Windows 7: A better Vista?

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bradavon
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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 28 Jul 2009, 14:08

Very good comparison of XP SP3, Vista SP2 and W7 RTM:

http://www.infoworld.com/d/windows/wind ... =740?r=967
This was it but Windows 7 is now £79:

http://www.additionsdirect.co.uk/rf/add ... od=6228938
Back in stock and remember:
ZW027 is the promo code for Additions which gives you £20 off (only for new customers though).
I've pre-ordered my Windows 7 Home Premium for £62.95 (£3.95 postage). Not bad considering I was on holiday and missed the £49.95 deals. It's odd HP has only gone up £20 but Professional has doubled to a whopping £189.95.

p.s - Additions charge on order btw.
Last edited by bradavon on 28 Jul 2009, 20:02, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 28 Jul 2009, 19:39

Are these deals the 32-bit or 64-bit version? I'm guessing 32-bit. How do we buy 64-bit? Even if the DVDs contain both code, the license will be one or the other.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by Lourdes » 29 Jul 2009, 14:44

bradavon wrote:Are these deals the 32-bit or 64-bit version? I'm guessing 32-bit. How do we buy 64-bit? Even if the DVDs contain both code, the license will be one or the other.
The license and discs are for both.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 29 Jul 2009, 20:02

Thanks. That is good.

I can test x64 but still re-intall x86 if I need it. Adobe Photoshop Elements (6 or 7 I forget), Windows Live Essentials 2008 and 2009, Multi-monitor support (as I have to use a modified Nvidia laptop driver to get x64 drivers, so not technically a Windows 7x 64 problem) and a few small drivers all failed to install when I tested Windows 7 Beta x64 but work fine on Windows 7 Beta and RC. I expect I'll be installing x86 and going x64 when I buy another laptop. 3GB RAM is fine for me anyway.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've cancelled my order at Additions as it's back in stock at Argos for £49.99 delivered:

http://www.argos.co.uk/BIS?partNumber=5 ... nce=TRK009

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 16 Oct 2009, 02:12

Hey Brad, are you getting the RTM in the near future? I'm not sure at this point, I'm quite happy with Vista x64 SP2.

It'd be dumb to get x86 at this point, that is yesterday's news. The teething problems that Vista x64 had are long gone and it highly likely won't be an issue for W7.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 16 Oct 2009, 14:25

I sure am. I pre-ordered Windows 7 RTM Retail when it was cheap for £49.99. I should have it by next Friday.

As it's the Retail version I get two discs: x86 and x64. I'm hoping to go x64 but maybe forced to go x86 due to driver and software problems. It wouldn't be the end of the world as 3Gb is more than likely fine for me though. Vista x86 SP2 with 2Gb is basically fine for me, so given that Windows 7 is noticeably faster and I plan to upgrade 3Gb around the same too (or 4Gb if I do end up going with x64), I'm confident it will be enough.

I plan to test the x64 version on a second hard disk (which currently has the x86 RC on it) and if it doesn't go to plan install the x86 version on my main hard disk, obviously formatting and reinstalling.

With Windows 7 Beta x64 (RC untested) I couldn't get to work:

1. Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 - It crashed out during install. It's apparently buggy on x64 and annoyingly Adobe only provide a x64 version for Adobe Photoshop CS4.
2. Windows Live Essentials 2009 Wave 3 - I cannot remember but I think I installed the x86 version, not knowing there was a x64 version, so that could've been my fault. I'm pretty sure there's only an x86 version for the actual programs but some of the engine files (like Microsoft Application Error Reporting) have x64 versions. Although I think it's the same main install file and during install it detects which you have, then downloads them. So it may not have been that after all. I have found v2009 Wave 3 very unreliable to get installed on multiple PCs though.
3. Due to Toshiba's annoying policy of not supporting x64 on my laptop (despite the hardware supporting 4Gb) I've been unable to find drivers for everything. The vast bulk of it yes but some small stuff in Device Manager I couldn't find drivers for.
4. As I have to use unofficial x64 Nvidia drivers for my Nvidia Go Graphics card, I couldn't get mulit-monitor support to work. Nvidia don't provide drivers for their own Go Graphics cards at all and Toshiba haven't released x64 drivers for my model. I had to use drivers for the Retail cards with a modified .inf to allow it to install.

All the above worked perfectly on Windows 7 Beta x86.
It'd be dumb to get x86 at this point, that is yesterday's news.
Definitely test it and if it works agreed. I may have no choice. As I have a retail version I can freely install it later on new hardware when I need to buy a new laptop.
I'm quite happy with Vista x64 SP2.
And I'm largely happy with Vista x86 SP2 but boy Windows 7 is better. I'd definitely be giving it some though. I cannot wait to upgrade.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 17 Oct 2009, 10:38

bradavon wrote:I sure am. I pre-ordered Windows 7 RTM Retail when it was cheap for £49.99. I should have it by next Friday.
They had no such cheap pre-order deal for W7 in NZ, sadly. Goddamn MS.

