Refuting rumors that Windows Vista’s vaunted Aero UI slows down computers, Microsoft pointed to a study this past week that comes to a different conclusion. According to a Principled Technologies study sponsored by Microsoft, the Aero UI has "little or no negative effect on Windows Vista's performance." In fact, in some instances, the Aero UI actually provides a performance boost.
"We put quite a bit of effort into making sure that the new visuals were as \[efficient\] as possible, and it really paid off," Matt Ayers, a program manager in Microsoft's Windows Client Performance group, wrote in the newly christened Windows Performance Blog ( http://blogs.msdn.com/winperf/ ). The key finding of this study--which measured performance on a wide range of machine types--is that Vista is more responsive than Windows XP after rebooting and is roughly as responsive as XP in general. The Aero UI, meanwhile, has little effect on Vista responsiveness.
What I find interesting about this study is that most of the PCs tested weren't particularly high-end systems. Principled Technologies reported that it tested one notebook system, three desktop PCs, and one Tablet PC. Only one of those systems had a dual-core processor. A wide range of system operations were also tested, including opening and using various Microsoft Office and third-party applications. You can download a PDF version of the study's findings--“Responsiveness of Windows Vista and Windows XP on common business tasks”--from the Principled Technologies Web site.