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Windows 7 Gaming Performance Tested

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the take-with-a-beta-grain-of-salt dept.

PC Games (Games) 179

Timmus writes "Gamers holding onto Windows XP may not have to fear sluggish performance when Windows 7 debuts. While Windows Vista's gaming performance was pretty spotty at launch, the Windows 7 beta build seems to handle most games well. Firingsquad has tested the Windows 7 beta against Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 on midrange and high-end gaming PCs across 7 different games. While the beta stumbles in a couple of cases, overall it performs within a few percentage points of Windows XP, actually outrunning XP in multiple benchmarks."

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DRM? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620333)

But the real question is, will they ditch the DRM? Oh wait.. it's Microsoft.. nah.

Re:DRM? (-1, Offtopic)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620441)

Why is this modded troll? It's the *ONLY* statistic I care about.

It's why I have xp and not Vista, and it's why i'm hoping against hope that game devlopers will start coding for Linux.

Re:DRM? (-1, Offtopic)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620607)

mod ancestors up :)

Re:DRM? (2, Insightful)

jsoderba (105512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620723)

What DRM are you concerned about? Be specific.

The only DRM that is a real concern to me is WGA, and that is in XP as well.

Re:DRM? (5, Informative)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621383)

This post deserves more coverage here. The "additional" DRM in Vista (And 7) does not in any way affeact anything you could do on XP, OTHER than being able to play HD content from a Blu-ray or HD-DVD (if you still have one lying around) device.

It doesn't monitor your MP3s, it doesn't scan your XviDs or anything like that, it's just HDCP crap. If you have a problem with this, go complain to the likes of the MPAA who forced this crap on us, not Microsoft who just wanted to make sure future content would play on future OSs.

Re:DRM? (0, Redundant)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621435)

Mod parent Informative.

Re:DRM? (2, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621677)

Mod parent Informative.

No, don't.

Google "Protected Media Path" instead.

Vista provides process isolation and continually monitors what kernel-mode software is loaded. If an unverified component is detected, then Vista will stop playing DRM content, rather than risk having the content copied.

Re:DRM? (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622069)

Presumably that is talking about while the content is playing.

Plus, it's only checking the kernel for tampering (pretty sensible with the threat of viruses forever hanging over Windows's head), not scanning your mp3 collection.

Re:DRM? (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622561)

When "tampering" means "any software not approved by MS". Basically you can choose between running custom software, and watching DRM-infested media.

Still only affects the media, but it's evil as hell.

Re:DRM? (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26623003)

No, you can choose between custom kernel mode software, and watching blu-ray / HD-DVD.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to take some random bloke's word for it that their kernel mode software isn't going to trash my Windows kernel or use kernel hooks to keylog or spy on me etc. I'd much rather trust the people who made the kernel itself to say what's safe. On Linux that would mean only installing kernel stuff from distro repros, on Windows it means driver signing.

Not that I'm expecting to watch blu-ray or HD-DVD on my pc for quite some time.

Re:DRM? (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26623485)

Why would I have to trust some random person's word? Why couldn't I write it myself? Anyway, it's your choice if you want to trust a random guy in the first place. The PC is no longer yours; it belongs to Microsoft, and any unapproved use cripples it.

Re:DRM? (5, Insightful)

hab136 (30884) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620781)

Why is this modded troll? It's the *ONLY* statistic I care about.

Was it informative? No.
Was it interesting? No.
Was it funny? No.
Was it an emotional remark, offering no information or reasoning? Yes. --> Troll

Now, a reasonable discussion of why you won't purchase anything with DRM might be informative, but that veers into off-topic - since the article is about performance of Windows 7, not whether or not you will buy it, or how you feel about DRM.

Re:DRM? (0, Redundant)

Archimagus (978734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620903)

Wheres my mod points when I need the. Mod this dude up.

Re:DRM? (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621105)

I agree totally; GGP is off topic and uninformative. It is, however, a valid question, and one which would be pivotal in my decision to buy this new OS. I don't care what FPS I'll get playing FarCry 2 if I have to install cripplewear to achieve it. No doubt many folk here agree. I don't need to specify which particular DRM I am concerned about; The very idea of it being required is enough to put me off. It's a matter of principle, like so many other areas of protest. I take personal offence at being treated like a crook at every opportunity, and I'll keep taking offence, and telling people why, as often as possible. After all, there's no better way to change policy than by cutting off the offending party's revenue stream, and telling them why you're doing it.

I stopped buying Big4 music for exactly the same reason. I know it's all "drops in the ocean", but drops start streams, which start rivers, which carve landscapes.

All we need is lots more drops who would carve the landscape they want to see.

Re:DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26623311)

And exactly what crippleware do you have to install with Win7 (or Vista) to get decent FPS?

Re:DRM? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621175)

hab136, you are being extremely unfair. How will the OP get his views affirmed by everyone else?

Demanding that people use logic and reasoning is extremely elitist.

Re:DRM? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26623317)

Hmm, perhaps like this guy [] does.

