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:
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:
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.