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[ExtremeTech]Windows7 vs.Vista Graphics Performance

442 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  CattleRustler

Vista had a lot of promise, but it over-reached in all the wrong areas. It changed a whole lot of the underlying structure and driver models of the OS at once, while not being nearly as aggressive on interface improvements. The result was an OS that, even when it worked, often didn't work. Bad drivers caused stability and performance problems for more than a year.

Through lots of Windows OS updates and many driver revisions, most of the kinks have been worked out, and Vista is now quite stable and a good performer. But the damage has been done, and the OS will forever have a reputation for being a big, bloated, slow performance hog that crashes all the time.

In no area was this more apparent than with 3D graphics. The new WDDM 1.0 driver model was a fairly radical departure from the model used in XP. It was meant to improve stability and performance, but had the opposite effect for a long time. Graphics drivers, especially those for Nvidia products, were responsible for a very large percentage of OS crashes in the early Vista days. Gamers weren't happy with giving up 10% or more of their graphics performance, either.

Windows 7 is like the anti-Vista. There are lots of under-the-hood changes, but no completely new and drastically different driver models. WDDM 1.1 is a minor change to the display driver model, so ATI and Nvidia should have an easier time making sure their products are at least as stable and as fast as they are in Vista.

Recently, ATI announced that its monthly driver updates will include Windows 7 drivers, well ahead of Win7's release. Nvidia just released new, better Win7 drivers this month, and promises more improvements to come. So where exactly are we at today, and how far do these two graphics giants have to go to make Windows 7 a better choice than Vista for gamers?

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With ATI already showing better performance on average in Win7, and Nvidia catching up quickly, we're very encouraged. It looks quite possible that a gamer that upgrades from Vista to Win7, without even changing hardware, will get a free framerate boost in most popular games. For an operating system that adds quite a lot of new features, that's not too shabby.

lol at the conclusion. never mind that the performance they speak of is at most 4/5 fps, and they actually threw out the Crysis results. people are going to continue harping praise on Win 7 and ezxulting in how great it's going to be for games when in fact it is practically the same as vista.
hasnt nvidia had win7 versions/support of/in their drivers for the last few releases?
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