Eff vista

Less than 1 month after a retail install, it completely crapped out. It won’t boot up at all. Repair attempt from the install disk unable to fix it. Only solution is a complete reinstall from scratch. No hardware or software changes in the week and a half prior to it either.

Glad I still had an XP partition on another drive. I think I’m going to let the vista dvd chill in its case until the first service pack or so.

Vista worked great on my machine, but Nvidia’s 8800 series drivers are still too immature for me to stick with the OS for now.

Is having Vista going to cause problems playing pre-Vista games? I just picked up a nice, new computer and was thinking about getting hold of some of the PC games I missed.

I’ve got an nvidia 6800 series, but I keep my drivers up to date. Could this have been the culprit?

Sigh… I have an 8800GTS 640MB and under Vista, it’s making too many games perform way too slowly. Under XP, WoW ran 50-60fps at 1600x1200. With Vista, I am seeing 30-40fps and in one of the new areas, 19fps. Not acceptable.

Also having problems with Skype.

Re-installing XP tonight.

awesome, saving this XD

Not unless they are doing some weird memory things that they shouldn’t be, or you are thinking of running DOSBox (I have no idea if that works in Vista or not) games. In fact the only games that have “issues” are usually driver related, such as Creative being total asshats and not bothering to figure out the new driver architecture for 3D sound and making it run through a fucking wrapper for DirectSound3D and EAX.

Nvidia’s handling of the 8800 series on their Vista drivers is pretty pathetic, considering it’s supposed to be their flagship. I hear people with SLI 8800s are having nightmarish problems.

This isn’t a Creative issue. The Vista audio stack precludes hardware DSP acceleration.

Poor rich bastards.

As far as I know the thing they were bitching about was that D3D no longer rides directly on top of the HAL, and instead there is a low level HAL and a user level one on top. You have to write a driver that allows the user level to access the lower level HAL, I believe. More or less, it’s Creative’s fault for not bothering to write a Vista driver until three months before the final product came out. The beta program for writing drivers for the OS had been open for approximately 8 months prior to their starting up. They more or less did a hack-job port of their existing drivers and threw in a wrapper to adapt their 3D sound. IE they’re fucking lazy assholes who are too busy swimming in their money pools.

Jealous much?

It’s a little more complicated than that.

Early in the Vista cycle, Microsoft was touting extensions to the Vista audio stack that would enable hardware DSPs to work through an extensions mechanism. That was one of the features removed from Vista.

Doesn’t mean shit to the person it doesn’t work for.

So? The point is that people claim that shit doesn’t work on some platform or it doesn’t work at all, forgetting that their problem may just be PEBKAC (their inability to troubleshoot their own stupid computer).

From IGN Australia article called “Sound off on Vista” (January 2007, newer than the article you quoted):

According to the blog of Larry Osterman, veteran engineer at Microsoft, “the amount of code that runs in the kernel (coupled with buggy device drivers) causes the audio stack to be one of the leading causes of Windows reliability problems.”

And when Windows crashes, whatever the cause, who gets blamed? Microsoft. So after years of reprisals from angry users like us, the Windows team finally threw their arms in the air in exasperation and decided to entirely rewrite the audio stack from scratch for Longhorn. The project started in 2002 following the launch of Windows XP, and we’re finally seeing the fruit of it today with Windows Vista.

The big change with the new audio stack - called Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) - is that it has been surgically removed from kernel mode and has been implanted firmly in user mode. This means the audio stack is always one step removed from the inner sanctums of Windows, so if - heaven forbid - there is a problem, a crash won’t cause undue collateral damage.

This wasn’t the only reason the audio stack was slapped into software. Doing so also removes a grain of latency from the audio sub-system, and allows for other funky features like per-application volume settings, automatic sound card port detection and support for array microphones. On a more sinister note, it also allows for greater controls to be placed on audio by digital rights management through the Protected Audio Path.

“Vista going software only is a good thing,” he says. According to Paterson, software opens up a lot more possibilities for the audio developer, who is also no longer tied into specific hardware features and limitations.

“Flexibility is what we want these days and locking into a hardware interface is not the way to do it. For us, supporting hardware is a step backwards and we have to disable a load of features,” says Paterson. Scott Cairns, Creative Director of the SCA Sound Studio - an audio production studio that specialises in games - agrees. “Dropping the hardware support is potentially an advantage to us,” he says. “We no longer have to develop to hardware specifications or inbuilt DSP limitations.” The only barrier is performance.

“With the audio running solely in software, there’s also the potential for more real-time FX evolving in PC gaming - assuming there’s enough CPU cycles left to the audio guys to work with”, says Cairns.

However, FMOD’s Patterson believes multi-core processors could make CPU performance limitations a thing of the past. “A software mixer can mix 100 voices at once in about 1% of the CPU these days on a Core 2 Duo. EAX quality reverb is something we have and can be done in about another 2% of that CPU,” says Paterson. “This will still come out faster than using hardware accelerated audio.”

Edit: added link to article.

It seems like that in the short term there will be issues with 3D sound until either developers choose to move to OpenAL or do their 3D sound in software (akin to Miles “Fast Positional” software audio), or you own an X-Fi and Creative adds support in ALChemy for your favorite DirectSound3D game.

That’s a good article.

Adding Alchemy to your game is actually pretty easy in many unsupported titles. Just find the games dsound.dll file and replace it with the Alchemy dsound.dll file. Most of the time, it works. Creative is qualifying more titles as they test them.

I totally stole that and printed out a bunch. I gave this first one to one of our software engineers today when he couldn’t repro my bug. :-) Thanks wumpus.

Cheers man.

I think that’s the point.