Graphics related bugs still plague Vista

Graphics related bugs still plague Vista

Summary: Months after the release of Windows Vista graphics related bugs still plague the OS.


It seems that my initial prediction that it would take about a year for graphics under Vista to become as good as XP might just come true.  Although I might still be proved wrong - it could take a LOT longer ...

I've got two odd graphics-related bugs that plague multiple Vista systems here at the PC Doc HQ.  All the systems have these things in common:

  • All run ATI Radeon graphics cards (a broad range too, ranging from the 9800 to the X1600)
  • All run dual monitors
  • All are running the latest ATI drivers
  • All run Vista

The first bug is annoying but I only see it once a month because it happens when Windows Updates come in.  After the reboot one screen of the dual monitor array is shut down and the system is down to one and I have to reactivate it in the Display Settings applet.  Not all dual monitor systems seem to be affected by this issue, but the systems that are affected have little in common other than Vista, ATI and dual screens. 

The other bug is a screen corruption issue.  I first saw this back when I was beta testing Vista and submitted it as a bug.  It was fixed but then later reappeared in lesser form in Vista RTM.

Here's a still from a video we took of the screen corruption (as you might have guessed, it's not present on screen captures):


See it?  That vertical line to the right of the cursor.  Here's a magnified view:


This screen corruption happens when moving the cursor over certain areas of the screen.  It doesn't happen all the time and even when I do spot it it's hard to replicate because you have put the cursor back in exactly the same spot.  Back during the beta testing phase of Vista it was far more apparent and easier to replicate.  Now it's much fainter (as you can see from the photo) and doesn't happen anywhere near as often.  Nonetheless, it's annoying.

I can add these issues to the list of gaming issues that I've seen.  The bottom line is that if you're a serious hardcore gamer and want the best performance and graphics, you need to stick with XP for a fair while longer since performance under Vista is nowhere near as good.


Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Windows

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  • Unfortunate

    I remember XP having some problems when it came out, I don't remember this many problems and taking this long to resolve. Part of that you can chalk up to the increasing complexity of what we expect PC's to do reliably. We're asking a lot beyond productivity, especially at home where PC's take on roles as entertainment and media centers, high-demand gaming, file servers and supporting an increasing array of communications options.

    On top of all that Windows has backward compatibility issues to maintain.

    When you think about it, it's amazing Vista works at all.

    I see the PC market starting to fracture. Got to play with an Apple G4 yesterday. Nice little laptop. This was an '05 model, at least a generation old. It was very fast and user friendly. A big reason for the usability is Apple doesn't have to support the universe of crap hardware, so they can optimize for the components they choose.

    At home I use Kubuntu. It's making progress. Not quite there for the average user in terms of stability and reliability, but huge potential. And that potential is greatest for application appliances. Web machines and narrow-function devices where the OS can be tuned to the task. The potential there is greater than the desktop market.

    And here's MSFT, still trying to fix Vista, the pinnacle of bloated operating systems. Hammering out the bugs a year later, confusing users with version-o-rama decision hell, DRM, back-stabbing EULA's and product activation inspired by the mob.
    • I am confused

      Why do I see time and time again people going back to Linux flavors - this is a thread about Vista, I have used ALL linux type flavors at home and in the REAL world - - NON ARE SUITABLE for prime time desk top use - give it up.
    • The funniest thing is

      that what I hear most from Pro-MSers is that, the beauty of Windows is, it is designed to give you "Choice," to run on ANY hardware configuration out there.

      Unfortunately with Vista it just isn't true. Maybe someday, once Windows 7 is released, but it ain't happening soon enough...
      Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
      • re: The funniest thing is


        There's nothing funny about it. Vista will run on all sorts of hardware configurations. I proved that to my own satisfaction last year when I installed Vista Ultimate RC1 on my (then) four-year-old Gateway 700X. The only hardware upgrades it had received were larger capacity HDDs, an extra 512Mb of memory (1Gb total) and a Radeon X1300PRO AGP video adapter. Everything else in the box was "as shipped".

        And when the license for WHS RC1 currently on that machine runs out in December, I'm going to reformat the drive(s) and install Vista Home Premium on it. With current drivers, it should be quite reliable.
        M.R. Kennedy
  • But I have had no problems with Vista.....

    At least this is what I hear from the pro Vista crowd. Most of which have brand new hardware without any major problems.

    On the flip side of things, Vista is radically different from Windows XP. The Code overhaul of Vista was much needed, but the consequences are as such.

