Memo to Vista Team: Drop Performance Rating

So I’ve got Windows Vista Beta 2 courtesy of the Customer Preview Program. It’s pretty cool, really, and runs better than I expected on my hardware.

It also rated better than I expected on my hardware; with only 512 MB of RAM and an Athlon XP 2500+ (1.83 GHz) processor, Vista’s intrepid Performance Rating tool gave my machine a 3. WHAA? Considering the dual core Pentium Ds we just got installed in our office also garner a 3, I was very suspicious.

I replaced that 512 MB RAM with two gigabytes of Corsair matching dual channel goodness. I took a look at what Vista had to say, and it STILL gave me a 3. So, I re-ran the assessment tool. After having it kick me out of Aero Glass (and losing my custom settings in the process >:|) and slow my machine to an absolute crawl for five minutes, it re-rated the system as a 1. I was quite astonished, actually. I expected my machine to be a 1 at first on the virtues of a slow processor and little RAM. It continued to rate these two items consistent with what it had rated them as before (2.0 GB of RAM seems to not impress Vista at all). Instead, it penalized me for – ready for this? – my GeForce 6600 and the 256 MB of video RAM it has.

Microsoft, do us all a favor and drop this travesty of a feature. It’s confusing, totally random and subjective, and will only confuse people.