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3 Neat Vista features


TravisO
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Disclaimer: This is a pro-Vista rant.

I've built a brand new desktop (Intel Core 2 Duo e8400 3ghz, Nvidia 8800GTS 512mb, 2gb RAM). On top notch hardware (I get Vista's max rating on all my hardware components) I actually prefer Vista over XP. For almost a year I've owned a laptop with Vista, but had to disable both Aero and the sidebar because of the demand on resources. On my now box I finally have the power to run Vista properly. Three features that have really blown me away are:

1. The new sleep's instant on, I set my PC to sleep after 5mins of idle, and when I turn it in, I have my desktop back between 1-2 secs, literally, not 3, not 4, we're talking instantly. No bios bootup, no "resuming windows" loading screen, I don't even know how they do it. My CPU, GPU and PSU fans are off and my HD doesn't even thrash during this 1sec turn on phase. I don't even have any SSD thumbdrives plugged in, just a normal 7200RPM SATA-II HD.

2. Direct X 10 really is amazing, but it's not very obvious in screen shots. The new DX10 shaders can be jaw dropping when seen in motion, while Crysis is the only decent example out there, and it's not even the best looking game (I blame the game's artists on this, not DX10 nor the game engine as Far Cry 2 and some other Crytex demos look amazing). From the per leaf shading you see from the sun's rays, to the photo-realistic water reflections to the water itself. Also few people know many of the DX10 shaders have been ported to the Xbox 360, it's the reason for all the improvements in Gears of War 2. The 360 may not be a fully compliant DX10 card, but it does contain many of the features.

3. Aero... while I disable this on most hardware, especially laptops including my own, if you own a new video card, as in 2008, which are much more efficient than previous ones because of smaller microns, now hitting 65nm and 55nm. Actually it's not Aero itself that's impressive, it's all the possibilities a 3D rendered GUI can offer, have you watched the MS Surface Sphere demo yet? That's only possible because of Aero, a simple warping via a projection would never be correct.

PS: I know there are other neat things in Vista, but the above are the only things that have truly impressed me. I had forgotten to add that Vista also just "feels" faster than XP.

Edited by TravisO
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Disclaimer: This is a pro-Vista rant.

1. The new sleep's instant on, I set my PC to sleep after 5mins of idle, and when I turn it in, I have my desktop back between 1-2 secs, literally, not 3, not 4, we're talking instantly. No bios bootup, no "resuming windows" loading screen, I don't even know how they do it. My CPU, GPU and PSU fans are off and my HD doesn't even thrash during this 1sec turn on phase. I don't even have any SSD thumbdrives plugged in, just a normal 7200RPM SATA-II HD.

So are you saying in XP it takes longer? Or are you saying you've never used the sleep feature in XP? Or are you saying you've never used the sleep feature instead of the hibernate?

There is a difference in sleep vs. hibernate. Hibernate will give you the "Resuming Windows" loading screen even in Vista. However, sleep in Vista or XP work the same way; it will put the computer to sleep and it turns on instantly to your desktop. Note that sleep does not save your state in memory. In case of power failure, your work is lost. Sleep does consume some energy, though, so for laptops, you will lose battery life when put to sleep.

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Or are you saying you've never used the sleep feature in XP? Or are you saying you've never used the sleep feature instead of the hibernate?

XP doesn't have sleep, it has standby.

sleep in Vista or XP work the same way

Not so.

Note that sleep does not save your state in memory. In case of power failure, your work is lost.

XP's standby doesn't save it to disk, so indeed your work would be lost. Vista's sleep however does. If you don't lose power, it resumes instantly (kind of like standby), and if you lose power, it'll resume like it would from hibernation (still faster than a normal boot, and no data lost).

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