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Old Man Time

Is Vista Worth It?

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The thread title basically says it all. I'm going off to college next year and getting a new laptop, which will probably come with Vista. To run the new GUI and stuff I'll probably have to upgrade the RAM to around 2 gigs or so, but I've been looking at some of Vista's new "features" and honestly the only big difference I can see is the Aero interface. Is XP more stable than Vista, or are most of the bugs fixed already? Is Aero cool enough to shell out the extra money to get a good machine that can run it? I'm fine with XP on my home computer as it is, and I don't do a lot of PC gaming or anything, so thats not a factor. Thanks for the help.

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I recently got a laptop myself with Vista-preinstalled and let me tell you, it's a living hell. Most of its features are useless/gimmicky and just hog your memory so you'd want to disable as much as possible. It also takes ridiculous safety precautions, giving you annoying popup boxes whenever you try to run something. I guess this can be disabled somehow, but I can't arse myself to look into it. Then there's of course the infamous compability issues, which I immideately ran into once I installed some of my commonly used programs.

You should get rid of it and install XP if you can. I know I will.

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NEVER EVER EVER BUY AN OPERATING SYSTEM IN THE FIRST 18 MONTHS FOLLOWING RELEASE.

NEVER

Wait for a while. PCs are not quite up to par to meet the requirements of the OS.

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NEVER EVER EVER BUY AN OPERATING SYSTEM IN THE FIRST 18 MONTHS FOLLOWING RELEASE.

NEVER

Wait for a while. PCs are not quite up to par to meet the requirements of the OS.

QFT

XP that mother.

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Disable User Access Controls. I'm guessing it's a service, but as I don't have Vista installed yet, I wouldn't know.

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Yeah, Vista is way too young yet to be really worth getting. So many bugs and issues to be worked out, and God only knows how many security holes. Plus, until they update the OS so that it's not picky with regards to running games, it's best just to leave it be for now. Stick with XP until Vista's gotten over some of it's growing pains.

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The thread title basically says it all. I'm going off to college next year and getting a new laptop, which will probably come with Vista. To run the new GUI and stuff I'll probably have to upgrade the RAM to around 2 gigs or so, but I've been looking at some of Vista's new "features" and honestly the only big difference I can see is the Aero interface. Is XP more stable than Vista, or are most of the bugs fixed already? Is Aero cool enough to shell out the extra money to get a good machine that can run it? I'm fine with XP on my home computer as it is, and I don't do a lot of PC gaming or anything, so thats not a factor. Thanks for the help.

Vista has never crashed on me. Ever. And from what I've been led to believe, that's not really uncommon.

HOWEVER, Vista has been pretty uncompatible with a lot of my hardware up until about a month ago. I had a LOT of video card related issues (because nVidia screwed me) followed by some ethernet card issues, but now that all my drivers have been updated it's all good.

That said, only notable new feature right now, other than seemingly being more stable, is the RAM caching stuff which really does make a big difference sometimes. Especially when launching programs.

So is it WORTH IT? Maybe...I mean Vista's PRETTY expensive, and it really doesn't add THAT much, but I like it. HOWEVER I would've never updated had XP not flat out shit all over my last valid activation.

Also: UAC can be turned off...but I didn't turn them off.

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Its got to be a real piss off to software dev everywhere when they realize that the major upgrades they did to their software are to complicated for most users to understand and in turn the important upgrades are ignored. There is a big list of changes to Windows that are not only more important then things like teh UI or UAC but IMHO they are more interesting. Imporved Network Stack (good), Improved Memory handling(good), Audio(not sure if I like how it works now yet), Drivers running at the User level and not the Kernal level(very good), etc. but sadly, most users stop at the UI and Foot print.

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Don't assume I don't like Vista. I plan on getting it eventually, and I think it is a step in the right direction. However, I would rather have the kinks worked out before I guy it. The last OS I purchased early on was Windows ME. Not a mistake I am about to repeat.

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Not really. If any of 'em are Linux holdouts they're happy that MS has finally implemented something akin to sudo. It's only a pissoff to those idiots that assumed Windows installs would be single-user admin privileges forever, despite how inherently stupid that policy is.

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NEVER EVER EVER BUY AN OPERATING SYSTEM IN THE FIRST 18 MONTHS FOLLOWING RELEASE.

NEVER

Wait for a while. PCs are not quite up to par to meet the requirements of the OS.

Does this hold true for Macs? It certainly doesn't with Linux. Maybe you should have said "NEVER EVER EVER BUY WINDOWS IN THE FIRST 18 MONTHS FOLLOWING RELEASE" instead.

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Disable User Access Controls.
Disable User Access Controls.

This is so true I had to quote it twice.

The UAC is completely useless and annoying as hell! For example, if YOU click on a desktop icon, before the program comes up, you'll get a popup asking for permission to run the program. WTF?

I think to myself, "I just clicked on the program, I expect it to run, why in the hell are you asking me for my permission?"

The only other problem I'm having is the fact that some programs will crash for absolutely NO REASON AT ALL!!!!!!! The program will be running fine, then all of a sudden, a popup comes up and say the the program is not running properly and has to close.

I have no idea whats up with that shit.

The only thing that hurt my feelings about vista is the fact that NONE of my games will work on windows vista! :puppyeyes: I have Battlefield 2142, Medal of Honor, City of Heroes and Villains, and a host of others I can't think of right now.

