I finally got Windows Vista Beta 2 installed on my Acer Ferrari 3400. The installation went smoothly once I got the right iso image. You can only install Vista on a NTFS partition, if you don’t have one, the installer would ask you to convert the partition to NTFS first. I didn’t clock the installation, but I remember it took about an hour for the installation to finish.
The boot up process takes a long time to finish. It takes about 47 seconds to show the CTRL+ALT+DEL screen. It takes even longer to log on (about a minute). Since this is only beta version, I can’t really complain about the performance. Once you are logged on, you are presented with the Welcome Center.
Windows System Performance Rating
Click on More Details will bring you this dialog.
What’s interesting about this dialog is the Windows System Performance Rating. What does this rating mean? This is from Windows Help and Support.
“The Windows System Performance Rating measures the capability of your computer’s hardware configuration and expresses this measurement as a whole number. A higher performance rating means your computer will perform better and faster, especially when performing more advanced and resource-intensive tasks, than a computer with a lower performance rating. You can use the performance rating number to confidently buy programs and other software that are rated to match your computer’s performance level. For example, if this computer has a System Performance Rating of 3, then you can confidently purchase any software designed for this version of Windows that requires a computer with a rating of 3 or less.”
I don’t know if this would be useful or not. Computer speed has advanced a lot in the past few years. If your computer is relatively new like less than 2 years old, you can run a lot of programs without performance issues assuming you have enough RAM. In fact, I have several old machines ( > 3 years old) that are still running great. This rating might be useful for gamers to show off their machines, but for average person, I really doubt it’s useful.
Click on the rating brings you Performance Rating and Tools and gives you the details of the rating.
Note that the overall rating is not average of all the categories reported, it’s the weakest rating of all. For example, if I upgrade RAM and get a RAM rating of 4, the overall rating is still 3 because the weakest rating of my system is Gaming Graphics which is 3.3 .
Sleep (Stand by) and Hibernate
Stand by is now called sleep. stand by and hibernate work well in XP except the I had a lot of problems with the wireless networking. I had to constantly disable and re-enable wireless connection after the computer wakes up from stand by or hibernation. I wanted to test how well the wireless connection performs after waking up from sleep or hibernation under Vista. The time for the computer to go to stand by or hibernation is fast. It’s comparable to XP. However, it still takes a long time for the wireless connection to re-establish connection. The total time for the computer to wake from hibernation till the wireless connection gets connected again is about one minute. The good news is that I don’t need to disable and re-enable the connection again. I only need to wait for the connection to establish by itself.
After the lengthy boot up and log on, I am surprised to see that everything else speeds up quite a bit. The system is very responsive even though the default theme is turned on with all the bells and whistles. In XP, I had to turned off a lot of visual effects to achieve better performance. It’s not so in Vista. Running applications is a snap. At first, I thought only the native applications are faster. I tried other 3rd party applications like Firefox and Thunderbird and they are faster in Vista, too!
Overall, I am very impressed by Vista Beta 2. Even thought it’s a beta version, it’s quite solid. I have ran into some minor problems, but the system has not crashed even once. With better graphics and performance, I feel like I have a whole new machine. I would encourage anyone to try out Vista Beta 2 and report bugs to Microsoft. Let’s make a great OS even better. Can’t wait for the official release of Vista.