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XP 64bit vs Vista
Eric Canha, Photographer
Not Listed | MA | United States | Posted: 10:24 AM on 03.21.08
->> Ok I've been putting off building a new machine for as long as I could. Long story short I've decided on everything but the OS. The machine will run 8GB of ram which means having to decide between Vista and 64bit XP.

I'm really leaning towards the 64bit XP as I'm not a huge Vista lover. Anyone have any experience with incompatibility using either platform? I've checked for drivers and it looks like I will be able to find XP64 drivers for most if not all of my hardware. On the software side PM, CS2, office 2003, and dreamweaver8 are the must haves.

Advice? Experiences? Pit Falls?
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Ross Mason, Photographer
Cave Creek(Phoenix/Scotts | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:21 AM on 03.21.08
->> Eric,
I bought a new machine that came with Vista and had a lot of problems. Scanner software, printer drivers, Office 2003, Dreamweaver, etc. Don't know about XP64 but XP Pro worked pretty well and still have it on my laptop.
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Mark D Murphy, Photographer
Blue Point | NY | USA | Posted: 11:53 AM on 03.21.08
->> Eric,
Got a new Dell with Vista and had to deep format it and install XP Pro Service Pack 2. As Ross said lots of software incompatability. Basically nothing worked with Vista. Go figure. 8 GB of RAM should smoke the largest load of big files. Sounds like a plan. Let us know what you decide and how you make out.
Good Luck...
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Not Listed | MA | United States | Posted: 12:10 PM on 03.21.08
->> Well I think that sums up what I have been reading around the net too. Mark will do. The beast will be 8gig over clocked quad core. With roughly 4tb of space. I'm looking at the Areca raid controllers for a secondary RAID. The 1231 will handle 12 HD's. Still doing my homework on that one.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 12:13 PM on 03.21.08
->> Stay away from Vista whatever you do. It has features in it that take command of your machine and does things over which you have no control, and you CANNOT disable that function, or exert any control over it whatsoever. It's the worst debacle of an OS ever. I have never met anyone who uses Vista that liked it or did not have trouble. It looks slick, and when it works it works well, but there is a violent monster lurking just beneath the surface that will strike at any moment.

More to the point, if you go to a CompUSA (assuming you can find one still open) or any other mass retailer and buy a machine off the shelf, and ask them to install XP instead of Vista, they will not do it! MS has a deal with hardware providers that prohibit the deletion of Vista!! (But I hear that Dell with sell you a machine with XP on it) PLUS (it just never ends) you cannot get copies of the Windows Vista program disc(s)!! And there was a time last summer where it would not allow you to install Firefox browser! And you are only allowed one hardware upgrade (hard drive, CPU/Motherboard, etc) before you have to pay another licensing fee. Incredible.

That's why I get my machines from clone builders. But, don't take my word for it, just read this incredibly long thread of Vista users lamenting their decision to use Vista.

Be afraid; be very afraid of Vista.

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Jason Johns, Student/Intern, Photographer
Biddeford | ME | USA | Posted: 12:20 PM on 03.21.08
->> I have XP Pro 64 on my machine, dual core 2.2, 4 gigs ram, 1.5TB of hard drive and dual monitors. You should be able to run most programs that work for XP, with the exception of firewalls and disk managers. Zonealarm Free firewall will work with Vista, but not XP64, you need the 64 bit version. Some partitioners & defraggers aren't compatible, so check the manufacturer's specs first.

I haven't had any problems with this system, cold boot time is under 20 seconds, and PS works fine with 100+ meg files while running Photo Mechanic & other programs at once
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Paul Nelson, Photographer
Temperance | MI | USA | Posted: 3:55 PM on 03.21.08
->> First to address your question Eric, you truly need to know what hardware drivers are critical to your workflow and what platforms (versions of the OS) that your software has been certified/approved to run on. No point in jumping into Vista if you're going to have driver and software compatibility issues out-of-the-gate. If you have the software installed on an exsiting machine, you could run the Vista advisor software to find out any pitfalls or issues.

Also, keep in mind that you will never leverage more than about 3.5GB of memory (4GB techncially, but not all to the applications) in a 32-bit OS (you didn't clarify if you were considering Vista at 32 or 64-bit). If you're not going to use 64-bit, then poof, half of your memory is unaddressable. Going to 64-bit is a roll of the dice - so again, know your hardware (and driver versions that are available) and research, research, research! The less "special" hardware devices you own, the easier the transition.

