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Vista Not Playing Nice With FPS Games

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the shoot-em-up dept.

Graphics 437

PetManimal writes "Computerworld is reporting that gamers who have installed Vista are reporting problems with first person-shooter titles such as CounterStrike, Half-Life 2, Doom 3. and F.E.A.R. (Users have compiled lists of games with Vista issues.) The complaints, which have turned up on gamers' forums, cite crashes and low frame rates. Not surprisingly, the problems relate to graphics hardware and software: 'Experts blame still-flaky software drivers, Vista's complexity, and a dearth of new video cards optimized for Vista's new rendering technology, DirectX 10. That's despite promises from Microsoft that Vista is backwards-compatible with XP's graphic engine, DirectX 9, and that it will support existing games. Meanwhile, games written to take advantage of DirectX 10 have been slow to emerge. And one Nvidia executive predicts that gamers may not routinely see games optimized for DirectX 10 until mid-2008.'"

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People Were Right! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989568)

Everyone who accused Vista of copying OS X were dead on!

Re:People Were Right! (1)

thryllkill (52874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989802)

Yeah, they both suck running on Dells and Gateways.

Re:People Were Right! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989824)

Except that Vista already has more games and more users than OSX...

Funny how the world works.

What did you expect? (2, Informative)

jjthegreat (837151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989584)

We all knew this was the way it was going to be. This isnt a newsflash for anyone. I have a dx10 compat gfx card, but I'll stick to XP for gaming way after SP1 for Vista comes out. Drivers for Vista just plain and simply not up to snuff yet.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989608)

Drivers are not mature enough, but I don't think the driver problems will take long to rectify. At least, drivers for modern hardware.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Stray1 (862245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990152)

Keep in mind, Vista also does something that drags your whole computer down when playing games. The audio stack is completely new. It bypasses your video card and does all those EAX calculations itself. That in itself is a pretty big drain on resources right there.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989976)

Holy shit, this is the cheapest Dx 10 card [amazon.com] I could find.

Damn DirectX... (5, Interesting)

DarkMorph (874731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989602)

I can only hope this sort of thing promotes the appeal of using OpenGL, so more games are more likely to become cross-compatible. Projects like WineHQ can mimic the behavior of Win32 API, and things would run more smoothly if instead of translating DX, to just have OpenGL games to begin with. Does DX really provide or perform more/better than OpenGL that commercial games continue to use DX??

Re:Damn DirectX... (4, Informative)

HFXPro (581079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989680)

Direct X provides an all in one interface. OpenGL is just a graphics specification and is pretty much strait procedural. A lot of places would rather not have to do DirectX for sound and input and then also use opengl which feels somewhat out of place. That said, I wish more games were OpenGL. I love OpenGL.

SDL, then? (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989916)

Or, OpenGL+OpenAL?

I think the main problem is that most games don't do their own engines. This is a good thing, but then, most games end up using engines written for DirectX...

As for the games which do create their own engines, I'm guessing many of them don't see portability as an issue, or if they do, would rather be easily portable to the Xbox 360 than to anything else.

Here's hoping QuakeWars continues to ensure OpenGL is well supported -- the Doom 3 engine is alive and well, I hope...

Re:Damn DirectX... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989972)

Expect to see OpenAL take over from DirectSound; Vista's driver model doesn't support hardware acceleration for DirectSound, but it does allow vendors to impalement other APIs with direct paths to the driver. The Creative drivers, for example, support accelerated OpenAL and EAX, but can't support accelerated DirectSound.

Re:Damn DirectX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990092)

Okay I'll risk being called dumb(not even being a registered user makes this risk easy to take) and ask some obvious questions:

1. Comparing apples to apples, how does D3D compare to OGL? I know there are/were advantages to OGL over D3D, but every report I find is quite a few years old.

2. How long is it until someone comes up with a kind of wrapper to put OGL, SDL, (some sound library), (some good internet protocol for games) together and create OpenX(substitute any other geeky name)?

Re:Damn DirectX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989760)

I can only hope this sort of thing promotes the appeal of using OpenGL, so more games are more likely to become cross-compatible... Does DX really provide or perform more/better than OpenGL that commercial games continue to use DX

As I understand it, everything goes through the DirectX drivers. That's a good thing, in that you can get the shiny Aero effects. Unfortunately, the OpenGL path through the DirectX backend is one of the most broken parts.

If one was being particularly cynical, one might think it was intentional to break OpenGL. In any case, incentive to use OpenGL instead - pretty much the opposite.

Re:Damn DirectX... (1)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989938)

Unfortunately, cross-platform gaming is not much of a concern to most publishers. It's doubtful very many titles would recoup anything close to the cost of doing a port for their publishers, and the publishers are the guys pulling the strings these days on the really big have to have titles. Gaming is dominated by Windows, and high-end gaming is almost exclusively Windows based.

Why? (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989626)

Why would anyone rush out and buy a new operating system?

You exchange a series of well known bugs and security problems (that have work arounds and policies to protect yourself) to being put into the unknown. Personally, I'm going to let everyone else rush to be the lab rat and only upgrade when I'm forced to.

Re:Why? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989734)


Yep, bang on. I usually have only one Windows box and that's used just for gaming. One ran Win98 until ~2001 when I upgraded the hardware and put Win2k on it. Still running 2k on it, no XP. The thing is quite stable as these things go.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Drey (1420) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989744)

Many new systems being sold through retail stores only come with Vista.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989880)

Many new systems being sold through retail stores only come with Vista.

