Vista Slow? Maybe. My 10 weeks on Vista|

The blogosphere has had a lot of chatter since Vista was released, mostly about Vista being a "failure", whatever that is.  Ed Bott has a counterpost  (Vista slow? Says who?) in which he quotes Carl Campos‘ 10 week experience with Vista.  Here is my experience:

I’m dissatisfied with Vista’s performance, but not enough to go back to XP.  I bought my motherboard (an MSI K9N-NeoF) to replace a dying motherboard, but also for Vista in the (then-near) future.  I have an Athlon64 3000 single-core processor with 1 gig 667 MHz DDR2 RAM and a nVidia GeForce 7600GS. On paper, it’s a very good configuration, except that the processor’s a little underpowered;  my budget was too small for dual-core.  Vista should have worked great on it.

Actually it does.  Mostly.

I’m using the nVidia chipset drivers that came with Vista, and they are obviously not optimized at all.  I get lots of pauses and brief hangs which I attribute to heavy disk activity.  Occasionally, the machine will lock up with disk activity (frozen mouse pointer) for up to several minutes at a time.

I have tracked performance down to several causes.  One cause is Microsoft’s very aggressive tuning of the Desktop Search engine built into Vista.  It runs virtually at all times.

I also run Office 2007–including Outlook 2007.  THIS program’s performance issues deserve blog posts of their own, and they do!  Just google "slow Outlook 2007".

Lastly, the nVidia nForce chipset drivers are dog slow and unreliable.  I’m already in an uncomfortable spot since the most recent drivers (the February 2nd, 2007 release as I write this.) made my system more unstable, the SATA driver in particular.  So I’m waiting for the next release and in the meantime putting up with a little slowness. 

I haven’t said anything about Aero or UAC.  I have a very good video card so Aero worked for me with good performance throughout.  I like Aero.  I don’t use Flip3D much but I do appreciate the live thumbnails when I want to watch video to see if the commercial’s over while checking email.

UAC?  I don’t completely understand the fuss over it.  Mac OSX has a similar control and Linux of course has sudo. (Linux people say that UAC is inferior to sudo but I can’t understand their explaination so far, and I’m an experienced Linux user.)

UAC could be tuned somewhat so that I could open management consoles (hello Perfmon and Event Log) without invoking UAC, but for the most part I don’t often see a prompt.  (And I get around it by using PowerShell and starting it with admin credentials anyway.)

Do I like Vista, still?  Yes. 


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