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Conclusions: Should I Stick With XP?

Gameplay Stinks with RTM Vista and Current Drivers
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Image from Crytek - Being able to interact with your environment in ways never possible before while making it look so real... that is what I call immersion.

Vista looks to be an interesting platform for multimedia, productivity and games. Microsoft has put a lot of resources into making Vista look its best. A lot hinges on the hardware vendors. Microsoft may have included basic hardware driver builds so the user experience on the desktop looks cool but it takes a robust driver to get your games right. AMD needs to work on its OpenGL performance as well as work out any kinks I noted along the way. Across the aisle, Nvidia needs to clean up the bugs, such as the driver installer, and places where performance takes the hardest hit. They both have until launch to fix the problems we're seeing now.

In its current state Vista is too unstable at least from a graphics perspective and cumbersome in a number of ways to be attractive to gamers and even professional consumers. I'm not too keen on some of the networking issues I had to deal with in transferring stored performance data and getting the test system ready. Some of the gadgets for the desktop looked cool but lost their pizzazz within 30 minutes of installing a new one. Pong and Tic-Tac-Toe tend to get boring after a while and some of the other gizmos are built into applications I currently use.

I do look forward to some of the games that are scheduled for this year such as Supreme Commander, which will make good use of geometry shaders, and the star of 2007, Crysis. Like other platform renewals, Vista will take a year to achieve reliability and stability and up to an additional year for data and infrastructure critical environments to move to it.

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