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PC World Tests Final Version of Vista SP1 210

Posted by Zonk
from the could-be-worse dept.
Mac writes "PC World ran the final version of Windows Vista SP1 through a first set of tests last night. Here's the bottom line: 'File copying, one of the main performance-related complaints from Vista users, was significantly faster. But other tests showed little improvement and, in two tests, our experience was actually a little better without the service pack installed than with it.'"
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PC World Tests Final Version of Vista SP1

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  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:21PM (#22339284)
    After installing Vista SP1, it has been determined that the Vista SP2 will be a Vista uninstaller with a full version of XP Professional.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gotzero (1177159)
      ...just as long as it is not an online D/L! The next version will be out before you can grab the update off of the network. After a year, I am still not feeling any remorse for skipping out of Vista. XP under virtualization is more than enough for me outside of work...
    • by Zymergy (803632) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:38PM (#22339592)
      Great!
      Now thousands of snarky PC techs everywhere will be wearing T-shirts saying: " *I AM* Vista SP2! "
    • by rubycodez (864176) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:41PM (#22339630)
      I found XP to be a bit too bloated and insecure for my tastes, can I get a double downgrade to 2000 pro?
      • by BeeBeard (999187) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:46PM (#22340798)
        I know you're kidding around, but there is some truth to this. On fresh installs, many former Windows 2000 users would routinely disable the extra services and eyecandy that were so prominent in XP, trying in vain to negate the loss in performance that came with the move to the newer Microsoft OS.

        On most hardware, the older Windows 2000 had a huge performance advantage over its newer cousin--tirelessly proved out in benchmark after benchmark--that never actually went away until...ever. Microsoft just stopped supporting the older OS without special contracts, and people just sort of stopped using Windows 2000 in general. And so XP became the new performance baseline.
        • by thsths (31372) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:14PM (#22341242)
          > On most hardware, the older Windows 2000 had a huge performance advantage over its newer cousin

          I completely agree. Even compared to Windows NT 4, 2000 never looked bloated. But that is where my praise ends: it might be small, but it was still difficult to use in a lot of places. Windows XP did actually improve the usability quite a bit, although style wise it was a mixed blessing. And since SP2 there is no comparison: XP is just a lot more secure.

          I think those are the main reasons that 2000 died out without much notice. On 64MB of RAM, it might have the edge, but you can by 1GB for $30 now. And Windows XP works just fine on any computer less than 5 years old. I don't see the same thing happening with Vista any time soon.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)

            Even compared to Windows NT 4, 2000 never looked bloated

            Compare it with a fresh install of NT 4. I used to run NT 4 on a 166MHz machine with 64MB of RAM (close to top of the line when NT4 was released), and it was very nippy. When I installed IE 4, it got a lot slower, and IE 5 didn't speed things up much. 2K was comparable in terms of responsiveness to NT4 with the IE-based shell, but NT4 with the old Explorer was significantly faster. I didn't notice the slowdown at the time, because it came with so many new UI features, but it was clear when I did a side

          • I completely agree. Even compared to Windows NT 4, 2000 never looked bloated.

            NT4 ran quite comfortably on 100Mhz-class Pentiums with 40MB+ of RAM. Windows 2000..... would not.

            I think those are the main reasons that 2000 died out without much notice. On 64MB of RAM, it might have the edge, but you can by 1GB for $30 now. And Windows XP works just fine on any computer less than 5 years old. I don't see the same thing happening with Vista any time soon.

            What. The. Fuck.

            Where does this sort of stupidity come from ? Windows Vista, even in full-blown Aero mode, runs fine *right now* on machines 5+ years old (anything Ghz-class, with 1GB+ RAM and what is today US$30 video card has the performance to do so - so you can feasibly go back around 7 years, with a cheap video card upgrade). XP will also run well on machines that were around *10 years ago* (300Mhz P2s with 384M-512M RAM).

