.
SP2 integrates the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, which contains support for Bluetooth v2.1 and Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration. Bluetooth v2.1 is the most recent specification for Bluetooth wireless technology.
SP2 improves performance for Wi-Fi connections after resuming from sleep mode.
SP2 includes updates to the RSS feeds sidebar for improved performance and responsiveness.
SP2 includes ability to record data to Blu-Ray Disc media.
I do. More HDD usage means more code which means less efficient code. I can write a "Hello World" program in a few lines of code or a few pages. The latter would be full of redundant bloat.
Not necessarily, they might have "splitted the code". For example, the same DLL could have been used for AMD and Intel CPU (with CPU check everywhere in the code) and now they decided to split it even if many LOC (Lines Of Code) are identical. This results in tougher code maintenance, more HDD space being used, but a somehow more efficient code execution because you check at startup what the CPU is, load the proper DLL and never have to check again at runtime.
However it might also be just as you said: more code to support new features only a few people use, but will make the overall OS slower ...
Vista is hardly as snappy as XP, so I'd go with the latter Also, Win 7 cut down the initial installation to 10GB so 5GB of "efficient" code is now missing (along with some features).
Speaking of which, another issue is that while Vista's initial installation is ~15GB, it somehow ends up at 26GB (in my case it managed that within 9 months). Is it impossible for some basic self-maintenence to be added?
And I remember the same arguments from Windows 98 SE to Windows 2000 and from windows 2000 to XP. The thing is it can only go worst as long as we keep old legacy support and adding new features ... oh and as long as we keep accepting mediocrity in software developers/engineers/analysts.
The Windows Vista size problem is probably mostly due to the WinSxS folder. Unfortunately, their is no reliable tool yet to clean it up, but some people claim they were able to cut its size considerably with some "home made" automated tools. Some MS patches also use considerable space considering what they do (one in mind adds some entries in some dictionary for names in foreign languages ... 1GB).