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 PostPost subject: Server 2008 R2/Server 7 vs Windows 7- a huge disappointment?        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:18 pm 
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I use Server 2008 as my everyday desktop OS, and was impressed to see that Windows 7 (x86) actually outperformed it in several benchmarking and framerate tests. The sample game I use (F.E.A.R.) showed some very nice performance boosts. So I was very keen to try out Server 2008 R2/Server 7 x64 as soon as it was available. Wow... what a comedown it was.
Firstly, it insists I have no audio device (despite the service being enabled and both my X-Fi card and onboard audio showing up fine in the device manager), which creates an obvious immediate issue of having no audio. Secondly, the themes - running perfectly on a VM version - won't show up at all where they should.
And then there's the most stunningly worrying discovery with what the switch to x64 has done for performance figures and benchmarks as mentioned above. F.E.A.R. framerates in 7 for example (which just outdo regular 2008 which is a regular x32 version):

Min: 39
Average: 89
Max: 167

And the results for x64 Server 7 with far less running...

Min: 31
Average: 41
Max: 51

Ouch. I think anyone can see those are fairly shockingly bad in comparison, with average less than half of 7 and max less than one third. This was fairly common to most things I tried.
The performance drop on x64 hardware and OS really seems incredibly stupid. When you think about it, companies who decide to go from Server 2008 32bit to the `upgraded` R2 x64 version will in fact be taking on a massive performance loss in an environment where performance is absolutely critical most of the time. How can they really promote moving to x64 when you're far better off with the older x86 versions?

Anyone else tried it and want to weigh in with an opinion? I'm kind of seeing it as a very bad sign for the server line generally. You can say `it's pre beta` all you like, but this is being developed right alongside the apparently now better 32bit 7 option. It doesn't bode well at all.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:24 pm 
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This could just be a result of the quality of drivers... benchmark something that doesn't depend on visual/sound elements


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:57 pm 
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I wish I could work in an IT department that runs computer games on their servers... I've never heard of one.

You can't just go blasting something that you don't know anything about.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:10 pm 
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Both test sets were done on the same 180.43 revision of Nvidia drivers, and even so you shouldn't be expecting that kind of drop purely from the drivers. It was the same kind of story in things like 3DMark, Crysis, FC2, even older games. Similarly, the OS just doesn't respond as fast in terms of opening new apps, and it's a difference you can definitely feel rather than just see. Reporting those framerates is just something anyone looking at a new OS for desktop use can look at and see x64 still isn't particularly worthwhile in a lot of cases. I'm willing to bet if they stuck with a 32bit version, it would've outperformed 7 even if only by a small margin.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:31 pm 
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QuiescentWonder wrote:
I wish I could work in an IT department that runs computer games on their servers... I've never heard of one.

You can't just go blasting something that you don't know anything about.


I specifically pointed to it as looking at for desktop use. I run Server 2008 at home as my desktop OS, as I have run 2003 previously and even 2000 Advanced Server before it because, quite simply, they are usually faster than the client versions FOR these kind of things. So no, I do have an idea what I'm talking about. The main point, that you seem to not bother about, is "x64 DOES mean a performance drop for DESKTOP use... so why bother?". Whether its XP, 2K3, Vista, 7 or or 2008. The point being, there has always until now been an alternative 32bit version to use. With the forced push towards x64, they apparently aren't doing something that will benefit and are cutting out quite a large chunk of business users who wouldn't want the upgrade costs but might have wanted the OS if it was available, as well as us home enthusiasts. Or are we just not supposed to look at it for any purpose other than explicitly decided..?
I tried to start a discussion on that topic but if people want to react without thinking further... meh. I always heard this was a hard place to get along with in peace. Oh well.

EDIT: Well I see now that concept hasn't been exaggerated any. The hell with it.


