Dave Dumps Vista

Dave Zatz —  July 29, 2007

vista.gifNow that I’m back home for a few weeks, the time has finally come to remove remove Windows Vista from my desktop. While I appreciate the rich GUI and new functionality (photo gallery), the computer is just too slow to be usable. Plus, my MCE <-> Xbox 360 connection has been unreliable. The media extender connectivity issues could be due to my network config, but the generally sluggish performance of Vista seems out of my control. I’m not entirely sure what the problem is… I know Vista is resource intensive, but I bought this PC last fall (Vista certified!) and the hardware specs are decent (the machine was blazing under XP). The final straw came last weekend when recording that TiVo animation. I couldn’t do it using Windows Movie Maker – the Vista edition has dropped analog recording. (I ended up capturing via BeyondTV and trimming the clip with WMM.) Bah! Back to XP…

13 responses to Dave Dumps Vista

  1. I dumped Vista as well as for similar reasons and also vista media center was just too difficult to get to work consistently with Divx, xvid, etc.

  2. I thought you only had a Mac?

  3. I feel your pain. I’m running Vista on my notebook because that’s what it came with. And I made the mistake of “upgrading” my HTPC when Acer sent me the upgade discs. Unfortunately I don’t have a downgrade or XP install disc.

    I don’t hate Vista enough to go out and pay for an XP license. But every time I run across a program that used to run perfectly and no longer does, I wonder how cool desktop effects are supposed to make up for it.

  4. Being a student for 5 more days, I grabbed another copy of XP ($10) and a copy of Vista ($10) just to be safe (when it comes to OS’es, I gotta have my licenses straight). Vista Ultimate for $10 is a good buy, just not the right OS for much of anything right now.

  5. Vista was given to me as a gift, and I don’t hate it. I’m running it on an Athlon XP 3200+ with 2GB of memory, and it runs plenty quickly and smoothly, even with glass turned on. If your computer was a retail computer, it could have been bloatware and bad or useless drivers slowing it down. My mom’s and my in-laws’ HP computers came loaded with bloatware, and after I cleaned them up the computer’s performance was SIGNIFICANTLY better. The only problems I have are with games, and that’s because nVidia hasn’t been great with driver support for older video cards.

  6. HDTiVo: We’ve got two desktops and three laptops here running OS X (2x) and Windows (3x), plus Ubuntu on occasion. I log the most hours on my work-issued Macbook Pro.

    Brad: HP had some recovery disc utility that I ran when I was running XP, plus I also have some Acronis images laying around. Hopefully, I can do this efficiently.

    razordullwit: No bloatware/crapware and generally decent specs – dual core processor. I’m thinking the integrated graphics could be contributing to the problem. But even with all visual effects off and many processes killed, I wouldn’t call it sprightly.

  7. AmericanNightmare July 29, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I noticed you were more than vague about you hardware Dave except to say it is “decent” whatever you mean by that. I imagine you were to cheap last fall to spend the money on a box with good hardware and now reap the consequences.
    AMD 64 X2 3800+
    ASUS A8S-X
    GeForce 7600GT 256MB
    1.5G DDR400
    160G SATA
    This machine was built last fall and Vista Home Premium is anything but sluggish. This experience should teach you not to buy sluggish retail boxs and build your own for less money. Any 8 year old could put together a Custom PC these days and in less time it took you to shop for your slug.

  8. I’ve built my fair share of computers, including several HTPCs. However, this one is retail and you’re right that I did go lower end – for a part-time computer (which is not powering a home theater) I chose to save some money.

    However, I have the same processor and OS as you plus my memory usage rarely passes 50%. It is IDE/PATA versus SATA, but I’m not convinced that’s where the bottleneck is though I know my integrated graphics are sucking wind. XP was blazing on this very same platform, hence my desire to rollback.

    As I said, the final straw is not being able to record video via Windows Movie Maker which has been useful for many projects of mine.

  9. It probably is the integrated graphics. If you weren’t already done with Vista, I’d suggest checking for updated graphics drivers (unless it’s an intel video chipset…then you should spring for a cheap nForce 7 series). Also, the Windows performance index is kind of wonky (5.9 is the highest score for some reason), but if you used it to rate your computer, you could see where the bottleneck is by checking your lowest-scoring item. My XP 3200+ scores a 3.7 because of the dated processor, but outscores my family’s computers (3.2 and 3.0), both of which are brand new HPs running Athlon x64 processors. I really like the security and the desktop features of Vista, but I do have to dual-boot XP so I can play games, since nVidia’s drivers are still pretty sluggish. But, this is excessive for a toss-away computer. Since you’re done with it, can I have your Vista product key? ;)

  10. Yah, the performance index has my processor at 4.8, but my integrated video (GeForce) is at 2-something. I had thought about adding a cheapie dedicated video card to the mix, but it still seems slow with all effects off. Maybe I should reconsider that path, though I’d like WMM recording and I’d like to re-use my DVico FusionHDTV5 Lite which isn’t supported/reliable under Vista. I don’t believe I have a key to give away – it’s a HP upgrade disc… and I may need it one day. :)

  11. Mistake – you should buy 4GB more memory and a new dualcore processor and Windows Vista will just fly.

  12. Well, it wasn’t my imagination… I restored XP from one of my Acronis images and it’s blazing. Took about 90 mins to copy and load from an external drive and about another 90 mins to get a bunch of software updates. (I used an early image from Nov, with crapware removed and a few programs like Office installed.)

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