View Full Version : Preview: Vista SP1 Beta

11-21-2007, 10:13 AM

Preview: Vista - Service Pack 1 Beta

Curiosity finally got the better of me and with the permission of Jon, I'm doing a little preview of the Vista Service Pack 1 Beta. I've seen reviews saying that the SP1 beta feels faster, but none of them have really tested this (as far as I've seen).

Methods and Results:
To test whether there was any performance difference, I tested the following:

Boot-up Time
Super Pi - 1M
Super Pi - 4M
Futuremark 3DMark03
Futuremark 3DMark06
Crysis - CPU Benchmark
Crysis - GPU Benchmark
Supreme Commander

Boot up time
I measured boot up time from the time of the Boot Manager to the log in screen. Before testing, I defraged the hard drive containing Vista with a trail copy of Perfect Disk 8. I measured the boot up time 6 times with a stopwatch and then average out the results.

Before SP1 - 50.47 seconds
After SP1 - 57.86 seconds

SP1 is 7.39 seconds slower than if it wasn't installed. But this time could be different on a fresh install of Vista.

Super Pi - 1M
Super Pi relies on the CPU power and the bandwidth between the CPU and the RAM. Because of this, it can be easily be affects by another program being open. I did no 'tweaks' to improve the score for this test.

Before SP1 - 17.612 seconds
After SP1 - 17.519 seconds

Although this shows that Vista SP1 is slightly faster, there is a little problem with the result. The first time I tried the test with Vista SP1 Beta, I got almost 18 seconds. After testing it again (I tested twice) I got a faster time.

Super Pi - 4M
Similar to the test above, except Super Pi calculates 4 times the amount of places of Pi. It's the most useful test regarding modern CPUs.

Before SP1 - 1 minute 39.777 seconds
After SP1 - 1 minute 39.403 seconds

SP1 only just comes out ahead. I tested the 4M runs 3 times in SP1 to see if the same problem came up. I noticed that like the 1M run, the best time was done in the 2nd run. I'd also like to point out that when I attempted to do the 3rd run for this test, Super Pi crashed. I'm unsure of the cause.

Futuremark 3DMark03
3DMark03 tests a computer's gaming performance by stressing the CPU and GPU as a game would do.

Before SP1 - 16795 3DMarks
After SP1 - 16874 3DMarks

SP1 comes out in front by almost 100 3DMarks. The test was ran twice. The first time I tested in SP1, I got a lower score but realised that I left a few things open which affected the score a bit.

Futuremark 3DMark06
3DMark06 tests a computer's gaming performance by stressing the CPU and GPU as a game would do. This test utilises all cores of the CPU via multi-threading.

Before SP1 - 5268 3DMarks
After SP1 - 5271 3DMarks

There is a very minor performance increase here. I'm not sure I'm able to explain it. It's possible that SP1 increases performance for single threaded applications and not really multi-threaded applications.

Crysis - CPU Benchmark
On high details, this game makes almost all systems crawl. The benchmark tests the physics engine of the game. The result given is the average frames per second. The details are all set to medium.

Before SP1 - 25.56 FPS
After SP1 - 25.19 FPS

For this, SP1 actually falls behind a little. The first run for the benchmark in SP1 was a lot slower than the rest of the runs.

Crysis - GPU Benchmark
On high details, this game makes almost all systems crawl. The benchmark flies through the level testing the graphics aspects. The result given is the average frames per second. The details are all set to medium.

Before SP1 - 26.07 FPS
After SP1 - 26.04 FPS

SP1 actually falls behind again by a fraction of a second. It seems that in terms of GPU performance, there is no advantage or disadvantage for SP1.

Supreme Commander
Supreme commander puts heavy demand on the CPU with it's AI calculations. Result is the Composite and average FPS.

Before SP1 - 15972 / 30.07 FPS
After SP1 - 16031 / 30.38 FPS

SP1 runs Supreme Commander only slightly better than normal Vista.

The Vista SP1 Beta is indeed faster than the normal Vista, however, the difference is marginal. Performance of crysis seemed to drop, but the difference wouldn't be noticable.
There is a couple of things I noticed which affected results a little. The boot up times for Vista, the times got as low as 35 seconds to boot up to the login screen, but it could be because I triggered the first step of getting Vista SP1 Beta. I'm not 100% sure. Another thing I noticed is the fact SP1 appears to be using more RAM than Vista! 100MB or so if I'm correct, I'm not sure why this is so as if you take a look in the screen shots, you'll see what I mean.
It's possible that more improvements will surface when Vista SP1 is officially released. I'm wondering if there is debugging tools running in the background that could be affecting the performance slightly. I'll review SP1 when it's released to see how it stands up. If you would like the raw data I collected during these tests, PM me and I'll organise to email them to you.

