"So what does this tell us? Well, we have come to know by this point that Vista comes shipped with plenty of new features and a completely revamped interface. Along with this comes all of the new eye candy that we have come to expect from new Microsoft products. What it also tells us is that the eye candy features of Windows Vista do not take that much away from the system in term of gaming performance: the performance difference between Aero Glass on versus off was inconsequential.
Quite frankly, we were shocked by these results.
We decided to ping AMD to get their take on things. We werent certain if the performance results we were seeing with Aero Glass were due to changes in the new driver model, or if the GPU we tested was just so powerful that Aero Glass didnt affect it. Here is the question Brandon asked AMD and this is the response we got back from AMDs Andrew Dodd:
FiringSquad: We ran some benchmarks with Aero Glass on and off and noted no performance difference when using Catalyst 7.1! Normally under an OS you see a slight 3-5% performance hit when you turn on the eye candy, but that wasnt there under Aero Glass which was definitely surprising. Do you think the new driver model helps Aero Glass performance or is it something else?
Andrew Dodd: Basically (pretty much because of the new Vista driver model) the Vista OS just suspends Aero in the background, (once you enter 3D exclusive mode it would be a waste of GPU resources to keep running Aero). So thats why theres no performance impact
As a result of the changes Microsoft has implemented in Vista, gaming performance no longer suffers when desktop eye candy effects are left on. This is great news for gamers who enjoy the benefits of Aero Glass, but were concerned with its performance impact: there is none. This is unheard of for a Microsoft OS!
Weve just scratched the surface of our Vista coverage, with more articles on Microsofts latest OS on the way, and while there are aspects of Vista wed like to see improved, it appears so far that performance may not be as great a concern with Vista as initially feared. Thats definitely a good thing in our opinion."
Now Stop complaining.