We didn’t expect Vista to load up fast on the desktop but its performance was truly appalling. The boot up sequence was horrendously slow. It took about five minutes for Vista to load and display the log-on screen.
After authenticating our login, it took Vista another five minutes to load the desktop! Loading an application took ages to complete. The hard drive LED just kept blinking from the moment Vista started up.
We tried to access the Control Panel. Bad mistake! All that fancy eye-candy took forever to load. When we thought it couldn’t get any worse, closing the Control Panel actually took half the time it took for it to appear!
Then we fired up Windows Explorer, double-clicked on a drive and waited (again!) for Vista to load all the eye candy. Was it Vista, or was it our desktop? There was only one way to find out – compare it with our notebook, which has a slower processor but one with a larger Level 2 cache.
Surprisingly, Vista booted up quite a bit faster on the notebook than it did on the desktop. We were honestly expecting about the same experience, if not worse. Loading Vista still took some time but once it was up, the experience was much better.
It still wasn’t as snappy as Windows XP though. There were delays here and there, but it was still tolerable. It seemed like Vista was constantly trying to redraw the screen and the graphics processor wasn’t up to it. A faster graphics processor and more memory would have helped but at least we now know that Vista can run quite well on a system with only 512MB of memory!
So, why did our desktop feel so sluggish? Its processor ran at a higher clock speed, it had the same amount of memory, and even a faster 7200 rpm hard drive. Yet, it performed worse than the notebook. We suspect the notebook's faster memory, its larger Level 2 cache and its relatively faster graphics processor all had something to do with its better performance.
It was definitely a big Wow! Who wouldn’t be impressed?
The new colour scheme is sleek and exciting. We think it will be a good complement for the new notebooks with glossy LCD panels. The new colour scheme may not appeal to all users, but it worked for us.
That came at a price though. We could see both the processor and hard drive working extremely hard to keep up with the load. We will probably have to add more memory or get an entirely new computer if we want Vista to run really well.
The re-organization of the menus, commonly accessed tools and applications can be confusing to those who are used to the old layouts. However, this new layout will greatly benefit new Windows users or those switching from Macs. Existing and hardcore Windows users may find it tedious to accomplish even the simplest tasks though. Hopefully, we will get used to it after some time.
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