Additional Comments:
I also played a bit of the Crysis Demo to see what the game 'felt' like. And I noticed that playing it in Vista SP1 compared to Vista, there was a very noticeable difference. In Vista, the mouse seemed to be lagging, but in SP1, I had no problems.
I apologize for not having pretty graphs for this review.

11-22-2007, 07:58 AM
Screenshots I took before installing SP1 Beta:


Screenshots I took after install SP1 Beta:


Drum Thumper
11-22-2007, 02:39 PM
Excellent work crenn, the benchmarks that you chose are damn near industry standard from what I've gathered.

While I haven't made the jump to Vista yet, this review was exactly what I was looking for. +Rep for sure!

11-22-2007, 05:21 PM
Indeed, very nicely done. Once you get those screen shots we'll add this to the front page's member reviews section. Well, I made ya a header graphic but it didn't turn out so well. Maybe I'll try again later.

11-22-2007, 06:14 PM
I've got the screenshots up now.

11-23-2007, 01:55 AM
Before this goes to the front page, what the heck am I supposed to do with all those screen shots? Shouldn't they be placed in the review?

11-23-2007, 02:05 AM
Normally I would grid them, but I can't get the pictures to be in a grid.

11-23-2007, 02:20 AM
I can't toss that many pics of that size in the article. What did you mean by grid them? Do you want me to fit them in somehow or omit them?

11-23-2007, 02:44 PM
Crenn, open the edit on that forst post and copy the content. Then go into member reviews on the home page and submit, I'll publish it from there.

11-24-2007, 10:34 AM
Very nice Crenn, i hadn't seen this until it was on the front page.

It's nice to see how much work Microsoft have put in to make it faster... not.

Did you notice anything else different, like less stupid security, etc.

11-25-2007, 10:23 PM
Remember, this is no where near complete. If you used Vista when RC1 came out, you know it wasn't very fast. I've found mixed things with Vista. I've seen it do some things faster than Windows XP.

I'll be reviewing SP1 again when it gets released completely. Keep in mind, this is only a Beta, when SP1 is released... who knows, we could have the type of performance we got from XP.

EDIT: I keep UAC off. For me it's not needed.

01-12-2008, 12:02 PM
Vista SP1 RC1 has been released, I'll work on it when I can and let you guys know if there is any further improvement.


01-13-2008, 08:55 PM
I'd just like to day that I've install SP1 RC1 on my tablet PC and it does appear to be responding better. When I can I'll be doing benchmarks for desktop (I have to redo benchmarks due to a little extra speed.

01-18-2008, 07:51 PM
Hm, i must say, vista looks very pretty compared to XP. :/
I'm highly contemplating getting vista premium x64 and a 500gb WD 7.2k drive and doing a dual boot setup until im comfortable getting vista and running just that, seeing as im not exactly the most software savvy person in the world.
Great review, gives me an idea of what to expect :D

01-20-2008, 03:16 AM
Vista may look pretty compared to XP, but if you're using Aero, you're almost constantly using your GPU to render (which isn't good for battery life if you're using a laptop).

I have a dual boot setup, but I'm actually considering running only Vista soon. It has a few issues, but it works fine for me, and when SP1 fully comes out, it should be running fairly well.

01-20-2008, 05:55 PM
Crenn, i'd like to know if there have been any improvments to the windows explorer in vista since its first release. The only reason i have vista in my desk and not on my comp is that i couldnt easily find my files and programs. I hated how the my documents folder was changed compared to XP.

Do you have any issues finding save locations and or adding/deleting files and folders within vista?

01-20-2008, 09:20 PM
I don't normally have difficulty finding save locations on my computers, on other computers it's different. Because I use firefox I get it to automatically save to a folder.
Personally I liked the My Document change, it made things less crowded for me. I don't have problems with vista. To me, the interface is good and helps sort out some of the photos I take. Also finding files shouldn't be a problem with the little search bar in the start menu ;)

02-02-2008, 03:08 AM
According to some sources, Vista SP1 is due to be released this month.

EDIT: Little bit of reading: