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Why Vista Fails in Gaming Applications
How to set your Vista machine up for development

Kevin Hoffman's .NET Blog

So, this fantastically modern new operating system that is designed to provide us all with the ultimate in gaming experiences isn't worth jack [censored] as it stands right now. I installed and attempted to run every game I have, and I ran them in compatibility mode, I ran them in forced 640x480 mode, I ran them in full-screen and in windowed mode, I ran them with Glass turned off, and I ran them as administrator.

Every last one of them crashed after random intervals ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. I did this on a FireGL 5200 512MB video card in a IBM T60P laptop, and I did this in a ATI All-in-Wonder 128MB video card in an Alienware 2.8ghz machine with 1GB RAM - both running Vista RTM build. Both with the same results. The following games are utterly unreliable, unstable, and unplayable on Vista as it stands:

  • City of Heroes / Villains
  • EverQuest II
  • Guild Wars
  • The Sims 2

If you plan on upgrading to Vista because of its enhancement to gaming make damn sure that your game of choice supports Vista explicitly before you toss away your XP machine to make way for Vista. Bottom line: If you're a .NET developer - you want Vista.. you need Vista. But, if you're just upgrading because of gaming and because its "new", make sure your game supports it before you take the plunge. I'm regretting it on at least one of my home machines because that machine is now incapable of playing any of the games I like. Oh well, I'll have to survive on the Wii ;) 

So, with that in mind, here's what you need to do in order to get Vista running your old development stuff - to give it at least some reason to be running on your PC other than looking cool.

First, you need to install IIS, but you need to be sure that you install all of the IIS6 compatibility stuff, because if you don't, you won't be able to create HTTP-based web applications from your VS 2005 IDE. You don't need to install the .NET Framework 3.0 RTM runtime, but you do need:

  • Visual Studio 2005
  • Extensions for Visual Studio 2005 WPF/WCF November CTP
  • Extensions for Visual Studio 2005 for Workflow
  • Windows SDK 3.0 RTM

If you're planning on doing any SQL 2005 stuff, you need SQL 2005 SP2 CTP because anything prior to SP2 for SQL 2005 does not support Vista. You can install it, and it functions, but its not supported and possibly unreliable. You also won't get any of the IIS-required stuff to work for the same reason that VS 2005 has trouble with IIS - IIS7 on Vista is so new that nothing understands it.

Also, keep in mind that every time you plan on working on an ASP.NET application in VS 2005 that is hosted by IIS, either to build or remotely debug, VS 2005 needs to be launched as an administrator.

I guess I'll just have to keep myself busy coding until CoH and EQ2 come out with Vista-stability patches :)

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About Kevin Hoffman
Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

In beta 2, EQ2 ran ever so nicely. Many rejoiced. Until RC1 came out. They had a major change to the directx structures and run time permissions. Any game that attempts to use full directx functionality fails horribly. There response? "It will be fixed at release". So I reinstalled XP. Oh well.

Vista runs Everquest II perfectly, the problem is more than likely down to some driver issue for you. I have it running on the MSDN downloaded RTM, using latest nvidia RC2 drivers, latest creative vista drivers and can play EQ2 happily for hours with no crashing at all.

City of Heroes/villains uses OpenGL rendering, which there aren't any drivers for OpenGL on any of the major video card users in Vista. Guild Wars also uses OpenGL.
You must realize that Vista isn't in the stages where it will be in stores yet, and the major players are still working on making drivers for vista.
You can only be patient on them releasing drivers. Thus far, almost every DirectX game I have tried in vista works BETTER than it does under XP. Right now, if you want to play games, XP is the OS to use. Vista should be better when there's proper drivers.

So, this fantastically modern new operating system that is designed to provide us all with the ultimate in gaming experiences isn't worth jack [censored] as it stands right now. I installed and attempted to run every game I have, and I ran them in compatibility mode, I ran them in forced 640x480 mode, I ran them in full-screen and in windowed mode, I ran them with Glass turned off, and I ran them as administrator.

So, this fantastically modern new operating system that is designed to provide us all with the ultimate in gaming experiences isn't worth jack [censored] as it stands right now. I installed and attempted to run every game I have, and I ran them in compatibility mode, I ran them in forced 640x480 mode, I ran them in full-screen and in windowed mode, I ran them with Glass turned off, and I ran them as administrator.




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