UPDATE: SuperFetch, ReadyBoost, and Gaming
It’s been 3–4 months since I last blogged about my gaming complaints regarding SuperFetch and the potential fix found in adding my 4GB ReadyBoost USB drive. So far, so good, but only as long as I have the 4GB drive added in. EQ2 is mostly stable—only crashing if I run at Extreme Quality in a heavy raid zone, like Emerald Halls. I have to tone it down to High Performance for EH. FFXI runs like a dream, even with the quality cranked up—but it’s hard coded to 30fps due to the PS2 compatibility (I hope they change that soon).
So it seems Microsoft is right (I didn’t even whince saying that). Vista does perform pretty amazingly, but you MUST follow all of the prescribed instructions. Sheer hardware isn’t enough, you need the odd little accessories, like a ultra fast USB drive, to make it purr. Beyond gaming, with the USB drive, Orcas, Paint.NET, and most everything else I run purrs like a dream—and it should on a tripped out XPS 710 H2C.
So, as a comparison, I finally got around to picking up another copy and putting Vista on my older Dell XPS M170 laptop. It’s not like some of the new XPS laptops, it’s one of the first gens and runs well, but isn’t “uber”. Vista went on with a dream and rated a 3.8 out of the box. What dragged it down? Oddly enough, 3D/Aero Graphics. So, I tossed in my 2GB USB drive (same brand as the 4GB, just a spare I have sitting here)… and my score jumped from 3.8 to 4.2. Ehh?
Now… that’s fine, but… Microsoft, come on. Do you expect everyone to be carrying around EXTRA USB drives—extra accessories—while on the go with their laptops? I’m glad I can pump up the performance while sitting at my desk, but I want that performance everywhere! This isn’t like SpeedStep, it’s like carrying around the ignition key to my Modal T ford because the engine only cranks if I keep it plugged in (bad analogy, sorry).
Either MSFT needs to “fix” how SuperFetch works when a very high level of memory (4GB+) is present OR computer manufactures need to start adding “internal” flash drives that we can snap on inside the case and use as ReadyBoost memory. Ideas?