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Windows Vista Aero: What's the point?

RonenRonen Registered User regular
edited October 2007 in Games and Technology
Short version: Windows Vista Aero is pretty, but way too resource intensive. I only find one of its features remotely useful, and it didn't take me long to turn it off. Does Microsoft even try to justify Aero's existence beyond "it makes everything shiny!"?

Also, is there any way to enable the window thumbnail on the task bar without using Aero? That's my favorite feature, but I'm not keeping the rest of it on just for that one.

Long version: After moving a few months ago I put all the PCs in my house into storage, switching over to an all Apple setup in the new place. Recently, however, I was given a laptop at work so I could stop breaking my own VPN policies. We only run WinXP on our client machines, but my laptop came with Vista. Figuring I'll need to learn it anyway, I dual booted XP and Vista, and I try to use Vista at work whenever possible to get the hang of it.

Well, I've been playing around with Vista for a few months now, and it's... alright. I feel like some things were changed for the sake of changing them. It takes a few steps forward and a few back, and I personally wouldn't pay for it. But that's not the point of this thread.

Aero is pretty. The glass thing is pretty nice considering I normally detest transparency. Flip3D is completely useless and has no practical application (MS should've just bitten the bullet and added the same window management as Expose, which I love and use all the time). The animations are slick, the fading is smooth and overall, I like the look of it.

My favorite feature is the little window preview when you mouse over a program in the Start bar (it's not as useful as Expose's All Windows button since the preview is always too small to read, but I like it nonetheless). Is there any way to enable the window preview without Aero?

With Aero running, dwm.exe takes up over 60MB of RAM at bootup. Without it, less than 100K after running for a while. How does MS justify Aero other than "MAKE LOOK SHINY", or does it even try?

Go play MOTHER3

or Brawl. 4854.6102.3895 Name: NU..
Ronen on
«134

Posts

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Because no one cares about 60mb of ram anymore?

    Rook on
  • RonenRonen Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    Because no one cares about 60mb of ram anymore?

    Fair enough, for an enthusiast. But for a business oriented OS, why even include it? Users love calling up at every little thing, and that's just one more thing to contribute to "mycomputerisbeingslowIneedanewone".

    If anything, Vista Business should've shipped without it. I know that ultimately when we deploy Vista to the rest of the organization (if it even happens) I'm going to remove it from the install completely.

    Ronen on
    Go play MOTHER3

    or Brawl. 4854.6102.3895 Name: NU..
  • agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I can't use an Excel Sheet anymore if it doesn't have bumpmapping and alpha shading.

    agoaj on
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  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Windows Vista: What's the point?

    Dublo7 on
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  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Ronen wrote: »
    Rook wrote: »
    Because no one cares about 60mb of ram anymore?

    Fair enough, for an enthusiast. But for a business oriented OS, why even include it? Users love calling up at every little thing, and that's just one more thing to contribute to "mycomputerisbeingslowIneedanewone".

    If anything, Vista Business should've shipped without it. I know that ultimately when we deploy Vista to the rest of the organization (if it even happens) I'm going to remove it from the install completely.

    At least you have the option?

    edit: Some of the people I work with turn on XP's "pretty" because they like the look. I like the spartan version better, but I find Aero a good comprimise.

    Malkor on
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  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Does it really take up much for resources? I've been running it without giving it much thought. Could it be affecting my game performance? My laptop isn't exactly a powerhouse, so every bit helps I suppose.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • RonenRonen Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Herby wrote: »
    Does it really take up much for resources? I've been running it without giving it much thought. Could it be affecting my game performance? My laptop isn't exactly a powerhouse, so every bit helps I suppose.

    I can't comment on game performance, but I know I can feel a difference when running heavy tasks like VMs.

    Ronen on
    Go play MOTHER3

    or Brawl. 4854.6102.3895 Name: NU..
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I've never noticed it being a hog. I mean yeah, I would have wanted 2 GB and a much better video card to play games in Vista on my box, but just using RC1 to run a few apps was fine. Smoother than XP in fact. I'd much rather leave it on simply for double-buffered Windows, since all the tearing and half-assed shit in XP pisses me off, and that's what you get when you turn it off.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    My video card is crappy - but I do have 2 GB ram. So far it runs beautifully, but maybe I'll try switching it off for games, it's right in the shortcut properties anyways.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Ronen wrote: »
    Rook wrote: »
    Because no one cares about 60mb of ram anymore?

    Fair enough, for an enthusiast. But for a business oriented OS, why even include it? Users love calling up at every little thing, and that's just one more thing to contribute to "mycomputerisbeingslowIneedanewone".

    If anything, Vista Business should've shipped without it. I know that ultimately when we deploy Vista to the rest of the organization (if it even happens) I'm going to remove it from the install completely.

