When I first started to use Vista, I was surprised at what would run. Virtually everything I had was ok, games included. However, while games in general would run, some didn’t run particularly well. The high end games like Fable, CFS3, Halo and Age of Empires III were good as long as detail was kept at either a normal or low level, and this was largely due to video drivers not being all that they could have been.
Since those early days, video drivers have improved a great deal, and game play is way better than it was, but some games steadfastly refused to respond. One game in particular, Zuma, was just too jittery to make it playable for more than a couple of minutes. It is one of these annoying yet addictive games where one has to shoot coloured balls at a continuous line of coloured balls, making up groups of three of the same colour and thereby making the group disappear. Anyway, I used it as a benchmark and if Zuma ever played badly in XP, I knew that there was a problem somewhere.
Vista’s native DirectX level is 10, and there is DirectX 9 support too, but it may or may not surprise you to know that DirectX 9 is not supported as well as it might be.
There is a fix. As the text in the web page tells you, DirectX is ‘the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC’.
To get the DirectX 9 download, you will have to be running an activated Vista. You will be pleased to note that there is no reboot necessary after installation. What you should notice is that games play better. For me, Zuma plays well again, and I think that detail and movement within Age of Empires III has improved too.
There is no time like the present.
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