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Windows XP SP3 brings performance boost

Windows XP SP3 brings performance boost

exo.blog has made up this lovely chart showing you the performance difference using OfficeBench.

Users waiting on a service pack to address performance issues in Vista may just have one more reason to clutch their precious copies of XP - SP3 may bring you a performance increase.

The fine folks over at the exo.performance.network (xpnet) have managed to get a copy of the final service pack for the aging OS and ran a bench test on it. The team used a Dell XPS M1710 with a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, and a nVidia GeForce Go 7900GS video card to do the testing on and used OfficeBench as the testing program.

Once all tests were complete, the results were shocking - SP3 provided a 10 percent performance increase.

The contents of SP3 were already revealed by Microsoft before release. New features being ported down from Vista and a roundup of more than 1,000 patches and hotfixes were promised, but an additional performance gain seems to just be icing on the cake.

If SP3 does bring a performance gain for all users, it may be a bad thing for Vista. Users may just stick with XP until Microsoft puts the OS down or until later performance gains come to Vista.

SP3 is set for release sometime in the first half of 2008.

Is this another reason to keep on using Windows XP or have you already made the switch to Vista? Let us know over in the forums.

29 Comments

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sgr55 27th November 2007, 14:07 Quote
Good news all round :)

I wonder if the improvement will actually help any enthusiasts that (like me) tweak the hell out of windows. Either way, Another service pack is good news, especially considering that autopatcher is now gone. Saves downloading an insane amount of updates every time one accidentally nails a partition.
wuyanxu 27th November 2007, 14:13 Quote
will XP SP3 have the rumoured Dx9L support (aka Dx10 for XP) ??

if there's Dx10 support for XP, and i can get a nice performance boost with it, i'd re-install XP as soon as SP3 comes out, then re-play Crysis :) (and sacrifice the full 4GB)

BUT,
Quote:
Note: As with our Vista SP1 testing, we used the identical Dell XPS M1710 test bed with 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 1GB of RAM and discrete nVidia GeForce Go 7900GS video.
1GB RAM?!? come on! Vista needs at LEAST 2GB to be used smoothly. that's why Vista's scores are crap.
Icy EyeG 27th November 2007, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
will XP SP3 have the rumoured Dx9L support (aka Dx10 for XP)

That's not true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX
Quote:
Direct3D 9Ex (known internally during Windows Vista development as 9.0L or 9.L, the L referring to Longhorn, the codename for Windows Vista): allows full access to the new capabilities of WDDM (if WDDM drivers are installed) while maintaining compatibility for existing Direct3D applications. The Windows Aero user interface relies on D3D 9Ex.
Glider 27th November 2007, 15:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
1GB RAM?!? come on! Vista needs at LEAST 2GB to be used smoothly. that's why Vista's scores are crap.
... And why you just made a fool out of yourself...
<A88> 27th November 2007, 16:12 Quote
Vista works fine on 1GB tbh. I just wish it was a lot faster- it's annoying using the XP systems in the labs and realising how much smoother they are than my 2GB Vista laptop- although I expect a lot of my problems are related to running a 22" monitor off some cruddy on-board GPU. Even then though, I'd expect my laptop to handle it slightly better. Hopefully Vista SP1 will remedy the occasional lag I get.

<A88>
Bauul 27th November 2007, 18:11 Quote
To be fair, XP had more than it's fair share of problems when it was released. I remember being distinctly anti-XP, because nothing worked for it, and besides, Windows 98 worked just fine. Eventually though, I changed, and kind of wished I had done earlier. I know it'll be exactly the same for Vista, and for that reason I'm actually toying with the idea of installing it soon. Before I do though, I'd make sure I got to at least 3 Gigs of ram (4's optimum, or so I hear), picked up a 8xxx nVidia card and finally make the jump to Dual Core, but not before, it just wouldn't be worth it.
leexgx 27th November 2007, 18:49 Quote
the requirements for vista are far more of an jump then it was from going from win2000 to XP