            (Of course, discussions like this completely miss the point that how well something runs on very old hardware is basically irrelevant.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by trix7117 (835907)
          My wife and I recently took over a business that was still using Windows 2000. I had forgotten that a Windows computer could handle email, web-browsing, and QuickBooks just fine on a 6 year old computer with 512MB of RAM.
        • While the reasoning is sound and yes XP does use up more resources then 2000, in reality it wasn't correct. 2000 was marketed to businesses, and as such few home users actually used it, around the same time Windows ME came out and as everyone knows, failed miserably, after that MS abandoned separate home and business OS series, XP came out. So in the home OS, XP was the clear winner because it broke the old grey/blue look of the 9X series and looked new, and offered the NT kernel which was much better then
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wilsonng (900790)
          I think the better way to evaluate new software is not comparing that it took me 30 seconds to do this, and now it took me 45 seconds using the same hardware configuration. what about things like it took me 9 mouseclicks/keystrokes to do this, and now it takes me 3 mouseclicks. Or better still, it used to take me 20 minutes to be able to configure to do this, and that, and now it just takes less than a minute / or I could not do this before, and now I can! I can say that finding a picture among my files
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by barzok (26681)
      That's what they said SP1 would be!
    • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:49PM (#22339778) Journal
      File copying, one of the main performance-related complaints from Vista users, was significantly faster.

      Good News: The integrated spyware/trojan horse functionality has seen significant performance enhancements. The overhead imposed on the various systems that this functionality interacts with has been significantly reduced.

      But other tests showed little improvement and in two tests, our experience was actually a little better without the service pack installed than with it.

      Bad News: The spyware/trojan horse functionality has been even more deeply integrated into the operating system. There are more systems than ever whose performance has been negatively affected by these assaults on the user.

      At least there's some good news...
      • by NSIM (953498) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:48PM (#22340820)
        If anybody actually wants to undrstand what's been going on with Vista file copying, as opposed to making smart ass comments, there's an excellent article from Mark Russinovich's blog at:

        http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/02/04/2826167.aspx [technet.com]

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:20PM (#22341314)
          TFA talks about the difficulties of copying files. Interesting but: so what? Does it explain why XP manages to do better? And what about linux which for most of the time had none of the needed info yet implemented NTFS and SMB and likely copies stuff faster than Vista? Vista has a heap of open source software to get inspiration from. Smart ass comments seems still justified.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Sinbios (852437)
            If you manage to read down a few paragraphs you'll see the part where he explains why Vista does things differently than previous versions of Windows, and why it's better.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by UncleTogie (1004853) *

              If you manage to read down a few paragraphs you'll see the part where he explains why Vista does things differently than previous versions of Windows, and why it's better.

              Sure, as long as you're copying less than around 16384 files... [slashdot.org]

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Your.Master (1088569)
            a) It specifically mentions what previous versions of Windows, including XP, does, and why they changed.

            b) They can't look at what GPL'd software did without risking "contaminating" the source code and having to open it, so they can't "get inspiration" from GPL'd stuff. They may be able to gank code from some other more permissive licenses. I'm not positive but isn't the linux NTFS stuff GPL?

            c) Smart ass comments might be justified based on what you said if those smart ass comments were at all related
        • by nschubach (922175) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:30PM (#22341466) Journal
          Ah man, do I have to? The smart ass comments are more entertaining...
        • by syousef (465911) on Friday February 08, 2008 @01:51AM (#22345388) Journal
          It doesn't matter how much spin they put on it, an OS not being able to copy files correctly in 2007/2008 is a JOKE.

          By now we should have correct, complete and RESUMABLE file and directory copies regardless of the source and target directories. It can be done. Just check out Robocopy. In fact Robocopy and RobocopyGUI are still the only good ways supported by Microsoft of copying large directories or whole drives within Windows in an environment where a crash is possible. (Don't even get me started on Synctoy crashes).

          Why can't an end user just let the OS know they want these directories copied to here? Why do you still have to set up one copy at a time from a GUI? I can batch a copy, but I can't add to it when it's already started, and if I want proper control and logging I have to do it from the command line with a list of switches.

          Who cares if they can get security working etc. if they can't even get the basic functionality right!?
  • So how come it rates the front page?
    • by KillerBob (217953)
      You must be new here....

      This is Slashdot, and that article can loosely be translated as "Upgrading to Vista SP1 is a colossal waste of time." Anything that bashes MS or makes them look bad makes front page here.
  • In other news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Oxy the moron (770724) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:29PM (#22339434)

    ... the sky is typically blue, the grass is mostly green, and the Pope is Catholic.