Re:DRM? (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621301)

Gotta love how the original off-topic, troll post gets a +1 insightful but the post that points out that it's very clearly off-topic and a troll gets modded down... as a troll.

It makes it all the more mystifying that people claim there's no groupthink on Slashdot.

Re:DRM? (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621339)

and it's why i'm hoping against hope that game devlopers will start coding for Linux.

They might start coding for linux as soon as linux support DRM :(

Re:DRM? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621415)

It's a statistic unrelated to the article though. Game publishers implement DRM on their games, not the OS. Windows 7's gaming performance is being tested because moving from XP to Vista saw a serious drop in performance; this story has nothing to do with DRM.

Still the same story, mostly. (5, Interesting)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620339)

Their benchmarks hardly show a conclusive improvement for Windows 7. Vista mostly beats it in DX10, and XP still beats it about half the other benchmarks. It *does* manage to beat Vista in DX9... hardly exciting, but something.

Their mid-range also seems a bit ambitious - more like mid-range of new hardware for serious gamers, which means high-end for the rest of us.

The most interesting paragraph for me:
"because Windows 7 felt more ready to go once the desktop loaded up. Both XP and Vista took at least an extra minute after the desktop loaded to be ready to run applications, while Windows 7 ran Firefox without stuttering or hesitation. "
Now thats something worthwhile. The 2 seconds of "boot time" is irrelevant, being able to use the desktop immediately is a real improvement.

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620463)

>Their mid-range also seems a bit ambitious - more like mid-range of new hardware for serious gamers, which means high-end for the rest of us.


AMD Athlon X2 5000+ Black Edition
Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5
EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
nVidia ForceWare 181.20
Seagate 320GB 7200RPM SATAII ST303204N1A1AS-RK

sounds about right to me none of its less than a year old and none of it was top of the line then and now is even cheaper you could probably build it for less than $400

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620713)

Priced out a system with almost the exact specs for about $450. I chose a nice case and a faster CPU however. If you can do without the extra PCIe 16x slot, you can get a decent motherboard for about $70 bucks less. Further if you aren't a complete tool you won't go for the overpriced OCZ memory, because for the same cost you can get twice the amount at a similar speed.

So we can safely say you can get a system with better specs for about $370. In my opinion that isn't even mid-range, it's low-end. I don't know what the GP is whining about unless he's still on a Pentium 2 or something.

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621535)

If by "complete tool" you mean people who pick memory to increase stability when overclocking, then yes, tools. Of course there's cheaper memory for stock speeds, but that's not the point of the OCZ high-end modules, is it? Tool.

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (1)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621913)

A tool is someone who spends more, just to overclock hardware. You do realize you're buying faster memory with a slower label on it right? In effect you're only letting the manufacturer get out of guaranteeing the memory will run at the speed it is designed to go at. ...pc gaming enthusiast fail!!

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (1)

ConanG (699649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622277)

If you aren't a complete tool, you won't get overpriced OCZ modules when building a low/medium end system. The memory speed gains of OCZ over generic modules on such a system isn't a going to make much of a difference... for a much greater cost.

I don't think the GP meant high-end modules are always a ripoff. I think he meant it in the context of this system build. Those modules have their place, but a sub-$400 system is not it.

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622851)

Which do you think is going to make the system faster, 2GB of OMG 0vercl0cked ram or 4GB of normal stock clocked memory?

Amen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620537)

The 2 seconds of "boot time" is irrelevant, being able to use the desktop immediately is a real improvement.

Amen to that.
That's a feature that I can't get with Vista, XP, or OS X, and it's nearly the one I desire the strongest.

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620611)

Their benchmarks hardly show a conclusive improvement for Windows 7.

They don't show an improvement at all.

In most of the tests, even Vista is faster, and in the few where Windows 7 wins, it's by so little it could be within the margin of error of the tests. As the article says, the differences are most likely driver related rather than intrinsic to the OS.

And the reason they're so close is that Windows 7 IS Vista with a few tweaks and a hell of a lot better marketing.

Re:Still the same story, mostly. (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622813)

Also note that this is a beta against RTM releases.

It could play a role.

No Wine? (2, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620889)

Disappointing that they did not test performance on Linux with Wine or Crossover Games. Not every game will run on that but for those that do, the performance comparison could be very interesting. They could also test the performance of the games under ReactOS [] . Comparing several releases all from the same company, always from the same one company, gets boring after a while.

Re:No Wine? (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621849)

It's been done before and the results [] weren't pretty. Not only slower in every regard, but when it comes to more advanced features like Pixel Sharers, WINE gets completely smoked.

Linux isn't suited or intended for games. Results for this system simply aren't interesting to gamers.

Re:No Wine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26622045)

It seems rather strange that you're arguing that Linux isn't "suited for games" from the performance of a compatibility layer which translates DirectX calls to OpenGL in a known-to-be-incomplete fashion.

That's a bit like arguing that men aren't intended to wear clothes because they look funny wearing bras.

Re:No Wine? (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622107)

Well, I like Linux and all, but when it comes to gaming articles published on a big gaming site, posting Linux benchmarks would be a bit like comparing a train's performance on Russian versus European rail grades, interesting but kind of pointless.