Right, and they use Vista as a selling point, encouraging people to upgrade to it, instead of warning them off as they should if they actually cared about the experience their customers were going to have. They should be waiting at least until the first service pack is out.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990070)

Warn them? Shit, the service calls are where they make all their money.

This is like Christmas for the Computer shops.

1. Sell clueless user unnecessary upgrade.

2. Let them play with it for a couple days and break it.

3. ??????

4. They bring it back to get "fixed"

5. Profit!!!

Re:Why? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990234)

In this particular case, I think the ?????? step is superfluous.

Re:Why? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989888)

I have a retail box edition of Windows 2000 'upgrade.' And believe me, if XP is any indication, putting W2K on an XP or Vista box is consistently an upgrade.

Marketing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989754)

Enough said.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989808)

If everyone waits for a confirmation that Vista works before using Vista, no one will ever use it. Think about it.

Or possibly.... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990046)

They'll make it a point to actually put some effort into QA. Course, since this is about games, you would think EA (and a lot of other games publishers) would maybe take some of that advice, too...

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Danse (1026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990176)

If everyone waits for a confirmation that Vista works before using Vista, no one will ever use it. Think about it.

I'm thinking about it now... it's... it's so beautiful...

Re:Why? (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989856)

Why would anyone rush out and buy a new operating system?
/dons mac-snob hat

OS X usually runs better and faster than previous version. Although I'm suspicious that a lot of that is empathy on the parts of the fanboi's, "Its new and shiny so it *feels* faster!" You could make the argument that each revision of OS X is not a "new" operating system, but sometimes I still play OS 9 games on OS X using the emulator (Myth II rocks), but the fps there is compensated by the fact that the hardware is so much faster than the old stuff. I'm not sure I'd want to play one compiled for a PPC on an Intel processor, I've heard bad things wrt MS Office and Rosetta ... but the problem is mostly moot because there are few games for OS X. I'd be interested to hear from people who play WoW though, is it slower on Intels?

/doffs mac-snob hat

But then you don't get to cry wolf (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989890)

To me at least this is as old as windows and perhaps it has always been true. A new OS reduces the performance of your computer when it comes to games.

Remember Windows 3.1 and before? The fast majority of games in those days were DOS games. Simple reason, the whole GUI was not needed and back then the OS and the GUI were still clearly seperated between DOS and Windows.

Same is true for linux, you can get far better performance for a single purpose graphical app doing things directly then going through X. Offcourse you loose the GUI but so what. Most games have their own anyway.

So when Windows 95 arrived a game like Quake would perform a lot better without it for the plain simple reason that with Windows 95 loaded you lost a shitload of memory to something you did not use that could have been used by the game.

Same thing with all those niceties added to the OS. Everyone knows you should disable as much as possible if you are serious about gamers meaning you effectively trim the OS back to what was offered with 95. No XP themes, no pre-loaded apps, no helpers. Nothing that either takes CPU cycles, memory or both.

Vista is the same story again. More "bloat" is added wich may or may not be what you want (but since these people who complain installed Vista they seem to want it) and when you are in a game that bloat is probably useless. When you are playing a game you just want the OS to do what is needed to keep the game running and nothing more. But that don't sell new OS'es. That don't have everyone gushing about how pretty this new OS is. Hell, you want an OS that gives you just the games, get a freaking Console, you weirdo!

Every new windows version gives early adopters problems.

You would PC gamers would know this. Did anyone here actually thing Neverwinter Nights 2 was going to be perfect straight from the DVD? If so, I want what you are smoking.

As for the whole DirectX 10 question, I remember a turn-based strategy game Battle Isle or something that was the first game I saw that was 95 only. It had been badly delayed because 95 had been badly delayed.

Tying your product to another product that has yet to sell is risky. Especially if said product has a track history of not being to nice at launch to the consumers of your product.

But hey, these dudes got VISTA! That got to be worth a couple if inches of ePenis.

Re:Why? (0, Redundant)

MBrichacek (1063004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990024)

This is exactly why I always wait at least 6 months before installing a new operating system. Usually by then quite a bit of the bugs, security holes, etc get worked out. I'll let someone else be a guinea pig and not me ;)

Re:Why? (1)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990106)

Well then be grateful to us early-adopters then. We'll be the ones who'll weed out the bugs and suffer the initial problems so that you can have a superior experience later.

Plus, we're geeks. Investigating new tech/software is what we're suppose to do.

Salute to Beta Tester Early Adopters (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990108)

I completely agree that beta testing of Vista is best left to others. For those folks who love buggy software which will break their devices and who love the mystery of trying to find out why things don't work anymore. Kind of like the car mechanic with the car that works when it wants too and whose hood is always up. I don't see myself rushing out to buy a buggy, DRM filled Operating System that doesn't offer anything new other than that the need for a whole new computer to use it and at that, the thing is more locked down and more user unfriendly than XP could have dreamed of being. Decreasing playback quality, lower frame rates from your video card and a slower computer so that it can constantly monitor whether or not you are using approved games, programs and media. No thanks. (thanks Peter Gutmann) If none of us buy it, if none of us are suckered into wanting it for the mythical DirectX 10 and the games that aren't out yet then perhaps it'll be rushed back to the labs and made more consumer friendly. Yah, like that'll ever happen. I won't get it until forced too either.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990276)

>Why would anyone rush out and buy a new operating system?

