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Subject: Windows Vista? How good or bad? rss

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Im getting ready to upgrade my gaming and work rig here and the package Im looking at has Windows Vista, I really love XP and am thinking about backdating it to XP when I get it using my XP disc. I wanted to get some HONEST opinions from people who OWN or USE it, I dont want comments of: "Oh it sucks because it came out recently." And you dont even own the damn thing. Please be serious with your comments and observations. TIA and all the best, Jonathan
 
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Steve Wagner
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I've not used Vista too much. But from what I've heard and read it's probably not as bad to update to Vista as it was when it first came out.

But here's my point of view. XP works great with everything out there right now. I'm comfortable with it and I don't have to worry that something's not compatible for it. And downgrading shouldn't cost anything additional, although it can be a huge pain.

The biggest thing, for me, is there is no huge reason to run Vista and your computer will run faster with XP. Yeah, I know there's Aero, but is it worth your computer running slower to have a nice graphical desktop. For me, it's not.
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John W
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I've had the displeasure of having to use a few Vista machines, and it truly is a hideously unituitive, and different interface.
I could objectively show how it is MUCH more difficult to get to the same places that XP does, but considering the lack of driver support, it seems a no-brainer to go with XP if you can.

If you are buying a new rig, make sure to get it with XP installed (thru the downgrade licence built into Vista):

More reading on that, for each of 9 vendors:
http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?no_d2=1&sid=08/07/17/135...
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There are under 30 games that require direct X10. Each of them riddled with horrid horrid DRM issues. And Vista and DRM have issues as well.

EA game? Stay away from it. They have a 3 strikes and your out policy on games now. Installed it three times? Go to install it a fourth, you need a new key. Nice!

I would wait until the NEXT OS comes out. Whatever they ship AFTER Vista.

Here are the nasties I've found:

*18 minutes to install a printer driver
*11 minutes to install a scanner driver
*No longer being able to right click on the desktop and choosing properties among many other things that got moved into odd and unintuitive places.
*The endless "are you sure" bombardment
*Having a legit copy and then running WGA and having it say it's pirated.
*native CD burning good for nothing but coaster making
*And of course, the fact it completely HOGS your machine's disk, memory, processor and all the memory from computers in a former life...

Vista is shit. Just plain shit.

And that is the first time I've ever used that word in a post on BGG so take that for what you will...
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Marco Grubert
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I have been running Vista for almost a year now and it's been very reliable so far. The only downside is that it uses more memory than XP. Other than that I am happy with it (I use my PC mostly for gaming and software development YMMV).
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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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The more I read about Vista, the better I feel having XP SP3 installed in my PC.
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Aaron Tubb
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It does use a lot more memory than XP. Aero was cool and gooey looking, but I turned it off after about a week to free up RAM and haven't missed it. I haven't had any crashes or anything. It takes some getting used to because things are in different places than in XP, but I like it overall, though I don't really prefer one OS over the other. The easily adjusted power settings and hibernation option from start menu are nice features. The sounds are less annoying and grating than the sounds in XP. It doesn't work with older games or DOS programs though. Like, at all. It won't even run them in a DOS emulating windows mode; it just doesn't run them at all. DosBox is my friend.
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Xander Fulton
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Pathirtle wrote:
raize wrote:
I support Vista and other things for a major OEM manufacturer. I've run Vista. As bad as people say it is, it's actually worse. It's the biggest piece of bloatware I've ever seen. Forget running it without 2GB of ram, you won't even get good performance with 4GB. Expect random crashes, slow performance, compatibility issues with anything over 2 years old, compatibility issues with many well known games and complete OS lockups that even the most seasoned techs can't get you out of without reinstalling the OS.

It makes Windows ME look good.



I can second that. I'm running Vista on a new machine with a dual-core processor, 4GB RAM plus a 2MB memory booster. It's slow, crashes frequently, and won't recognize my Canon laser printer or many of my software programs.

Lots of useless bells and whistles pasted on a bloated, buggy system. XP is a better OS in every respect.


I have to wonder what you guys are doing to get Vista to crash. I've never managed, and I'm usually pretty good at doing things that will do that.