I know a lot of people are holding on to Windows software for gaming (like myself, I would switch if it was easy to run all my games) and Linux has potential, but game publishers just aren't interested in such a financially insignificant market. They are the ones that need to make the push.

I suspect Apple realized this and that this was one of the reasons it introduced Boot Camp.

not worth it... (0, Troll)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620365)

overall it performs within a few percentage points of Windows XP

overall... not worth it.

Re:not worth it... (0, Redundant)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620795)

So the only reason to upgrade an operating system is to make things run faster? What about security, stability, user interface improvement, compatibility?

Re:not worth it... (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621145)

Which of those apply to either post-XP systems?

Re:not worth it... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621655)

I find the handling of administrator permissions to be much better in Vista.

I also would be surprised if Linux 2.9 is faster than 2.6. As machines get faster, so the operating system can take on more and more tasks, which inevitably means they get slower.

Re:not worth it... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622909)

2.6 is faster than 2.4 is faster than 2.2 for all but the most underpowered (embedded) systems. For almost all other workloads the continuing advancement of the scheduler and the removal of ever more global locks means the kernel is faster.

Printable version (5, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620449)

Re:Printable version (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620837)

No adds? Is that a plus?

Re:Printable version (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621369)

Loads faster, and has all of the information on one page for ease of browsing.

If they want to put up a picture of a product, or link google adwords, then fine. When they have obnoxious Flash animations which beep or whoop when you mouse-over them, or gifs which flash in psychadelic colours at tonic-clonic-seizure inducing speeds, I get a little irritated and subvert the system.

They'll learn one way or another.

N.B. The proxy I connect through blocks adverts by default anyway, but there are many who don't. By all means browse the site with adverts; It's how they make money. No point for me, though; I've never clicked on a web advertisment. I save them money by only using their bandwidth to download the text content.

Re:Printable version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621755)


Re:Printable version (1)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622065)

I save them money by only using their bandwidth to download the text content.

Good point. Never thought of that one.
My guess is when they show fancy pants flash adds, bandwidth costs would go up for whoever hosts the adds.

So for same-site hosted adds this is true, but maybe not for off-site hosted adds where bandwidth-to-revenue ratio might be different.

Re:Printable version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26622145)

he was making a crack at the fact that you said 'adds' and not 'ads'...

Re:Printable version (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622819)

It was a typo, but I get the reference. Grammar Pedant is Pedantic.

64bit or 32bit? (5, Interesting)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620479)

the story doesn't mention, but this is key.

first, they compare a 32bit xp to a 64bit vista; oranges to grapefruits.
next, they add windows 7 and don't mention if it's 32 or 64.
they did a decent job of being objective... but still fell short of offering us the information that we need. does 7 implement 32 and 64bit functionalities as smoothly as vista64? is it the kind of angry child that 64bit xp is?
bad grammar aside, this review is lacking some fundamental information that should have been disclosed on the first page.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (3, Informative)

kitgerrits (1034262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620619)

Keep in mind that XP x64 is not actually XP, but Win2003 x64 with some changes to make it look and feel like XP.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621071)

XP SP2 switched x86 XP to the Server 2003 kernel, IIRC.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622375)

Don't think so, as Server 2003 and XP x64 are still yet to get XP x86's 3rd service pack.

Their release version was roughly XP SP1, their SP1 was roughly XP's SP2, and they've had a random SP2 since which ISN'T XP's SP3. They're still separate.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622421)

Yep, exact same kernel and everything. On XP x64, I hear there's even a properties page somewhere that still says "Windows 2003 Server x64" (maybe it was even the sidebar of the start menu).

I wouldn't know firsthand, since I actually run Windows 2003 Server x64 on my laptop. []

It's OK, but I should disable the comment I'm forced to write for the log every time I want to shutdown or reboot.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621041)

Most people don't realize this but 64bit is slower then 32 bit. Every instruction is twice as long, Executables are larger, and more IO back and forth from CPU to memory.

This isn't realized because of the speed improvement from 16bit to 32bit computers back in the late 80's/early 90's. Because by then most 16bit Systems built and sold had Maximum Ram 640k already installed, and actually stalled development of systems with more Ram for a while. When the 32bit systems came out they had 1 Megabyte. Which was a huge improvement, to put this in context it would be almost like getting a computer with 8Gigs of RAM today. From being stuck with 4 Gigs.

However even todays 64 bit systems are not being sold with 4 gigs of RAM (normally). So we are not getting the benefit of a larger memory caching and more software designed to tax the memory more then the drive, Heck they are not even properly using duel core. So right now 64bit is slower then 32bit. Until software and hardware venders start making systems that better utalize the benefit of 64bit.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621651)

Actually 64 bit applications are generally a bit faster than the same code compiled for 32 bit. The 64 bit applications can take avantage of the 64 bit registers so more data stays in the core.

The 64 bit programs do use up more memory which is normally the down side. (Which uses more bandwidth, etc...)