XP is still useable on 256mb/512mb ram With anti virus installed
Vista is just about useable with 512mb (or should it be 448 onborad video card taking 64mb) put an anti-virus on it and it turns into an type writer (hdd under constant use) even with 1gb ram you can run out of ram, for home office use 2gb ram should be used and an dual core CPU to at least Hide the cpu useage that the OS is useing

gameing xp needs no more then 2gb ram and all games norm work with no fuss (apart from *** cd protection)
Vista 1gb ram games will be choppy as well the OS will be slugish after you exit an game due to vista trying to reload up stuff that was unloaded even with 2gb ram games can still stutter, gamers that use High Q video settings on vista should aim for 3-4gb ram and use vista 64 (works for me)

but id recommend XP x64 as there are more drivers for it now due to vista been 32 and 64bit at the same time, XP 64 seems nice and smooth all of my games work on it and it has less service packs (but thay are big thought) and is an little more secure

its nice that thay be bringing out SP3
Breach 27th November 2007, 19:20 Quote
That is good news, and a quiet admission of failure on MS's part if I ever heard one. I think Vista is the new Windows ME...started out pretty bold until they cut virtually everything out that was supposed to make Vista cool in the end. All that is left is a pretty interface and resource hog with minor security improvements (if you call UAC an improvement :|)

Ill be with XP for a while as will many, good to know it will be supported for a good long while.
wuyanxu 27th November 2007, 21:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
... And why you just made a fool out of yourself...
how so?
leexgx also agreed with me that Vista needs 2GB RAM.

yeah. im more of a person always with new stuff. but Vista has already been very long in the tooth. all game i can thing of can be played on it. why is people still holding off? it's not like it's really bad, it's very fast, and manages resources much better than XP. i'd like to see XP 64bit try to manage 4GB RAM and a quad core effectively.
Glider 27th November 2007, 21:12 Quote
And <A88> agreed with me that it isn't true, which is itsn't. I know plenty of PC's running Vista on 512MB RAM without any problems. If you want to have biased opinions, fine, but don't spread them around.

EDIT: but don't believe me... Believe the ones who created the OS:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/systemrequirements.mspx

For Home basic
* 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
* 512 MB of system memory
* 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
* Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory
* DVD-ROM drive
* Audio Output
* Internet access (fees may apply)

For everything except Home basic
* 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
* 1 GB of system memory
* 40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
* Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:
o WDDM Driver
o 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
o Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
o 32 bits per pixel
* DVD-ROM drive
* Audio Output
* Internet access (fees may apply)
geekboyUK 27th November 2007, 23:18 Quote
Looks like lots of people were moaning about the test being performed with on 1GB RAM... so they retested with 2GB:

http://exo-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/update-re-testing-vista-w2gb-ram-office.html
BurningFeetMan 28th November 2007, 00:01 Quote
Ahh, this is great news for avid WinXP fans. I can't wait to get my hands on SP3 and slipstream it to a new install disc! For those wondering what I'm going on about, have a quick look at the nlite website.
stoff3r 28th November 2007, 00:12 Quote
The fact that vista needs 2gb ram is alone the evidence that it's slower. It should require less, given that you turn off the shiny useless stuff, but no! How can they even sell laptops with Vista installed?
bloodcar 28th November 2007, 00:59 Quote
I have 1GB of RAM on my laptop with Vista and it runs just fine with all the bells and whistles on. I don't know what the hell some of you are on about Vista and RAM. Besides, it doesn't matter if you have 512MB or 4GB installed, Vista is going to use as much of it as it possibly can. When another application calls for memory usage, Vista gladly gives it up.

I love Vista and could never imagine switching back to XP. It'd be like going from XP back to 98. Piss on that.
Risky 28th November 2007, 09:28 Quote
Well just checking the taskmanager, the laptop is currently using 1.1Gb in VHP32. I'm sure there are plenty of extra services in there that could be trimmed out, but from my expereince with a few vista boxes, memory really does help. On the older laptop (Cel-M 1.5) going from 768Mb to 1.5GB made a dramatic difference. So given current prices I would have to advise a min of 2gb unless the machine has a specific limited purpose.

AS for the whole Vista depate, I really have to say that having lived with it for near a year, I wouldn't want to go back. It's simply a more modern fully featured OS. Sure if you have a machine for games and you dont' need DX10 then it makes sense to stick with an XP box, and I have kept XP on that rig as the only game I played (X3) was a DX9 game.

Maybe it's not such a huge advance as 98 to XP, but the great advantage there was getting to ditch the god-awful FAT for NTFS. I chose to go to 2k when it came out and loved that over 98, and skpped (the frankly ridiculous) ME. However there are a lot of subtle changes that make Vista a better OS with all sorts of great stuff scattered around the OS.

You could argue that MS were a bit 'brave' in building an OS that required more computing power to do it's business, but looking forward with ever increasing computing power, it's fair enough to decide to use some of that for the OS user experience. Lets face it that if your a power user that want's a lightweight stripped-down OS then Linus is calling, but for general use, with modern hardware, Vista is the way forward. Certainly I'd be happier building a Vista machine for a relative, rather than supporting XP issues going forward.
completemadness 28th November 2007, 10:23 Quote
Quote:
exo.blog has made up this lovely chart showing you the performance difference using OfficeBench.
What is this graph showing

If the height of the bars represented performance, vista should be ahead, but it just has a scale on the left with numbers (0-100) which makes me think of a percentage .... :?
cjmUK 28th November 2007, 10:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
And <A88> agreed with me that it isn't true, which is itsn't. I know plenty of PC's running Vista on 512MB RAM without any problems.

Of course Vista will run fine with 512MB, just as XP ran under 128MB - you just wouldn't get much else out of the machine. A standard Vista install (default options) uses more than 512MB of RAM therefore, under said conditions, it would be swapping out to disk all the time which means it would run like a dog - but it *would* run fine. Hence 1GB is the stated recommended RAM.

Popular opinion differs from this however; there is a significant boost from using 1.5GB or greater for general office use and 2GB for gaming.
Quote:
If you want to have biased opinions, fine, but don't spread them around.

Ah... this is an interesting... Just remind me who 'our resident Linux guru' is...?

You wouldnt be grinding an axe would you?



On the whole, this whole Vista performance amuses/bemuses me. Half the moaners weren't around when XP was launched (or Win2K, Win95, Win3.1 etc) and the other half simply can't remember it. Vista runs like a dog on more modest hardware that XP runs fine on. This is to be expected.

XP ran like a dog when it came out in 2001 and everyone complained about it then. Likewise, Win2k was too demanding, WinME genuinely seemed like a step backwards and people thought twice about upgrading to Win98 because of the jump in power required. Windows 7 will be even more demanding as will 8, 9 & 10.

When XP was launched it was buggy, had poor driver support, was insecure and unstable. Vista is the least buggy version I've seen yet, it had great driver support (in that it had drivers for almost everything - even if the manufacturers supplied poor drivers - Yes, you...Creative, Nvidia et al), it is much more secure out of the box and is more stable (device drivers notwithstanding) than a 6 year old XP. It's about fecking time too, it must be said.

Vista isn't perfect. I think UAC was a great idea but an awful implementation. I think some of the control panel stuff has been dumbed down - you really need to dig deep for some settings. I think it is still too expensive too.

But it looks great, is a pleasure to use and has great feature built in.

The bottom line is that the majority of the moaners who are actually still using XP will be on Vista before too long, and will in the same adversarial position when the next version of Windows is launched.

