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Product: Windows Vista (32 & 64-bit)
Company: Microsoft
See Pricing  Purchase at
Review By: Andre Da Costa

with Byron Hinson & Fernando Fhualpa contributing

Graphics Performance

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Pricing & System Requirements
Setup & Installation
4: Initial Impressions
5: Windows Activation 2 & Daily Usage
6: Connectivity & Networking
7: Application Compatibility, Control Panel, & Security
8: Windows Defender
9: Windows Internet Explorer 7
10: Windows Calendar, Mail, Meeting Space

11: Multimedia & Media Center
12: Windows Photo Gallery
13: Windows DVD Maker
14: Gaming in Windows Vista
15: DirectX 10 & Open AL
16: Graphic Card Performance & Misc Gaming
17: Windows Media Player 11
18: Windows Sidebar
19: Advanced Features

20: Backup, System Restore & Recovery
21: Windows ReadyBoost
22: Diagnostics & Performance Tools
23: Help/Support, Themes
24: The Forgotten Children
25: Developer Technologies in Vista
26: Developer Technologies 2
27: Memory Performance
Conclusion & Online Resources

Gaming and Graphics Performance Ė Windows Vista RTM against Windows XP SP2

All of the tests below we run at 1600x1200, the simple reason for this is that it means we test the GPU performance under Windows Vista.

The tests were ran with in the following setup:

  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (2.4GHz/1MB)

  • Motherboard: Asus A8N-SLI (Socket 939)

  • Chipset: NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI

  • Chipset Drivers: NVIDIA nForce 6.86/Vista RC1

  • Hard Disk: Samsung Spinpoint 250GB

  • Memory: OCZ PC4800 (512MB x 4)

  • Video Card: ATI Radeon X1900 XTX

  • Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.9/Vista RC1

Game Title

Windows Vista

Windows XP SP2




Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (No AA)



Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (4x AA



Battlefield 2 (No AA)



Battlefield 2 (4x AA)






FEAR (4x AA)



As you can see from the table it isnít a pretty sight, but its hard to judge the full performance you will get in gaming on Windows Vista simply because of the lack of drivers around at the RTM release. The drivers we have used here are just release candidates and it will take a while after the RTM release of Vista before they start to really get to grips with getting the best performance out of their drivers.

Also remember that the 3D desktop is demanding and in some of the tests we have done it feels as if the 3D desktop isnít running at a reduced level like we were told to expect it to. Finally remember that some of these titles use DirectSound so dropping back to software based sound drivers means a performance hit too.

Miscellaneous Gaming

Games Included With Vista

For the casual gamer, Windows Vista includes multiple games. There will be old favorites like Minesweeper, Solitaire, FreeCell, Hearts, and Spider Solitaire with new and improved graphics.

Windows Vista includes a variety of new and classic games, including Solitaire.

Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate will include a 3D chess game and a Mahjong game, and genuine Windows users on these editions will be able to download other new games too.

Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate include new specialty games like Mahjong.

Gaming Safety

Windows Vista includes a Games Explorer interface that groups all of the games on the system in one, easy-to-find location. Furthermore, computer administrators (parents) will have full control over what owners of various accounts (children) will be able to play. Through Windows Vista's built-in parental controls, parents will be able to limit what games children can launch based on the games ESRB ratings in the US, and applicable regional ratings in other countries. If parents don't want their children playing anything more objectionable than games rated Teen, they can lock out ratings of Mature (17+) and Adult Only. In addition to ratings-based restrictions, parents can make decisions based on specific content and time of day.

Parental controls help parents restrict the types of games their children are playing; reducing the risk of exposure to adult or violent content.


 ę DirectX 10 & Open AL Windows Media Player 11 Ľ


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