    I un-installed Vista about 6 months ago and returned to XP. The main reason is because I simply didn't think that the main issues I had with it (some outlined in this article) really could be fixed... at least not with a service pack release or other patches. It seemed to me that the focus with Vista simply had shifted more to the shiny eye candy for end users, and that when you focus on the pretty stuff the necessary stuff will logically be less efficient.

    I do have some reasonable high hopes for this new MinWin, but until then, I'll just continue to expect more tests and benchmarks like this one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mqduck (232646)

      ... the sky is typically blue, the grass is mostly green, and the Pope is Catholic.
      News at 11: Breaking update on Pope's defecating habits.
  • by yakumo.unr (833476) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:30PM (#22339448) Homepage

    "The Windows Vista SP1 install process clears the user-specific data that is used by Windows to optimize performance, which may make the system feel less responsive immediately after install. As the customer uses their SP1 PC, the system will be retrained over the course of a few hours or days and will return to the previous level of responsiveness." source [microsoft.com]

    Any performance tests that haven't taken that into account somehow can't be taken too seriously sadly, it's a difficult thing to deal with for review, much like a fresh Vista original release, though at least SP1 shouldn't blank out your index system's index, and cause that to re-catalog everything too, that really would cripple immediate post-install tests.

    • by microbee (682094)
      This review is so premature that it's not even funny. I'd expected a more professional one.
    • What on earth does "user specific data" have to do with system performance?  I mean, what is it actually doing?
      • Maybe it's pre-caching application libraries or not loading certain OS code until the user requires it.

        You can do a lot to improve apparent performance by building a detailed profile of what the user typically does. It won't make the processor run faster, but can improve the wait time to do stuff.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Johnno74 (252399)

          Maybe it's pre-caching application libraries or not loading certain OS code until the user requires it.

          You can do a lot to improve apparent performance by building a detailed profile of what the user typically does. It won't make the processor run faster, but can improve the wait time to do stuff.

          Thats exactly what vista does. Its called SuperFetch, and it works out patterns of disk usage to try and pre-fetch stuff into the disk cache. Apparently its smart enough to recognise different patterns of applica

          • Thanks for the reminder.

            One of these days I'm going to remember this sort of stuff and not just extrapolate it from the little I do remember.

            I'm suffering from Too Many Buzzword Syndrome (or TMBS, but I also suffer from a similar, acronym-based syndrome).
          • Kinda moot if they're going to wipe all the data on a service pack update. Can't you even export it?
    • by RonnyJ (651856)
      They've not even indicated as to whether the original figures pre-SP1 were problematic. It could be that those figures were perfectly fine, and similar to XP performance on that particular system.

      What's really needed is three figures: XP, Vista, and Vista SP1 - with particular focus on issues that Vista pre-SP1 had problems with.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:32PM (#22339474)
    Unless you're timing with a stopwatch etc, there is no way in hell you will notice a 9% speed up. You need a speed up of 50% or so before most people will really appreciate the difference.

    Besides, unless the huge copy time problem has been fixed people will not be happy. Going from 15 minutes to 13.5 minutes is not going to make MS any friends.

    • by realmolo (574068) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:44PM (#22339690)
      Exactly.

      I mean, the slow copying speed when copying LARGE amounts of data sucks, but the WORST part of Vista is the slow copying speed when copying/moving small files. I mean, moving a file to the Recycle Bin takes 2 seconds! Copying a shortcut from one folder to another on the same drive takes 2 seconds! Those things should happen instantly, and DID happen instantly on XP, and every version of Windows before that.

      That's where the performance problems really piss people off. A %9 improvement doesn't do squat.
      • by Bombula (670389)
        Those things should happen instantly, and DID happen instantly on XP, and every version of Windows before that.

        Holy BS, Batman! You, my friend, need to try some other OSs in order to learn the true meaning of the word 'instant'. Any major Linux distro will get you started. I actually don't blame Windows entirely. A clean, minimalist install of Windows without any networking or antivirus works pretty darned fast. But once you drench the system, as you must, with security crapware, it slows ot a crawl.

