The Vista Copy Story: Perception *IS* Reality

Windows Vista’s file copy performance is actually faster than that of XP – tells us Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror. He cites Mark Russinovich’s extensive analysis of Vista’s file copy algorithm, and comes to the conclusion that “perceived performance is more important than actual performance.”

…perception is reality: if users see file copying as slower, it is slower. Despite all the algorithmic improvements, in spite of the superior file copy benchmark results, Vista’s file copy performance is worse than Windows XP.

I can’t dispute the quoted analysis, am simply not competent enough, but here’s a key part:

…for copies involving a large group of files between 256KB and tens of MB in size, the perceived performance of the copy can be significantly worse than on Windows XP.

So the problem is with large number of files. My question: how large? Is two considered large? As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Yes, I know, this is “delete”, not copy, but it’s a file operation nevertheless, and I suspect the same problem. Perception *is* indeed reality… and I suspect we have more than just perception here.thumbs_down


  1. that screenshot is priceless 😉

  2. A picture really does paint a thousand words. We all know that vista is slower at pretty much everything compared to XP and no matter what anyone says facts are facts…vista really sucks!


  1. […] side of the story: this approach is a lot better (transparent) then the Microsoft approach to their slow copy problem, where Vista SP1 improved (perceived) performance partly by rethinking the […]

  2. […] course some would say it’s just a perception… and they are probably right.  Ransom paid, and I’m sure by the end of the year this whole […]

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