To bitch about microsoft apparantly. Hello, I am running software on a platform it wasnt designed to run on using new and unstable drivers and I am surprised things are not working as well as on my xp sp2 system! Now I shall submit this grievance to slashdot!

Re:Why? (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990318)

In theory, one upgrades because the value added by the features to the new version outweigh the uncertainty about the new version's stability, security, etc. The problem with Vista is that the equation doesn't balance properly. The new features of Vista are Aero, better searching, more logical file structure, and numerous minor tweaks to security and performance, but the unknowns are of a similar or greater weight as the benefits. Especially when one factors in that the users most concerned about the features Vista is addressing are the users who are most likely to have already jumped ship to OS X. (Ie. people who want Aero glass probably already switched to Aqua, and so forth.) The users who are still with Windows are the ones who care more about backwards compatibility, games, familiarity, and other areas in which OS X is deficient. As a result, it seems like a lot of users are sitting this upgrade out.

is anybody really surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989650)

Is anybody really surprised by this? Until the masses switch to Vista, the game developers will still concentrate on XP.

DX10 is the new thing. (1)

Nested (981630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989664)

With the push towards DX10, is it really that surprising? I wouldn't accuse MS of maliciously hindering DX9's performance, but it's not hard to imagine them not putting much effort into it. Or at least not into DX9 APIs/functions not being used by Aero.

GPUs is the new thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990118)

You're forgetting that GPU's are changing as well. Read up on the Nvidia 8800.

Re:DX10 is the new thing. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990136)

MS doesn't really care about DX10 adoption for its own sake. They just want to sell Vista. Unfortunately for them, leveraging DirectX isn't the way to go about it. If MS really wanted everyone to adopt DX10, they would have made it compatible with 2k/XP.

Instead, the unwillingness of people to buy Vista unless it's foisted upon them as part of a new system will make game developers that much more uninterested in trying to support DX9 and DX10 simultaneously. They'll go with whichever one has the largest install base, and since Vista ostensibly supports DX9, that means DX9 will be the focus of both game developers and hardware manufacturers once the really obvious unplayability bugs are worked out.

The Fort Knox anti-piracy measures of Vista don't help matters any when it comes to the adoption of DX10. Most gamers can't afford to upgrade their hardware, much less blow $300 on an OS of questionable upgradiness. DirectX became the de facto gaming API (sorry, OpenGL) because gamers were able to rip off Win95 and get DirectX for free.

It's the HD DRM (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989666)


disclosure: I'm a developer at ATI and am writing this anonymously.

Vista's DRM is the fault in nearly 100% of the problems we're seeing. A game tries to output at 1280x1024 or greater and the DRM kicks in trying to downgrade the resolution. Don't blame ATI or NVIDIA, blame Microsoft for this one.

Lol, troll (1)

D3m0n0fTh3Fall (1022795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989698)

You're a troll, please go away. Not even MS could be dumb enough to do that.

Re:Lol, troll (2, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989752)

They aren't? [auckland.ac.nz]
I don't know about game output but Vista will definatly degrade your high def signals if you aren't using MS-blessed drivers and hardware.

Re:Lol, troll (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990054)

He wasn't talking about hi-def signals with DRM, he was talking about games outputting images...

Re:Lol, troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990088)

Right, but the OP claimed it was the DRM interfering.

Re:Lol, troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989768)

Actually if somebody is dumb enough, it's MS. Just look at a pile of problems with Vista.
It doesn't work with _MS_ SQL Server Express!!! Any more comments needed?

Re:It's the HD DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989820)

This jives with an earlier article on Vista DRM inadvertently downgrading
resolution in medical devices. It is entirely plausible.

Re:It's the HD DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990076)

That article was proven wrong as well, stop trolling and go back to your lifesize tux doll.

Parent is spot-on. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989982)

I am not going to say who I work for, but I will say I work on drivers for one of the big two graphics card vendors.

Driver development for Vista is a nightmare. We are forced to work within rigid and sensitive specifications, wherein violations cause Windows to shut us down or restart the video subsystem entirely. In the past, delivering content to the screen was relatively straight-forward and we were free to operate as we needed to get our job done. Today, it is entirely up to Microsoft and if you dare wander outside their edicts and trigger their damned “tiltbits”, you are fucked. Debugging this system is almost entirely blind so we are forced to play wack-a-mole all day. On the bright side, our driver code is receiving a thorough audit. In the mean time, you guys are getting the product of a rapid hackfast, intended to get something out the door to meet our marketing promises.

When Vista becomes dominant in the mainstream, all of you can expect loads of problems unless Microsoft learn to lighten up. Sure, they want to enforce standards on their platform. We all know Windows sucks largely because of how badly drivers are written, but they are doing it by screwing with us, the hardware vendors. My group knows what the hell we're doing. We would not be one of the top two if we didn't, but Microsoft are making our lives nearly impossible because they do not consider in the least what we need to make good products.

My advice: do not think you can buy either ATI or NVIDIA and expect Vista to work entirely as advertised. Wait a year. Stick with XP or buy a Mac.

Re:Parent is spot-on. (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990010)

Stick with XP or buy a Mac.


Your post was actually sounding *a bit plausible* until this part. A Mac for games? :D Oh my god...

