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The W - Internet & Computers - Should I downgrade to Windows XP?
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Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
Hi there;

I'm purchasing a new laptop, and unfortunately, it comes shipped with Windows Vista Home Basic. It's running an Intel Celeron 540 processor, with an 80gig HD, and 1gig of DDR2 ram.

Now, I have little to no experience with Vista. The general consensus of my friends, however, would dictate that it would be better to downgrade (or as they jokingly suggest, upgrade) to Windows XP.

My question to everyone is: what's your opinion of Windows Vista? Is it worth keeping? Would I be better served by putting XP on it?

Thank you very much for fielding my question!



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wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Eh, the same people who hate on Microsoft for everything will tell you Vista sucks. The truth is it's got some really awesome features but it's still buggy. There is a service pack coming out in a couple of weeks that will hopefully fix some of that.

For a laptop it's a hard choice. Vista pretty much NEEDS 2GB ram to run well. It's probably going pretty slow for you with just 1GB. But it does give you a neat feature that XP doesn't and that's that you can plug in a USB thumb drive or an SD card and it will ask if you want to use it as RAM. While it's not quite as fast as the real thing is light years better than your hard drive paging file could ever hope for, so essentially you can add RAM super cheap with Vista.

I'm running Vista on my home pc's and laptop and dont' think I would go back to XP. Too many nice new features in Vista that I would miss. But if you want tested and stable then you can't beat XP.
rinberg
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Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
As wmatistic pointed out, Vista would really prefer 2GB+ of RAM, even though Home Basic can survive on 1/2GB according to microsoft (microsoft.com). It will also take up 15GB of hard drive space.

In contrast, XP Home (microsoft.com) prefers 1GB+ and can survive on 1/4GB of RAM, while taking up less than 2GB of hard drive space. In short, XP will probably run faster and be more responsive on a system with limited resources.

Also, caveat emptor (news.com) where buying a "Vista Capable" system as opposed to a "Premium Ready" system.

But the real question is whether or not YOU like Vista on your laptop. The way that you phrased your question leads me to believe that the computer will come with Vista whether you want it to or not and XP would be an additional expense. If that's the case, I would suggest trying Vista for a couple of weeks. If you don't like it, change to XP.

I would probably stick with XP if I could do it without additional expense, but I would resign myself to Vista otherwise. I'm not exactly an early adopter though. I just upgraded my home computer to XP from ME about 2 years ago.



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StingArmy
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Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.89
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Eh, the same people who hate on Microsoft for everything will tell you Vista sucks. The truth is it's got some really awesome features but it's still buggy. There is a service pack coming out in a couple of weeks that will hopefully fix some of that.

    For a laptop it's a hard choice. Vista pretty much NEEDS 2GB ram to run well. It's probably going pretty slow for you with just 1GB. But it does give you a neat feature that XP doesn't and that's that you can plug in a USB thumb drive or an SD card and it will ask if you want to use it as RAM. While it's not quite as fast as the real thing is light years better than your hard drive paging file could ever hope for, so essentially you can add RAM super cheap with Vista.

    I'm running Vista on my home pc's and laptop and dont' think I would go back to XP. Too many nice new features in Vista that I would miss. But if you want tested and stable then you can't beat XP.

I would agree with pretty much every single thing in this post. I would never go back to XP now that I have Vista, but I certainly regret not choosing a laptop with more RAM. At 1gb of RAM, it's not unbearably slow but it's slower than I would like.

(I never knew about the SD card or thumb drive as RAM trick. I might have to try that!)

- StingArmy
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 45 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.39
wmatistic pretty much covered it.

There are some nippy glitches, but it also has some cool features, and dang if it ain't pretty.

For what it's worth, we trialled it and decided not to roll it out to the company at large yet. That was more a reflection of the (lack of) IT savvy in certain areas than Vista though. We figured the number who would be unable to work round the bugs without crying to the support desk would outweigh the number who would get any benefit just now.

You sound like you're a sufficiently wise owl* to fall into the 'able to enjoy the benefits' category though, so I'd go with Vista, especially if downgrading's gonna cost ye.

*Apologies if I've jumped to conclusions on this front

wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by StingArmy
      Originally posted by wmatistic
      Eh, the same people who hate on Microsoft for everything will tell you Vista sucks. The truth is it's got some really awesome features but it's still buggy. There is a service pack coming out in a couple of weeks that will hopefully fix some of that.

      For a laptop it's a hard choice. Vista pretty much NEEDS 2GB ram to run well. It's probably going pretty slow for you with just 1GB. But it does give you a neat feature that XP doesn't and that's that you can plug in a USB thumb drive or an SD card and it will ask if you want to use it as RAM. While it's not quite as fast as the real thing is light years better than your hard drive paging file could ever hope for, so essentially you can add RAM super cheap with Vista.

      I'm running Vista on my home pc's and laptop and dont' think I would go back to XP. Too many nice new features in Vista that I would miss. But if you want tested and stable then you can't beat XP.

    I would agree with pretty much every single thing in this post. I would never go back to XP now that I have Vista, but I certainly regret not choosing a laptop with more RAM. At 1gb of RAM, it's not unbearably slow but it's slower than I would like.

    (I never knew about the SD card or thumb drive as RAM trick. I might have to try that!)

    - StingArmy


FYI, make sure the transfer speed fo the SD card or thumb drive is good enough. You'll have to check google to figure out what speed Vista wants but it deems some of the slower of those devices not good enough. I think the feature is called "ReadyBoost" if that helps.
puffdyw
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Since: 21.4.05
From: California

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#7 Posted on
yea, i have a mac with 2gigs of ram and a pc with 1gig of ram, and i would always suggest getting the most possbiel ram (within reason) whenever u get a computer.


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Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
There's some great advice here; thanks everyone for their help.

As for Windows XP, I didn't truly start trusting it until the SP2 patch and upgrade; I still prefer Windows 2000 Professional as an OS. Now, from what I gather, the system comes with Vista preinstalled.

That's an cool idea; using a thumb drive or some form of removable media as RAM. Now, this system comes with a 7-in-1 memory card reader...that could prove to be interesting. Seven cards, seven gigs of removeable RAM. Hmmmm.....

What I think I'm going to do is this: I'll play around with Vista and see what I think of it. If I decide that I'd prefer Windows XP, I'll look up all the hardware inside the computer and see if there are XP drivers online for them, so that my system works the same using the other OS. I guess that would work, right?

After I get this laptop, I think I'm going to put Linux on my desktop. Now, that's gonna be fun!

(edited by Oliver on 5.3.08 0606)


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wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Should have warned you about two more things:

1. Vista's extra RAM trick has a 4GB limit.

2. When you put 4GB RAM on a Vista system, you'll notice you don't actually see the computer recognizing all four gigs. Can't recall the details but it will show up as around 3.5GB.
samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.91
Does this extra RAM with flash drives thing work well? Is it something where you could just buy a drive, and leave it in a USB port full time to always have the extra RAM? Extra built in RAM costs considerably more than a decently sized flash drive, so that's pretty impressive if so. I had heard of the feature before but never gave it too much thought since it seemed too good to be true.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I would think you wouldn't want to do this full-time, but on an As-needed basis when you were running a program that needed more RAM.

Flash memory has a different lifespan than regular memory. I'll have to research this, but unless it has changed recently, after a certain number of writes it simply won't work any more - it gets burnt out. It's like 100,000 or something - a huge number you generally won't reach using it for digital pictures.

BUT - if you start using it as RAM all the time, I would think it becomes much more likely that you will hit that number. Swap files write very often.

I would think this feature would go through SD Cards pretty quickly. Anyone researched this at all?




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