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Thread: Windows Vista & 7 GDI slowness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Windows Vista & 7 GDI slowness

    Hi, I'd like to know what passmark developers think about the lack of 2d hardware acceleration in WDDM and WDDM 1.1 drivers.

    I've created a small video which illustrates the problem using Passmark PerfomanceTest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay-gqx18UTM&fmt=18

    Sadly, for me Windows 7 or Vista won't be an option till they had hardware 2d acceleration back.

  2. #2
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    XP had variable levels of hardware acceleration (depending on your video card and device driver).
    Vista had no real acceleration.
    Win7 has some acceleration again.

    Vista and Win7 also have more eye candy than XP. So this is another reason XP is faster in some circumstances.

    But Win7 should be better in low RAM situations and multitasking (when multiple applications are trying to update the screen at the same time). And should should feel smoother under load.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for letting us know about your video, VooD.
    Earlier, I had stumbled upon the Vimeo version you uploaded a little while ago and put up a link in our general forum about it: http://www.passmark.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2160

  4. #4
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    Thanks for answering. I've been researching a bit and I really doubt we'll ever see Windows 7's GUI performing as fast as XP does.

    Also I made the same tests with every eye candy disabled in Windows 7 (theming disabled, compositing disabled) and the performance gap between 7 and XP still was quite big.

    Windows 7
    Windows 7 default WDDM 1.1 driver for nvidia 8600gt, composition and theming on, Windows Interface Score: 54.8 ops

    Windows 7 default WDDM 1.1 driver for nvidia 8600gt, composition and theming off, Windows Interface Score: 41.1 ops

    nVidia Windows 7 WHQL driver 8600gt, composition and theming on, Windows Interface Score: 63.2 ops

    nVidia Windows 7 WHQL driver 8600gt, composition and theming on, Windows Interface Score: 54.3 ops

    Windows XP SP3

    nVidia latest WHQL driver for 8600gt, theming off, Windows Interface Score: 267 ops

    It seems Microsoft plans to replace GDI with their new Direct2D and WPF (both of which are hardware accelerated), which is a good idea on paper. The problem is right now almost every single element in Windows 7's GUI, and every single 3rd party application is GDI/GDI+ based, and I really doubt we'll see a full rewriting of Windows 7's GUI using Direct2D in years (maybe in Windows 8 ), not to talk about 3rd party applications..

    I'd like to know if you have any knowledge about if this dissapointing situation is going to change any soon.

    Thanks, and congratulations for your excellent software.
    Last edited by VooD; 08-04-2009 at 02:00 PM.

  5. #5
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    In our in house testing we saw the same result. Windows XP was faster than Win7 in the 2D tests. Even Vista as faster than Win7. Given than Win7 development is already complete, this situation will not change in the short term.

    But the claim is that Win7 is faster in multitasking situations (something we haven't had time to test as yet), low RAM situation and that Direct2D will be faster, if we re-wrote all our code to use Direct2D. Which of course we won't do at the moment because we want to keep compatibility with old Windows releases.

    For the next major release of PerformanceTest we will look at adding a 2D multitasking test and single Direct2D test. This might make Win7 look better.

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