OS Shootout 2007: Windows XP Professional vs. Windows Vista Ultimate Page 3

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Test Results – Simulation Titles

Moving onto real world applications, Microsoft’s FSX has demonstrated that sometimes stereotypes are true; in this case, that simulations have traditionally been CPU-bound in their performance characteristics. With this in mind, we didn’t think FSX, patched with SP1 and configured with high settings, would exhibit any noteworthy performance gaps between the two operating systems. We were wrong. The title was tested using a free flight save file that puts an AirCreation Trike Ultralight cruising roughly 6,000 feet over the city of Rio De Janeiro.

FSX

Windows
XP Pro
Windows
Vista Ultimate
1024×768
48
42
1280×1024
47
41
1600×1200
47
41

The two sets of results show a consistent 14-15% delta between the two OSes. With FSX’s frame rate so tightly married to CPU performance, we’re at a loss to explain the gap in scores without simply guessing at an explanation. Either way, while the difference isn’t huge it is noteworthy and shows a sharp departure from the above synthetic testing.

IL-2: 1946 is a compilation release of all of Maddox Games’ “Sturmovik” simulations over the last several years. While quickly aging, the title is still very popular among flight sim enthusiasts, particularly for its online play. The title was configured to run in OpenGL mode and its 1946 Lightning track was used for this article’s testing.

IL-2: 1946

Windows
XP Pro
Windows
Vista Ultimate
1024×768
194
169
1280×1024
165
154
1600×1200
149
143

At the lowest resolution, the results show a roughly 15% gap between the two OSes, similar to FSX’s scores. That gap, however, quickly disappears by 1600×1200, which resulted in a mere 6 fps difference, or 3%, while running under Vista. This is definitely a huge improvement for Vista compared to FSX’s results.

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