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Gaming on Vista Ultimate 64Bit

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September 28, 2007 9:41:05 AM

Just thought I would write a little piece on gaming and Vista Ultimate 64Bit. As you all know Windows Vista has been getting a lot of stick recently in regards to its compatibility with gaming, more so the 64Bit version of the operating system. So after a little inspiration from Mr Mac I decided to test out a few games after I got my new system on Windows Vista Ultimate 64Bit.

I'll do a little run through of my new system before I get started:

· Windows Vista Ultimate 64Bit
· Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz/1066MHz FSB)
· NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB (latest Beta Drivers)
· 2X 1GB Geil Black Dragon DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12 Dual Channel)
· Asus Nforce 650i SLI Motherboard
· 840GB's of Maxtor SATA Hard Disks
· 750WATT Thermaltake Tough Power PSU
· View Sonic 20.1%u201D 1680X1050 16:10 LCD Monitor

Now the games I have tested so far I will list here:

· Crysis (Multiplayer Beta)
· S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Version 1.0004)
· Medieval 2 Total War (Version 1.0)
· Battle Field 2142 (Version 1.25)
· Sam & Max
· Black & White 2 (Version 1.2)
· Counter Strike Source
· Half Life 2
· Team Fortress 2

Now I have to say before I get started, Windows Vista Ultimate 64Bit is a very good operating system. It is as stable as a rock and I am able to do everything I could normally do on Windows XP. For a normal user I would recommend Windows Vista although in my view it is not essential that is for sure, but if you have the money it is not a lost cause. Now lets get down to my discussion.

The First game I tried on my system since I upgraded was the Crysis Multiplayer Beta. The game was ran with all the detail settings set to 'High' there was an option to set it to 'Ultra High' but that setting has been greyed out for the Beta test. The resolution that the game was ran in was 1680X1050 with 4x Anti Aliasing enabled in game. On reflection the game was very playable with these settings on an average 32-player server with no delay on the mouse curser movement. The verdict on Crysis running on Windows Vista X64 is that it runs very well and is very playable. It does seem that a few improvements could be made but I am sure these will be seen once the game is officially released.

Next I come to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Stalker was one of the last of the old generation of FPS games to come to the market after many years in development. It uses DirectX 9 as it's graphics backbone but was later developed to be compatible with Windows Vista. Now I ran this game at it's absolute maximum with every single setting I could find set to top setting. Even Anti Aliasing was set to 8X. The resolution used was 1680X1050 as always making it compatible with the native resolution of the monitor. When playing the game I noticed no abnormalities nor did I notice any slow down or juddering. The game ran perfect in every respect with a FPS count that was over the refresh rate of my LCD monitor (60Hz)

Now we come to Medieval 2 Total War. A Huge game that not only requires an impressive graphics card to run also needs a good amount of CPU power to remain judder free. This game I ran with all the settings set to there top tear setting (high/highest) again with a resolution of 1680X1050 and 4X Anti Aliasing. Also the unit count was set to Maximum bringing you up to 10,000 units on the screen at any one given time. This game ran superbly to say the least I was getting constant frames per second on a huge scale battle not matter if I was zoomed in or zoomed out.

Now we have Battle Field 2142 This game required a hack to run it at 1680X1050 and even then I was stuck with a reduced FOV (Field Of View). But that is the game that's at fault not Windows Vista, you have to do the very same thing with Windows XP. Now the only thing I did notice about this game was when installing it did say that the game has only been tested on Windows XP 32Bit which I taken as a bit of a bad sign that it was going to work on Windows Vista X64 but after installing and updating the latest version of the game it ran with no problem what so ever. The settings I used were again set to maximum with everything I could find set to max detail and again I had 4X Anti Aliasing enabled in the games settings. The game to my surprise ran absolutely fine with a very smooth frame rate and with no motion delay to be seen.

Then we come to Sam & Max, the only gripe I have with this game is that it is not playable in a 16:10 aspect ration, but again that's the games fault and not an operating problem. This one I am going to keep short since there is not much to it, the game runs perfectly and has no problems what so ever.

