The problem with Vista isn't Vista at all. It's drivers. You have to wait for 3rd party companies to provide quality drivers for their hardware. It's the price you pay for having a system that isn't controlled like Macs.
With good drivers Vista is fast and stable. I have been running it since beta. I also have XP and Leopard. Side by Side Vista is more stable than Leopard. They go back and forth and speed. Sometimes Vista wins, sometimes Leopard. But Vista is certainly not a pig. I find it to be faster than XP. Again, it's all about drivers. My hardware is well supported and everything works very well and never crashes.
Here are just some gaming benchmarks showing Vista vs XP. It edges out XP here by a hair. It's also 2 months old so there has been several driver updates since then and I imagine performance now would be even better. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2302500,00.asp
If you were expecting a huge drop in performance as your eyes scanned from the XP to the Vista results, well, surprise! As many a tech analyst predicted, Windows Vista's gaming performance conundrum has largely been solved, and it was mainly due to early graphics drivers.
In fact, I'd been planning to run a few other gaming tests, but the results from these were so uninteresting that further work didn't seem merited. Love it or hate it, Vista is performing far better than it used to.
Game performance, it seems, has been exorcised from your concern when choosing a Microsoft operating system. That leaves a few other factors, of course: stability, responsiveness, eye candy, price, DirectX version, and a few other odds and ends.
It took about a year and a half, but the performance gap between Vista and its forerunner has finally evaporated.
Here's another review. This one is 10 months old and obviously drivers have matured since then. And issues were addressed in regards to SLI. In some cases Vista is faster, XP in others but in most they are neck and neck.http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/...rmance_update/
Here's some more from Januaryhttp://futuremark.yougamers.com/foru...ad.php?t=72298
It's interesting to see that Vista's performance seems to have progressed since it was released. The general usage tests are either faster or equal to XP. It should be noted that the program load times may be influenced slightly by the fact that the OSs reside on different drives (Samsung/WD). However, Vista is on the slower drive (the WD), so it only makes the results even more impressive. Talking about the program load times, it's obvious that Vista's SuperFetch feature works wonderfully. Even though I've only launched Photoshop and OpenOffice a few times, Vista has already picked this up and loads them into mem right after boot up. Crysis was almost certainly not cached into RAM during the test, but still loaded faster than in XP.
The horrendous file copy performance has been fixed. Performance is definitely higher than in XP. Also gone are the sometimes irritatingly long file deletion times. File deletion seems instantaneous now, just like it's always been in XP.