Whatever dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990252)

Your post was actually sounding *a bit plausible* until this part. A Mac for games? :D Oh my god...

These are the options available to the casual consumer, period. (And as far as I know, future versions of OS X are not going to kill drivers because they tried to display BR or HD-DVD content or did not validate a signature every nth time we flip a buffer...) I happen to think this is all a damn shame; who knows when OpenGL working groups will finish work on Longs Peak and at least start to play catch-up with DX10?

Bottom line: we are struggling to catch-up with where we were before Vista came out instead of improving our products. No Vista, and we are back on track. With Vista, our efforts are hampered.

Re:It's the HD DRM (2, Insightful)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990018)

Disclaimer: The above post is a complete load of bollocks.

Protected Video Path is not some complex trickery embedded deep in the bowels* of the OS snooping on your every move. Think of it as a wrapper codec, like an encrypted stream. Highly simplified it works like so:

Your HDDVD has an encrypted movie on it, which you want to play. Windows has a quick check to see if all your components support PVP.

If they do support PVP, then it sets up a stream which passes the encrypted movie all the way happily thru the video card and out across to your shiny HDCP supporting screen, which decrypts it and plays it for you.

If they don't support PVP, it sets up an unencrypted low-res stream, and plays it. Or it can't play it.

If you download a damn high definition Xvid (or h264, or whatever) you can play it to your hearts content. PVP does NOT STOP YOU from playing content. It _allows_ you to play protected crap, which you would not be able to play otherwise. Of course we all know its totally futile, because everyone will download nice hidef rips, the movie studios will cry, and we'll have paid extra cash for these stupid HDCP chips et al.

* Well I'm sure some enabling stuff is in the drivers, but its just passing an encrypted stream around.

Re:It's the HD DRM (1)

Cocoshimmy (933014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990058)

The DRM you speak of (HDCP) does not affect video games, but rather HD protected content such as Blu-Ray, HD-DVD or protected content from a cablebox. Since video games are not protected video, they are NOT affected by HDCP, which is what downscales the resolution on non-hdcp compliant hardware.

Even if DRM is at the root of most of the problems you are working on, it has nothing to do with 3D graphics stability, and does not explain the issues people are encountering in the article. Besides, the article writer complains mostly about nvidia hardware and nvidia drivers.

Re:It's the HD DRM (3, Insightful)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990198)

Stop using facts damnit! :)

People are so desperate to bash Vista that they'll take any ol' piece of information and twirl it around to create something entirely different. It's ridiculous. Why can't they just let people whatever OS they want in peace?

Not if you're Genuine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989688)

Supposedly if you are Genuine you don't have to worry about this. The only better than being Genuine is heaven..or so I've heard.

New Computers get Vista (2, Insightful)

lp60068 (727840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989696)

The problem is trying to buy a new computer without getting Vista. My dad needs a new computer and plays strategy/role playing games and how do I explain to him that his high-end Dell computer with Vista is going to crash playing some games. Talk about bleeding edge.

Re:New Computers get Vista (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989826)

The solution should be simple enough - don't accept OEM. It's a ridiculously restrictive license that Microsoft makes bucketloads from. If you continually replace your computer and pay for an OEM license every time, you're losing money big time compared with what you would spend on a copy of Windows that you can reuse on a new computer. And if the vendor gives you crap when you ask for a computer without Windows preinstalled, since you already have a copy, take your business elsewhere.

OEM is stupid and needs to die, IMHO.

</rant>

Re:New Computers get Vista (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989960)

I'm not understanding how one loses money buying OEM products?

I've been purchasing many things marked as OEM and have been saving money since the product is still covered by warranty.

Re:New Computers get Vista (2, Informative)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990158)

You misunderstand, he is not talking about cheap computer components, he is talking about OEM Windows licences. OEM licences are more restrictive, they can only be installed on a single motherboard for example.

Heck everyone loves cheap OEM parts!

Re:New Computers get Vista (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990016)

I don't know that ms are falling all over themselves, but for "cutting edge" stuff, it seems, in addition to the cutting, leading, and bleeding edges, we need a few more "edges" on the "vista" ahead...:

-- gasping
-- panting
-- fainting
-- shitting
-- thrombic
-- cataleptic

Maybe when enough people die to upgrade, things might change?

Re:New Computers get Vista (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990170)

The new XPS systems don't ship with Vista if they have NVIDIA cards in them, from what I hear. They still ship with XP.

All Aboard the FUD Train (0, Troll)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989704)

Choo choo.

I have been running vista on my primary box since the RCs and playing Source engine and Unreal engine games the whole time without issue. The RTM edition came with less-than-perfect drivers for nVidia cards (polygon tearing at high res in Source).

100.whatever detonators work fine.

I put this down to any typical release where a bunch of kids get together on the internet to have a whine about it broke everything.

Of course you will expect lower frame rates with the WHQL drivers bundled with the OS. Any gamer going from their bleeding edge pre-alpha detonators box to stock drivers is going to notice the difference. When you update, these problems magically disappear.

Hey this is Slashdot and this is what makes news! I guess I better close this post by blaming it on Protected Video Path to close out the non-blaming-ms karma dive for a perfect +5 Interesting!

Re:All Aboard the FUD Train (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989878)

Only problem with nVidia drivers I've had, since Vista Beta 2, is that console windows can't go fullscreen, since "The system does not support fullscreen." This means you can rule out playing DOS games, unless you use DOSbox (which is slow) or a virtual machine solution (which can be very difficult to set up right). Not too big a loss since even with tools like VDMSound DOS game emulation under NT has never been great.