Re:64bit or 32bit? (3, Insightful)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621739)

Most people don't realize this but 64bit is slower then 32 bit. Every instruction is twice as long, Executables are larger, and more IO back and forth from CPU to memory.

Your FSB is fast enough to deal. The pipeline in your CPU works on bigger chunks anyway. Heck, thats why vector processors were invented, MMX, SSE, etc - registers weren't wide enough. Executable size is insignificant, and instructions are varying length anyway (opcodes don't suddenly become 64bit on x64).

Heck they are not even properly using duel core.

Theres almost a thousand threads on my current box. I'd say thats taking advantage of both cores. Apart from algorithms that flat out don't parellelize (eg MD5ing a bunch of data) it seems to be going pretty good here...

Re:64bit or 32bit? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621793)

Most people don't realize this but 64bit is slower then 32 bit.

Interesting theory.

It doesn't seem to be borne out by benchmarks [] though, at least for Linux.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622509)

Of course, they aren't twice as slow. (i.e. They don't run at half the speed, for the pedants.)

The slowdown is a few percent, because most applications aren't bound by memory speed of instruction fetching.

But who really cares if the OS is a few percent slower? It uses ~0% of my cpu anyway. Most applications I run are still 32-bit, even though my OS is XP x64.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (2, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622999)

I've done some quick benchmarks on identical hardware using PerformanceTest.

Yeah, 64-bit executables are a bit bigger than 32-bit executables, so they take marginally longer to load from the disk. That's probably why you're confused.

But looking at the benchmarks, integer operations are much faster (2-3x), floating point and memory operations are a bit faster (10-20%), and disk access is marginally faster (5%-10%). There was no difference on memory writes for some reason.

There was no difference on 2D or 3D video card performance, but PerformanceTest still used 32-bit routines for that sequence of tests at the time.

doesnt matter (2, Insightful)

cefek (148764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621179)

Running Vista64 since day one, and Windows 7 for a while, I must say internally both systems look similiar. Some article TL to quote stated that Seven is to Vista like 98SE was to 98. It does not take a rocket scientist to guess MSFT would never release such a dud like XP64 again - it's been overdone (can you say that?) by now.

Re:64bit or 32bit? (2, Insightful)

sponga (739683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622531)

The whole article/title just reeks of wrongness and is too early to test.

Testing games on a beta for performance?

First off any real online PC Gamer who hasn't done it already has found out that Punkbuster doesn't exactly work online for Win7 without tricking the Services options. Not news since this was the story on Vista, only story is the customers demanding the developers to get some drivers and compatibility.

The drivers aren't exactly out or have not been polished, so you will still have some performance issues like you did with Vista when it came out. Not including the 10-20% hit you will take in frame performance. Either way the games will run smooth, I made the move from XP to Vista after they worked out all the bugs and compatibility issues in the first 3 months of release.

Game performance really depends heavily on good video card drivers and patches by the developers, I dunno if you can adjust for Win7 as it is basically Vista with the sugarcoated desktop performance. The kernel really will not affect game performance that much when you are talking FPS, really it is developers rushing out half finished games to meet the schedule.

Add to it, all the benchmarks look exactly the same Vista, XP and Win7. You want more performance? Than pay the developers for a couple months of optimization, as far as I can tell most companies are shorting their development teams and rushing them to get out the game.

Personally I am more amazed at all the ass kissing Win7 has got when anybody who spent more than 5 minutes using Vista can clearly see the issues that are on hand for PC gamers and the average desktop user. Only this time, Vista cleared up a lot of those problems and allow a more stream less transition from XP/Vista to Win7.

Misleading summary (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620503)

While the beta stumbles in a couple of cases, overall it performs within a few percentage points of Windows XP, actually outrunning XP in multiple benchmarks.

and Windows XP out runs windows 7 and Vista in other benchmarks too..

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620693)

Yes - and don't forget we are dealing with a beta here. That means it is not finished yet! There most be a lot left out that has to be put in for the final release.

How the final version will look like I can't guess, but chances are high there will be some (or a lot) extra code added - making all this nice benchmarking rather useless...

I think we only have a bare-bones version of the final product. Let's wait for the final version and do this tests again.

unreasonable expectations (1)

Webexcess (86857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620527)

"actually outrunning XP"? You mean it's possible to make improvements to an OS that *improve* its performance? Shocking.

Re:unreasonable expectations (1)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622201)

Yea on planet Microsoft this is unheard-of. Nobody has hardware for more than 3 years because the only safe software is big & bloated.

..meanwhile, on planet linux...

7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620529)

From the abstract: "overall it performs within a few percentage points of Windows XP, actually outrunning XP in multiple benchmarks". Windows XP was released in late 2001, and in the almost-8 years since, Microsoft has managed to improve performance for my games by "a few percentage points". Not, "alot of percentage points", but only a few. If XP is only marginally worse off then Windows 7 will be, then whats microsoft working on? The flashy looks that I dont see when I have a full screen of zombies being torn apart? While I know that this is only a beta test and should be taken lightly, I can see no major advantage to changing my current setup: linux for working, and xp for gaming. Its been 8 years since XP was released, and its -still- only marginally worse performing then 7. /rant

Re:7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (2, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620695)

It can mean a lot of things:

  • It might mean that XP is already so close to the theoretical maximum performance that it's impossible to improve much.
  • It might mean that the basic architecture of the Windows operating system doesn't allow much improvement, i.e. you'd need a different OS design to get better.
  • It might mean that Microsoft just didn't work on improving game performance.
  • It might mean that in the tested configuration the bottleneck wasn't Windows.
  • ...

