If Microsoft is serious about having Vista supplant XP as the dominate OS they sure are going about it in an odd way. This Yahoo News article on testing by Devil Mountain Software says that the upcoming Service Pack 3 for Windows XP improves performance by some 10% whereas Vista’s SP1, which was touted as improving performance, fails to do so:
The news comes as a “nice bonus,” the research staff said on the blog, because SP3 was expected mainly to deliver bug fixes and consolidate various patches. “In fact, XP SP3 is shaping up to be a must-have update for the majority of users who are still running Redmond’s not-so-latest-and-greatest desktop OS,” the company said.
These results run in stark contrast to tests conducted on Vista SP1. On November 18, Devil Mountain Software reported that performance gains under Vista SP1 were negligible and that Vista continues to be slower than XP.
“The hoped-for performance fixes that Microsoft has been hinting at never materialized,” the testers reported. “Vista + SP1 is no faster” than out-of-the-box Vista, they said.
“If you’ve been disappointed with the performance of Windows Vista to date, get used to it. SP1 is simply not the panacea that many predicted. In the end, it’s Vista’s architecture—not a lack of tuning or bug fixes—that makes it perform so poorly on systems that were ‘barn-burners’ under Windows XP,” the research staff said.
There’s no real details on the configuration of the PCs used in the tests so it’s hard to say if there’s any flaws in them, but my experience on my machine with both Vista and XP is that the amount of RAM you have installed makes a big difference. XP runs at it’s best with 1GB of RAM, but to get Vista to perform at a similar level takes a minimum of 2GB. Alas I’ll probably have to switch back to XP in the near future myself as the audio drivers for my motherboard are causing lockups after an hour and a half or so of use. At least until new drivers come out from the folks at nVidia to address the issue.
Still if the reported speed increase actually comes to pass then a little more time under XP won’t be a bad thing. SP3 is expected out early in 2008.