Now, other than the previously stated gripes, I, personally, am enjoying the Vista platform. It has some damn helpful features when it comes to installing hardware and drivers unto your computer. And I am pleased with its sleek appearance.

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Not really. If any of 'em are Linux holdouts they're happy that MS has finally implemented something akin to sudo. It's only a pissoff to those idiots that assumed Windows installs would be single-user admin privileges forever, despite how inherently stupid that policy is.

I'm actually trying out Fedora Core 6 for a while to see if I like it. Plus, Fedora 7 is out May 31st, so that might be an interesting alternative. In the end my guess is that I'll dual-boot my laptop, with Vista and Fedora, but I'll end up using Fedora almost exclusively except when I need to use a program that only Vista can run.

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BTW, XP died on my machine early this morning. I'm running Vista Ultimate now. Several thoughts:

1. Activating online doesn't seem to work properly - about an hour after I activated this copy, without having changing anything in hardware, Vista wanted to be activated again, so I had to do it over the phone. Annoying, but it hasn't bothered me since then.

2. If you have legacy hardware from 5-6 years ago, and there are no Vista drivers for it by now, upgrade. In particular, PCI TV tuners. I just bought a new Hauppauge tuner to replace my ATI tuner cuz ATI won't write drivers for it. Understandably so - It's ancient.

3. 2GB RAM minimum. Even for X64, which by the way is quite awesome.

4. Regarding RAM usage, don't put much stock in the whole "zomg I'm using a lot of RAM" complaint - unused RAM is wasted RAM, as far as I'm concerned. Now yes it's a bit disturbing for an OS to take up half your RAM but it's a sign of the times, and why Vista's the last client OS MS will make to support 32-bit processors.

5. If your desktop wallpapers are in PNG format, convert them to JPG or BMP. Vista can't seem to handle PNG wallpapers, whereas XP handled them just fine.

6. Aero is quite sweet, although when all is said and done, it's just XP with crossfading transitions. System-wise, Vista seems just as responsive as XP was. I've yet to notice any really bad slowdown in games, but I've yet to reinstall Oblivion.

7. I surmise part of the reason Vista seems responsive is I installed on a WD Raptor 10KRPM drive as opposed to your run-of-the-mill 7200RPM drive. For some stupid reason, probably nVidia's hackery with their nForce4 Vista drivers, both of my SATA hard drives are detected as SCSI drives. Whatever. It doesn't seem to impact performance any.

8. Harkening back to the TV tuner issue, anything you have that utilizes hardware overlay won't run in Vista, period. It's all DirectShow now.

9. Disk Defragmenting is boring as sin now. I mean it used to be somewhat interesting watching the little graph in Disk Management but they gutted that altogether it seems. Oh well, I'm just sticking with Contig. Chkdsk got a nice overhaul now, it acts the same as it does in Server 2003, presenting a lot more useful information than XP's chkdsk ever did.

10. In x64, there are two Program Files directories. The (x86) one is for your 32-bit apps, and the regular one is for 64-bit apps. It's important to note particularly with programs like VirtualDub that if certain things like VFW codecs don't seem to show up in 64-bit, they probably will in 32-bit. Quite annoying then that FRAPS doesn't yet have a 64-bit decompressor for its recordings.

Anyway, need to take a shower and then I'll likely stay up all night fooling around with Vista some more.

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5. If your desktop wallpapers are in PNG format, convert them to JPG or BMP. Vista can't seem to handle PNG wallpapers, whereas XP handled them just fine.

Yea...I still don't know wtf that is about...

6. Aero is quite sweet, although when all is said and done, it's just XP with crossfading transitions. System-wise, Vista seems just as responsive as XP was. I've yet to notice any really bad slowdown in games, but I've yet to reinstall Oblivion.

Vista suspends the desktop when you're playing games @ full-screen. You SHOULD see little to no loss in FPS. However...Oblivion sometimes runs better for me in Windowed mode :o

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Another note, if you're running an nForce4, download the hacked SATA drivers off of the nforcershq forum (the ones that are technically for a newer version of the nforce chipset) and follow the directions there to get your system out of PIO mode and into DMA mode where it belongs.

I went from doing sequential file transfers across two SATA drives at around 6MB a second to over 30MB a second, and CPU utilization went from near-100% to practically nothing, so if it seems like Vista is dirt-slow and consuming a lot of CPU, that's probably why.

It still disturbs me that both of my SATA drives are detected as FibreChannel SCSI drives, but at least the SATA controller works as it should.

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Another note, if you're running an nForce4, download the hacked SATA drivers off of the nforcershq forum (the ones that are technically for a newer version of the nforce chipset) and follow the directions there to get your system out of PIO mode and into DMA mode where it belongs.

Holy crap, I have a DVD burner (HP 840b) that refuses to read DVDs and goes into PIO mode whenever it shits on itself. It's annoying as hell.

In general whenever a drive is going a lot slower than it really should be, that's the reason for it. I never did fix the DVD burner (as far as I know, I don't try to play DVDs on it anymore), but it's not a big deal since this computer came with a DVD-ROM drive anyway and the DVD burner reads and burns CDs just fine - except the shitty Memorex 52x disks. I'm honestly not sure which company is more to blame here for that - HP or Memorex.

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