I'm working on a Photoshop painting, doing a lot of heavy, hi-resolution brush work. I noticed I was getting a lot of brush lag; that is, when you make a stroke it takes a split second for it to register on screen. If you aren't a digital painter it doesn't sound like a problem, but trust me, it is a HUGE problem.
I need my graphics program to be responsive and provide instant feedback, otherwise what's the point of all this expensive technology? When your computer boasts a 2.41 GHz CPU with 512MB video memory and 4GB RAM it had better goddamn perform.
I did some forum searching and found that if you change your display theme from Vista Basic (solid-color windows, no fancy effects) to Vista Aero (transparent window frames, animated window opening effects, more of a "Mac" look), the problem is fixed. Sure enough, after I did that, no more brush lag.
Leave it to Microsoft to design an OS in which the more basic graphics scheme makes your computer run LESS efficiently. "What's that? You say you just want a basic interface with no fancy animations and eye candy? You're missing out on the whole Vista Experience™! Look pal, we spent a lot of money and man-hours programming these advanced display features, and dammit, you're going to use them. Alright, alright, if you MUST have a no-frills interface, I suppose we have some leftover source code we can paste on top of everything."