Black & White 2, this game again is a game with a DirectX 9 backbone but is a fair bit more demanding than S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I installed this with out a hitch and updated the game to the latest version. All the settings where set to max with 4X Anti Aliasing set on the drivers side this time round. The game ran identical for some reason in every way, even in frames per second as it did for me on Windows XP.

Now we come to the Source Engine, I have previously tested out Counter Strike on my old system and that game ran perfectly on Vista X64 but I did notice that the frame count was decreased by about 12% of what it originally was on windows XP and indeed was noticeable. With my new system Counter Strike Source ran perfectly again and this time round the decrease in overall frames per second when compared to what I got on Windows XP was only decreased by 4%. Also Team Fortress 2 was a cakewalk for Vista X64 with the game running extremely playable with all the settings set to max.

I hope this little run through of a few games over Windows Vista Ultimate X64 has helped some of you. I will try and write another little write up with games using OpenGL as it's graphical base, for example DOOM3 and Serious Sam.

Have fun
September 28, 2007 11:36:46 AM

Good stuf, Cafuddled. Useful info for Vista doubters like myself.

With regard to the games you tested, which of them had 64bit native code in them, and which did you run in 32bit compatibility mode (WoW = windows on windows mode?)?

I assume Crysis has a version with 64bit native code in it, but it depends also on which executables you are running (it would still work runnig a 32bit native Crysis version on your 64bit OS but there should/could be significant performance gain running that game with 64bit native code).

This also kind of ties in with a question in another thread where we're discussing loading times in games that sport a huge environment that have continuous loading from disc in the background. Running such games in 64bit with enough memory could certainly lead to a better performance if disc access can be eliminated or seriously reduced and if you have enough memory you can run much larger apps/games on a 64bit OS.
September 28, 2007 12:18:02 PM

Did you enable the settings in Crysis using the text file (to turn on the eye candy).

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/98349-13-crysis-beta-...

Quote:
btw, in case some of you didnt know yet you can have "very high" settings in the beta just by changing the "game" CFG file. Just put 4 instead of 3 for these:

sys_spec_GameEffects = 4
sys_spec_ObjectDetail = 3
sys_spec_Particles = 4
sys_spec_Physics = 3
sys_spec_PostProcessing = 4
sys_spec_Shading = 3
sys_spec_Shadows = 4
sys_spec_Sound = 4
sys_spec_Texture = 4
sys_spec_VolumetricEffects = 4
sys_spec_Water = 4

object details, shading and physics can't be set to very high it seems.



I'm using vista 32bit, I have no real issues except somethings, like UAC (disabled it), Teamspeak seems to crash when I alt tab to it from games (BF2).

BF2142 and BF2 still CTD, but that's the game's fault.

The defrag window, sucks (I want a progress bar shown! Not "this may take a few minutes or a few hours"), and the process itself seems really slow, so I'm using diskeeper.

PS Are you using aero glass? Or does that not effect gaming? (I turned it off as soon as I loaded up Vista lol).
Related resources
September 28, 2007 4:08:38 PM

I don’t think that config file tweak for Crysis beta is accurate, I checked in that file and the fields where already set to those values anyway. Anyway as far as I can tell, with the exception of games acquired through Steam, they are all running in 32Bit compatibility mode. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but at least it shows the backward compatibility of games is not as bad as people are saying. I mean even Battle Field 2142 worked, after a lot of people said wouldn’t. Also as far as 32Bit compatibility mode is concerned. You need not even know that it’s being used, as its use is undetectable.

On another note I really don’t know what all this fuss is with Aero Glass. I mean after all the testing that has been done and the time it has been around, why do people still think it does anything to your performance. They done tests on laptops and when using Windows Vista with Aero Glass enabled, they found that they only used 2watts more power than when the laptops were running under Windows XP. Also do people not know when you run a full screen application under Vista it disables Aero till the application has been halted? So yes I left that on. On another note, I did disable Windows Firewall, Windows Defender & User Account Control from running on the system.

