Windows Vista beta 2: A user review

Discussion in 'Software Q&A' started by gxsaurav, May 31, 2006.

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  1. gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    Windows Vista beta 2: A user review (Updated)

    I just got my MSDN subscription mail 3 days ago, & downloaded Windows Vista beta 2, with my legal key there. I m already using office 2007 beta 2, & despite being beta I m in love with it

    Today I got a spare HD from a friend, so I installed Vista beta 2 on it, for this I did not go for a dual boot setup, which might cause problems when removing vista, instead I installed vista on the 20 GB HD, while my original 80 GB HD was not connected, so now I have to go the bios in case I need to switch to the other OS, it’s tedious but safe, since I m using it for 3 days only as I have to leave for Delhi
    Now, back to the review

    Who says Vista takes a lot of time to install, well...at least here, it installed in 45 Minutes flat, from booting from the DVD to the desktop, it took 1 hr, I downloaded the beta WDDM drivers for my FX5900XT graphics card already, but even with the bundled graphics drivers, Aero Glass was enabled by default, which looks really good, but I disabled it, cos I don’t like it. Don’t find it productive

    Vista is a big change from XP, from the whole UI, clean Segoe UI font style to natural & shadowed windows, everything is amazing & simple, I haven’t had a lot of time to tweak or check, as I have decided to do it, once I return from Delhi, in the mean time, my friend will dissect vista here for me. Those who have seen animated UI on Linux or Mac, have something to be envy of, Vista does all that & better in a very good way

    My system is a Pentium 4 3.06 GHz with Hyperthreading, 1 GB RAM, & Geforce FX 5900XT graphics card with 128 MB RAM, it gets rating of 4 in system properties , by default it took 8 GB installation, which I was able to decrease, by deleting the hibernation file, & reducing the page file to 512 MB instead of default 1.5 GB, since I m not using pro applications, 512 MB page file with 1 GB RAM is enough, however one thing, vista is slow, many things take more than usual time to start, like Windows Photo gallery.

    Since the UI is now managed by Desktop Windows Manager (dwm.exe), in case of some problem, it will simply restart without affecting any work here. Alt+tab is slow, about 1 second slow.

    By default the Classic Menu is off, but u can enable it, & the bottom preview panel is just crap for me, although it gives useful info, about the file, but who uses it. The start menu sux, please MS, bring back the old Windows XP like menu based start menu

    I M able to run some application directly from my windows XP partition, no need to install here, such as Winamp, snag-it etc. DirectX 10 is included with Vista beta 2, but 3D Max doesn’t even start, Photoshop starts fine but without aero, instead it uses aero express. Right now, with Word 2K7, Photoshop, & Snag-it open, my system has 440 MB free memory

    Nero 7 doesn’t work, Nero 6.6 does.

    Windows Mail is simple, but I prefer outlook 2007 instead.

    WMP11 is much like WMP11 XP, just with transparency.

    IE 7 is IE 7+, a slightly enhanced version of IE 7 for Windows

    Zone Alarm pro, gives a BSOD, & since there is no virus for Vista, yet, I did not install any NAV 2005/KAV 6

    Windows Sidebar was taking a lot of RAM, I disabled it, will use it again once I return. However Yahoo widget engine worked

    when searching it takes a lot of time, if u haven’t indexed the system. The virtual folder feature is quite good & came handy for me

    User Account protection is good, but annoying, I disabled it for good. There is no way, as of now to disable DEP, as there is no boot.ini

    Media centre application worked fine, I was able to play content, but not my TV in Media centre

    Speaking of my TV, 90% of all the old application work fine in Vista, even when it is Beta 2, & all of my Windows XP SP2 drivers installed fine, even my PCTV Stereo with PCTV Vision application, printer etc, however my Audigy LS didn't worked, so I had to use my onboard audio

    I have taken a few screenshots so far here goes


    Alt+ tab
    [​IMG]
    My Computer
    [​IMG]

    A conversation in confrence
    [​IMG]

    This is how photoshop looks, the black color is PNG Transparency, which doesn't work

    [​IMG]



    The new save dialog, seems also refined


    Word 2007 beta 2 in Windows Vista, with a save dialog
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2006
    SWEET SNEHA and Sourabh like this.
  2. eagle_y2j

    eagle_y2j New Member

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    hmm..................... a real eye candy
     
  3. pickster

    pickster Professional Layabout.

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    I havent tried out Vista yet...
    Trying to try it...
     
  4. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    a few other things i have found,

    1) Internet browsing is faster then Windows XP somehow

    2) Firefox works fine, except for some minor UI glitches (curropt skin images)

    3) Booting & Shutdown is slow, & when i say slow, I mean slooooow, XP used to boot in 25 seconds, this one boots in 42 seconds, i blame it all to beta nature

    4) BSOD is there, sometimes when i shutdown, never except that.

