Will Vista Run Your Games?

By Jason Cross  |  Posted 2006-05-30 Print this article Print

Analysis: Windows Vista has supposedly reached the point where it's stable enough for everyday work, with only some "little things" that need to be fixed. With that in mind, we installed a bunch of games on the new Vista Beta 2 to see w

Beta 2. Its a landmark. Its the point where, historically, upcoming Windows releases have been stable and feature-rich enough that testers could use it all day, every day. Sure, there will be some bugs and quirks, but no showstoppers that would make you run the old OS all the time and only pop into the beta for specific tests. This is a critical tipping point for operating systems, because if the people making it and the testers at large cant use it every day, they cant really find all the problems that will crop up for normal users upon release.

Windows Vista just hit the Beta 2 milestone, and its frankly too early for us to confidently say you can use it (on a non-critical machine) all day for all your normal tasks. But there was one thing weve wanted to check for a long time, and had to keep telling ourselves, "its just too early." How well will our games run on Vista? Are there going to be major compatibility problems? Will the performance stink?

We feel that Beta 2 is the appropriate time to start looking at compatibility and performance issues in Vista, and that goes for gaming (one of the big selling points of Vista) as well. So we spent the better part of a week installing a bunch of modern, popular games on the upcoming OS, noting what works and what doesnt, and trying to find some simple workarounds. Has Vista got game yet? Lets find out.

The beta 2 build of Vista performs better than some of the earlier versions, but its still a bit of a performance hog, so we wanted to throw as much machine at it as possible. Besides, when the OS finally ships next year, there will be even more powerful machines available. Our high-end Vista gaming test rig was as follows. Read the full story on ExtremeTech: Will Vista Run Your Games?
Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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