Gaming in Windows Vista investigated

— 10:31 AM on May 30, 2006

Armed with a high-end AMD Socket AM2 machine and a copy of Windows Vista Beta 2, ExtremeTech has set out to investigate the feasibility of gaming in Microsoft's upcoming operating system. The site tested over 15 games, from The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion and World of Warcraft to F.E.A.R., Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and Half-Life 2. While some of the games like WoW, Oblivion, and HL2 worked just fine, others hit a few snags. Battlefield 2, for instance, needed to be run as an administrator to work in PunkBuster-protected online games. F.E.A.R., meanwhile, ran at severely reduced frame rates, with its built-in benchmark showing over 30% lower performance in Vista than in Windows XP. Finally, one of the games tested by ExtremeTech failed to run in Vista altogether. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory's StarForce copy protection system relies on a driver that isn't compatible with the new OS, making installation impossible.

Overall, ExtremeTech says it is happy with game support in Windows Vista. However, the site complains about the OS's high memory requirements and lower overall performance, which it says can be chalked up to un-optimized graphics drivers and a lack of full performance tuning in Vista Beta 2.

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