Technology news and commentary by the staff

Vista and gaming, a bad combination?

with 6 comments

Last week we posted a new poll on the main site asking readers if they thought Vista is hurting PC gaming, and while I don’t necessarily agree that the question is a completely fair and valid one to ask just like that, looking at the partial results I have to say my experiment has gone just as I expected.

Despite of a mixed initial response from consumers and a growing acceptance for the OS today – after multiple patch releases and more mature drivers getting out of the door – Vista is still getting a lot of bad publicity in Internet circles, especially the blogosphere. It’s not surprising then that over 50% have responded “Yes” to the poll (that Vista is indeed hurting PC gaming). The rest of responses so far are divided between “No” and some maybes, from which the most voted is that high requirements hurts PC gaming more than Vista does or ever could.

And so, what is TechSpot’s official take on the matter?
I wouldn’t dare to say there’s one single answer that satisfies all the staff preferences – especially when we have Per refusing for so many years to upgrade to XP, for god’s sake! :). Personally, Vista has never been a problem for me bar the occasional disk thrashing nuisance, as long a I ran it on a moderately fast system, preferably dual-core setup with 2GB of memory.

Today, the OS is noticeably more polished and things can only get better with SP1, nevertheless the hardware rule still applies if you want no slowdowns and you are used to be a full throttle multi-tasker in XP. Gaming is a completely different world just because driver implementations can make it or break it, but if our recent tests are enough to make a case, (if you have a fast system) and can live with a marginal drop in fps, then you are ready for it, forget about dual booting and learn to live with the better OS.

Written by Julio Franco

January 24th, 2008 at 1:30 am

6 Comments so far

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  1. Running Windos Vista Premium on a AMD64 5600+, 8800GTS 512 & 4Gb DDR2 PC6400 – it did float pretty well. But the compability between games and Vista are pretty poor at the moment and I canno’t recommend anything below 4Gb memory on a Vista-machine. Regardless other hardware installed.

    And running DX10-games doesn’t benefit much from Vista in terms of visible effects. Bioshock and Crysis looked almost identical on my XP-installation. Scary….


    19 Feb 08 at 8:03 am

  2. I have had Vista on both an iBuypower laptop (256MB video card/2GB of RAM/2.2 core duo processors) and currently on a new Dell XPS M1730 (2.4 core duo processors, dual 512MB 8800GTXs, 4GB of RAM), and gaming on both systems has been frustrating at best. The mantra of Vista towards games seems to be “_________ has stopped working” Simcity Societies, Medieval II: Total War, Knights of the Old Republic 2, Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion, ARMA, pretty much any game I played on it. Vista is horrible for gaming. The Vista operating system actually committed suicide on my iBuypower and I replaced it with XP. It tried to do the same with my Dell, but I managed to save it by reinstalling the BIOS. Vista= Higher hardware requirements to allow you to play constantly crashing games that are rock solid in XP.

    Fletcher Shires

    10 Jul 08 at 9:31 am

  3. Running vista on intel Q6600, 4GB DDR2 ram (800MHz) 8800GTS 512. runs practically every current game at full spec with 2xAA and 4to8xAF without any problems (apart from crysis, have to drop down AF but still averages about 35fps).
    tempted to dual boot it on xp and see how it handles then.

    Brendan Edwards

    27 May 09 at 7:55 am

  4. I am running Vista premium on AMD645600, 8800GTS 512 & 4Gb DDR2 PC6400 I suffer game crashes much too often. I have Vista running on two hard drives and both of them crash BSD, and the crashes get varying causes. The crashes stopped for a brief period no idea why they stopped but now they have returned. Never have I had problems with any other versions of windows, not happy with Vista 64.

    Howard Anderson

    19 Jun 09 at 8:00 am

  5. I am running Vista 64 Home Premium with the following:
    CPU: E8400 over clocked 3.6ghz
    GPU: HD4870 512 over clocked 770/1100
    RAM: 8GB (4X2gb) DDR2 Corsair

    Absolutely no crashes no BSODS (unless of course I have done something stupid like stuff up the voltage settings on my CPU etc).

    The system does tend to take up a lot of resources though, which is why I am so looking forward to Win7 coming out next month.


    3 Sep 09 at 10:57 pm

  6. most people tend to over look the compatibility on the gaming list but the fact is just disable DEP and tell it to run as a windows XP s2 environment this sounds a bit rough around the edges but its the best solution i found out for now


    27 Oct 09 at 1:13 am

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