Vista Gaming: Yay or Nay? – Part 2: nVidia

Early adopters of new technologies usually end up with the short end of the stick. Hardware and software issues are plentiful and it takes nerves of steel to deal with all of them. Mobile phones, mp3 players, DVD players and gaming consoles are known to have major issues at launch. But all tech launches pale in comparison to new OS releases. Linux is fairly safe from them because the upgrades are gradual. Windows being the complete opposite is prone to some major start-up problems though.

Here at Driver Heaven we decided to investigate how Microsoft’s latest product handles the pressure of running the latest and greatest games. In Part 1 of this ongoing performance analysis we tested how Vista performed on a high-end system running on ATI hardware - the results were quite positive.

Test system

For the purposes of analysis we felt including both ATI and Nvidia gaming comparisons in a single article would somewhat detract from the main purpose of the article, that being a comparison of hardware and gaming titles on Microsoft’s operating systems, rather than a frame rate battle between competing cards.
Today we have Part 2 of this analysis: “nVidia Gaming In Vista”. Make sure you read part 1: »ATI Gaming in Vista« if you haven't already.

For this part of the article we didn’t use the same system setup as in Part 1 so these figures are in no way comparable to the ATI testing from last week. In the end our test system was built from the following components:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 @ 3.10Ghz (overclocked to alleviate CPU limiting as much as possible) Motherboard: Asus P5N-E SLI
Audio: Onboard audio chip – Realtek High Definition Audio
Memory: 2 x 1 GB OCZ Gold 800Mhz DDR2 memory
Graphics cards: XFX 8800GTX 768Mb – 100.65 ForceWare Vista drivers and 97.92 ForceWare XP drivers
Operating systems used: Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows XP Professional, both fully updated

Where possible, each benchmark was performed 3 times and the median result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables that will follow. All games/applications had their latest patches applied.

A very special thanks goes out to our good friends at XFX for sponsoring this article and for supplying the hardware used in testing.



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