Vista: install or not?

OK, I’ve got my Dell Vista upgrade and it’s sitting in a box next to my kick-ass Dell gaming notebook (that cost about as much as my Miata, and is almost as fun.)

But I’ve installed so many things in my computing lifetime that broke things that were working fine, in the spirit of “upgrading”, that I’m worried the pluses won’t balance the “oh, craps.”

So here’s the question: should I go ahead and install Vista? In particular, I’m having a blast playing some older games I missed the first time through, such as JA2 + 1.13 patch, Planescape Torment, etc. - will those work? And what are the REAL advantages of Vista for the gamer as Vista stands today, versus the negatives?

Thanks - Jeff

As with all OS upgrades, I wait until the first service pack ships before I even think about upgrading, especially if everything is running fine. I have systems in my house running Win2K that I won’t ever upgrade because they’re nice and stable.

The only Vista install I have is running on Parallels in Mac OS X, and I never load it up.

Unless you need to, why upgrade? Is there something that Vista offers that you want/need?

Take it from someone who just purchased a new computer… Vista is more evolutionary than revolutionary. If everything is stable on XP and the games you want to play work on XP, stay on XP. There are still some kinks in the Vista system being worked out.

I would recommend upgrading. Take a look at this list and see if convinces you.

I love my Vista-upgraded Dell. Aero is beautiful, and I couldn’t believe how smoothly the upgrade went.

But I haven’t tried older games yet. All my modern games work fine (I had to put one in XP compatibility mode), but I haven’t tried Torment yet.

A blog post from 18 months before Vista launched? (It’s dated November 11, 2005, homes.)

You were being sarcastic, right?

One of his points is how “delicious” 3-d Chess looks–food for thought for us gaming geeks, huh?

About a year, actually. And no, what he said holds true for me. Is there anything you disagree with?

read up on standby problems first. its dodgy under vista. I love my vista machine, but its a desktop that doesnt use standby.

I installed Vista shortly after it was released (I got it free from work), and I liked it well enough.


I recently upgraded my video card and a few other hardware components and this caused Vista to deactivate itself. The automatic internet activation wouldn’t work, so I had to call Microsoft. When I dialed the toll-free number on the screen, I got a recording saying to call back during business hours Mon-Fri. Since this was on a Saturday afternoon and I didn’t want to go the rest of the weekend without a working computer, I reinstalled XP.

So after switching back to XP after using Vista for six months, I can’t really say there’s anything I miss. Really, there’s not a single feature I used in Vista that’s “must have”. Until new games/apps require Vista, I probably won’t bother installing it again.

That’s not to say that Vista is a bad OS by any means, and if you’re buying a new PC which includes your choice of Microsoft OS, I certainly recommend you get it over XP, but at the moment I see no compelling reason to buy a boxed copy of Vista to upgrade an existing XP installation.

I’ve been using for Vista for about 4 months now, and I keep running into weird little issues. An XP / Vista dual boot is where I’m headed.

I have Vista as a VM on my Mac.

I never use it, I played with it a bit, and I couldn’t see any major advantages. If it’s on a machine pre-installed, sure, keep it, but I wouldn’t spend any time getting a working machine upgraded.

Can you dual boot with the disc they sent you, or will it only allow an upgrade?

I am running vista 64 bit, and I have not had any issues with games, although I do have the occasional app that does ‘admin’ things that are off limits. You just have to run them again in admin mode.

For example, uTorrent would not set my file associations for torrents. It didn’t give me any errors, it just didn’t work when you told it to. Running it as admin and then setting the associations worked.

I wouldn’t upgrade, no. If you’re going to install vista, install it clean.

I believe, from the Dell Forums, I can only upgrade (vs. dual boot) with the disc they sent me.

Sounds like there’s no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista at this point - it’s more a nice to have than a must have. I’ll hold off for the time being (although it’s killing me looking at the upgrade disc. ;) )

I saw something (at Engadget, if memory serves) a while back that said currently, the only noticeable thing that Vista does is run apps 10% slower.

Give it a service pack or two and I’m sure it will be mad sexy - but if your machine is doing everything you need it to right now - why upgrade?

(Full disclosure: I’ve never even so much as seen Vista. Just sayin’ what I’ve read is all.)

Apps run fine, games are 5-10% slower. It is pretty sexy, though.

You can do a clean install with the vista upgrade, although it’s a bit of a pain in the arse.

I reverted back to XP, from Vista Ultimate, as well. After running my new 8800 GTX in XP for a few weeks, the noticeable performance drop in Vista, intermingled with odd little desktop pauses and iTunes weirdness, totally harshed my mellow.

I’ll go back to Vista when there’s a worthwhile DX10 title on the shelves.

Edit: The Company of Heroes DX10 patch is gonna be out fairly soon it seems. A dual boot may be in order.

According to AnandTech, Oblivion, at least, performs slightly better under Vista:

I’m not sure this received wisdom of “oh, Vista runs games slower” is still valid in the face of updated drivers from ATI and NVIDIA since the launch in February.

Yes, I think it was definitely true at launch – particularly for NVIDIA’s craptacular, half-hearted Vista drivers-- but I’m not so sure now.

Anyone have a RECENT performance comparison between XP and Vista for gaming? As in, this month (May) or later?

I reverted back to XP a couple of weeks ago, but I’m afraid I never ran benchmarks. Company of Heroes was discernibly sluggish compared to XP. Maybe sluggish isn’t appropriate, but 1920x1200 at max settings in XP was chump change to the 8800, whereas under Vista, there was a sporadic stutter.

Doesn’t matter now; the aforementioned CoH patch is gonna bring me right back to Vista.