In fact, one of the nice perks of Vista is having the drivers run in a completely separate layer from the OS. It's actually impossible for the Vista OS to crash as a result of drivers (the single most common reason for OS crashes), although shoddy drivers certainly can kill themselves easily enough (vs XP, where a crappy video or sound driver can take down the whole OS. In Vista, it can't - it just takes down the driver stack in question.)

Anyway, while I rather like Vista, myself - and find the UI a real joy to use (my wife's laptop is Vista, which we've had for a year or so), I'm still running WinXP SP3 on my box. Reasons are:

- I like the Vista UI and DX10 features a lot, but there is no denying it DOES consume more resources. It's certainly not the 'resource hog' some posts here would lead you to believe - works just fine with 2gb (again, wife's laptop), even doing heavy gaming or image editing. But I'm a performance junky, and even a 5% drop in overall performance I don't want to have to deal with until I upgrade my system (which isn't in the budget for a while). If I had a modern Core 2 Quad processor with a Radeon 48xx video card, no question, I'd be Vista. However, my CPU is a (comparatively) ancient AMD X2 '4400+' (Socket 939), so...I'm not taking any chances

- I like my Soundblaster X-Fi and EAX in games. I have a LOT of older games with EAX support. EAX doesn't work in Vista*.

* Okay, it does...sometimes. Basically, the APIs Vista ships with prevent the drivers, including audio, from getting direct access to the hardware (see point 1). Normally, this is good, but it means that Creative cards can no longer 'hardware accelerate' EAX positioning through DirectSound - the OS insists on using its own software renderer. To get around this, Creative is pushing their OpenAL standard...and while many modern games DO use this, and Creative's "ALchemy" allows older DirectSound games to use OpenAL and thus get their EAX stuff...it's a hack solution, and not all games work with it.

But those are really my only reasons for sticking with XP. I need the performance, as my hardware isn't cutting edge; and I play a LOT of older games, that are not going to be as 'fully compatible' with Vista as I'd like (at least, not in the audio stack). DX10 sure looks nice on the games it supports, but at 1680x1050 (LCD native res) and 4xAA (I insist), my Radeon 3850 can't really handle high-quality DX10 graphics ANYWAY, so...

Anyway, that's my 2
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Chaddyboy
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All I really use my computer for is using the internet, Flash, and Photoshop. I haven't noticed any major difference between Vista and XP.
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Kurt
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I had Vista Ultimate 64 installed for a while on my computer.

The pros:
- It was great finally getting to use my 64 bit processor
- Some high end programs that also took advantage of 64 bit processing were outstanding (Autodesk's Maya ran extremely well)
- It's pretty (but this leads into a big con in my book)

The cons:
- It didn't run most other programs well, in particular Quicktime Pro (which I use all the time for my work)
- It didn't even run its own programs well
- Media Player 10 would continue to play audio in the background from videos/music after I closed it
- Zune software didn't work properly, frequently crashing. Not that it works well in the first place.
- It doesn't even support Visual Basic 6 runtime!!!! There are several key independent apps that I use frequently that were written in this. Isn't Visual Basic 6 something they wrote in the first place?
- I was constantly forced to reinstall drivers for certain devices that hadn't gotten around to updating to Vista, including periodically losing connection with my SATA raid card WHILE I WAS USING IT!
- All the bells and whistles eat a lot of disk, cpu, and memory. On a dual core opteron with 2GB of Ram, it was taking half of my cpu/memory resources at IDLE
- This bears repeating: It took on average 1 GB of memory just to run the OS at an idle. I'm guessing that if I had more than 2GB installed (plus another 4 GB on a Flash drive) that it would have grabbed even more.

I've since gone back to XP and I've been much happier. As Chad just said, if you're only going to be doing general web stuff then you probably won't notice most of those problems. I do a ton of video/CG work on it and really need as many of my computer's resources as possible as well as steady performance from software. It was so buggy at a 'heavy user' level that it was unbearable.