Re:7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621521)

In a game the OS doesn't do very much, it's all game code vs. graphics drivers.

All the OS is doing is basic housework like reading the keyboard and mouse.

Sound is a tiny percentage of CPU power these days and is probably mooted by a multicore CPU.

Re:7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620761)

Managing to come up with an OS with radical changes designed to support novel new features (Win7's multicore support is apparently a big improvement) and do so without increased overhead, and actually improving performance, is quite an achievement. New OS releases aren't normally intended to improve performance on a particular system. As an example Ubuntu's a couple of decades of development ahead of Amiga Workbench, but I don't grude that it has system requirements approximately one hundred times higher.

Of course, the article's a long way from saying that Windows 7 is the same or faster than Vista or XP, but that doesn't make your complaint any less dubious.

Re:7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (1)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620849)

I believe overcoming the 4gb ram barrier will be reason enough to switch for gaming, assuming that performance is as good.

Re:7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620999)

I first ran XP on a computer with a 1.4GHz processor and 256MB of RAM. I'm not sure why you'd want to even try to do that with Windows 7.

Re:7 year wait for "a few percentage points". Pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621555)

It means that you can continue to live in the past. We'll warp back and let you know when things improve.

EDITORS: EDIT! (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620613)

OK, FFS can we stop linking to the BULLSHIT 16 paragraph=16 page articles that are meant to maximize web traffic? PLEASE?

Jesus, please: just copy the damn printable link and get it all on one page.

Slashdot is a fairly heavy-traffic site. You have the throw weight discourage this HORRIBLE style of web page design.

If the print-summary page isn't available then link the CONCLUSIONS page...readers who are smart enough to parse what WinMark scores are can *probably* figure out how to get back to the detail pages.

Here's the damn link: []


Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621605)

Haha, look at this 'sperging nerd.

How does this even work? (0)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620615)

They can't be testing games on Windows 7, because there are no games for Windows 7. It's 91 less than Windows 98, and 353 less than the Xbox 360. How can this be compatible with anything? I don't think internal alpha builds of Solitaire count.

Waste of time. (5, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620709)

8 years. 8 bloody years. 8 YEARS. EIGHT... YEARS. Say it to yourself.

What the bloody hell has MS been doing for the last EIGHT YEARS? XP *still* outperforms their only other two Microsoft offerings in the market since its release. In the eight years BEFORE XP, we start with MS DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1 (remember those days?), go through Windows 95, 98, most decent versions of NT and then Windows 2000. From them to XP... spot the difference. Now jump forward eight years instead and look at the difference, eight years on from XP and what have we got? Next to nothing. Oh, a couple of XP Service Packs that made more difference than every *OS* they've released since.

I looked at every graph on the page and they are all within a reasonable margin of error, especially in the absence of certain details (i.e. are the drivers all optimised for XP, Vista and Windows 7 equally? Was Windows 7 running 32- or 64-bit? etc.). There's nothing there that'll make gamer's go "OOHhh... gotta have that". It's more like "Well, if I do get lumped with Windows 7, hopefully it won't be much worse than my existing, well-configured, XP install".

What the hell have they been doing? I've argued before that there are no significant, new features in Vista and/or Windows 7, a myriad of problems still exist with both (and with XP for that matter), the minimum hardware is increasing all the time just to do the same tasks and there's no performance improvement at all (in fact, with Vista, it's quite likely to be the opposite depending on your uses/hardware). They haven't even bothered to comply with most of the legal demands on them in that time. They sort-of-but-not-quite started documenting SMB/CIFS, which hardly kills your current development teams. Is the code for Windows *really* that bad that this is all they could manage?

Alpha, beta, fine - I expect it to be flaky. In fact, I expect all sorts of debugging code and slagging the disk to death while it churns through buckets of debugging data so they can actually fix real-world problems. However, it builds on Vista drivers which, despite much fuss, are pretty well established now. It performs *identically* to Vista in a lot of tests (which suggests that not much at all has changed under the hood, as does the fact that Vista drivers are still compatible). The new features are basically plug-ins to the existing systems, not massive rewrites of critical code. This all leads me to believe that Windows 7 is a Vista Service Pack, to all intents and purposes. So what the hell were they working on for those 8 years of development with one of the largest software development teams in the world?

Slashdot: doomed to repeat history, endlessly. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620949)

The general sentiment and tone of your comment is exactly the same of when XP was getting ready to come out. Everyone at Slashdot swore left and right that XP was bloated to hell, that it'd run too slow, and nobody would buy it, and it would signal the downfall of Microsoft. The interface so horrible that Joe Sixpack was finally going to wake up and switch to Linux. If not the interface, then product activation would. No, Win2k was their last great OS, and it can't possibly get any better than that.

