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 Post subject: Windows Vista 32bit: End User Perspective (PART 3)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:38 pm 
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An End User Perspective:

Ok, it's been almost a week since I've made Vista my main development OS, and, although this might come as a shock to some of you, I actually like it (at least from an end-user perspective)!

Love the eye candy, and, after upgrading from 1 to 2.5 GB of RAM, the system feels very fast (note that, apart from the 10,000 RPM 150 GB WD Raptor, it's not like this is a high end machine: it's a 3 year old P4 running at 3.1 GHz with a GeForce 6800 GT card featuring 256 MB of RAM).

It's always a good idea to be a few steps behind state-of-the-art hardware when developing software, this way you're not tempted to add features that run ok on your high end machine but slow as molasses on the systems being used by the large majority of your customers.

Vista has also been very stable for me (so far :wink: ). The only thing I really hated was when the new Nvidia drivers bought my Windows Experince Score for Graphics Gaming from 4.6, with the MS drivers, down to 3.5! :cry:

A few unrelated notes:

If your system is protected by an UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) or some kind of battery system, go to Device Manager and enable write caching and advanced performance for your hard disks.

If you are a heavy multitasking user who likes to keep a lot of windows open at the same time, sooner or later you're going to run into the Desktop Heap exhaustion problem. When this happens, you'll notice that suddenly you cannot open any more windows/menus and some of your applications may start crashing, even if you have a ton of RAM available. This is also a problem on XP and 2000. Luckily there is a simple solution for it which you can find at

http://blogs.msdn.com/tonyschr/archive/2005/05/25/desktop-heap-limitations.aspx

Also, when I was transferring several Gigabytes of data across the 100Mbit network from my old PC into the Vista machine I was getting appalling transfer speeds: something in the order of 10-20% total bandwidth utilization, tops. At first I thought I had been bitten by the slow network transfer problem in Vista which has been described in several web sites, but, upon closer examination I discovered the real culprit: CPU utilization on the XP computer was peaking at 100%, which made the CPU - not the network - the bottleneck.

The problem was the Sygate Firewall, which had packet log enabled and was therefore logging every packet transmitted, which maxed out the CPU. Turning packet logging off solved the problem, and network utilization immediately climbed back up to the normal 80% (the missing 20% is because both XP and Vista have QoS enabled by default - a client side 'feature' that throttles network throughput to help prevent network saturation).

I wonder if the reported slow network performances in Vista have something to do with the Windows Firewall. In my case, I've replaced the Vista firewall with the one built into ESET Smart Security (ESET is the company behind NOD32, which I personally think of as the best and fastest Anti-Virus solution out there). It's good to be a beta tester for ESET and have access to their latest and greatest. :D

(END OF PART 3)

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Jorge Coelho
Winstep Xtreme - Xtreme Power!
http://www.winstep.net - Winstep Software Technologies


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