We managed to get hold of a copy of Windows Vista SP2 RC (Release Candidate) from Microsoft and decided to put it through its paces against Vista SP1 to see if consumers can expect to see any performance improvements in the latest service pack for the struggling Vista operating system.
Release Candidate or RC simply means that it is a possible final version for Microsoft to release to the public sometime soon after. Many previews of the Vista SP2 BETA were published toward the end of last year, but this is build 6002.16659.090114-1728 - a newer release which is likely to yield some improvements.
Besides any possible performance improvements, service packs always include new OS features and usually a truck load of bug fixes and security updates.
Here is a summary of the new features that Microsoft will add to Vista SP2 from PC Adviser:
• Let you record data onto Blu-ray discs
• Add into your system Vista Feature Pack For Wireless, which provides support for the latest Bluetooth technology - Bluetooth v2.1 - as well as for the Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi protocol
• Give you better Wi-Fi performance when you're exiting Vista's sleep mode
• Make your RSS feeds sidebar gadget work faster and better
• Give you the latest desktop search engine, Windows Search 4
• Cut down the resources it takes to run your various sidebar gadgets
• It'll give your OS an overall tune-up, too
• Give your computer support for VIA Technologies' new 64-bit CPU
• Let your system support exFAT, which can handle larger files and can also use UTC timestamps so you can synchronize files across different time zones
• Boost your power management efficiency by as much as 10 percent
We installed fresh installs of both Vista SP1 and SP2 on our test bed, installed all available updates from Windows Update for both operating systems and got to work benchmarking over the past couple of days. Our SP2 Ultimate install took up a total of about 14GB of HDD space, while SP1 is slightly slimmer at around 13GB.
Let's get started now and see if it will be worth upgrading to Vista SP2.