Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How to Make Vista Run Like XP (Sort of)

In an effort to further clarify our previous test results, we decided to experiment a bit with Vista to see how it would perform with a majority of its newer UI elements and background services turned off. In the process, we believe we've come up with a roadmap of sorts for how to "make Vista run like XP" (sort of):

  1. Shutdown "Unnecessary" Services - This means killing all those new Vista goodies, like SuperFetch and the WSearch indexer. CPU cycles are a precious commodity - use them wisely.
  2. Ditch the UI - Use the Advanced System Settings dialog to change the Appearance settings to "adjust for best performance." It's like taking a trip back in 1995!
  3. Drop the Resolution/Color Depth - This helps to mitigate any sluggishness in the newer Vista-model drivers. 1024x768 with 16-bit color should be good for most video adapters - and it looks "real sharp" stretched across that new 21 inch LCD!
  4. Handicap XP - Most Windows XP users are running Office 2000, XP or 2003. Upgrade the XP config with Office 2007 to ensure that you get a nice, entirely unrepresentative (of the real world) hybrid scenario.

Do the above and you'll be rewarded by a much closer net experience. Instead of being ~2x slower than XP, Vista in this new, "bare metal" configuration is *only* (drum roll, please)...40% slower!

Bottom Line: Even with the OS stripped to the core, and with all of the new eye-candy and CPU-sucking background services turned off, Vista is *still* 40% slower than XP (SP3) at a variety of business productivity tasks. Time to ask Santa for that new PC for Christmas!


Brian said...

You guys are doing a great job at lighting a fire under Microsoft to do something about this Vista performance. All I had was anecdotal evidence that Vista was slow, but now I have objective data. All computer users want today are "snappy" applications and OSes and trouble-free computing. Who wants all this show?

I have continued to recommend XP to my customer and will continue to do so.

Now, here are some suggestions for data I would love to have:
1. The performance effect of deleting cookies/temp internet files.
2. The performance effect of defragmenting.
3. The performance effects of each antivirus vendors' software.

Anonymous said...

You're recommending shutting down SuperFetch, which allows for efficient use of RAM?

Coupled with ReadyBoost, apps launch faster. There are plenty of articles on various websites on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Efficient nothing. I caught superfetch loading videos (via Process Monitor) that had already been played, weighing about 230MB each. Loading about 1.5GB of stuff I'd probably never use again.

Even Linux also consumes most my memory for cache but it seems most of the time that when I open a program it has to wait (and so do I) for memory to be freed first.

Anonymous said...

When you ran the test without the "effects" and made the platform look like XP did you install a different driver or did you keep the WDDM/LDDM driver? In the display properties it will say if the driver is LDDM/WDDM based. What you need to do is install an XP DISPLAY DRIVER because the WDDM/LDDM display driver will still have some overhead that the XP display driver wouldn't even in the case of the classic desktop!!!! Perhaps we can go down another 20%

Anonymous said...

Or just let runnig XP. I really like the visual styles that are integrated into Vista, but there are too many things that aren´t logical to me in Vista.
So I gave my XP the Vista-Style by installing a skin. As for me it was the best solution.

Anonymous said...

server 2008 seems to be significantly faster than vista

server 2008 is actually just about usable on 512, and runs just about as fast as 2003 does on 1gb.

If you strip out all the server bits, tweak the caching so it focuses on programs instead of services, and reenable things like audio, then it is a really good workstation OS

i dont believe ms when they sav vista and 2008 have the same kernel. There must be some tweaks in there somewhere because it just seems a lot better.

Anonymous said...

ROFL I have no problem with Vistas speed and I run Ultimate.

If you are having problems...I suggest you not have a pc at all as you need to know how to keep a pc working.

Anonymous said...

Vista is for idiots who don't know how to use DOS much less configure an NT system. That, or those who think they are "l33t" because they have their "cool graphics" and can't use a PC without graphical leggo blocks/icons.

Anyone using Vista by choice is a fucking idiot. (yes, this means you mr. "rofl" there). It does NOT run fast. It does NOT work well if you're a REAL programmer. It does NOT work well if you work extensively with hardware. It was designed to empty your wallet and keep the bs market of microsoft "innovation" alive by wowing children with new eye-candy and a need for more powerful hardware to do absolutely nothing new or productive. If you actually like Vista, then you need to sell your PC now and get a mac, because you're too stupid to know the difference between a real operating system gui and something designed to make you a tool.

Anonymous said...

I'm the guy in the office that gives recommendations on when we upgrade our Departments computers. I have Vista on my home PC b/c it came with a new PC I bought. I figured I'd give it a shot and see if there were any benefits to upgrading PC's in our Department. In general, it's not too bad once your acclimated to where everything is. The main beef I have is that I want to be able to turn off the UAC and not have to use that 'Run As Admin' crap. If my user is part of the 'Admin' group, there's a reason for it. I don't care that you added this crap b/c some people do need protecting from themselves. But for crying out loud, give use the option to turn this crap off so it'll at least run like XP.

The other topic I wanted to give my 2 cents on was users complaining about how much it sucks up resources and to get the speed up you have to disable a bunch of eye-candy features. Shut-up and quite being so cheap. While I agree that some of those toys are useless, I like to customize my GUI's to change the scenery. You'll have to come to grips that if you want to see all that flash, you'll need a GPU that has enough horsepower to keep up. They aren't that expensive these days.

Anonymous said...

As to the "added" eye candy, I would guess 90% of gamers don't see a difference in graphics difference. As to the need to upgrade and "being cheap" most people don't need a power house of a computer. They don't game, they don't do video editing, they don't need most of the added crap that vista has, and thus they don't need Vista.
I am about to pull Vista off my wife's laptop and put XP on it because it offers better functionality for her. XP is jsut more efficient. In all reality I would have preferred windows 98 to XP but compatibility forced an upgrade.
I got an idea, how about M$soft makes it so we can buy just the OS kernel and than custom build our OS from there. Oh wait, that is what Linux is for.

But enough, bottom line Vista = suck. You know there is a problem when an upgrade means going back to XP.

Anonymous said...

Okay here just to clarify a few matters
1) Your not an Idiot if you choose to use vista
2) VISTA comes bundled with most new PC's a lot of people dont have a choice
3) Yes vista has a much larger Kernal
4) Not every vone is a programmer
5) VISTA does have a pretty GUI
6)OS X is way different to VISTA
7) If you dont like it do what i do DELETE it and install Linux/XP/Server 2003 which ever suits you.

Now that that is cleaerd up i would like to say stop flaming!flaming behind anon is just sad
if you going to flame at least be brave about it and show who you are? if your name was attached how quickly would take back what you wrote i wonder?

Poetry said...

Most people (including me) just want performance and ease of use.

I just want the power house known as XP back to run my games. I have a top of the range computer that is still slow because of Vista! I mean, I have 4GB RAM!

Also I simply don't care about aero, I just want a quick computer.