Cool and Quiet
Upon checked my settings I confirmed I hadn't underclocked it, but I did notice the AMD Cool and Quiet thing, and promptly turned it off. When I got into Vista again I ran my Gorgon demo and lo and behold I got 125-130 FPS (still not the 160 FPS I was getting in XP, but I'll chalk that up to beta video drivers and the overhead of Aero which is supposed to be around 15%). MUCH better than my previous 95 FPS. So I did some checking around, and apparently Vista has all the crap needed for CPU throttling built in if the BIOs supports it, "is it broken?" I wondered. I like the idea of CPU throttling, and I did not desire to leave the Cool & Quiet off, so I re-enabled it and ran the demo again. 95 FPS. So I went into the power management features.
It pays to be thorough.
Whenever I set up my OS I always configure my power management as soon as possible. I did this for Vista, but the power management has changed dramatically from XP, thus I figured I had it set up correctly...
Boy was I wrong. If you look in the images below, you'll notice in the advanced settings for power management the CPU was set for a maximum of 50%. Clearly this is not right. So I changed it to 100% and ran the demo again, and voila, 125-130 FPS.
The thick and thin is that when you set up a power management scheme under Vista it uses either the built in Balanced or Performance plans as a template. I, like an idiot, chose Balanced because I'm paranoid. I suspect had I chosen Performance this would not have been an issue.
Hopefully this will help others who feel Vista isn't performing well and have set up custom power management schemes.
This is how to get from here to there.