    5) Error reporting is good

    6) The Documents & settings\username\application data path is changed to users\name\appdata

    7) File copy, cut, move, takes a stagring long time, i had to disable onthe fly indaxing to make it fast

    depending on the application there are 3 folders, local, localw, & roaming, i copied my photoshop profile, mozilla profile, to local folder, & everything worked

    some more shots to follow

    The games

    Chess Titans

    [​IMG]

    Solitire

    [​IMG]

    I haven't checked more games yet, chess is fun, now gonna try Qukae 4 on it, although i m sure, i will get a BSD. Extremetech has a similar article
    more to come as i digg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2006
  5. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    this is insane, even quake 4 works, although really bad performance though, but that could be because of the beta drivers. I don't know how to run it in Window Mode, cos when i pressed alt+tab Quake 4 crashed

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. aryayush

    aryayush New Member

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    WOW! Can't wait to lay my hands on this one.

    Thanks for the review. Keep 'em comin', mate!
    And post more screenshots.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    some new screenshots

    [​IMG]

    this was taken while working on the confrence
     
  8. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    thanx to chinmay, it seems like that volume graph is a feture of keyboard drivers & not vista, i never installed keyboard drivers in Windows XP, so maybe the new ones are available on vista

    here is how the add/remove program looks, more like a folder

    [​IMG]

    Just checked, Adobe reader 7.07 doesn't work on Vista, however Adobe reader 7.08 does works.

    None of the adobe apps, (Photoshop, Adobe reader, illustrator) support the Aero glass,

    Edit : Quicktime doesn't play videos in Vista yet

    I found some cool white color cursors, which are better then the default white theme in Windows Vista. Download
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2006
  9. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    This just in

    Searching in Vista sux, it really slow, the only way to search properly is to let Windows Index all your drivers once, it indexes automatically when your computer is idle, without indexing the seraches are even slower then Windows XP SP2
     
  10. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    This is the main difference between a DirectX 9 gfx card & using with onboard graphics

    Computer with Aero, & my FX 5900XT

    [​IMG]

    Computer with Aero express & Intel extreme graphics 2 (onboard Intel 865GBF)

    [​IMG]

    So, it's just the UI, other then that, there is no change, i don't think using vista without aero is that bad, cos Microsoft has already informed that the current Aero Express skin will be changed, & we might get PNG/TGA based Glass theme, like possible with WindowBlinds 5
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2006
  11. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    last screenshots for today, i m packing up to leave for delhi tomorrow, & also have to return the HD

    typical RAM usage

    [​IMG]

    NVIDIA beta Control Panel, only provides features required to run Windows Vista, certainly not enough for games

    [​IMG]

    Vista includes DirectX 10

    [​IMG]
     
  12. gary4gar

    gary4gar GaurishSharma.com

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    a little offtopic:what it takes to be MSDN subscriber???
    the review is awesome
     
  13. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    u can sign up for Vista bets testing, & soon u will get a mail, for the invite, which is equivalent to MSDN but u can only get Vista then, since u haven't baught the subscription, which if done, will make u eligible to test many MS beta products

    Check for subscription here, however i would say that wait a few days, as Vista beta 2 is about to relese for Public
     
  14. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    almost forgot this :p, Windows Sidebar

    [​IMG]

    Right now it is using 30 MB, way more then Yahoo widgets engine
     
  15. rahul_rks

    rahul_rks New Member

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    thanks for such a detailed info along with pics.as for the few problems as you have said ,i think they will be sorted out in the full version.but from the looks and features it looks great.only drawback is i will have to upgrade first.
     
  16. Ch@0s

    Ch@0s New Member

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    Your machine is running slow as that 5900XT is very slow when it comes to Pixel Shader 2.0 code. The Aero glass UI uses PS2.0 extensively for all the effects slowing the card down to a crawl. All FX cards have issues processing PS 2.0 code. It runs fine even on an extremely cheap X300 Hypermemory. Also NV LDDM drivers as of now have major bugs that need fixing which is the reason for BSODs.
     
  17. kalpik

    kalpik In Pursuit of "Happyness"

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    Yup.. I tried it too.. It is a monster indeed! Even if i minimise/maximise some windows repeatedly, the CPU fan comes alive with noise :p
     
  18. bharat_r

    bharat_r New Member

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    One ugly thing is that the menu bar is below the front & back buttons.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    gxsaurav

    gxsaurav Guest

    FX cards were slow in processing SM 2.0 for games, Vista UI is SM2.0 but not that complex, there is no speed difference in FX 5200, 5900XT, i will soon check with Geforce 6200 & 6600 when i return to lucknow, right now i m in delhi

    I used it, & found moderate CPU usage, Vista was quite fast on my computer except when searchindexer.exe was on, so i disabled it the speed was much like XP. The frame rate of stuff on screen is not like that of games, so u cannot compare SM 2.0 speed of games to SM2.0 speed of the OS User interface

    even a FX 5200 non ultra with 128 MB RAM has enough horsepower to run Vista UI properly, unless i m missing some info..

    when i return, i will check it on other GPUs too
     
  20. samrulez

    samrulez New Member

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    I have a 2800+ with 512 MB ram..I'm not a gamer....should I go for a FX 5200 will it run Aero properly.....will it work 512 MB ram....will it be very very slow..
     
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