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What’s so great about Vista that it’s worth crippling my PC for?

April 12, 2007

Vista busy cursor I’ve had my new PC and Vista for just over 3 weeks now. It’s not too soon to collate my preliminary impressions.

It has to be asked: what does Vista offer that’s so new or compelling that it justifies the disproportionate load it puts on the PC? For it surely does weigh it down with its resource requirements.

Let’s get real here. I got rid of my old computer because it was too slow, too unresponsive. I was fed up waiting for it to do anything. Bored witless while it moved masses of data to and from the page file because it did not have enough RAM.

The rationale of investing in a machine with at least 5 times the processing power, 4 times the RAM, 3 times the disk space, more modern and faster architecture, was all about getting some performance out of it. The reality is that my new PC with Vista on it is just as slow and tedious, and in some instances far worse. It still chugs for ages writing to the page file and it sometimes takes absurd lengths of time to do what you’d think are trivial things, like emptying the recycle bin.

I feel sure that if I had XP running on the same PC I would immediately see the benefit of the better processor, additional RAM, faster bus, etc, etc. How could I not see an improvement? So the only conclusion I can draw is that I spent money on far better hardware but have failed to reap the benefit because I simultaneously crippled it by having Vista as the OS.

As John Thomson of Roundtrip Solutions put it in one of his comments to my earlier post “Vista and the Curse of the Rotating Blue Bagel”:

Vista runs like a dog with only 1GB. Get yourself at least another 1GB and it will run much better.

Well, I’ve already shelled out for a new and better PC. Is it worth shelling out even more on RAM just to get Vista going? What would that give me that I couldn’t get from reinstalling XP at no extra cost?

I really am struggling to see what’s so great about Vista. Let’s enumerate the benefits:

  • A more hi-tech user interface that uses computer game technology to add some limited 3D effects and translucency. OK, it does make XP look a bit dated by comparison but it is only eye candy, and falls a long way short of a true 3D interface.
  • It’s more secure – supposedly. Well I’ve been running virus-checkers, anti-spyware software and there has been nothing. But then I didn’t really get much on XP even over long periods. Now DEP (Data Execution Prevention) is partially enabled by default – but I could have that with XP if I was running it on the same PC. I would have to enable it manually, but so what? And we’re still getting critical updates because there is some legacy code in Vista – there was a critical fix just 2 days ago on “patch Tuesday”.
  • Erm … the new search thingy is quicker and better, not that I’ve used it much.
  • Erm … thinks … um …

Into the equation you have to add all the niggles: compatibility issues with older software, lack of some hardware drivers, etc.

Maybe it will come to me, but right now I can’t see the case for Vista at all.

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6 comments

  1. Hello

    Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!

    G’night


  2. […] What’s so great about Vista that it’s worth crippling my PC for? The rationale of investing in a machine with at least 5 times the processing power, 4 times the RAM, 3 times the disk space, more modern and faster architecture, was all about getting some performance out of it. The reality is that my new PC with Vista on it is just as slow and tedious, and in some instances far worse. It still chugs for ages writing to the page file and it sometimes takes absurd lengths of time to do what you’d think are trivial things, like emptying the recycle bin. Read more. […]


  3. Thank you. I shall reciprocate if I haven’t done so already.


  4. Nice write up. You get a link. 🙂


  5. What am I waiting for? Well, I am “calculating the time required” until I get rid of Vista.

    In practice it will have to wait until I’m back from holiday.


  6. I agree entirely. What are you waiting for? It’s outrageous that after upgrading to the new operating system, you should have to shell out extra cash for RAM, just to make your PC do what it’s supposed to do anyway!

    The recycling bin is about the most frustrating thing I’ve found so far. It spends an eternity doing nothing, “calculating the time required”, and when it finally gets round to deleting the files, that only takes a second. What is the sense in spending two whole minutes calculating the fact that you need one second to delete some files? In fact, they go so quickly that Vista doesn’t have time to display the results of its laborious calculation …

    /me strangles Bill Gates



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