And, here we are, someone arguing that Windows 7 is just Vista relaunched. I should remind you that XP is essentially just 2000 with a few interface tweaks. The driver model stayed the same, the kernel version was bumped up by .1, and it was a little more polished. If it took Microsoft 5 years to go from XP to Vista, what makes you think they could implement severe changes in only 2 years time?

Anyway, I should get going, facts are never welcome in these parts.

Re:Slashdot: doomed to repeat history, endlessly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621551)

Except it WASN'T. People pretty rapidly moved to XP. Look back at the % adoption rates.

Re:Slashdot: doomed to repeat history, endlessly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621603)

The reason XP was a success was that it marked the first time that consumers were able to use the GREATLY improved NT5 kernel instead of the blue-screen-of-death Win9x kernel. Had Microsoft released Windows 2000 to businesses and consumers at the same time, it would have taken off in the same way XP did. This is not to say that Windows 2000 didn't take off - it certainly did - in the server/business market.

XP was a success because it didn't crash anywhere near as much as Windows ME. It was built upon a completely new system kernel to that of what most people were used to, and as such had a lot to offer.

Windows 7 on the other hand does not vastly improve stability, introduce networking to the mass market or fix many Windows architectural problems (desktop responsiveness under load, for instance). Those are business cases for people to upgrade their operating system, as it leads to more money being created/saved. A flashy new task bar and media player doesn't even begin to compare with the Windows 9x -> XP upgrade. What are the REALLY compelling reasons why a business should upgrade to Windows 7? Can they increase productivity or cut costs with Windows 7 in a way that outweighs licensing/upgrade costs?

Re:Slashdot: doomed to repeat history, endlessly. (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621995)

"The general sentiment and tone of your comment is exactly the same of when XP was getting ready to come out."

Not for me. 2000/XP was a quantum leap. I didn't think it was a good one at the time (mainly because of system requirements) but it changed an awful lot. And it did it in such a way that it was soon on every computer. That happened in a handful of years too. I'm not so sure I could have said that the jump itself from 2000 to XP was so massive - I still get people who bring me laptops with 2000 on them and they don't even notice that they aren't XP (unless they try to install the artificially-limited DirectX or .NET Frameworks etc.).

"I should remind you that XP is essentially just 2000 with a few interface tweaks. The driver model stayed the same, the kernel version was bumped up by .1, and it was a little more polished."

Exactly. But from 95/98/NT to 2000 was a quantum leap. That happened in, gosh, 2000. And 98 happened in, wow, 1998. Yeah, there was probably some background development before that time but the fact is that every 2-4 years for ages everybody changed up to the latest MS operating system because it was just that damn different. At times, it was hard to keep up - how many bloody versions of 95/95OSR/95OSR2/98/98SE etc. were there on the same codebase? They weren't ground-breaking upgrades. I don't consider them "leaps" in engineering but everyone happily upgraded from one to the other without a fuss or major breakage (WinME excluded for obvious reasons - it was ignored because after years of development it started breaking things without adding new features - some of the NET Frameworks etc. didn't even work on ME but worked fine on 98 because even MS had abandoned ME by that point).

"If it took Microsoft 5 years to go from XP to Vista, what makes you think they could implement severe changes in only 2 years time?"

Because... XP-> Vista is hardly a leap at all, it hardly compares to some of the minor 9x updates that occurred, but because it was parts of the GUI that changed, people think that's somehow more miraculous. There was also significant breakage for very little reward. Suddenly, everything needed new drivers to be rewritten, which often meant new hardware, or unsupported configurations. That's part of the problem - nobody's buying because there are no real technical incentives to do so. It's being thrust upon people.

So five years + two years of development (which would take us back to the Windows 3.1 -> Windows XP comparison that I stated in my previous post) to make any real changes that people want, and they mess it up *again* because Windows 7 doesn't have anything groundbreaking *again*. This is my point. Just look at the articles that describe "every" Vista or Windows 7 feature. How many of them are actually used in production by the majority of MS's customers (even home users)? And how many of them are nothing more than GUI tweaks, minor changes, folding in things that can already be found in Windows freeware, and backwards steps?

I would categorically state that, given permission, you could ship a pre-configured version of XP with a few tweaks (go back to Classic looks, get rid of those horrible services that "need to" load on startup, remove a couple of menu items entirely like that whole "Find... People on the Internet rubbish" etc.), a ton of freeware integrated into the Windows interface (ZoneAlarm springs to mind, as do most of the sysinternals utils, things like's startup control panel / startup monitor, a couple of filesystem drivers for things like ext2, a decent unobtrusive search/index tool, a different web browser entirely etc.) done properly and more people (consumers and businesses) would be willing to splash out on "XP-plus-freeware" than on Vista or Windows 7 because it would be familiar, fast, have all the same features and would probably work much nicer.