    Now we face the failings of previous operating systems and are paying the price of having things backwards compatible for so many years.

    Future releases post Vista should be much better than this radical shift.
    • I've had no problems with Vista. With that said...

      ...what is your point?
      • Maybe you should go back and read what he wrote. With that said...

        ...what is <b>your</b> point?
        Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
        • I've read what he wrote and yet I see no point.

          That's why I asked him to clarify it. Or perhaps you would be so kind as to share?
          • I see no point to your pointing out that you don't see the point

            You're the one making an utterly irrelevant point (that you personally have had no issues, a statement the truth of which is impossible to verify.)

            The comment you replied to was crystal clear to the vast thundering herds of inferior beings who have not been blessed with St. Bill's Heavenly Vistas. Perhaps the glare from your halo is making it difficult for you to see the point?

            Or perhaps you're just a troll.
          • The OP said:

            "But I have had no problems with Vista.....

            At least this is what I hear from the pro Vista crowd. Most of which have brand new
            hardware without any major problems. "

            What was the point of this? Instead of rambling on about irrelevant things how about
            throwing this poor troll a bone and spell it out?
    • Sad but True

      I am afraid this is a perfectly accurate observation - VISTA does have several graphical glitches - try using RSS feeds - it really gets worse than this article states.
    • re: But I have had no problems with Vista.....


      I think anyone who has tried to install and run some older software (myself included) have had problems with Vista. But then, didn't most of us have similar problems with XP when it was first available?

      As for "paying the price for having things backwards compatible", as I recently told Paul Murphy, Apple Computer was able to make the Apple IIgs so fully backward compatible that it was (and is) able to run virtually [b]every[/b] 8-bit program ever written for the II series computers, including both Integer and Applesoft BASIC programs, along with its own 16-bit applications.

      The Apple II production lifespan was from 1977 to 1993--sixteen years. Can you think of any other personal computer platform that can make a similar claim?

      Let's hear it for "backwards compatibility"!
      M.R. Kennedy
  • Looks like a driver issue

    I suspect you'll be better off taking this one up with ATI.
    John L. Ries
    • I'd say it's both a driver, and a vista, issue...

      All graphics drivers development teams seem to be having trouble writing good drivers for Vista. Part of the blame for this rests with Vista's driver model itself, which is much less tolerant of little differences in coding than ever were previous driver models.

      The other part of the blame comes from the driver developers quite naturally not wanting to recode their entire driver base from scratch, so they tend to shoehorn a lot of legacy code into their new drivers, which doesn't really get along with newer driver model.

      He'd best bug both driver and Windows developers, since they need to collaborate on development to fix these problems...
      D. W. Bierbaum
      • Nope nothing to do with the Driver

        Trust me guys - it is not the GC or Driver - it is an inherent true VISTA bug...
        • yup, more than likely everything to do with the driver.

          Forgive the majority for not trusting you.
        • Obviously Wrong

          If it were an inherent Vista bug then all these issues pointed out in the blog would be reproducible on Nvidia, Via, and Intel graphics hardware. I own a Nvidia 7600 GT and I have none of the issues that Adrian pointed out in the article. It is a obviously a issue with the ATI drivers since ATI cards are the only ones these bugs are confirmed with.
  • RE: Graphics related bugs still plague Vista

    I have an issue with Office 2007. Specifically Excel 2007 in which if I have a spreadsheet with more than 10 rows or so (which is all of them), I have to keep moving the scrollbar to get the screen to redraw. I get huge open holes in the screen that are just white and don't redraw.

    Dual Monitor Radeon X300, Vista Business, Latest Catalyst Drivers.
  • I also have the dual monitor issue

    Each time Vista is updated I lose all my prefferences for the dual displays. (ATI 1300 with latest drivers) As I have the monitors reversed (how my office is set up) I must go in and reconfigure everything. Yeah, its a PITA.

    As to the artifacts, I have also seen this with various graphics apps. As an example, in PowerPoint when you try to select and resize or move an object on the slide it produces artifacts and is very often difficult to move the object just a few pixels.

    On the good side, it seems ATI drivers are improving with each version.
  • I recently loaded vista on two media centers

    The issue i have is that transfering gigs over data over a gigabit network to another vista machine takes hours! My xp to vista machines take minutes for the same amount of data.

    Its rediculous. I am just glad i dont do it that often, But i wonder about its affect on media streaming from the server.