Just a little note on the Crysis beta I think the beta is only being ran with the 32Bit version. The good news is that the Crysis dev team are saying that performance under the 64Bit version of the game will run 10% - 15% faster than the 32Bit version. It was also stated after a bit of reading that both versions will come in the same box. Meaning you wont need to choose between the 2 versions when it comes time to purchase.
September 28, 2007 8:21:08 PM

thats interesting, but I think I'll stay 32 bit for the moment and whenever I build again, I'll go 64
September 28, 2007 10:00:52 PM

If you want to compare, run the games on Winxp vs vista. You will see Vista is a peice of crap (winows ME version 2). It's been proven over and over and over Vista is SLOWER then winxp. This is just one example:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/29/xp-vs-vista/

Only ONE game actually uses TRUE directx10 (not a ported directx9 game with directx10 extensions added), that will actually run slightly better in vista. I won't be holding my beath for more games that actually run better in vista then XP.
September 29, 2007 12:16:06 AM

computertech82 said:
If you want to compare, run the games on Winxp vs vista. You will see Vista is a peice of crap (winows ME version 2). It's been proven over and over and over Vista is SLOWER then winxp. This is just one example:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/29/xp-vs-vista/

Only ONE game actually uses TRUE directx10 (not a ported directx9 game with directx10 extensions added), that will actually run slightly better in vista. I won't be holding my beath for more games that actually run better in vista then XP.



Wow, sounds like basic MS hate to me. The drivers keep getting better and better. Explain this:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/amd_nvidia_windows_...

It seems the frame rate gap beteween XP and Vista has pretty much dissapeared. SLI is working. And things are generally pretty good.
September 29, 2007 3:49:12 PM

computertech82 said:
If you want to compare, run the games on Winxp vs vista. You will see Vista is a peice of crap (winows ME version 2). It's been proven over and over and over Vista is SLOWER then winxp. This is just one example:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/29/xp-vs-vista/

Only ONE game actually uses TRUE directx10 (not a ported directx9 game with directx10 extensions added), that will actually run slightly better in vista. I won't be holding my beath for more games that actually run better in vista then XP.



computertech82,

You might want to do some research before making comments.
The move from Windows 3.1 through Vista have all been the same
with every upgrade. First few months to year no one seems to like it.
Why?

*Slow
*Poor Drivers
*Lack of programs

And the biggest problem that most people don't seem to document.
It's something new to learn and get use to.
That is (My Opinion) the biggest gripe for users, It takes longer (at first)
to find and or do anything. "So the new OS MUST suck... ??"

Finally most (not all) crashes that occur with in windows is actually caused by
hardware faults or poorly written drivers. So M$ took out what they could
from kernel and made it so when a driver crashed windows wouldn't puke
on the user and possibly the PC could recover and continue working w/o much
if any hassle to the user...

Keep in mind this is my opinion....

September 29, 2007 7:34:27 PM

Sp0cK said:
computertech82,

You might want to do some research before making comments.
The move from Windows 3.1 through Vista have all been the same
with every upgrade. First few months to year no one seems to like it.
Why?

*Slow
*Poor Drivers
*Lack of programs

And the biggest problem that most people don't seem to document.
It's something new to learn and get use to.
That is (My Opinion) the biggest gripe for users, It takes longer (at first)
to find and or do anything. So the new OS MUST suck...

Finally most (not all) crashes that occur with in windows is actually caused by
hardware faults or poorly written drivers. So M$ took out what they could
from kernel and made it so when a driver crashed windows wouldn't puke
on the user and possibly the PC could recover and continue working w/o much
if any hassle to the user...

Keep in mind this is my opinion....


