Vista - an anti-Vista users experience

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Sully, Mar 22, 2009.

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  1. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    So I picked up a copy of Vista Ultimate on the cheap. Really cheap. Regardless, having played with 7 for awhile I have resided to the fact that I will probably upgrade. Since the beta expires August (correct ?? ) and it is not all that it should be, I thought I might as well put this uber cheap Vista on my secondary drive. At the least it will familiarize me more with nt6x.

    I have been a die-hard anti-Vista techno geek, mainly because on the rigs I have worked on that had it, it was IMO couter productive to all other versions, at least in finding the 'old familiar' things.

    Now before you stick your thumb out and 'nay say', let us agree that things will change. And not always the way everyone wants. At some point moving from 98SE to XP was a bit of a pain, having to learn the 'new way'. Even running from 9x to NT or NT to 2k or 2k to XP had it's share of 'growing pains'.

    HOWEVER, the logical evolution of the interface was, well, sort of logical. There was no drastic changes, some minute differences. Mostly. My biggest gripe with NT6x is how radically they have changed how you naviagate the file system. In the attempt to become more 'appl-ish', they have added ever more mouse clicking to get where you are going. I have strived on all MS platforms to minimize mouse clicking, and use cmd or batch files, shortcuts, vbs files, autoit scripts. Even made many a program that makes doing what I want to do as relatively click free as possible. All that clicking takes time away from the keyboard where the real stuff happens.

    For multimedia users, I suppose this is not a big deal. For a 'coder/hacker/tweaker/breaker/fixer/how does it do that' sort of guy it is a nightmare.

    Making a short story ever longer, lol, I must divulge some insights from a week using Vista.

    My machine is plenty fast. It scores 5.9 on the performance test, whatever that means. Must be good though. Anyway, the first encounter was with SP1. What a very slow, did I say slow? I mean S L O W install of a service pack. A fresh install, and the 64bit SP took an hour. Come on, I could install xp's SP1,2 & 3 in less time than that. Initially, I am thinking all those services must be slowing it down.

    So next I put on drivers. An enjoyable experience. All my hardware was either found already or had 64bit Vista drivers. The experience was probably as good or better than XP.

    Next I installed AV, browsers, a few programs that I always use like speedfan, rivatuner, volumouse, startupcpl, autoruns, process explorer, pserv, etc etc. Another plus, all the software works. I think 80% is compatability mode @ 32bit, but running fine none the less. Even many of my .inf installs and .reg files go in just fine. Another happy experience.

    So at this point, Vista is not really performing that bad except for the very slow SP1 install. I have 6gb ram that is now usable, so ample memory. I put on the Sphynx firewall control (free edition), and it is acceptable for my needs so far. I must say, the browsing using Kmeleon, even with no cache built up yet, really does seem to be noticably faster than in XP on a very tweaked system. I would never have thought that.

    Then the heartbreaker came. I thought I may as well put CoD4 on. I have a scripted install for it, and have the files from DVD on a partition of the drive. Only one drive right now, 750gb WD SataII. Screamin drive in XP. Anyway, I was treated to about an hour install. On XP, I can install that in approximately 5 minutes. No kidding. Needless to say, this was not a good experience.

    So some googling shows many posts about the slow hdd performance of Vista. Great. Just what I wanted to hear. After some more playing, this Vista is a real dog. I mean a mutt. 3 legged, or even 2 legged dog. Finally after install and patch (another slow slow process :( ), I fire it up and play. Now I know most tests on speed will show very slight differences. A few milliseconds, a few frames. A grain of salt goes a long way where the eye, ear or sense of time is concerned. However, I will tell you, Vista is in no way, shape or form even close to comparable with XP with default settings. Playing the game a lot this week between dual booting via my other hdd's, there is a HUGE difference. Is this real world comparison, using real application? No. It is a game. But game or not, the comparison is undeniably in favor of XP.

    So, I break out the google again, and find a few service guides for Vista. Holy bloat. I thought XP was bad at default. Vista aims to do everything for you at the cost of 60+ services running by default. Cripes. After some quick studying of new services, I pare it down to 25 running. This includes about 5 services that are due to applications like drivers or AV.

    The result? LOL, control panel no longer shows itself as an explorer window. Only accessible from the treeview when browsing. Don't know which service broke that. But, with about 20 MS services running, Vista is a much faster beast. Much much faster. File copy/creation is very fast now, averaging writes of about 73mb/s. Not too shabby. Network seems to function. True I killed a lot of stuff others might want or need.

    The end conclusion? I do like Aero's look and feel. I like a lot of parts about it. The alt tab feature and taskbar object preview thingee are great. Don't know what you call them. The gadgets are useless for me. The overall feel is not too bad. It gets a bit sluggish at times. Indexing and the like are off. Defender is off. Pretty much everything except audio and firewall are off.

    Can a geek live with it? LOL, I suppose one will have to, because 7 is very similar. Vista is NOT, IMO, better than XP. It may provide more eyecandy. It may provide novice users a better experience. It may be easier to use new or old hardware, depending. It may do a lot of things that XP does not. And it may do them very well. Actually it does. But it is not faster than XP. No way in any matter.

    Perhaps the biggest advantage of XP over Vista is both far fewer 'automatic' features and the ability to navigate to where you need to be in a direct fashion. Place me on XP for 8 hours to build something, and place me on Vista for same thing, and XP wins hands down. It is just easier.