    In a desktop environment (Word/Exel/E-mail/Internet) the RAM usage will make very little difference. Of course it all depends on the config of the systems involved but the performance of 1gb systems with and without Aero enabled is ultimately minimal.
    Does it really take up much for resources? I've been running it without giving it much thought. Could it be affecting my game performance? My laptop isn't exactly a powerhouse, so every bit helps I suppose.

    No, when gaming Aero turns itself off.

    Rook on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    It's to entice the apple users.

    Khavall on
  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    On a 2 gig of ram box, turning of Aero was a Noticable and Massive performance boost even in copying files around, or opening new applications. 60 meg footprint isn't it's problem, it's the pervasive nature of a window manager. It's slowness infects everything you do while it's active.

    It's VERY pretty, oh so pretty. And got killed after using it for two days trying to figure out why my machine was acting like firefox needed 9 months of labor to open.

    kildy on
  • SnowconeSnowcone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I just disabled Aero on my workstation here at work to see if I can see a difference.

    Snowcone on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    ... how do you turn aero on?
    I have a stripped down version and I seriously want aero for all teh pretties rainbowz. That's right, I chose vista because of teh pretty unicorns, shinies, and fairy dust.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • steejeesteejee Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Ronen wrote: »
    Also, is there any way to enable the window thumbnail on the task bar without using Aero? That's my favorite feature, but I'm not keeping the rest of it on just for that one.

    Windows Key + Tab instead of Alt + Tab

    steejee on
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  • RonenRonen Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    steejee wrote: »
    Ronen wrote: »
    Also, is there any way to enable the window thumbnail on the task bar without using Aero? That's my favorite feature, but I'm not keeping the rest of it on just for that one.

    Windows Key + Tab instead of Alt + Tab

    That's Flip3D, which I really dislike. Two years of nonstop Expose use will do that to you.
    ... how do you turn aero on?
    I have a stripped down version and I seriously want aero for all teh pretties rainbowz. That's right, I chose vista because of teh pretty unicorns, shinies, and fairy dust.

    It depends which version you have. Some of them don't include Aero at all, and if it doesn't think your video card is up to snuff, it won't let you enable it.

    Ronen on
    Go play MOTHER3

    or Brawl. 4854.6102.3895 Name: NU..
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Home Basic is the only version that doesn't have it.

    Malkor on
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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Aero is not on Vista Basic. You have to have Home Premium or better.

    Anyway, I love Aero. I get fantastic performance on my machine, but it's brand new with the latest hardware. About the only thing I'm short on is RAM - I only have 2GB and should have 4.

    Nova_C on
  • steejeesteejee Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Ronen wrote: »
    steejee wrote: »
    Ronen wrote: »
    Also, is there any way to enable the window thumbnail on the task bar without using Aero? That's my favorite feature, but I'm not keeping the rest of it on just for that one.

    Windows Key + Tab instead of Alt + Tab

    That's Flip3D, which I really dislike. Two years of nonstop Expose use will do that to you.

    Oh, do you mean the thing where you hover over a task and you get the window of what it's doing? I'm pretty sure that can only be used when Aero is running.

    steejee on
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  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    oh... what I meant is that I got a stripped down version of ultimate which is probably laden with trojans, but the idea was stripping all the shit off the disc to make it as close to XP as possible. I was wondering if theres a place I can download aero or something.

    also my system has an 8800gts and a C2Q 6600 (also known as, the minimum system requirements) :P

    acidlacedpenguin on
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  • pinesol3pinesol3 Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I guess I'm not considered a power user by any stretch, but vista and office 2007 have run like a dream for me, no problems with any applications, everything is faster - even when my computer has been on for weeks at a time it still feels like I just booted. Then again, I have an e6550 processor and 3 gigs of ram.

    In conclusion new mid range PCs will run vista without a hiccup. *in my experience*

    pinesol3 on
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  • smallmouthsmallmouth Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Aero runs fine for me. As I understand it, Aero uses the video card's GPU, leaving your system resources to do system-y stuffs.

    smallmouth on
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  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    oh... what I meant is that I got a stripped down version of ultimate which is probably laden with trojans, but the idea was stripping all the shit off the disc to make it as close to XP as possible. I was wondering if theres a place I can download aero or something.

    also my system has an 8800gts and a C2Q 6600 (also known as, the minimum system requirements) :P


    Isn't the 8800gts like, crazy-awesome? Did I miss like, 40 Graphics card releases recently?


    Am I just forgetting what numbers mean what?

    Khavall on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Khavall wrote: »
    oh... what I meant is that I got a stripped down version of ultimate which is probably laden with trojans, but the idea was stripping all the shit off the disc to make it as close to XP as possible. I was wondering if theres a place I can download aero or something.

    also my system has an 8800gts and a C2Q 6600 (also known as, the minimum system requirements) :P


    Isn't the 8800gts like, crazy-awesome? Did I miss like, 40 Graphics card releases recently?


