New Vista Service Pack Boosts Gaming Performance

Windows Vista users who apply the just-released Service Pack 1 patch should receive a general increase in gaming performance, according to several benchmarking websites.

Technology site ExtremeTech is showing up to a 46 frame-per-second increase in Crysis low-quality performance after applying the patch, with similarly large 20 FPS gains recorded in World in Conflict.

The advantage of Service Pack 1 was of a smaller magnitude under high quality settings, with only modest 2-5 FPS boosts recorded on average. The performance increase has also shown to be inconsistent across varying games--some benefiting little by the patch--as well as when comparing systems with Nvidia and ATI video cards.

Many gamers have been reluctant to upgrade from Microsoft's Windows XP to Windows Vista due to the latter's widely-known disadvantage in gaming performance. However, comparisons between XP and Vista performance are now neck-and-neck, with Vista actually winning out in a few instances, according to Neowin.

While today's patch seems to generally benefit users running under reasonable settings and hardware, those with beefy quad-SLI video cards may actually see a performance decrease, as bit-tech.net documents.

Service Pack 1 also adds support for DirectX 10.1, which offers shader model 4.1 support and greater control over anti-aliasing options for those users with supported video cards.

The pack can be auto-downloaded through Windows Update, or found on Microsoft's site in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.