Re:All Aboard the FUD Train (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989904)

Grr... the first half of my post got lost in a non-closed p block... lemme try again:

100.59 detonators work fine for me as well. They are way better than the bundled drivers, which have a video overlay bug that can cause system hangs if you drag windows over a video overlay. nVidia card owners be warned. Like I said though, 100.xx are noticeably faster and haven't crashed or hung yet for me.

Only problem with nVidia drivers I've had, since Vista Beta 2, is that console windows can't go fullscreen, since "The system does not support fullscreen." This means you can rule out playing DOS games, unless you use DOSbox (which is slow) or a virtual machine solution (which can be very difficult to set up right). Not too big a loss since even with tools like VDMSound DOS game emulation under NT has never been great.

Re:All Aboard the FUD Train (1)

pilkul (667659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990126)

Wait, what's the problem with Dosbox being slow? Are there any Dos games that required more than a Pentium 1? I'm fine with a few orders of magnitude of slowness.

Re:All Aboard the FUD Train (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989912)

You!=everyone

Some gamers have experienced issues with their favorite games. And I'm sure some of them updated to the newest drivers as a first resort before posting problems on the internet. Really this was not unexpected. Every new release of software (especially a Windows OS) is not without problems. This only reinforces my opinion that if I were to get Vista it won't be until SP1 at least. The pattern for MS may still hold true:

Version 1.0: Buggy, unstable. Win95, ME, XP
Version 2.0: Some fixes, more stability. Win98, XP SP1
Version 3.0: More fixes, mostly stable. Win98SE, XP SP2
Version 4.0: There is no version 4. Start with another Version.

That and (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989970)

I've never met a group of people who can cause so many problems as the Computer Ricers. The Computer Ricers are the people that continually screw around with their systems in a misguided attempt to get more performance. They run beta drivers, they squabble over 50 3DMark points (out of 10,000), they always have to run the latest, greatest software. These people break systems in ways I can't even dream of, they have problems that no normal person ever encounters.

Well when they do, they go and scream loudly about it on forums. It's never their fault, it's always the evil hardware manufacturer or OS maker or whatever. It's never the fact that they screw around with their software, overclock their hardware to the point of instability and so on, nope it's someone else and by god they are going to give them holy hell on a forum for it!

I encountered this with the 8800, nVidia's new card. I decided I wanted one, despite seeing people having tons of problems in forums. Well, I took the time to read the directions and make sure I had what I needed (such as a power supply that gave it sufficient power) and that I did what I should (such as using Drivercleaner to scrub the old drivers). Lo and behold, it works great. I don't have problems weird problems with it, my games don't crash, it's just a newer, faster card.

Basically I've found that you have to take any negative comments on the Internet with a grain of salt and check the source. If it's a tech professional who's done some proper testing, ok worth listening to (though a single point of data does not make a trend). However if it's a Computer Ricer, just ignore it. In all likelihood they caused the problems they are having.

Re:That and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990258)

Lol, that is so politically incorrect I have to add to it. You whan whi-rye oh brown-rye with da?

I used to rice my machine but I haven't dinked with it in awhile. I'd always run prime95 if the machine would even POST and boot windows. Sometimes windows would eat sheet and die, mostly it was just weird crashes from programs that never crashed. Always, it was obvious that my dinking was a little to ambitious.

Didn't we have an article... (-1, Troll)

God of Lemmings (455435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989708)

a couple of months ago that predicted FPS games would suffer due to the DRM?
And a subsequent astroturfing article attempting to convince us otherwise?
Before that one, wasn't there another that predicted OpenGL games would suffer
because they had to run under Aeroglass? (or whatever it is called)

Re:Didn't we have an article... (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989836)

OpenGL games only suffer when run in windowed mode, the same would happen in Beryl on linux. As soon as they go fullscreen then OpenGL games run at full speed.

Re:Didn't we have an article... (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990022)

OpenGL games only suffer when run in windowed mode, the same would happen in Beryl on linux.

Why?

I mean, I can run a reasonably modern game with support for in-game cameras -- say, Doom 3 (native Linux port), which can show me just as much detail on an in-game screen as I see in the rest of the game -- or Half-Life 2, where the demo showed someone tossing a camera around, and the screens behaving realistically.

So what's so hard about, say, showing an OpenGL game in a window? Is it trying to run two GL apps at once, that don't necessarily cooperate (game and window manager)? Or is it a driver issue?

For the record, I don't know about the sort of stacking effect you'd have with the window manager trying to do GL stuff to a game window (which has its own GL stuff), but I do know that I'm able to get reasonably good performance out of running more than one GL game at a time in windowed mode on Linux (without Beryl).

Re:Didn't we have an article... (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990304)

It depends on your method of x server acceleration.

XGL makes all calls from the window manager go through it, meaning other apps can't get 3D acceleration

AIGLX only gives 3D acceleration to those parts of the window manager that need it. That's the Indirect part.

I'm sure someone will pop along and explain it better than me soon.

Nothing surprising (4, Funny)

Red Moose (31712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989716)

Did anyone not see this coming? I am no hardcore gamer, but from what I can gather having not read the article as usual is that DX9 runs in Vista by means of what is like a wrapper like for the 3Dfx days. Of course this shit will run slower, it's MS trying to actually do something new for a change. Like NT - took them until 2000 and basically XP to get it right. DX12 will rock.