I know this, because that's EXACTLY what I do... I take on networks to re-do all their servers and clients, pare back all the crap and install some decent bits of free software and charge people to do it AND they pay me in preference to upgrading to (or, in at least one case, even trying) Vista. I've been doing it for a few years now. For the last few years my advice has been not to upgrade and since about 6 months after Vista's release people have been TELLING me not to upgrade them. Windows 7 ain't gonna change that.

Re:Waste of time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621069)

They rewrote largish pieces twice.

That is what they have been doing.

How many different linux distros and kernels have we had in the past 8 years? Hundreds?

Re:Waste of time. (2, Insightful)

Renozhin (1423301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621099)

Operating systems are UIs; they are not intended to be performance boosters. Their task is to deliver the information that you need in a timely, neat and conclusive manner. As far as I hear, Windows 7 does this better than Vista as well as (at least when it comes to the neat part) XP.

Try thinking of it in terms of a human body: we're all pretty much the same, but with some differences in component performance. It all comes down to how the body is used and maintained.

Go ahead. Make a sex joke.

Re:Waste of time. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621347)

Operating systems are UIs; they are not intended to be performance boosters.

No... operating systems are not UIs, they are only a part of it (sometimes). Aero exists as just a subsystem in Vista, and you don't need anything but the command line for Unix.

Operating systems exist so that the applications I use can be run on the hardware I own. That's really it.

Re:Waste of time. (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621479)

UURRRK. Operating systems are UI's? No they aren't. They are operating systems. This is the problem - MS has tied the GUI to the OS and now people associate the GUI with the OS. The OS is several layers below anything that needs to draw on the screen, always has been, still is. To make your OS boot even depend on there being graphics hardware is just a ludicrous assertion. This sort of thinking only leads to the statements I hear along the lines of "Oh, it looks different, it must work much better." Pfft.

The difference? The UI needs no special privileges, can change to suit every single user of the OS in a million ways in seconds, can die and not kill running processes (MS are starting to learn this one) and *it doesn't matter what it looks like*. It really doesn't matter if you prefer XP-style or Vista-style or DOS-style, the computer should still be able to do exactly the same things in roughly the same amount of time (minor overhead for the very-pretty stuff, obviously). The OS is the part doing all the complicated stuff and where all the performance and stability matters. Everything else is sugar-coating so that us poor unfortunate mortals who can't understand binary can actually tell the machine what to do (or, in the general case of MS, be told what to do and that you can't do it).

I can run QT on Windows, or a Redmond-theme on KDE, or a DOS shell, or a Cygwin command-line on Windows, or an actual bash session. It doesn't matter what it looks like (but, obviously, the majority of amateur computer users prefer the GUI and for good reason), so long as I can still do what the hell I want. And I should STILL be able to turn off the crap on a GUI so that it's nice and fast like it used to be (XP / Vista / Classic Mode debacle). The problem is that MS focuses purely on the GUI because people think it's somehow radical to have a pop-up systray icon, or a balloon notification of a completed task, or thumbnail preview of a desktop window, or be able to "shake" a window to minimise all... it's not. It's all variations on a theme that 50% of people will never use at all (and probably turn it off), 49% will play with for ten minutes and then never use and 1% might find adds to their productivity. And almost everything they do has been done before and doesn't actually add anything to the user experience.

Whereas, if they could have speeded up network logons... that would *really* be something. Or locked each process into its own sandbox. Or, say, let me arrange the GUI to put anything I want anywhere I like (why can't I have my systray on the left and Start on the right if I want?). Or maybe provided me with a way to easily monitor and rollback the registry, capturing to an MSI, built into Windows? (No, they just buy Sysinternals and bundle their unmodified free utilities instead).

People like you are why MCSE's are so revered:

1) Change where you put a menu
2) Charge £600 for an "up-to-date" certification that includes the new menu items
3) ...
4) Profit
(Bugger, it reflected reality for once...)

Re:Waste of time. (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622587)

And newer versions of Linux are slower than ones from 5 years ago. Where have you been? As computers get more memory and processing power, OSs are updated with more features to take advantage of them. Microsoft decided to incorporate more security and features and this slightly slows down game performance. Your idea that new OSs are supposed to speed everything up is false. That has never been the case for any OS unless it was specifically designed to be fast and light rather than a full featured OS.

GTA4 on Windows 7. Fail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26620747)

It was pretty unhappy when I tried to feed it a copy of Grand Theft Auto 4 to play.

I had to fool the installer by using compatibility mode. And now some background process is giving errors about not being able to find a disk in my media card readers drive.

DRM sucks. GTA4 on PC sucks. Securom sucks.

New Versions (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620817)

A new version of an operating system actually working better and more efficiently than the last version? Oh my how will this end; surely someone have made a mistake. My past experience dictates that this is exactly the opposite of how things should be. Each new version should siphon away more and more of the resources to pointless and trivial tasks to ensure that we never get the full capacity of our computer; thus increasing our incentive to buy new shiny gadgets and hardware! Oh bring back the glory days of our past!

And so on and so on and so on.

Re:New Versions (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26620869)

And to think it only took them eight years and one eight-billion-dollar miss-try to do it slightly better.