I do have some respect for those who simply refuse to use a product until SP1 comes out - a perfectly rational and sensible stance, especially in business.
Woodstock 28th November 2007, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
What is this graph showing

If the height of the bars represented performance, vista should be ahead, but it just has a scale on the left with numbers (0-100) which makes me think of a percentage .... :?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Figure 1 - OfficeBench Completion Times
(In Seconds - Lower is Better)
its just under the graph
completemadness 28th November 2007, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
its just under the graph
Ah, thanks :)

It would help if i looked at the source :p
TheVoice 28th November 2007, 12:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
I know plenty of PC's running Vista on 512MB RAM without any problems. If you want to have biased opinions, fine, but don't spread them around.

I don't think he's being particularly biased - granted, you won't have problems specifically running Vista on a PC with 1GB, but it's not going to be particularly quick. I can speak from experience in that regard; the Dell C521 that I got for my parents a few months back came with 1GB. It's certainly usable, but it's slow and it takes its time to do certain tasks, which is why I'm going to add another GB or so to it next time I'm there. RAM is absurdly cheap at the moment anyway, so it's a brilliant time for people to add more RAM to their PCs.
wuyanxu 28th November 2007, 21:46 Quote
seems like more people are saying 1GB for Vista isn't enough.

Microsoft said 256MB was recommended for XP, and then what? 1GB is what people are happily using, 512MB is need to have a smooth experience. and it's now the same with Vista, 1GB recommended, 2GB is what most people use, and 4GB will be norm when the time comes (when people starts to use 64bit)
Glider 28th November 2007, 22:08 Quote
Not going into a war... Vista uses RAM not only to run applications in...
boiled_elephant 29th November 2007, 02:33 Quote
Even if 1Gb isn't enough for Vista, it's not an issue. 2Gb is standard now, and Vista will probably push the norm up to 4Gb, which isn't a big deal with prices as low as they are nowadays (and constantly falling). I'm sure as hell not buying Vista yet, for obvious reasons, but when the time's ready and the service packs/better hardware is out, I'll gladly upgrade to 4Gb if it needs it. 'S all progress, isn't it?

For now, though, I proudly cling to the sinking wreckage of XP. For the next few months, Vista is just an expensive penis enlargement.
<A88> 29th November 2007, 02:39 Quote
1GB is fine for Vista. The only PC I've ever used with more in is my laptop, and the extra 1GB hasn't done an amazing amount to speed it up. Every other PC/Laptop that I've used it on, sold it on or built it on has run fine- and I could even be picky and say all the laptops were using 64/128mb for the graphics. Vista's memory management allows it to utilise more memory when it's there, and not gobble it all up when you've got a small amount. For most apps I think you'll find 1GB is fine.

<A88>
Mortus 14th December 2007, 10:39 Quote
Does anybody know how to get software raid working in SP3 it seems microsoft have done away with dmconfig.dll ??

thanks ;)
icutebluezone 9th January 2008, 11:38 Quote
MMMM looks like im going to still with XP RPO. :) Tryed vista and hated it. Plus 1/2 my software didnt work on it. SP3 MINT
Amon 9th January 2008, 17:53 Quote
This is for all versions of XP right?
Hydra 27th February 2008, 01:46 Quote
I'm having kind of a tough time deciding on which OS to get on my new gaming PC. If I get XP, I know I won't have to deal with any problems, but I'll have to settle for DX9 graphics. If I spend more money for 64 bit Vista, I'll most likely have to deal with all sorts of problems that I wouldn't experience on XP. But, there's the added bonus of DX10 (Which, IMO, doesn't have good enough graphical improvements to make me want to switch)

So, how much longer will XP/DX9 still be active? Would getting XP on a new system just be pointless now?
500mph 27th February 2008, 02:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra
I'm having kind of a tough time deciding on which OS to get on my new gaming PC. If I get XP, I know I won't have to deal with any problems, but I'll have to settle for DX9 graphics. If I spend more money for 64 bit Vista, I'll most likely have to deal with all sorts of problems that I wouldn't experience on XP. But, there's the added bonus of DX10 (Which, IMO, doesn't have good enough graphical improvements to make me want to switch)

So, how much longer will XP/DX9 still be active? Would getting XP on a new system just be pointless now?


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