Windows Vista, Gaming, and You

Our New E521So last Wednesday my wife and I purchased a new computer from Dell (check here on our forums for the details). Basically we purchased a laptop from them which eventually became a “gaming” pc when my wife discovered World of Warcraft. The laptop severely lacked much of anything though, and could barely chug through WoW on the bare minimum settings. Having a coupon through, I found a computer that fit right (the E521) for our needs (primarily WoW) and put very little hurt on our budget.

The thing about the computer is that when I ordered it, Dell had just switched over to installing Windows Vista on all the new builds. I reformatted the thing as soon as I got it with the operating system disk they provided and with a clean system I must say that I’m really impressed. Sure, the home edition now lacks a very handy feature (remote desktop) that I need for working from home on occasion, but overall the interface is very crisp and easy to use.

The only worry we had is when we finally got around to installing World of Warcraft on it. When we jacked all of the graphics up to the highest setting, we’d experience this odd jerky motion when running anywhere. The problem wouldn’t go away unless we dialed the resolution all the way back to 800 x 600. Oddly enough, we could leave everything else maxed out such as the distance draw rate, etc., but at that low resolution everything was just too fuzzy. After spending a few hours trying to resolve that issue, I went to bed frustrated regretting my purchasing decision.

The next day I spent some time looking at this thread on WoW’s technical support forum (before the replies were trimmed down from 17+ pages) which detailed all of the issues Vista had caused with the game, most of which involved NVidia cards. Since my build has an ATI, I did find a few suggestions, one of which actually worked. For some reason turning on the “Smooth Mouse” option in WoW‘s video settings fixed the stuttering issue immediately. I’m not sure why that is, but if you seem to be experiencing issues playing WoW on Vista, try that tip out.

The main problem is that both NVidia and ATI have had trouble getting good drivers out in the short time that the masses have had the opportunity to try out this new OS. Sure, the beta has been around for quite some time, but those gamers with serious money to burn on the latest gaming hardware would rather game than compromise their systems helping Microsoft test out their latest release. In a few months, many of the issues should go away leaving a visually pleasing operating system that can also crank out the graphics.

About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including