Yes, each "upgrade" of os does add crap. It would be nice if games were made for Linux (far superior OS), but that is very limited. If M$ actually helped out with drivers/programs, etc Vista might do a little better, but it's still a extreme resource hog=takes away from the game's resources=hense the DECREASE in speed. So I'm NOT even talking about crashes, or the sound blaster x-fi can't has issues with vista and nforce chipsets (look up their forum). Bigger does NOT mean better, after all Linux can run on a 486 still. Improvements doesn't mean two steps back. Maybe you should do research before commenting...

As i said before, Directx10 games do show promise, but obviously that's Vista only. So naturally the speed up will be for Vista (thanks to Directx10). It still will be a while before we get a nice amount of Directx10 games out there.

I will admit i missed out on the newer vista vs xp test.
Quote:
Wow, sounds like basic MS hate to me. The drivers keep getting better and better. Explain this:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardwar [...] ce_update/

It seems the frame rate gap beteween XP and Vista has pretty much dissapeared. SLI is working. And things are generally pretty good.


It is nice the drivers are being improved. But that move (you have to admit) has been very slow. I'm surprised they did it before the First service pack for vista. Nice change for once. Now if soundblaster can correct theirs..
September 30, 2007 11:45:06 PM

Are you so young that you do not remember how much XP sucked when it was released? Until service pack 1 was released many people including a lot of businesses would not touch XP with a ten foot pole. When SP1 was released, more people and businesses jumped on board to xp bandwagon. SP1 was released almost a year after xp was released. It has alway been that a new MS release sucks until the first service pack is released. The same is true with vista, until more hardware support and driver support is added it will suck. Usually when the service pack is released, the hardware and driver support comes with it.

IMO once SP1 was released xp became better than 2000 pro.
October 1, 2007 9:16:26 AM

Again with WindowsXP I was one of the people that adopted the operating system early. I can remember quite well back then when Windows98 was better for gaming than WindowsXP was, but then again XP was much more stable than 98 ever was as 98 was built on top of DOS. But as has been previously stated, at about the same time Service Pack One was released. All the people using 98 for gaming realised that there was no point anymore. Because all the games that were being released at that time would either run just as well if not better on WindowsXP.

Now you say Vista is simply the second coming of Millennium Edition. That fact is just simply untrue, for one all that ME was and why it was so bad was because it was simply an update on Windows98. Essentially the same operating system, with a few new bugs added to the mix. WindowsXP however was not just a rehash of Windows98 nor was it as simple as being a rehash of Windows2000, which by the way was a business operating system that was almost no use for gamers. They combined the two operating systems cutting the bad bits from them both and keeping the good bits to leave a very stable and powerful operating system.

People stayed with 98 for a bit because it was better for gaming, giving you a few more FPS but the main point was that it allowed you to run games with less memory than XP. 2000 was indeed more stable than XP but it was not very good at multimedia or gaming, and lets not remember the horrendous boot up time for 2000. People dropped that fairly quickly for XP too.

Now with Vista, you say it’s just a simple update to XP with a few more bugs added in to the mix, just like ME was to 98. But wait, Vista is nothing like WindowsXP. Vista was natively written to run in 64Bit, it was also natively written to run with DirextX10. Oh and it also has had its kernel completely rewritten, which makes it much more stable and much more efficient with drivers for your hardware than XP ever was. And lets not forget that the Windows desktop now runs under Direct3D and not the clunky and often slow Direct Draw. Meaning that the day-to-day running of your desktop and your software is much more smooth than XP could even hope of being.

Now would you get it out of your head that Vista is anything like ME because it is not. The exact same things where said about XP when it was first released and now they are being said about Vista. I see this as a good sigh, because look how good XP turned out to be. Simple fact is Vista is here to stay, you can keep moaning about it or just give in and try it, hell you never know you might like it.
October 1, 2007 11:36:52 AM

i been useing XP from when it came out seemed to work ok for me i could understand why my older DOS games would not work on it as it did not realy have dos on XP

i would of expected vista to be alot better but it is blotware compleared to Any of its other windows that have ever been made

for the most part you just need 2gb of ram to use vista (3/4gb for gameing) and maybe an faster cpu (dual core min forget single)

games are ok on it but work better on XP, Sound is an other one as well but that is creative not bothering to even start makeing drivers for vista when Beta was out

not saying Vista is like ME its stable for the most part (Very high level setting seem to crash my vista)

unlike Vista i was useing XP on day one it was out (just make sure you was behind an rotuer thats all {worms} SP2 fixed that) and was very stable for me it would only crash if there was an hardware problem
October 1, 2007 1:36:44 PM