      • by gid (5195)
        I just deleted a smallish file (36K) and copied a shortcut to another folder. It happened instantly for me. Using Vista Home Premium, antivirus disabled.

        It could be shitty virus scanners that are causing some of this. I know I was running CA Security Suite before, and it would add 4 seconds to opening an emails in thunderbird that contained image attachments.

        I just tried a very unscientific test deleting a 3.3 meg exe file. Running Avast! Antivirus it takes about .5 seconds to delete--I could actually s
        • by mashade (912744)

          with a 10K RPM WD Sata Raptor drive and 3.5 gigs of ram.

          Splurged on the drive and couldn't go for 4GB of RAM?
          • by compro01 (777531)
            i'd guess that he has 4GB of ram and a 512MB videocard running on 32-bit vista with the usual 4GB memory addressing limit.
      • by DAldredge (2353)
        I just tried both copying a shortcut and moving a file to the recycle bin. Both took a fraction of a second.
    • by RonnyJ (651856)
      What I have noticed with SP1 is a very considerable boost in system responsiveness, something which hasn't been benchmarked here, and can't easily be.

      Pretty much all this article consists of is a test of a few file copies - and that's not saying much. This seems to me to be basically getting a 'review' of SP1 up as soon as possible - and they succeeded in getting reported on Slashdot.
    • by KillerBob (217953)
      Though with the 8 hours it took to copy all the MP3's from my two 320GB external USB hard drives to my 1TB external Firewire hard drive, that 9% would certainly be noticable. It's all about scale. You won't notice a 9% improvement in performance when you aren't doing much. But you most certainly will notice it when you're doing a lot.
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Though with the 8 hours it took to copy all the MP3's from my two 320GB external USB hard drives to my 1TB external Firewire hard drive, that 9% would certainly be noticable.

        Only if you were measuring it (which is the point).

        It's all about scale. You won't notice a 9% improvement in performance when you aren't doing much. But you most certainly will notice it when you're doing a lot.

        No, it's about proportionality. The average person needs a "change" of between 10% and 20% before they'll notice it, unl

    • by dbIII (701233)

      Unless you're timing with a stopwatch etc, there is no way in hell you will notice a 9% speed up

      That's fifteen hours in a week! In numerical computing it would very nice to get such huge speedups on long running jobs - 9% improvement is a huge amount. In desktop computing that process of copying say a 42GB file would also be noticably less painfull with a 9% speedup.

  • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:34PM (#22339500) Homepage
    I for one am waiting until SP1SP1 comes out. I'm no early adopter.
  • Ahahaha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milsoRgen (1016505) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:36PM (#22339550) Homepage
    I'd love to see em get Vista in proper order, but damn it... All this wasted effort is damn funny... Slopping more junk isn't the answer... Maybe one of these service packs should start stripping away all the excess code. I mean c'mon, 27 minutes to install a collection of bug fixes? 3 reboots? Jesus... and that was on quad 6600. Ouch.

    It should also be noted however he was testing the file transfer with a SD card, I would assume they behave similar to your standard USB flash drive and is generally either optimized for speedily transferring large files, or small files but rarely both...

    One would think copying a Blue-Ray disc image across 2 hard drives would be more appropriate? Or at least using a standardized mix set of data, both files large and small. Word documents, mp3 files, disc images... But wait this is PC World... Not exactly at the forefront of reliable and unbiased testing...
  • As someone who uses Vista at work, I for one welcome our slightly faster copy-and-paste overlords.
  • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:43PM (#22339668)
    In case anybody is interest *why* Vista pre-SP1 seemed so much slower copying files than XP, and why post-SP1 for the most part fixes it, you should check out Mark Russinovich's blog post [technet.com] on the matter.

    It's a very interesting read.
    • by ledow (319597)
      It's interesting, yes, but it all seems to be making excuses for a poor SMB implementation.