I'd highly recommend learning to live with whatever is making you think of going to Vista and holding off until the next release of Windows. This definitely has that 'inbetween release' feel that Windows ME did. The next question is will the future Windows release be any better...
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Thomas Eager
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ninja OK, I'm not an IT guy or computer expert by any means, just a writer/gamer with a one-year-old Toshiba Vista-equipped laptop and I've had ZERO that's ZERO problems. I did set it for max. performance (which turns off a lot of the artsy bells & whistles) to accommodate gameplay.
And to the poster knocking DX10 games, all I can say is Company of Heroes kicks extreme ass. And my EA-designed Medieval Total War II works fine too. ninja
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David Tracy
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Probably the biggest thing to watch would be drivers for your graphics card should you decide to stay with Vista.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2008/03/vista-capable-lawsui...

Where I work we do not support Vista yet primarily due to driver issues. Then again, we make 3d graphics software so our users push OpenGL like crazy.



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Rachel
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My husband bought a laptop with Vista installed. The first one that was delivered from Dell was effectively a very expensive brick because despite buying a genuine copy of Vista from Dell, Microsoft had decided that it was a pirate version. It took 8 hours of tech support calls for Dell to determine this and my husband trying to reinstall several times. According to Dell about 10% of genuine copies of Vista will be determined by Microsoft to be fake, turning your purchase into a brick.

We did get a replacement from Dell but this takes time. After all that Vista wasn't an improvement and my husband was so annoyed with Microsoft anyway that he wiped it and installed Ubantu.
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Craig Somerton
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Don't do it. The most unintuitive UI, memory hungry, and a load of crap. Stay with the stable XP.

And the dozens of updates required each week. Drove me INSANE!
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Thanks very much everyone, I do believe I'll pass on it then.

I was curious with it coming in an already installed package, how hard would it be to uninstall it, then take my original factory XP disc and put XP onto my new comp? TIA and all the best, Jonathan
 
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Jerry Dziuba
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It (Vista) came on my son's new computer and for the stuff he likes to run it just didn't work at all. I had to take it off and put XP on it.

A few months ago I got a nice deal on a new machine and it came with Vista. I decided to give it a go. Out of the box the thing is a complete mess, but once you dig in and start removing all the superfluous crap it can be quite the nice OS, but you do have to be fearless about getting under the hood.

The thing right now is speedy, crash resistant, and can handle most anything I throw at it. But, all that said, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not pretty darn savvy at computers.

All in all I'd call it a huge failure, but there is enough there that if you're willing to spend the time and effort it can be worked into a decent OS. Right now, as I have it configured, I like it better than XP but not by a huge margin.
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Brian Rasmussen
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I just finished building a new computer, and decided to go with Vista 64. I had problems with the video driver crashing whenever I tried to play a game, but after changing my memory settings I think I've gotten rid of the problem.

Besides that issue I've had no problems with Vista. I primarily use the Vista pc for gaming, and kept my older XP system for doing everything else. I've got 8 gigs of ram and a quad-core processor, so my machine is fairly powerful. Everything loads fast, and I've not noticed any sluggishness or other performance problems that a lot of others mention.

Honestly I can't think of a good reason to go with Vista over XP, except that Vista is more available. But I think a lot of the hate is unwarranted, at least if you're building a high-end system. If you're buying a system that comes with Vista preinstalled, I say give it a fair shot. If it doesn't drive you crazy then keep it.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Ya its pre-packaged thats why I was curious about just uninstalling it and put XP onto it? How much of a problem that would be and could I do it at home? TIA and all the best, Jonathan
 
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Brian Rasmussen
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You'll want to make sure all the drivers for things in your computer are available for XP, and it would probably be a good idea to download and burn them to a cd or something in preparation.

If you already have a copy of XP then it should be fairly easy. Just boot from the cd and during the install process it should give you the option to format your hard drive, which you'll want to do. Then just continue the installation, let XP update itself, and install your drivers.

If you don't have a copy of XP then you're going to have to get one somewhere. Depending on where you buy your computer from you may be able to get an OEM copy and save some money, otherwise you'll have to go shopping.

Overall it's a fairly easy process if you have a basic knowledge of computers and all goes well. If something isn't working correctly it can be frustrating to troubleshoot, but there's a lot of help online if it comes to that.
 
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