"After a disappointing showing by Windows Vista SP1 (see previous post), we were pleasantly surprised to discover that Windows XP Service Pack 3 (v.3244) delivers a measurable performance boost to this aging desktop OS. Testing with OfficeBench showed an ~10% performance boost vs. the same configuration running under Windows XP w/Service Pack 2."
"Since SP3 was supposed to be mostly a bug-fix/patch consolidation release - unlike w/Vista SP1, Microsoft made no promises of improved performance for XP - the unexpected speed boost comes as a nice bonus. In fact, XP SP3 is shaping-up to be a "must have" update for the majority of users who are still running Redmond's not-so-latest and greatest desktop OS."
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BetaNews: XP SP3 outperforms Vista SP1, but less when running same Office version