XP vs. Vista vs. Windows 7

Over at Firing Squad they put together a test to see exactly which Windows OS delivers the best gaming performance.

I’ll spoil the results with this quote:

While there were a couple of cases where WinXP outran Windows 7 and Vista, for the most part Windows 7 wins more than it loses, especially when you factor in multi-GPU technologies like SLI and CrossFire.

So Windows 7 looks like the winner.


Of course, that doesn’t tell you how close things were, so you’ll have to go take a look.  The big surprise was 64-bit XP, but I suppose that has to do with the sort of driver support it gets.

Things look good for Windows 7 when it comes out.  Of course, companies ilke Dell won’t be able to charge us $99 for XP “downgrades” any more, but then we shouldn’t need them any more.

13 thoughts on “XP vs. Vista vs. Windows 7

  1. Keen

    There are still too many compatibility issue with Windows 7 for me to make the change. I’ll probably stick with Vista for as long as possible.


  2. Windows User

    Windows 7 is AWSOME. if anyone is having compatibility problems, most likely it is due to old hardware. With todays prices on hardware, NO ONE should be using old equipment. Get some new stuff, not the most expensive and windows 7 will blow away ALL PREVIOUS M$ os’s.


  3. SmakenDahed

    I’ll likely install it on the weekend and if I run into too many issue I’ll just switch back to Vista. I need to format and clean up the system anyway.


  4. We Fly Spitfires - MMORPG Blog

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Windows 7 and was thinking about switching to it very soon. I’m only worried about compatibilities issues and driver support etc. Still, sounds promising and the Windows that Vista should’ve been.


  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Of course I’m one to talk. I’m still hanging out on XP, but then so is my whole company as well as most of the companies we deal with. Vista has been a non-starter in a lot of businesses. Dell and the like wouldn’t be offering that “downgrade” option if Vista had taken root in the corporate world.

    I bought my last home CPU just before Vista became mandatory for resellers. But I have a habit of hopping over MS OS releases. I avoided Windows ME, for example and I’ll probably jump to W7 when the time comes, having avoided Vista completely.


  6. bluelinebasher

    I loved the first beta of Windows 7 (kinda how Vista should’ve been I guess), then the final release candidate crapped all over my box prompting me to reload XP.

    Did the Windows 7 testing include that zone in WoW you always talk about?


  7. Ramon

    c’t (one of Europe’s biggest computing magazines) put Win7 on 30 different machines, from el-cheapo to top end. They’re thorough like that, the Germans. Except for one exotic piece of hardware (I think it was an ancient TV card?), Win7 recognized everything out of the box and things ran fine.

    Gaming performance was exactly on par with XP, as was everything else. Performance differences were all within statistical error margin. They do acknowledge that Win7 feels faster subjectively because in many areas, less clicks and less interactions are necessary to accomplish what you need.

    It really is the service pack that Vista urgently needed. The article is somewhere on heise.de/ct for purchase, since they of course won’t let you read the juicy bits (read: benchmarks) without buying the magazine.

    I’m not really a Windows user (only for gaming), but I think now there’s a reasonable upgrade path away from XP for me. Also, for XP users Win7 is a chance to get DX10 without messing with weird backports from Vista. LOTRO and DDO gain something from DX10.

    The only thing is that the hardware requirements are much higher, but in the age of 1 TB hard drives and 4 GB system memory on sub-EUR 500 machines, who cares. If you need an efficient system, you can still install Debian or one of the BSDs instead.


  8. Pete

    I concur with the Windows 7 love-in. Ive been running the release candidate on two machines.

    XP is no longer the fallback position, its been forever banished in my household. Win7 delivers.

    As long as the hardware vendors keep the drivers smooth (that was a problem of Vista), it should be smooth sailing.


  9. Graktar

    I’ve been using the Win7 release candidate for several months and I have no real complaints. The only issue I’ve run into is a RAM related one, and is due to the fact that my motherboard and bios are too old to 1) recognize more than 4 gigs of RAM and 2) use memory reallocation to avoid the 32bit compatibility memory addressing issue (neither of which are actually Win7 specific). Overall, Win7 seems pretty slick and I wouldn’t go back to XP unless I really had to. I also have to mention that the Win7 installation was BY FAR the most painless OS installation I’ve ever done. It was smooth, fast, and effortless.

    I will note that my wife hates it though. Not enough to stop using my computer and stick to her own, just enough to complain about it every time she uses my computer :p

    And to Windows User, give me a break. If you want to give me $700 so I can buy or build a decent new computer fine, but to assume everyone has disposable income to spend on computer hardware is assinine. Just because something is cheaper than it used to be doesn’t mean someone with no money can afford it. I’m stuck with my un-upgradeable 4-year old Dell until I can scrape together enough money to get an entirely new machine.


  10. Xyd

    What is this “Windows 7” of which you speak??

    I installed Snow Leopard over the weekend and so far so good… :-)


  11. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Xyd – It is Microsoft trying to make Cheetah. Again.

    We’re still on Tiger on our iMac, but Walt Mossberg says we can go straight to Snow Leopard if we can live with the guilt of having denied Apple $99.


  12. lm

    I’ve liked Windows 7 but have been having issues with accessing a NAS drive – and it seems that I’m not the only one. I think for now i’m going back to XP until the iron out the rest of their issues because I can’t live without being able to access my drive.


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