View Full Version : Wondering About How Vista Performs for Audio Apps?

03-20-2007, 12:21 PM
I've been wondering about how well Vista will perform for DAWs in comparison to XP for quite awhile. I've not seen anything convincing until this:


I'm a fan of Rain computers (though I cant afford one myself :( ) and they have provided what I think is a valid, fair performance comparison. When I think back on it, I was reluctant to move to XP because I thought it would be too bloated and performance would decrease in comparison to Windows 98. Boy was I wrong! From the looks of this article we might be able to say the same about Vista. I buy into their theory that Vista is more new technology friendly than XP, especially when it comes to multi core processors.


03-20-2007, 05:06 PM
Each system program is a child of its time and its environment/hardware, where it was programmed.

It can become only better. ;) *()

Richard Berg
03-22-2007, 03:39 AM
Cool test. Nice to see Vista do well.

Do they have an article on their tweak methodology? My guess is that Aero Glass matters not at all -- it's background tasks polling the disk that really hurt audio.

I can't believe they tested 32-bit apps on Vista64 and were surprised there was no improvement. What were they expecting? I would've expected a slight decrease if anything (WOW overhead, more immature drivers).

So, why does Vista perform better than XP Pro on an identical system, running identical software and hardware? We believe that it's down to how the operating system relates to the component hardware. When XP was written multi-core processors and multi-threaded applications did not exist. With various service packs it's been able to cope well with new technologies, but now it appears to be coming up a little short. Vista on the other hand is built with multiple cores in mind, designed to take advantage of all the latest drive speeds, RAM speeds and motherboard technology.

Translation: we have no idea.

The truth is, workstation-class machines have been dual-CPU for a long time. Developers in particular love them because compiling big projects is easily parallelized. The standard "dev box" at Microsoft certainly had 2 CPUs in the XP timeframe. I wouldn't be surprised if that tradition is a decade old. After all, Windows NT 3.51 supported SMP Pentium Pros out of the box, and various SMP RISC machines before that.

Fortunately, we don't need to guess or wave our hands to explain why Vista is faster. Kernel improvements:

New audio stack:

One can only imagine how low they might've been able to push the latency with a PCI soundcard and WaveRT drivers.