Last edited by STKD on Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:45 pm 
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1) dont double post, its against the rules
2) probably 'cause your games are x86, or theres driver incompatibilities (vista x64 refuses to run on my laptop, only driver that worked was video)


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:04 pm 
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happy dude wrote:
1) dont double post, its against the rules
2) probably 'cause your games are x86, or theres driver incompatibilities (vista x64 refuses to run on my laptop, only driver that worked was video)


1) Don't moderate the forum, that is also against the rules.
2) Games as a benchmark just doesn't work anyway, x86 compatible or not. Drivers shouldn't make a whole lot of difference to the CPU and memory benchmarks, which is what a server should be providing anyway in terms of performance.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:47 pm 
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If I'm not entirely wrong (please correct me if I am) the standard version of Windows Server should be optimized to run background processes, like any decent server os should be. Therefore, if this is not changed, the Desktop OS should naturally outperform the Server OS, since it's optimized for running applications.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:52 am 
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huge disappointment?
This is a pre beta build, you shouldn't even benchmark the build and complain.
It usually says in the Beta EULA that you shouldn't benchmark the build and test it's speed. The build is design as a preview which implies that MS had change the OS layout without refining the build.
You should evaluate RC builds and conclude is the OS good or bad.
I believe that these kind of evaluation is what really ruins the OS' reputation. There was too much complains about Vista during beta stages.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:44 am 
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STKD wrote:
QuiescentWonder wrote:
I wish I could work in an IT department that runs computer games on their servers... I've never heard of one.

You can't just go blasting something that you don't know anything about.


I specifically pointed to it as looking at for desktop use. I run Server 2008 at home as my desktop OS, as I have run 2003 previously and even 2000 Advanced Server before it because, quite simply, they are usually faster than the client versions FOR these kind of things. So no, I do have an idea what I'm talking about. The main point, that you seem to not bother about, is "x64 DOES mean a performance drop for DESKTOP use... so why bother?". Whether its XP, 2K3, Vista, 7 or or 2008. The point being, there has always until now been an alternative 32bit version to use. With the forced push towards x64, they apparently aren't doing something that will benefit and are cutting out quite a large chunk of business users who wouldn't want the upgrade costs but might have wanted the OS if it was available, as well as us home enthusiasts. Or are we just not supposed to look at it for any purpose other than explicitly decided..?
I tried to start a discussion on that topic but if people want to react without thinking further... meh. I always heard this was a hard place to get along with in peace. Oh well.

EDIT: Well I see now that concept hasn't been exaggerated any. The hell with it.

The point that QuiescentWonder was trying to make was not that you are inexperienced when it comes to using server a OS, the point he was making was (wether 32 or 64 bit) the OS is not intended to be used as a gaming OS.
Its like your pissed off because your spoon is to blunt to cut your steak...


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:29 pm 
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warbird wrote:
If I'm not entirely wrong (please correct me if I am) the standard version of Windows Server should be optimized to run background processes, like any decent server os should be. Therefore, if this is not changed, the Desktop OS should naturally outperform the Server OS, since it's optimized for running applications.


This is actually very easy to change in the computer properties.

I'll bet that the OP's biggest issue is that the OS is simply a pre-beta. It has nothing to do with it being a Server OS (In my opinion, MS's server OSes generally have many server components, but these can be disabled/not used, and the OS can be enabled to give priority to foreground tasks).

I decided to install Server 2008 x64 on my Macbook Pro (because I only have about 55 gigs of space for Vista, and many of the programs that Vista comes with only takes up space, and they're not available in Server 2008, thus, I get some space back, and I wanted a "challenge"). Honestly, the OS works fine as a normal desktop OS. It uses about the same amount of memory, you can enable it to focus on foreground tasks.

I really think the performance difference between a desktop OS (XP, Vista, ect) and Server OS (2003, 2008, ect) really isn't much. You can set XP/Vista to focus on background tasks, just like in Windows Server (the only difference is the default setting). The main difference I find is their capabilities. Server 2003/2008 have all the capabilities as XP/Vista (if you configure it properly, which can be a hassle), but XP/Vista doesn't have all (and depending on the version, almost none) of the networking capabilities as Server 2003/2008.

On the kernel level, I don't really think there is anything that makes them different. Obviously Server 2003 uses a upgraded kernel to XP, but the XP-64 bit version uses the same kernel as Server 2003 x64. The only difference is XP 64-bit has the server components stripped out, and by default, it's set to focus on foreground tasks.

For Vista SP1, Server 2008 and Vista SP1 uses the same kernel. Maybe certain services are stripped out of 2008 that would otherwise be in Vista (I know ready boost is stripped out).

I really think people overestimate what MS does to their server OSes. Sure, I'll buy that Server 2003 is better optimized over XP, because there is a 2ish year difference between the two. But not Server 2008 and Vista. I'm sure a few things might be optimized better, like superfetch, but I really think many of the differences are in peoples' heads.

That's just my opinion. Sorry if it's a bit long.


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