      The true test, obviously, is if copying files over SMB using Linux/Samba is the comparable to Vista in terms of speed, CPU usage, RAM usage etc. My guess is that Vista still appears to suck, but I haven't done that test. It's a file copy. You can come up with all the fancy explanations and function-flow diagrams that you want... the fact is that it takes TOO LONG to copy a relatively small amount of files over a ne
      • Seems pretty clear to me that this was anything but a "simple" problem. You can call them "excuses", but Mark is not stupid, nor is he a marketing guy. If the problem was due to a stupid mistake, he would point it out.

        Reading his explanation, it seems that there were trade offs either way. Microsoft originally went with the better network throughput and utilization at the expense of certain local file copy operations.

        Consumers have spoken, and they say that it was a bad choice.

        So now Microsoft went with a m
      • Then 9 months later, they still haven't fixed it, a la Windows Home Server -

        Question -

        what the hell do they do when they find a BIG problem like data corruption?


        Response -
        http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946676/en-us?spid=12624 [microsoft.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by iusty (104688)
      I went and started reading the article, but stopped at the first mention of the "file copy engine". If your OS is so complex that you need an "engine" - a dedicated software construct - for copying files, then... I guess this is the reason Vista must use so much space.

      Furthermore,

      The biggest change they made was to go back to using cached file I/O again for all file copies, both local and remote, with one exception [...]

      So basically it's faster because it's the old version, not because the new version is fixed.

      I guess the end tells it all:

      File copying is not as easy as it might first appear

      Tell that to all the 52k of /bin/dd (well, plus the kernel part, but still...).

      At least the article was an

      • but stopped at the first mention of the "file copy engine". If your OS is so complex that you need an "engine" - a dedicated software construct - for copying files, then... I guess this is the reason Vista must use so much space.

        Maybe this 'file copy engine' is the bit that makes the flying paper animation?

        Now thats complex and must use heaps of system resources. Especially on Vista. I mean the animation is probably real-time rendered 3d with all kinds of cool effects. Maybe even particle simulation on each
    • by pavera (320634) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:22PM (#22340374) Homepage Journal
      So, in reading that article, vista was slower primarily because they stopped using cached I/O. The explanation seems to be that file copies weren't actually any faster in XP they just *LOOKED* faster because they closed the copy dialog before the copy was actually completed (IE, the dialog closes when the file is completely read from the source, not when it is completely written to the destination).

      In Vista they changed this so the dialog actually closed when the copy was complete, but now in SP1 they have gone back to the previous setup.
      • by tknd (979052)

        This is actually a pretty common thing: the user gets used to reading the "broken" interface and then you go and fix it to the "right" interface, then the user comes back and complains that the "broken" one was better without understanding what the issues are.

        Sure, the choice of solution could be better, but I'm not sure it's a battle they could have won. XP effectively is lying about file copies. So any correct copy implementation will probably be scoffed at in terms of (fake) performance.

        The only rig

      • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:33PM (#22341520)

        In Vista they changed this so the dialog actually closed when the copy was complete, but now in SP1 they have gone back to the previous setup.
        This is not entirely accurate.

        As Mark said, there were several problems with the XP model. The biggest problem being that large file copy operations could use up all the memory in the system. There were also scenarios where there as double-caching going on.

        In Vista RTM, they completely did away with most cached i/o and increased the read/write sizes. This resulted in both a real and a perceived performance penalty for some local copy scenarios, but it dramatically improved network throughput and utilization.

        In Vista SP1, they went back to doing *some* cached i/o in certain scenarios. So it's basically a blended approach. They also eliminated the double caching that sometimes took place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stan Vassilev (939229)
      In case anybody is interest *why* Vista pre-SP1 seemed so much slower copying files than XP, and why post-SP1 for the most part fixes it, you should check out Mark Russinovich's blog post on the matter.

      It's a very interesting read.


      It is, but let me summarize it for a sad realization:

      "In XP, we just issued 64kb read/writes via the standard API-s and used Cache Manager.

      In Vista, a team saw a problem than no one before saw, and wrote a dedicated, big, complex engine, the File Copy Engine (tm) that, among other
  • O RLY? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bobb Sledd (307434) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:46PM (#22339746) Homepage
    Hm. That's funny... my personal tests conclude that my performance is better without Vista than with it.

    Running Vista is a lot like trying to run a foot race in a swimming pool while wearing balls-and-chains on your feet. And then when you get to the end, a big fat lady grabs you out of the water and sits on your chest.

