Vista “Enable Advanced Performance” Benchmark

I was doing some upgrade work on my Vista machine last weekend. Once I was done popping in some more ram and updating all my drivers, I decided to check out some of the Vista performance tip guides available on the web. They all highlighted roughly the same features, but one that stood out was a little checkbox in the hard disk management properties that let you “further improve disk performance” at the expense of “increasing the risk of data loss if the disk loses power.” No problem, that’s what my battery backup device is for.

I started looking for benchmarks, and found none. My search string was pretty similar to the title of this post. That’s on purpose, because I want to help anyone else looking for a benchmark on this feature.


That’s right! There’s no performance increase available through this checkbox. It simply reintroduces an old bug that some old software relies on, so that said old software can regain the performance it lost when the bug was fixed. If you’re just an everyday average Joe like me trying to tweak your computer for the best performance, this checkbox isn’t going to help you. In fact, it’s going to hurt you, because if the disk loses power you could lose or corrupt your files.

You can read the full story, courtesy of Raymond Chen, at this link.
Windows Confidential: The Power of Bugs

Special thanks to the members of DriverHeaven for helping me find this article and the real answer to what this Vista feature is all about.

11 thoughts on “Vista “Enable Advanced Performance” Benchmark

  1. Winders

    Great post Andrew. This feature is evil.

    However, the Oracle guy (RobertD) is right. The feature DOES do something. It disables write cache flushing. This will especially show up on databases. In a benchmark, it would be reflected in a higher IOPS count.

    Daniel Vogel is probably also right, for the reason this feature is evil. Disabling all write flushing also means that when NTFS needs to make sure something is written to disk or else, it can’t. That can lead to corruption.

    If you need the speed, buy a RAID controller with on-board battery.

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