updated 04:00 pm EST, Thu December 27, 2007
Vista SP1 Slows Down
The looming Service Pack 1 update for Windows Vista has deteriorated the Microsoft operating system's disk and networking performance beyond the already slow launch version, according to a series of tests conducted by Gizmodo. The software is notably faster than its six-year-old XP predecessor in general performance on a new quad-core Xeon system, besting the earlier OS in CPU-heavy tasks such as video encoding as well as 3D tasks. However, the Vista update is also shown to suffer dramatically in heavy network use: a transfer that would take just over 3.5 minutes in XP takes nearly 13 minutes with Vista circa January 2007 and actually deteriorates further to more than 15.5 minutes for the SP1 fix, the tests show.
The benchmarks are also said to indicate artificially reduced hard disk speeds, dropping from XP's 119/123MB per second in read/write bandwidth to just 83/61 in Vista and an even lower 80/53 with the Vista Service Pack. The transfer seems to slow down towards the end despite using high-speed 15,000RPM hard drives, according to observations.
Microsoft has not explained the discrepancies but is believed to be at least partly responsible, having rewritten significant portions of Vista's code for networking and other features. Drivers for storage devices are not discussed in this latest test but also have the potential to slow down hard drive speeds by themselves.