    See, if you had just a little bit more beefy hardware, you'd barely even feel the chains.

    Oh shoot it wasn't a car analogy.
  • Exhaustive testing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by heffrey (229704) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:56PM (#22339894)
    His single file copy test was a bunch of files from a flash drive. He copied them three times before SP1, and three times after. He then reports average times, but no reporting of variation. That's not exactly serious benchmarking now is it.

    To be fair to PC World they do say that this is informal and preliminary and they will publish comprehensive results in due course. My criticism is that this makes front page of Slashdot (the reason of course is that it's somewhat critical of Vista and therefore of course is great news here in anti-MS FUD world).

    It astonished me that stories about Mark Russinovich's blog post on Vista file copying (including changes implemented for SP1 after customer feedback) were rejected.

    It strikes me as feeble that the Slashdot crowd all scream FUD! whenever MS are guilty of it (frequently), but then commit the same sin themselves in the other direction.

    And the other thing that hacks me off is that this post will no doubt be modded flamebait or troll which means worse karma (got none anyhow) and therefore no voice. It's an interesting effect of the Slashdot moderation scheme that any criticism of Slashdot is suppressed. Free speech doesn't flourish here (unless you follow the herd!)
    • by LuckyStarr (12445) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:11PM (#22342062)

      It astonished me that stories about Mark Russinovich's blog post on Vista file copying (including changes implemented for SP1 after customer feedback) were rejected.

      It strikes me as feeble that the Slashdot crowd all scream FUD! whenever MS are guilty of it (frequently), but then commit the same sin themselves in the other direction.
      So Russinovich wrote this baffling article about the magic of file copying, elaborating at length about how freaking hard it all is just so he does not have to say:

      We're sorry. We screwed up. Reverted to the previous code. Better now. Steve, where is my brown paper bag?

      Now what is the FUD here exactly. I really doubt file copying should deserve such a lengthy article.

      ps. I'd rather they implemented some sane error handling in Explorers copy function, so it doesn't crap out at the first read only file. This is the reason I use the Windows port of Midnight Commander to copy/move directories on Windows. Did they fix THAT in Vista?
  • by spoco2 (322835) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:59PM (#22339936)
    I've been running the SP1 Release Candidate for a while now and it has improved networking greatly (resuming from Sleep the network is available again immediately unlike pre SP1 where there was quite a lag), and on that front the network discovery and usage of my LAN is better than XP. (Machines are found more reliably and it all just works much more smoothly).

    My biggest gripe with Vista has been the DVD Maker. I look upon OSX users with envy because of their iLife. I don't have HUGE needs for my digital media, but I would like to be able to throw one or more videos onto a DVD with a nice menu. I used to be able to do this without effort with Nero, but the version I have was an OEM that doesn't work with Vista.

    So, I turned to what Vista has, and was thrilled to see DVD Maker, a simple program that seemed to do pretty much what I wanted and made really, really pretty menus with no hassle.

    EXCEPT IT DOESN'T WORK.

    I haven't had one successful DVD made using this dang thing.

    I have tried burning DVDs with video taken straight from digital free to air tv (so already in DVD resolution and MPEG2 encoded), I've tried Divx files, I've tried everything. While you're creating the DVD in DVD Maker it shows EVERYTHING perfectly. If it burned the disc the way it SHOWED it in the program it'd all be fine... except what does it do?

    One of two things:
    * Fail with cryptic error at 99% of burn process (except it actually hasn't even touched the blank DVD)
    OR
    * Burn the disc successfully, but turn all widescreen material into squished 4:3 content... leaving only beautiful 16:9 menus working correctly.

    It's utterly infuriating and is the only thing that has made me want a Mac really... just iLife... if I could have that on Windows I'd be happy.
    • by MobyDisk (75490)
      This is why operating systems should be operating systems, not catch-all tools. A typical PC these days comes with 2-3 media players, several CD/DVD burning packages, and a couple of video conversion tools. We don't need Microsoft throwing-in yet another tool into the mix: one which probably can't be disabled and interferes with the 3rd-party products.

