Friday, July 25, 2008

Windows Gaming Performance: Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3

Since Vista's first release in the winter of 2006, many a gamer have sworn not to upgrade to the latest OS because of its poor application compatibility and driver errors. Since Windows Vista received its first and highly anticipated service pack in April, many of its obvious flaws have been smoothed out making Vista a viable OS for many users. XP has also recently received its third (and final) service pack update which has resolved many security issues and bug fixes. With both of these operating systems getting a very recent upgrade through a service pack, one glaring question remains that begs to be answered by all PC gamers.

Just how well do these operating systems stack up against each other in the gaming performance department?

While Vista has a distinct advantage over XP, mainly due to DirectX10 compatibility, PC gamers have largely ignored this unique feature and have refused to switch to vista in favor of XP's more reliable system features. In order to test XP Service Pack 3 vs Upgraded Vista SP1 gaming performance, an average PC was built in order to test what most users would be likely to experience. The specs are as follows:

Computer Specs

The testing was conducted through the use of two identical hard drives, one with each operating system, and physically interchanging the hard drive cable after each reboot. Two benchmark tests were used, PCMark05 and 3DMark06, as well as three games, Crysis, World in Conflict, and Supreme Commander. While testing each game DX9 was used as well as two presets. A low details preset at 1024x768 resolution, and a high details preset plus 4X anti-aliasing at 19200x1200 resolution. The results are as follows:

PCMark05 Benchmark Results

3DMark06 Benchmark Results

World in Conflict Frames Per Second Results

Supreme Commander Frames Per Second Results

Crysis Frames Per Second Results

If you were expecting a huge performance drop between Windows XP and Windows Vista, sorry for the disappointment. As you can plainly see through the test results, Vista's gaming problems have largely been solved and the performance gap between XP and Vista has finally been closed.

Source: ExtremeTech

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Can E3 Pick Itself Up for Next Years Event

To recap, E3 drew more than 80,000 attendees in 2006, but big companies complained their costs were skyrocketing. The Entertainment Software Association, which sponsors the show, shifted the 2007 E3 event to Santa Monica and carved back attendance to 5,000, mostly journalists, in order to cover up some of the costs. This year, the show was held in the cavernous Los Angeles Convention Center, but the attendance did not resemble the 2006 showing at all. Instead only a mere 5,000 showed up to what had hoped to be the biggest gaming convention of 2008.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter comments on how E3 is "headed for extinction, unless the publishers and console manufacturers wake up to the fact that nobody cares about the show anymore."

"The show was small in scope, and the spectacle of E3 is dead. The Los Angeles Convention Center concourse was as quiet as a college library during summer, with little to attract media attention. The main game display area was similar in size to a school cafeteria (as compared to filling the entire convention center), and the "fireworks effect" of past shows was reserved for the evening parties."

"The lack of a spectacle will likely keep media away in the future, the lack of surprises will keep retailers away, and the lack of interaction with management will likely keep investors away. Without these three constituencies, the show will likely lose its relevance. We strongly believe that E3 should be held no later than early June (when companies can meet with investors and when some “secrets” have yet to be revealed), and believe that the spectacle should be restored by increasing the size of the show space."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sony Cable Embraces Wireless Technology

Sony Electronics has become the next company to embrace the Tru2Way, behind LG Electronics, Panasonic, and Samsung. Tru2Way is a wireless technology that enables televisions and other devices to receive encrypted wireless signals without the need to install a box. Apart from simply eliminating the need for a cable box, this technology will allow cable companies to offer products that can unlock encrypted channels and decrypt and record cable programming.

With Sony being one of the largest television manufacturers in the world, the adoption of Tru2Way will encourage many other companies to embrace the technology. Currently technologies such as TiVo use cablecards to decode the video and thus the, Tru2Way technology is currently incompatible with the TiVo technology. However, TiVo has expressed its interest into looking into the Tru2Way technology.