Vista audio severely degrades network transfer performance

August 26, 2007

Vista audio severely degrades network transfer performanceWindows Vista has some quirks, and now particularly annoying quirk has emerged. Playing music apparently causes Vista to severely degrade its network performance. What’s odd is that even if you pause the setting of the audio, the network speed degradation still seems to continue.

This problem has already reached Microsoft camp. Microsoft told ZDNet that “We have been looking into this problem and are working on a doc that will go into the technical details of what we have found.”

“Please note that some of what we are seeing is expected behavior, and some of it is not. In certain circumstances Windows Vista will trade off network performance in order to improve multimedia playback. This is by design.”

Ok, alright. Anyone will agree with Microsoft that in any OS design, a trade off should be made among competing tasks to maintain generally accepted performance. But what is happening here, with network performance suffering when music is played, is certainly not the acceptable.

For one thing, in a dual-boot Vista and XP machine, playing music on XP doesn’t have similar network transfer performance issue.

Until this issue is fully resolved, my advice to Vista users is to refrain from playing music when doing an intensive network transfer task. That’s not the kind of advice I should have to offer for what is meant to be a state of the art operating system.

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