      Apple does it right. OS X is a basic operating system with no frills. iLife is a for-sale add-on with common features like a photo album, video processing
      • by spoco2 (322835)
        I'm not sure I agree with you.

        Firstly, while you can buy iLife separately, it comes bundled with EVERY Mac, so it's in effect part of the OS. Yes you can uninstall it, which is great, but it's not much different to Microsoft bundling DVD Maker & Movie Maker with Windows.

        Secondly, yeah, if you buy a Dell or the like you're going to end up with a bunch of different tools etc. pre installed. But I build my own PCs, so I'm always interested in what I get bundled with the OS. I feel an OS SHOULD come with at
        • I don't think you can say that iLife is "part of the OS". It's bundled with all new Macs but never comes on the OS standalone discs that you buy when a major new OS version rolls out. It also doesn't tie into the system in any way except through the normal APIs that any other app can, making it just a bunch of apps and not a part of the OS.
  • by wouter (103085) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:01PM (#22339966) Homepage
    Your mileage may vary. I have a P4 2Ghz 1GB RAM machine that runs Vista as fast as it's 2Ghz centrino duo 1GB RAM cousin. Only difference: With Vista I get more eye candy and a shorter startup time.

    No, no fat ladies for me :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:04PM (#22340008)
    I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Vista fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Vista machine (a Quad core Xeon w/8 gigs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium 4 running XP SP2, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this machine, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

    In addition, during this file transfer, Internet Explorer 7 will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even notepad is straining to keep up as I type this.

    I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various "Vista ready" machines, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Vista machine that has run faster than its XP counterpart, despite Vista's re-written core code. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 3.2ghz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim Vista is a superior OS.

    Vista addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use Vista over older faster, more stable XP.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Zorque (894011)
      I dunno what's wrong with your system, but my transfer speeds aren't noteworthy at all. My computer is significantly less powerful than yours, and the transfer speeds are just as fast as they would be in XP. Honestly, it's probably something about the way you have it set up.
      • Four words, your mileage may vary, were never so true. I run a network at a tech company and we have a nice distribution of windows xp, mac, and vista computers. The XP machines are, on the whole, pretty happy little machines. Very consistent performance. The Vista machines, however, are all different. There's only one on the whole network that works just fine and rarely has problems. The rest of them all seem to have different troubles.

        Really, can we stop the flamewars and the discussions and just all of

    • Vista versus XP (Score:3, Informative)

      by Z34107 (925136)

      Vista addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use Vista over older faster, more stable XP.

      Damn, intelligent! Okay...

      My experience with XP is building my family's machine and then living on it (I was in high school at the time). I used it for gaming, Visual Studio (C, C++ programmer), homework (Office 2003/2007), and media (Japanesian cartoons on a TV - video cards rock.) I had an Intel 3.4GHz proc with that hyperthreading magic, 1 GB

      • by owlnation (858981)

        You get what you pay for. Your mileage may vary. My girlfriend's parent's Vista box has been raped by Azureus, Norton (they uninstalled AVG, and then a license of Windows Live OneCare I gave them), Yahoo! install CD add-ons, and overlapping parental controls (Vista AND ISP) that keep even the admin account from sending e-mail or surfing the web.

        All I can say is "Don't fuck up your computer." And don't buy one that comes pre-fucked either; it's not really a time-saver. As for your 8GB Xeon... if you don't

        • by Z34107 (925136)

          With a Mac, the average user does not need any additional software whatsoever

          Sounds like vendor lock-in and monopoly powers! ^.^

          Anyway - Windows isn't an "it just works" OS; it's an "it just WORKED" OS. It worked when Dell installed it on your computer in the factory, worked a little less when they loaded it with "value-added" crap, and stopped working when you decided to download the internet despite numerous "allow/deny" warnings and virusscanner screamings...

          You don't have to be an "IT Expert"

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:03PM (#22341060)
      Whoa, a lot of people dont get this at all. Here's a hint. [kottke.org]
      • Ah, after more than a decade, the Kottke troll may finally have run it's course.

        In the case of Vista it is actually insightful and informative.

        (captcha: casket)

      • Oh, right, anybody SHOULD know that random post on the intertubes.
        • We're on slashdot. That post is nerd folklore.