“Bloatware”

Were was the last time I heard that word… oh that’s right it was when I was hearing about how WindowsXP ran 7 years ago. Nothing ever changes does it? DOS games didn’t work on XP? Sure a few never but the vast majority did, it had command prompt, which was XP’s DOS emulator. Hell most of the games back then did not use DOS anyway, unless you where trying to play games that were over 5 years old. You have to remember, the games that never worked on XP did not work because the developer gave up supporting the game years before hand. The only reason some games don’t work on vista is for the same reason. The developer does not want to spend money updating the game, this is not Microsoft’s fault.

Also Vista needing more than 2GB’s where did you get that? I was playing the Crysis beta last night and I checked the ram counter on my system, which has 2GB’s, and it said 88% physical ram usage. Vista does not need more than 2GB’s yet, although it will in about a year’s time I would guess. But when memory costs £40 for 2GB’s, really who’s complaining.

I have a Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro, installed the Vista 64Bit drivers and it runs well. The music sounds great and all the games work well with it. It has never even crashed like it does in XP and on top of that it works very well in 7.1 mode with me having more options than I ever did with the creative drivers on XP.

Also what is this forget single core business, I was running Vista x64 on my 3500+ single core for about 5 month before I changed to something faster. The only reason I did change to something faster was because, I might as well update now so I don’t have to in the future. My 3500+ ran extremely well with Vista and would load everything just as fast as it did in XP and games like Total War and Black & White 2 ran just as well on Vista as they did on XP.
October 1, 2007 6:38:28 PM

computertech82 said:
If you want to compare, run the games on Winxp vs vista. You will see Vista is a peice of crap (winows ME version 2). It's been proven over and over and over Vista is SLOWER then winxp. This is just one example:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/29/xp-vs-vista/

Only ONE game actually uses TRUE directx10 (not a ported directx9 game with directx10 extensions added), that will actually run slightly better in vista. I won't be holding my beath for more games that actually run better in vista then XP.


It's sad to see such ignorance, not to mention arrogance. Vista is another Win ME? Are you still comparing an unpatched Vista with release day drivers to a fully patched XP? Wake up and check out the new reports. Vista is maturing faster than XP did. I have used both OS from Beta stages.

Does Vista use more resources than XP? Yes, of course it does. You can't compare a 6 year old OS with a new one. Have you forgotten how much of a hardware jump was required between 98 and XP? All that does is raise the entry level bar. If you have a decently powered system, Vista runs as well as XP does. On my system, Vista 64 actually runs smoother than XP.

Gaming performance is not Vista's fault. It's the drivers that are holding back the power. Or they WERE, as ATi drivers are actually giving better FPS (in most cases) than in XP: http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_c...

NVidia's drivers for Vista aren't as mature (sad, since they were out first), but the difference isn't massive either: http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_c...

ATi's drivers still need a LOT of work, to get up to speed in DX 10 performance. But that's to be expected given how radical a shift DX10 is from previous DX versions.

Hope the above links teach you the wisdom of researching before mouthing off.
October 3, 2007 3:07:25 AM

Whoa! Thanks for the info and links... interesting.
This is the thread I was looking for when I registered w/THGforumz.
NOW I have a much better vista of things. I'll stay with XP32bit. for about another 3-6 months.
Does anyone know when the 1st service pack for Vista is coming? OR did I miss that... "?"
October 3, 2007 9:21:13 PM

cafuddled said:

Now with Vista, you say it’s just a simple update to XP with a few more bugs added in to the mix, just like ME was to 98. But wait, Vista is nothing like WindowsXP. Vista was natively written to run in 64Bit, it was also natively written to run with DirextX10. Oh and it also has had its kernel completely rewritten, which makes it much more stable and much more efficient with drivers for your hardware than XP ever was. And lets not forget that the Windows desktop now runs under Direct3D and not the clunky and often slow Direct Draw. Meaning that the day-to-day running of your desktop and your software is much more smooth than XP could even hope of being.