Now, off topic, I must confess that I no longer even read the Slashdot paragraph, but I just read the headline and then go straight to the comments to see what the controversial parts were.

Minimal OS always best for max stability and speed (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989782)

When playing games, writing music or capturing video you're always best with a very minimalist OS. I managed to get Windows XP do work fairly well doing audio work with 256MB by removing pretty much everything except that required for the applications.

Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that an OS is just for running applications, managing files and providing base services. They have to provide more and more features to make the upgrade justifiable. Games are better to stick to a dedicated XP install with all the bloat removed for now.

The drivers just aren't ready yet (0)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989786)

There are serious problems with many games because . . . well, good code takes time, and Microsoft has (quite reasonably) changed the architecture of the drivers significantly, and so we are seeing that some things are now very slow and others just plain don't work right. It is not DirectX's fault, just that code is new and yet is expected to work just as well as it used to in every possible situation - which isn't going to happen. The blame, if any, goes to Microsoft for not releasing the spec earlier, and to the driver writers for not doing a perfect job. Perfection is pretty hard to achieve the first time around, though, so I don't honestly blame anyone that much. It's just the way things are when you make big transitions. Frankly, I'm surprised things work as well as they do now.

Blame the drivers, blame the drivers... (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990060)

Microsoft apologists always blame the drivers.

If the end-user experience is bad, it doesn't matter who's to blame.

When microcomputers were new, a colleague of mine was raving about his North Star Advantage. He couldn't praise it too much. I asked him if it was reliable. He said it had been absolutely 100% reliable. So I asked if I could drop in that afternoon and have him show me WordStar, the hot new program I'd heard so much about.

There was a pause.

"Well, I can't do that today," he says. "I'm waiting for a new power supply. The old one failed again last week."

"But I thought you said your computer had been 100% reliable," I said.

"Oh, the computer has been completely reliable. It's just the power supply that keeps failing."

It may have been the power supply's fault, not the computer's, but, nevertheless, the effect was the same: he couldn't run WordStar.

(And just to fend off any misunderstandings: he was talking about the power supply North Star provided as an integral part of the system...)

Re:Blame the drivers, blame the drivers... (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990128)

If it doesn't matter who you blame, why are you calling me a Microsoft apologist? ;-) For what it's worth, I work for a company which has just released a game that, as of this date, does not work at all optimally under one major graphics card manufacturer's Vista drivers. Are we angry at Microsoft for that? Not particularly. Given that one manufacturer showed that they could get drivers that supported our game out, we are more concerned with the company which dropped the ball. (Of course, the other company's drivers crash one game which I like playing, so it's somewhat swings and roundabouts. :-)

64-bit is the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17989794)

If anyone would care to actually notice. Nearly all of the issues are from people running the 64-bit version of Vista and having problems with specific drivers. That's not a Vista problem. That's a driver problem. And there's nothing new there, same problems existed with XP 64-bit.

Opportunity (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989834)

A good opportunity for a new OS to emerge.
Nothing works on Vista and everyone is getting sick of MS.

If only someone could make a stable, reliable, secure OS, without all the flashy crap that nobody wanted, but still user-friendly, and capable of read/write of MS Office documents, they would have a chance to replace Windows.

Not that its going to happen...

Re:Opportunity (0, Flamebait)

benzapp (464105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989908)

Nothing works on vista?

Funny, I run the 64-bit version of Vista and everything I run works just fine. Oh, and my system is much faster and much more responsive.

Why don't you name one application that doesn't work. Please, don't be a loser and mention a game.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990242)

Stable, reliable, secure OS, without all the flashy crap, user friendly, read/write MS Office docs.

Mac OS X.

Flame me all you want. I learned BASIC on Windows 3.11 (yes, 3.11 Windows for Workgroups). I build my own PCs. But I recently bought a mac, and it does pretty much everything you need. Even gaming!

What??? (4, Funny)

oojah (113006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989850)

games written to take advantage of DirectX 10 have been slow to emerge

Since when has gentoo had DirectX 10?

Cheers,

Roger

3D CAD too (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989860)

i was reading an article from the Upfront newsletter about this with engineering CAD software as well.

Nvidia executive... (0, Troll)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989866)

Nvidia lost all credibility with their predictions when they brushed off the 3D Mark benchmarks of their FX line of cards, stating that developers would use the Nvidia specific optimisations, and thus that the performance with the generic stuff was irrelevent. We all know how that ended ::stares at his FX 5900 Ultra that can't even run Oblivion well enough to be entertaining without third party hackish solutions, and even then::

Its just a sad attempt at justifying their garbage Vista drivers, I feel like. On the other hand, how bad Vista's backward compatibility is, is simply inexcusable in this case.

Re:Nvidia executive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990188)

No offense, but you are a total fucking idiot if you trust anything any company ever says to you without verifying it first. Stop being naive and do some due diligence before blowing money on hardware. Also, wasn't the FX series like 4 generations ago? It seems like Nvidia learned their lesson from that debacle, their 6 and 7 series chips have been great, and it looks like the 8 series is shaping up to be really impressive as well.