What is your definition of progression? (1)

jcookeman (843136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621009)

I guess Microsoft's is "features" instead of performance. Hasn't the saying "what Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away" been proven true time and again?

PunkBuster (1)

0xygen (595606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26621259)

For me, the single biggest problem with Windows 7 gaming is the lack of PunkBuster support, as EvenBalance are refusing to support the beta at this stage.

Fair enough, it is their choice, however the beta is public, so many of their customers are in the same boat here. It seems sad that the public statements seem to indicate they are not even willing to look at it.

Re:PunkBuster (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622117)

punkbuster still has problems with vista 64bit. Its a shame that they dont jump onto the beta so they know their product will work on it. something tells me they have a very small staff so looking at betas is the lowest task on their list, such a same.

Re:PunkBuster (1)

0xygen (595606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622247)

I use all of the games I tested on exactly that platform - Vista x64 with over 4GB RAM.

I know all of the following work perfectly, as I play them all BF2, BF2142, COD:WAW, COD4, Far Cry 2, Crysis and ET:QW.

So yes, I AM blaming the beta.

Re:PunkBuster (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622409)

I agree on blaming the beta, lets hope the can that with a RC they start their testing and are ready on launch day.

Re:PunkBuster (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26623033)

It may not be supported, but at least PunkBuster works on 64 bit Win7, at last for come definitions of "work". The first time I launched ET:QW I got kicked within seconds for not having PB installed. I used their update utility to install it, but still got kicked out of the game. Turned out the PB service didn't install properly or failed to start.

Searching the net suggested that it's pretty much impossible to get PB to work on Win7, and especially the 64 bit version. However, randomly dicking around with compatibility mode and running with full admin rights finally got the service started. Unfortunately I'm not sure what the actual combination was, but if you're having similar issues, try running both the PB updater and the game with admin rights, and the updater in either Vista or XP mode. I'm not sure if running the game itself with full privileges is actually necessary, but it certainly isn't once the service is running.

You morons DO realize that Win7 is still a beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26621697)

All you haters look like idiots until the product gets released. On the day of release, come back here and dump on MS. Until then, I won't crap on Linux kernels I haven't used yet either.

Re:You morons DO realize that Win7 is still a beta (1)

0xygen (595606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622287)

Maybe it's optimistic moaning... the point of a beta is to get feedback.

With no feedback, nothing gets fixed.

The more vocal people are about their issues, the more likely they are to be fixed.

Missing test: OpenGL (2, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622083)

Although it is the minority API used for gaming, it still does exist. As long as John Carmack [] is still pumping out gaming engines, there will be games based on OpenGL. Does anyone here have any first-hand experience on OpenGL performance in Windows7?

Performance not the same as XP (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622187)

Not when I try to run X3 Terran Conflict.

Because the Tages DRM garbage that the publishers insisted on inflicting on Egosofts game isn't compatabile with Windows 7 even though it works OK on Vista (which came as a shock).

Are Tages doing anything about it ? Nope, they take the Creative Labs view that they don't support beta systems.

I leave it to the reader to decide whether the defective by design belongs with Tages or Microsoft.

Zomg Windows 7 fix everything!! (1)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26622585)

Some gamers still think that Windows 7 is MinWin. Maybe misinformation had something to do with Microsoft's next OS sounding good.

Jesus people (2, Insightful)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26623235)

Let me preface this comment by stating that I am not a MS fanboy by any means. But I do have to say this about Windows 7: Yea so Windows 7 isn't as fast as XP. Did anyone ever really consider the fact that it is a newer OS that is doing MORE than XP? The fact that it looks better, and does more than XP but still runs comparably fast as XP is a feat. If you are really that concerned about performance, why don't I see you using some type of DOS port? Or linux at the command line? All I am saying is that MS is in a lose / lose battle when it comes to their OS. If they drop features to make it faster than XP then everyone will bitch that it doesn't have those features. But if they keep them in there, people will bitch because it isn't as fast as XP.

Re:Jesus people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26623289)

Amen brother, couldn't have put it better myself

Positive review from /. scandalous (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26623245)

Actually, after looking at the benchmarks this is what I came away thinking about Vista, Win7, XP overall.

If you want DX10 performance, Vista.
If you want DX9 performance on iCore7, Win7.
If you want DX9 and have a midrange system, most do, WinXP.

The article's take on the results can be summarized in two words, "mixed bag."
Ironically, Slashdot comes away with a bright and sunny view on things.
Their analysis as usual does not coincide with the reality presented by the results.

Of course, it all depends on what games you most prefer to play, for example Far Cry plays poorly in XP in all cases versus Vista/Win7.

I find it interesting they have no benchmarks in DX10 for Fallout 3, CoD: Waw, and several more. I looked into it just now and these particular titles lack DX10 support.

What this all means is, if you haven't upgraded to an iCore7 and most interesting games still use DX9, stick with XP. If you only play DX10 games, stay with Vista regardless what architecture you're on. Win7 fails at DX10, except in FarCry where it only does one or two fps better than Vista.

There you go, an honest analysis of the results.

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