    Am I just forgetting what numbers mean what?

    this one is I think 2 steps down from the best nvidia you can get. . . I think it goes something like 8800ultra > 8800gtx > 8800gts 640mb > 8800gts 320mb

    its pretty spiffy, and zomg xbox hueg (its longer than my motherboard)

    edit: the minimum system requirements bit was a joke

    acidlacedpenguin on
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  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Khavall wrote: »
    oh... what I meant is that I got a stripped down version of ultimate which is probably laden with trojans, but the idea was stripping all the shit off the disc to make it as close to XP as possible. I was wondering if theres a place I can download aero or something.

    also my system has an 8800gts and a C2Q 6600 (also known as, the minimum system requirements) :P


    Isn't the 8800gts like, crazy-awesome? Did I miss like, 40 Graphics card releases recently?


    Am I just forgetting what numbers mean what?

    this one is I think 2 steps down from the best nvidia you can get. . . I think it goes something like 8800ultra > 8800gtx > 8800gts 640mb > 8800gts 320mb

    its pretty spiffy, and zomg xbox hueg (its longer than my motherboard)

    edit: the minimum system requirements bit was a joke

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


    I get it now. I figured maybe the C2Q was something other than the quad-core and the 8800gts was like, some weird AGP card from the 90s or something and I was just going slowly insane.

    Khavall on
  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I have an 8800gtx and still dont use aero cause well, i just dont care. i use my pc to write and play games, too tasks that dont require a pretty interface.

    The_Scarab on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    I have an 8800gtx and still dont use aero cause well, i just dont care. i use my pc to write and play games, too tasks that dont require a pretty interface.

    EVERYTHING REQUIRES PRETTY INTERFACES.

    Khavall on
  • CZroeCZroe Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I'm pissed that Vista's Aero has all the same glitches anf laws f Microsoft's pastoperating systems while introducing many more of its own. FIX what's broken Microsoft!

    I can't stand when Windows is perfectly functioning and Aero simply needs to re-initialize the video, and yet my computer is as good as hard-locked. Is there some kind of keystroke to do this? Sometimes, the computer is doing something and I can't put it to sleep and wake it up or log in to Remote Desktop to fix it. Luckily, this is Vista Ultimate and I HAVE Remote Desktop. That sometimes let's me log in and finish up and give it a proper shutdown when Aero misbehaves. MS: Either fix Aero or give RD to all.

    I can't believe they would make the interface without making a keystroke for this and publicizing it (much like CTRL+ALT+DEL) unless they felt that doing so was a failure to make it aceptably stable (NEWS FLASH: It's not).

    I can't stand the missing control box taken away to give title bars more room for fancy transparancy. I also can't stand the nice replacement for the adddress bar because it only works for moving up one or two directories (or none if the name is long enough). Clicking the down arrow though often doesn't help and you are forced to fall back on obscure Windows knowledge: Backspace for parent directory. Why not give a parent directory button like a standard file save dialog?

    And, though this is really an Explorer gripe, I can't stand encountering the same exact issues and glitches I always have... like file copy dialogs finishing and stealing focus from the window you are typing in causing the process to be canceled when you push SPACE (like, 90% sure to happen... how manyspaces are in this post alone?). There's still no way to start a multi-gigabyte file copy or move and answer the "Are you sure you want to ___?" questions ahead of time. I can't stand babysitting it waiting for a question I know it will ask, answering it, leaving it to finish while I do something else, and coming back much later (when it should be done) only to find it paused only a percent or two later with another question. Why can't it go ahead and copy everything else just because it encountered a need for input on one or two files? Even if it can't fix that for legacy reasons, the least they could do is let me fucking answer the questions i already have an answer to BEFORE if reaches a file to trigger the question.

    CZroe on
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    CZroe wrote: »
    I can't stand when Windows is perfectly functioning and Aero simply needs to re-initialize the video, and yet me computer is as good as hard-ocked.

    I can't stand the missing control box taken away to give title bars more room for fany transparancy. I also can't stand the nice replacement for the adddress bar because it only works for moving up one or two directories (or none if the name is long enough).

    And, though this is really an Explorer gripe, I can't stand encounterin the same exact issues and glitches I always have... like file copy dialogs finishing and stealing focus from the window you are typing in causing the process to be canceled when you push SPACE (like, 90% sure to happen... how manyspaces are in this post alone?).

    I think I agree. Also doesn't it let you 'say yes to all'? I'm pretty sure I did that recently.

