Vista performance and Aero

Misinformation everywhere

Do a search for Vista performance tips and you will get dozens of hits, most of which will be espousing the same advice – if you want better performance on your Vista machine turn off Aero.

I have a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 with Vista Business installed. It’s a fairly high spec machine and should be pretty snappy, however coming from using XP at work and Ubuntu at home I found Vista very slow. I followed the advice of a number of different sites and (among other things) switched of Aero. I noticed a marginal performance improvement (probably due to switching off search indexing) but still wasn’t happy.

Switching Aero on improves performance

Just the other day I decided to switch Aero back on. It was like I’d found the turbo button. My machine was much more responsive and Visual Studio went from taking around 30 seconds to load to starting in 1-2 seconds.

In retrospec it kinda makes sense. Vista has support for offloading the rendering tasks to the GPU so why would you force all this work back onto the CPU by switching Aero off?

It worked for me…

Turning Aero on improves performance (at least in my experience) so if you’ve previously switched it off, try turning it on again – you might be in for a plesant surprise!

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