Am I the rare exception that prefers Vista? I've been w/Microsoft products since the 3.1 days and I'm up-to-par with their technical certifications (MCSE, MCSA, etc. - sorry had to disclose). However, I've heard nothing but complaints from folks that are only partially valid. Vista is wayyy more secure than XP (a good thing), loads faster (if configured correctly), better driver support for modern hardware built-in (vs. XP out-of-the-box - quicker for staging) and has a lot of useful (minor) updates to how you do operations inside the OS (i.e. working with files is more efficient, less clicks for many things, etc). The UAC - the annoying security feature can be turned off if necessary. The key for most folks, and I'm sure most will overlook this, is to disable unnecessary functions. Microsoft is notorious for still turning on too much on a baseline install. Go into the system services and you can shut half of them off - that's where the system starts getting fast. Don't get me started with the 3rd party resellers (Dell, HP, IBM, etc) - they load the systems up with junkware out-of-the-box. Can't blame anyone for having a negative experience when their computer is bogged down by all of this. (another disclosure, I build all of my systems from scratch)

It is very important for everyone to understand how Microsoft software lifecycles work and the role of the OS in the business world. XP will eventually be sunsetted (SP3 is clear indication that it's quickly approaching) and if no one has informed you, Windows Server 2008 is starting to distance itself from XP clients (kind of like how Server 2003 started getting people moving from Windows 2000 to XP). Just like the past cycles of client OS versions, XP will start to become the dinosaur. Vista SP1 is here now, so most organizations will start taking Vista seriously, assuming Microsoft has corrected some of the flaws in the gold release and starts going towards a more stable product (in Microsoft terms, that is).

The OS snickers should be pointed towards Windows ME - that was about the only true flop Microsoft has had in a while with desktop OS's.

My final point - test, research, read white papers and ask other folks - but try to take the Vista negativity with a grain of salt. Both it and XP will do the job, but how you configure it and how you use it will determine the effectivness. (BTW - Vista Ultimate has Texas Hold'em - addiciting!)
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Nic Summers, Photographer
Mount Prospect | IL | USA | Posted: 7:50 PM on 03.21.08
->> I have built an XP PRO 64bit with an AMD 9600 Phenom Quad core and 8 gigs of RAM. 2 500gig internals that are Raid 0 and a 400gig main drive.

The only problem I have is normal Norton Anti-virus program will not run so I had to buy AVG for anti-virus. Everything I have plugged into it works so far. However, I have 2 other 3 other 32bit computers that are up and running for other printing chores.

CS3 Productin Premium Suite has not missed a beat on the 64bit system. Zone Alarm will not run on it and there is not a 64bit version of ZA for XP that I know of.
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Jason Johns, Student/Intern, Photographer
Biddeford | ME | USA | Posted: 9:32 PM on 03.21.08
->> Nic,

Some versions of 32 bit programs will work on XP64, but you will need the updated versions for most programs. The free versions of ZA will not run on XP64, but the professional pay version is said to have 64 compatibilty, according to the website. I use GhostWall from Ghost Security, and it works great. AVG Free will work with XP64, but some messaging programs like Trillian will have trouble on occassion. If you use Spyware Doctor & Registry Mechanic, you will need updated versions.

As for the Vista option, I have it on my 2.13 dual core/2 gig laptop and it is a big PITA. I've minimized the startup utilities to the bare minimum, with the exception of AVG antivirus, Zonealarm, and Truecrypt utilities, and I STILL have to wait 45-60 seconds after Vista has loaded from a cold boot to search for a wireless connection!

And the people that are having hell with Vista aren't just everyday Joes & Janes. In The NY Times article, the experiences with Vista of three top MS execs are detailed.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Not Listed | MA | United States | Posted: 9:41 PM on 03.21.08
->> Thanks Nic that's what I was looking for. Paul in a previous life I designed Unix Xenix and Novell networks. I can remember booting DOS 2.11 and also telling my clients that they would never outgrow a 40 MEG hard hard drive !
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Thread Title: XP 64bit vs Vista
Thread Started By: Eric Canha
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