          Plus, come on, a 17 MB file should take about 5 seconds to copy. It's obviously a joke, not a +5 Insightful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shados (741919)
      The only thing to keep on the lookout for, is the freagin DRM crap. It is buggy: most people won't have issues with it, but in a certain set of rare conditions, it pops up and hog all your CPU (its a bug, that is, normally, even if you watch DRM content it won't do that, but sometimes if you watch NON-DRM stuff, it will, its a mess).

      Look at your task manager for some process hugging everything. Especially if you used WMP sometime during the session. Its uncommon, and Ive only seen it happen once out of many
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:29PM (#22340486) Homepage Journal
    We tried running Vista and it was, on average, twice as slow as XP, so we just gave up and won't install it on any boxen in our labs.

    We have real work to do and shelling out cash for graphics cards we don't need for an OS that runs even slower is a total waste of time.

    Most of our boxen are now Linux-only or Linux/XP dual boot now - performance matters, and making it only 45 percent slower than XP when it was 50 percent slower won't cut it in a production environment.
  • Now, more than ever, I am glad that Microsoft is getting rid of that grubby XP.

    Wait! DAMMIT! Fscking mirror universe!

  • by Mex (191941) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:32PM (#22341508)
    How is this possible?

    The best sales pitch for SP1 is that it COPIES FILES FASTER? Which is still probably slower than it was with XP, thus making it a non-improvement?

    Ridiculous.
  • I have an XP machine available at work (that I thankfully don't have to use constantly, as I have a Linux workstation). But file copying is a problem on XP, too: it's slow! Frankly, on my Linux workstation I'm regularly dealing with files over NFS that create, delete, rename, or symlink instantaneously, so how Windows can take several seconds to do these things on its *local* hard drive is beyond me. My Mac at home works fine too.

    In theory, the slow-down is caused by anti-virus, backup or other random st
  • Or is WinFS not included in SP1?
  • The "journalist" made these awesome discoveries that there were minor differences in single trial file copying speeds of a memory card of all things. And further testing on unzipping files because that's such a core OS function.

    The author didn't bother testing SMB1 vs. SMB2 copy speeds or even acknowledging that she understood there was a difference in these technologies.

    I was going to make a joke about someone in my family being able to write a more authoritative article, but then I realised it wouldn't b
  • benchmarks (Score:4, Informative)

    by Draconian (70486) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @08:21PM (#22342908)
    If I read the article correctly, it takes 348 seconds to transfer 1.9GB of data. That amounts to 5.6 MB/sec copyspeed, or about 11.2 MB/s transfer speed on the disk (read + write). A simple, $50 SATA-II disk is able to sustain 50MB/s transfers, read or write, and quality hard disks even more. What is happening with the remaining bandwidth? There is some seek overhead, directory updates, etc but nothing that would slow it down. Also, 11MB/s is hardly a big strain for main memory, cache or PCI bus bandwidth, so it should not affect responsiveness at all. Somebody mentioned lack of rigorous benchmarking because no variance was measured. In this case, it seems many times too slow compared to the physical limit of the disk, so something is fundamentally wrong, irrespective of variance.

    I quickly tested this on a SuSE linux machine, and found copy speeds of about 19 MB/sec including syncing to disk (so not tainted by buffering), or 38.2 MB/sec total disk transfer. Accounting for seek overhead, directory updates, etc, that feels like it is limited by the hardware (about 50MB/s for sequential access on this computer). Vista seems to lose about a factor of 4 relative to the hardware. Given the speed of the machine used (cpu, memory, videocard etc) any gui-aspects should not be the limiting factor. All other factors such as different filesystem etc should likewise have a negligable influence. I guess I'll stick to linux for the moment for my IO-intensive work...
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @08:52PM (#22343220)
    Wow man and that earth shattering file copy speed was on a 3GHz dual core machine - 1000 machine cycles for each byte transferred. Does MS realize that modern tape drives have a MINIMUM speed of 32MB/s? LTO-3 tapes don't go any slower. So will MS be selling paper tape backup systems or do we need punch cards? Just thinking of what they must be doing wrong to make Vista this slow, makes my head hurt.

Real programs don't eat cache.

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