    This concludes my rant. Viva la XP! That being said, I will probably continue to use Vista to prepare more for 7. It is a sad state, that a tried and true OS like XP should not be built upon, from an interface standpoint, but laid to waste as a 'has been'. When the new 'young buck' is not a serious contender, but merely a well painted pretender. And that is what I have to use.

    Here's tipping a beer back and hoping that 7 will bring back 'Miller Time' and get rid of this 'Michelob Ultra Light' that bloats you. lol

    Sul.
     
  2. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    Nice write-up there Sully. I use vista on my laptop, and have used XP since it first was released, and still use it on the work system.

    Few things really bothered me with vista, for example, by default, no 'classic' menus when browsing with windows explorer. This really irked me beyond belief, thankfully a quick gogle put them back in. http://kb.iu.edu/data/auud.html

    Your best bet is to head on over to www.blackviper.com and use the safe or tweaked settings.

    After that, should be flying. But I agree, leaving vista to its default settings, it's a dog.

    Regarding using vista firewall control, I've used it for almost a year now, and it suits my needs as well. :)
     
  3. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Nice commentary Sully... I will say after having installed and used both XP x64 and Vista x64 here, XP x64 does have an edge and wins out on performance and speed in most ways, from installing apps to file copy to app loading and just overall performance. But I do prefer the look n feel of Vista now. XP seems old, much like 2k seemed after using XP for a while. I will say that overall, Vista x64 performs fine here on my Triple Core with 4 gigs ram. As I mentioned, I can see a difference with XP, but all in all, in daily use, Vista is fine, and I really have no complaints, and I now in fact prefer it over all else. I am interested in seeing what Windows 7 can do, as I did not give the beta a try when it was available. If reports are good when it's released, then I will probably upgrade.
     
  4. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Im all Ubuntu now, but my Vista 64 that I sometimes boot into have always worked fine. It has been at least as fast as XP for me, no problem with drivers etc.. and I liked the enhanced security features.
     
  5. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    As far as gaming goes Windows 7 is going to be no better than Vista, so if you didn't like Vista's performance when you tried your game 7 isn't gonna impress you :)
     
  6. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Yes, I looked at BlackVipers list. I used pserv to disable them, really just going off what the description was. I made a default .xml template first. But I am not scared to shut of services. A LOT of new ones in Vista, but nothng to be afraid of.

    So I was thinking perhaps I was able to tweak this OS around a good bit. However, not quite good enough yet. True, some more study on the services shut off now might reveal a few that speed things up.

    I decided today that maybe I should try another install to see if the issues were fixed. I am enjoying the look and feel of Vista very much. It definately makes XP seem old. And I really like some of the features, like the process monitor used through task manager. And I like the services being listed there.

    Anywho, I started an install of CoD5, again the files are on hdd, so install should be quick. Once again, it is crawling. I open task manager and start the process monitor. Watching stuff. I note that while copying large files around is very fast now, the disk activity is strange when installing. Bouncing from 20mbps to 0mbps. Back to 20, back to 0. Not once did it flat line at any value. For those of you who know, that is strange on large contiguous files. Usually those are the ones where you see flat lines. Many small files, like half life uses, cause really spikey readings. Some of the files in CoD games are 1gb files. They should be flat lining, not spiking.

    So, again, while I try to embrace the new, I cannot help but notice how dismal it is in so many areas. I firmly believe that interface to applications, from the OS to a firewall to a text editor, really are what make or break it for each user. And while in this case the interface has me both desiring it and despising it, it is the performance which cannot be denied. It just does not equal it's predecessor. Vista lovers can rave all they want. The idiotic geek squad can plead everytime I talk to them about how great it is (that is another story full o' fun). MS can state it is stable and fast. The Dahli Lama can chant about it's forthcomings, and it still does not hold true in the real world that I and my hardware live in. Sorry.

    I am thinking now, if they screw up 7 by bloating it to be more like Vista instead of the beta 7 have been using, maybe I won't buy it. Maybe I will be a holdout using XP for games, and just make the switch whole-heartedly to *nix of some kind. Hopefully MS will learn from Windows ME * >Erm, Ahem, I mean Vista, and not repeat the mistakes. One can only hope.

    Sul.
     
  7. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    I have also rating 5.9 (except CPU, which has 5.5) and I have installed COD4 from second HDD, but setup took about 15 minutes, another 5 min for patch.
    When I have installed ATI AHCI driver, my HDDs got noticable slower, so I use default instead, which is better, but still a bit slower since it is not from ATI?!
    So it might be driver related, anyway Vista is just not as good as it should be, W7 will be Vista Final, lets hope that it will be released soon and this time finished.
     
  8. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Thank you for pointing out an issue I should have thought of! Really. I had not thought of trying different versions of the sata controller. Maybe an older version would work better. I shall apply some more 'elbow grease'.

    Sul.
     
  9. Espresso

    Espresso Registered Member

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    If you don't need file thumbnails, you can turn those off as well. That will speed up your directory browsing. I wish someone would develop an XP style thumbnail display util that can use the per-directory thumbnail databases.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    IrfanView thumbnail preview? Picasa?
    Mrk
     
  11. Espresso

    Espresso Registered Member

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    What I mean is an Explorer add-on that would show the thumbnails on the files, not a separate program. Vista's thumbnail feature is sluggish.
     
  12. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Good point. I shall play with that tonight.

    Sul.
     
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