You just stepped into it, calling vista a 64bit os. Explain 32bit vistas that has been selling all this time then. Opps, gotcha.
And to stop from making yourself look stupid, look up directX and Direct draw (AKA part of DIRECTX).
http://msdn.microsoft.com/archive/default.asp?url=/arch...
As for issues:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=28215
That's just one issue, others include laptops, hybernate and other various task.
It's why XP has been EXTENDED in being sold still. It's why businesses will NOT upgrade. Vista has issues that has to be fixed first.
The SP1 is suppose to fix alot, including PERFORMANCE. look it up before you talk.
SP1 seems to be due first quarter 2008. That MIGHT be the time for vista. If businesses upgrade to it, then you know it's stable and compatible enough for most things you want. And note sp1 will have Directx10.1 which REQUIRES new hardware to run it (take advantage of it). It will be, at least, backward compatible.
October 4, 2007 8:48:50 AM

You don’t know much do you, the GUI in WindowsXP was rendered using the old fashioned Direct Draw that has been used since Windows95. Direct3D (note I never said Direct Draw was not part of DirectX) is it’s first time being used for an operating systems GUI. Not only does this make the desktop much more smooth when running, it also makes it more powerful. On top of that Windows Vista is Microsoft’s first Operating system that has been developed to be completely compatible with 64Bit computing. It is nothing like WindowsXP 64Bit that is simply WindowsXP with 64Bit extensions. Also 32Bit Vista is only about to appease the people who have not upgraded to 64Bit hardware making it more accessible to the general public.

You really need to take heed of what some people say and absorb information not let it bounce off or choose the parts you like. Also what I have written about is completely up to date with all the latest drivers from all hardware manufacturers and the latest updates from Microsoft’s website. I am not predigest towards either Operating System since up till my hardware update two weeks ago I have been using WindowsXP for all my gaming. Windows Vista with new hardware is just as compatible as WindowsXP was for gaming now. So I wrote this little peace to share what I have experienced first hand.

Just to add to my original list, I have now tested Winrar, DivX, Demon Tools and Oblivion on Vista 64Bit. Oblivion runs perfectly in Vista, I had all the settings set to max with exception to AA as it would not let me turn that on with HDR enabled with a resolution of 1680X1050. I went to the most intensive part of the game that I know of and the gameplay was as smooth as a hot knife through butter. One thing to note, I did have to minimize the sidebar when running the game due to it appearing a few times in game. The game also does not alt tab very well but that is only a very minor issue. Winrar, DivX and Demon Tools all run very well with no graphical glitches. Just to end up, when running oblivion I noted that my system was only using 58% of the physical ram, not much for a game that drags PC’s to it’s knees.
October 6, 2007 5:31:30 AM

computertech82 said:
Vista has issues that has to be fixed first.
The SP1 is suppose to fix alot, including PERFORMANCE. look it up before you talk.
SP1 seems to be due first quarter 2008. That MIGHT be the time for vista. If businesses upgrade to it, then you know it's stable and compatible enough for most things you want. And note sp1 will have Directx10.1 which REQUIRES new hardware to run it (take advantage of it). It will be, at least, backward compatible.


Do you at least use Vista?. I have Vista 64 installed and works like a charm. Sure, I waited 6 months before installing it but now I'm very pleased with it. The system is much more responsive than XP. In games there was a difference because XP was much faster, but with the new drivers (since 163.69) they are the same or almost the same. And about DX10.1, you won't need "new" hardware, because the developers will continue making games DX9 and DX10 compatible. Or you think they will left the 99% of the market out?. Please have some logic here.
!