Re:Nvidia executive... (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990268)

Sorry, but when I "blew my money on hardware", there was 1) no way for me to test with a real game of the future. I don't have a time machine, and 2) If the developers would catch on and use Nvidia's proprietary "extensions" (for lack of better term) as opposed to using the standard API was as good a guess as any. If they had released something similar the generation before, the developers -would- have done it, but ATI picked that generation to become great(er), and thus developers told Nvidia to screw themselves.

In other words: without a time machine, there was no way to verify it. AND Nvidia didn't change (much) since then, as shown by them being yet again incredibly behind with their driver implementations.

Better them than me (1)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989876)

Not every bug for every game will be discovered during internal testing (and MS's buggy reputation doesn't help). Frankly, I'm glad that these gamers are having these problems so that by the time I upgrade in a year, there will be fixes or work-arounds.

On a related note: Vista's promise to reinvent gaming seems to be faltering out of the gate. Beside the problems listed in the article, MS isn't doing a good job of telling casual gamers what sort of videocards or hardware they'll need to effectively take advantage of DX10. Then you have contradictory reports from gaming studios that DX10 doesn't mean anything - yet. None of this is helping to make PC gaming "easier" for the masses. In fact it's complicating things.

They even copied THAT from the Mac (5, Funny)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989900)

Vista - so like a Mac that you can't even play games on it :-)

[And yes, this is a dig at *both* sides, so let's see how that goes down :-]

Simon

Thats all right (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989932)

When Duke Nukem Forever comes out, PC gamers will forget about all those old, now dull looking toys.

Cool (1)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17989942)

Maybe this will slow down game development for Vista and therefore allow me to wait even longer before being forced to buy it in order to play the newest games...

Until game developers start releasing more games that are unix based I will be forced to eventually buy vista and that really pisses me off but what is a gamer to do?

Slow to emerge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990004)

When did the R300 show up? How long until most games needed PS2.0? Do most current games even need PS 2.0? The first PS 3.0 only games have been out for a FEW WEEKS. R6 Vegas and maybe a half-dozen others. If you went Vista for DX 10, you must be smoking the MS angel dust. If Halo 3 never runs on my windows 2003 desktop, I won't miss it. I'll have plenty of time to wait for more games to take avantage of my PS 3 card, but I'll be running on a solid, time-tested OS. I think MS miscalulated what DX 10 exclusivity to Vista would draw. I think the early adopters will get screwed.

Re:Slow to emerge (1)

Jett (135113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990224)

One way or another, early adopters almost always get screwed.

Vista Commercial Beta (1)

KenshoDude (1001993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990044)

As I recall, Microsoft had already begun development on a major service pack before Vista hit retail shelves. Are we really all that suprised to discover that there are some issues with the new O/S? This is just another example of a commercial beta release, if you ask me. I seem to recall that "Testers urge Microsoft to extend Vista Beta" news stories were a dime a dozen on several IT news sites after Microsoft confirmed the release date.

In regards to gaming performance and WHQL drivers, I tend to think that a significant number of PC gamers are smart enough to try updating video drivers if their video performance is buggy or slow. Maybe I am giving PC gamers too much credit? I just figure if you are unable to learn how to properly configure your O/S for optimal gaming performance, there is a large and far less technically inclined console market waiting for your business.

Not one comment.. (0)

nrgy (835451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990050)

on vista's ui being part of the problem. If I recall when you launch a game the ui still is using the gpu so of course your going to get lower fps. On top of that any openGL game is being converted to DX calls so you will get slowdown with openGL games as well. Listen I realy could care less what OS you use, hell use a rock for all I care, but anyone that followed vista's development knew graphics performance with games etc would suck balls until gfx cards got faster to make up for the slowdown of all the knew *cough* cool ui features. Sure drivers might also not be helping but even with perfect drivers MS did say their would be slowdowns so I guess all the early adopters heres a lesson for you.

Tips for Vista Gaming: (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990062)

  1. Use Task Manager to set the game priority as "Above Normal". This should help the game get priority above all other programs, however if you need to task switch out for something your OS will be sluggish. This will work on any Windows.
  2. Go to the shortcut Compatibility tab in properties and disable "desktop composition", which will disable Aero Glass while you're running the program, saving you 5-15% CPU while it's running in some cases. Of course Aero Glass is automatically turned off in fullscreen mode so this is only useful if you like running games windowed, and it's running slow.
  3. You can go and disable all themes using the Compatibility tab, as well, which is also doable on XP. This won't grab you as much of a performance gain.
  4. Lastly, you can kill as many programs and services as possible before gaming. Services you won't need to care about too much, however non-Microsoft services usually aren't vital and are most likely to chew up CPU (MS services take their role as "background" services seriously). If you want to take it to the extreme, try this [technet.com] , keeping in mind it was written for Windows XP, not Vista.

NVidia certainly dropped the ball (4, Informative)

hklingon (109185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990116)

I have an 8800GTX since Nov 15. Being a corporate customer, we've also had the various flavors of vista since Nov 30th. The new shiny 100.xx drivers are complete and utter crap across the board. The nVidia card touted as the ultimate in vista preparedness, the 8800, barely works on vista at all. See nVidia forums [nvidia.com] The class action stie [nvidiaclassaction.org] and my own video [youtube.com] . There are thousands of folks out there with issues. The nvidia drivers thread (70+ pages) has been deleted at least 3 times that I know of (from before the Jan 30th launch).

In my youtube video.. just using windows can cause the machine to spazz out randomly. For example.. I can't hit control-a to select all my icons.. it crashes the driver? WTF nVidia?