    Malkor on
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  • gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    It's been tested, Aero has no noticable impact on gaming performance.

    gneGne on
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  • mausmalonemausmalone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Dublo7 wrote: »
    Windows Vista: What's the point?

    more like: OS X Aqua: what's the point?



    Nobody asks that of OS X ... but I guess that's because you get no alternative.

    mausmalone on
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  • RoundBoyRoundBoy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The point is nice graphics when looking at a screen all day. This was one of the few things that I approve of in vista. There *should* be no performance hit, as the purpose of it was to use the GPU to display, rather then software + cpu.

    there are much bigger resource hogs in vista... like mp3 + network transfer , and file transfers in general.

    RoundBoy on
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  • DigDug2000DigDug2000 Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Does turning off Aero turn off compositing all together? There are some apps out here that will do Expose type effects for you if you want them on Vista. Using them for a bit taught me again that I don't really need Expose in my life.

    Aero works fine for me here at work. Getting the 10 different devices I have hooked up through strange USB/Serial/GPIB ports to work is the only thing that keeps me away.

    DigDug2000 on
  • RoundBoyRoundBoy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The difference between aero and other apps is that aero can use the GPU. Other apps, such as windowblinds, etc... are still running in CPU world.

    And I doubt windowblinds closes when i launch a game... although, with a 2gb, now winXP box.. i apparently run out of memory running steam + tf2 + firefox + community chat.

    RoundBoy on
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  • CZroeCZroe Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Malkor wrote: »
    CZroe wrote: »
    I can't stand when Windows is perfectly functioning and Aero simply needs to re-initialize the video, and yet me computer is as good as hard-ocked.

    I can't stand the missing control box taken away to give title bars more room for fany transparancy. I also can't stand the nice replacement for the adddress bar because it only works for moving up one or two directories (or none if the name is long enough).

    And, though this is really an Explorer gripe, I can't stand encounterin the same exact issues and glitches I always have... like file copy dialogs finishing and stealing focus from the window you are typing in causing the process to be canceled when you push SPACE (like, 90% sure to happen... how manyspaces are in this post alone?).

    I think I agree. Also doesn't it let you 'say yes to all'? I'm pretty sure I did that recently.

    Yes... AFTER you babysit it until it encounters one of those files, but you miss the point. You might babysit it for 10mins because you know that there is a read-only file or a file that you want to copy over and replace, and you'll answer "yes to all" on that dialog when it finally arrives only to leave it and find that it stopped itself later to ask a different question (unhidden system files like desktop.ini for instance). You can't leave it doing a 4+ hour copy progress because 2hrs in it *might* encounter a file like that and prompt you. 2hrs in, I expect to be doing something else somewhere else. Even if I decide to babysit for nearly 2hrs and I feel confident that I have answered whatever it is going to prompt me with "yes to all" and then I leave, suddenly, I have another 2+ hrs left on the copy progress when I return home due to another dialog that I would have answered had Windows asked me. A 4+ hr filecopy can become an all-day thing if you keep returning to find it with another question. STOP EXPECTING ME TO BABYSIT MULTI-HOUR PROCESSES MICROSOFT. Let me switch to an advanced dialog with the possible "encounters" listed and I will check my answers there and apply to all files BEFORE progress is halted. Also, DON'T HALT PROGRESS. Go ahead and finish copying everything else you dipshits. Don't hold everything up over a fucking desktop.ini file (folder view customization... normally hidden, but it gets copied if you are copying the entire directory).

    CZroe on
  • sonictksonictk Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Aero is awesome, and would be even more so if the goddamn styling functions were just as versatile as in WinXP and allowed custom themes to make use of it. =\

    sonictk on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Also, with aero on, the alt-tab does have little preview windows. Though admittedly, they do pale in comparison to the large images in expose.

    Spoit on
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  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Khavall wrote: »
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    I have an 8800gtx and still dont use aero cause well, i just dont care. i use my pc to write and play games, too tasks that dont require a pretty interface.

    EVERYTHING REQUIRES PRETTY INTERFACES.

    Finally, the first person in here to make sense.


    People like prettier things. There's no grand methodology or resource optimization or anything like that. It's in there because it looks cool, and when the average person is sitting in front of their computer for an hour, they'd rather have something that looks nicer.

    NotASenator on
  • mausmalonemausmalone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Spoit wrote: »
    Also, with aero on, the alt-tab does have little preview windows. Though admittedly, they do pale in comparison to the large images in expose.

    Windows Key + Tab for nice huge views.

    mausmalone on
    266.jpg
  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    On my laptop I use the windows 98 theme as it loads Vista a bit quicker I have noticed and gets more responsive when I am alt tabbing between things on it's meager ram. OTOH, If I had vista on my current PC, I would probably just use XP or maybe Vista w/o the aero glass.

    Lucky Cynic on
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