Windows XP vs Vista … and XP wins!

XP fighting Vista

Oh dear! As reported by Custom PC magazine this week: Vista vs XP: Performance tested, and Vista is slower.

XP vs Vista

The Custom PC / PC Pro teams ran some test on the same kit, one machine running XP, the other running Vista, and the conclusion is that

they don’t do Vista any favours. In all but a few exceptional cases, the new operating system was equalled or bettered by Windows XP …

Our Media Benchmarks 2007 were 6 per cent slower overall with Vista – and again, it was in video encoding that Vista was weakest, being 10% slower than XP when encoding using the H.264 codec. Even file copying was slower with the new OS. (Source)

How can Microsoft mess up something as simple as file copying?!

Windows, Linux or Mac OS?

I know that it’s fashionable to bash Microsoft, but the truth is that Microsoft do release some wonderful software, and I genuinely have an admiration for what they’ve achieved. The new Office 2007 UI is utterly genius, for a start.

I certainly wouldn’t leap ship from Windows to join the Mac OS X (boot)camp for anything (although I would dabble with Linux) as Mac OS X appears to be something akin to a cultic religion for some folks.

Even the Mac OS X Leopard demo didn’t have me running down the motorway to my nearest Apple dealer to buy one. (Is it just me, or is the guy that presents this the love child of Steve Jobs and Richard Gere?!)


I prefer to keep at least an element of disdain for my OS of choice! But not quite as much as Microsoft appear to have squeezed into Vista. Sure, it looks beautiful … but do I really need a Cray Supercomputer just to power the graphics needed to run Calculator and Character Map?!

I’ve said it before: I’d rather like a new, faster PC (Intel Core 2 Duo with a nice, fat ATi Radeon graphics card, bucket-loads of RAM and a Creative X-Fi soundcard) but not one with Vista. I just don’t see the point, and these test results certainly haven’t convinced me otherwise.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “Windows XP vs Vista … and XP wins!”

  1. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Vista, but mostly on the negative side – one friends swears its done wonders for his gaming – the 64-bit enhancements to his graphics are phenomenal (he says).

    Others have tried it and uninstalled it as soon as possible, the bloated nature of the beast being main concern each time. I could run vista pro on my current machine, but don’t see the point. It may be prettier than XP, but in terms of working capacity, I might as well stick with XP, downgrade my processor and remove half of my RAM. XP will stay my system of choice until I no longer have a choice.

    (Much like yourself with Win3.1 from what I remember…)

  2. I stayed with Windows for Workgroups 3.11 for as long as I did simply because I couldn’t afford to buy a new machine with anything newer.

    Mind you, I upgraded to Windows 98 when the Second Edition (98se) came out, which was just about right for upgrading: wait until the OS has settled down.

    I think Windows 95 would have driven me mad! I would still choose WfWg 3.11 over W95!

    Besides, I do believe in using the software/hardware that’s right for your needs, and during my time at The University of Edinburgh and TISEC I simply needed something for word-processing and synchronizing with my Psion Siena. And for that WfWg 3.11 was the ticket.

    These days I’m certain that too many folks get sold over-spec’ed machines for what they need.

    Salesman: What do you need your PC for?
    Customer: Word processing, internet and email.
    Salesman: How about this Intel Core 4 Quad Q6600 machine with 8192MB Corsair DDR II 667 Memory, 1500GB SATA II Seagate Storage – RAID Stripe, ATI Radeon 1024MB PCI Express Quad Monitor Graphics and 7.1 HD Surround Sound? And all for just £1,449.00.
    Customer: Er … okay. Will that let me check my email?
    Salesman: Yes.
    Customer: Great! I’ll take … oh, and can I play Solitaire and Minesweeper with it?
    Salesman: Absolutely!
    Customer: Excellent! I’ll take it now.

  3. Vista is slower and worse at it’s job than XP. Why is this? OK, there is the bling but once you turn it off it still runs as badly. It’s because of the sheer amount of DRM in the operating system. Your information is checked and rechecked and various information sent back to Microsoft. Google for “copying files on Vista”.

    Microsoft don’t care that you don’t like Vista. In 2 years everyone will be running it if they like it or not. Yes, some parts of Microsoft seem to still do a good job (e.g. Office?) but you can’t use any of their products on any non-Microsoft platform. If you want to actually have an operating system that gets nicer with each release, looks prettier AND runs better you will need to switch to Linux or Mac OS X where the developers seem to actually care about people liking their software.

  4. Vista sucks.

    I’ve been running an Acer Aspire 5633 laptop with Vista Pro (or whatever the middle version is) for the past 6 months.

    I agree with Mike, it is the DRM that slows it down. I thought about turning the “flashy effects” off and trying what some people do with XP, run it with the classic tolbar and start menu to minimise processing time, but for the past few days I’ve now been thinking of downloading Ubuntu (the nest Linux-like OS) and seeing how that goes for a while before deciding the fate of my Vista. (I was actually porpelled a bit in this motion today by seeing a photo of Steve Lawson sporting an Ubuntu on his laptop – and he was a Mac lover!) .

    On a Mac note, Ive seen too many posts and news items about the Mac OS X upgrade to Leopard and people getting the good ol’ blue screen and the system taking too long to upgrade but on fresh factory installed Leopard systems, I think the Macs might pull me at some point, 300 odd changes and whatnot compared to Tiger?

    And finally, Gareth, if you can put together a PC, custon build your own, or something for bits and then re-install your own copy of XP. you won’t be able to find XP running machines to buy easily

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