To make matters worse, nvidia appear to have thunked the 32 bit drivers into 64 bit address space... so there doesn't seem to be a true 64 bit driver out there for vista at all. Can anyone comment on this??

The 97.xx drivers.. what Microsoft shipped with vista.. are probably the best and most stable drivers at this point. On some of the other forums the reviewers have gone back to "stock" drivers for Intel and nVidia hardware.. and this eliminates some of the apparent vista stability issues. Some people have had ok luck out of the 100.xx drivers..

The truth is, I think, no one expects the vista drivers for hardware we already have to be this amazing break through. What is a bit scary is that the driver support is apparently so poor at this point in time... and it is poorest on hardware supposedly designed with vista in mind. The RTM drivers for vista/older cards aren't that bad.. they're playable in a lot of cases.. A lot of people, myself included, are having problems with source engine games IF the settings are cranked up way high. 800x600? No problem. 1920x1200 4xAA 4xAF.. Heloooo Pink Checkerboard Textures!

I'm not too terribly miffed I can't game quite as well on XP SP2... I am more than a little disappointed the drivers are buggy for basic things like.. screensaver... overlay video playback... being up for more than 4 hours? Given the state of Vista and that the graphics subsystem hasn't really changed much since RC1 I would have expected much better drivers-- especially since there are all these vista techdemos floating around.. at least in the case of the 8800+vista.

New versions of Windows always slow down games! (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990164)

If playing computationally demanding games is important to you then it is simple really, upgrading Windows is pretty much always a big mistake.

Every new version of Windows inherently runs at least slightly slower than the previous (and often much slower). I am still using Windows 2000 as games tend to run much faster with it than with Windows XP. I upgraded to XP but then went back to 2000 for that bit extra performance bonus ...my computer has decent specs but downgrading is still better than wasting a few bucks on a RAM upgrade!

Virtual memory randomizer (3, Insightful)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990166)

I wonder how many of those "mysterious" crashes have to do with Vista's built-in virtual memory randomizer. Such a thing exists also in OpenBSD and if I remember right, *A LOT* of old bugs were exposed in various packages... And since we all know the coding standards of a computer game...

Turn Down the FUD (4, Informative)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990184)

There are two primary reasons for games not working perfectly on Vista:

1.) Crappy video drivers. (Especially nVidia drivers.)

2.) The game needs admin privs.

If you're a victim of crappy drivers, well, that's the price you pay for being on the bleeding edge, I guess. ATI's drivers are fairly good. They had WHQL certified drivers released before Vista's consumer launch. nVidia, on the other hand, is dragging their ass. They've had a long time to get these drivers done. If you want to blame somebody, blame them.

If the game doesn't run without admin privs, then blame the game manufacturer. How do you know ahead of time? Well, if it has the "Designed for Windows XP [microsoft.com] " logo on the box, you should be good to go. These games were certified by Microsoft, and as part of that certification, they couldn't do stupid crap like write to c:\Program Files. If your game doesn't have that logo, then who knows.

Luckily, games that require admin privs can still be run on Vista without too much trouble. Just right click the game icon and select "Run as Administrator". Even better, right click it, go to properties, select Compatibility, and check the "Run as Administrator" option so that it always runs as admin. This will solve 99% of most people's gaming issues.

But games that don't run on Vista have nothing to do with Vista's "complexity" (it's a freaking modern OS, of course it's complex...), and it has nothing to do with some DirectX 9 incompatibility (the Dx9 bits ship with Vista).

Not to mention the fact that other sites mention [extremetech.com] pretty good luck with running games on Vista.

As usual, compatibility issues have more to do with 3rd party incompetence than with the quality of Microsoft's OS.

Good timing! (4, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990196)

And one Nvidia executive predicts that gamers may not routinely see games optimized for DirectX 10 until mid-2008.'

That's about the earliest I'll consider an "upgrade."

Could someone please copy DirectX... (1)

darekana (205478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990220)

Can't some kind of DirectX analogue be implemented on OSX?

It can't be much harder than the Mono project re-implementing .NET... :)

Games are the only thing keeping me on Windows.

Sucks to be you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17990238)

Look, if you wanna play games buy a fucking console. If you want to use a good computer that isn't filled with DRM, don't by fucking vista. People need to wake the fuck up and stop following around the other MS sheeps.

Vista hate... (2, Informative)

joevai (952546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990250)

Ok, I'm getting a bit sick of this same old boring Vista bashing (yes I know I'm on /. where MS bashing is a almost national sport). I have just been playing F.E.A.R. using a shock-horror NVidia card and it plays fine - I simply had to download the Vista driver from Nvidia's site (maybe some of the newer DX10 cards have problems, my DX9 is fine). In fact, it actually seems to play faster than in XP!

Though a great advocate of Open Source and Linux, I'd like to think we can appreciate the good in Vista instead of taking cheap shots every 10 seconds. These people probably had very specific problems and threw their toys out of the pram. I'm not even reading TFA, this is just annoying now. Rationality people! Us intelligent Linux-loving Lisp-defending geeks need to show the masses rationality!!!

Land of the Dead/Other Unreal Engine games? (1)

XO (250276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17990262)

Dedicated server for Land of the Dead will not run in Vista, it just freezes, without actually doing anything.

Anyone know about other Unreal Engine games?
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