WPF Performance on Windows Vista/ Windows XP
April 24, 2009 Leave a comment
WPF provides better performance under the Windows Vista operating system, where it can take advantage of the new Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM). WDDM offers several important enhancements beyond the Windows XP Display Driver Model (XPDM). Most importantly, WDDM allows several graphics processing
unit (GPU) operations to be scheduled at once, and it allows video card memory to be paged to normal system memory if you exceed what’s available on the video card. WPF offers some sort of hardware acceleration to all WDDM (Windows Vista) drivers and to XPDM (Windows XP) drivers that were created after November 2004, which is when Microsoft released new driver development guidelines. Of course, the level of support differs. When the WPF infrastructure first starts up, it evaluates your video card and assigns it a rating from 0 to 2.
WPF is intelligent to use hardware optimizations where possible, but it has a software fallback for everything. So if you run a WPF application on a computer with a legacy video card, the interface will still appear the way you designed it. Of course, the software alternative may be much slower, so you’ll find that computers with older video cards won’t run rich WPF applications very well, especially ones that incorporate complex animations or other intense graphical effects.