Fair enough with the driver and software incompatibilities.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 18 Oct 2009, 11:50

That sucks. I wonder why that was. Did Australia get the cheap pre-order deals?

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 18 Oct 2009, 15:43

No, Aussie didn't get the deals.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 18 Oct 2009, 16:09

I think it was only North America and Europe. Weird.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 09 Jun 2010, 19:09

SP1 public beta at the end of July.

Nah, still no reason for me to upgrade from Vista x64 SP2. I'm utterly content with what I already have, it does everything that I need it to do.

BTW Brad, are you running W7 32-bit or x64?

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 10 Jun 2010, 09:37

Windows 7 x64.

Even though I've only got 2GB RAM. I want to upgrade but it costs £70 to upgrade to 4GB (taking into account I'd have to buy 4GB and sell my existing 2GB). I'm of the conclusion the sweet spot for the average Windows Vista/7 users is 3GB, with 2GB being the bottom where they run acceptable/fine. 1GB is "just about" usable if you disable almost every background process, 512MB it's a disaster.

I had loads of trouble getting drivers because my laptop was made with x86 in mind (despite the hardware supporting up to 4GB). I managed to find some drivers from similar models (like the SD Card Reader) but one I've not managed to find. Thankfully it doesn't seem to do anything, nothing isn't working. So I just disabled it in Device Manager. I've no idea what it's supposed to do because Windows doesn't recognise it. It's something to do with the motherboard chipset. Thankfully it's only one driver I'm missing. Toshiba were useless, refusing to even try and help get my x64 drivers (despite clearly having x64 drivers for at least some components). I argued with them for ages, it was sold with 4GB but there's no way under x86 actually get this. It fell on death ears.

You should upgrade. I have no real problem with Vista but Windows 7 runs so much smoother and just feels more polished. I love the new UI changes too. This all makes it a joy to use. Windows Vista obviously easily beats Windows XP but it was never what I'd call a joy to use.

Vista "really" needed SP1 but Windows 7 already works rock solid as it is.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by Shingster » 10 Jun 2010, 14:22

Isn't one of the major bonuses with regards to performance and Windows 7 x64 is that it can allow processes to chuck around higher amounts of RAM, ergo you can see real improvements in performance of heavy applications on systems with a lot of RAM? If so I'd argue people thinking of upgrading to Windows 7 should consider chucking more RAM at it than 3GB.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 10 Jun 2010, 16:09

The 64-Bit architecture can handle more than the 3.2-3.5GB limit imposed by x86 (this covers all version of Windows that are x64, MAC OS and Linux etc...) but most apps simply don't need that much RAM.

Take Excel 2010 for example, Office 2010 now has a x64 version but Excel only needs x64 if you work with 2GB Excel spreadsheets. Yes that's right, 2GB spreadsheets! You definitely want to be installing x64 if you're installing Vista or Windows 7 (unless it's a Netbook) because it makes sense but most Apps at the moment don't need it or actually work better on x86.

Other examples of App that may need 4GB+ RAM would be Gaming/Graphics and these aren't average users. Well maybe gaming is but I really meant the odd word document/e-mail/Internet users. Obviously if you're upgrading RAM get more but laptop RAM in particular is bloody expensive (it's roughly £35-40 per 1GB RAM).

For Vista/Windows 7 3GB is the sweet spot IMO, it doesn't mean you wouldn't want to install more.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by romerojpg » 10 Jun 2010, 18:02

What on earth is on a 2GB Excel spreadsheets :D every person living in the world today and their address and dogs name. Scary size.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by Shingster » 10 Jun 2010, 18:08

I went from 2GB to 6GB at the start of the year because I regularly use a lot of apps simultaneously that can certainly benefit from a bit more beef in the memory (Photoshop, FireFox, lots or rarring, Catylst Control Centre eats away at memory as well), but because it took me a while to install Win7 I obviously only jumped from 2GB to the WnXP limit. Jumping up to 6GB from that has been very nice indeed! :D

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 10 Jun 2010, 18:26

The WinXP limit is the same as any other Windows limit. Windows XP x86 (what virtually everyone uses) is up to 3.2-3.5GB and x64 (which virtually no one used, had very poor driver support and I don't think is supported any more) is more. The same obviously applies to Windows 7/Vista and the Windows Server OSs. x64 took off gradually with Vista and is now mainstream with Windows 7.

MAC OS's latest OS: Snow Leopard is x64 only but then Apple has a significantly smaller user/hardware base.
romerojpg wrote:What on earth is on a 2GB Excel spreadsheets :D every person living in the world today and their address and dogs name. Scary size.
I know :D. Maybe some government file or something.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 12 Jun 2010, 01:13

Vista/W7's Superfetch feature is bloody awesome. It'd be worth having at least 4GB for that.
bradavon wrote:Other examples of App that may need 4GB+ RAM would be Gaming/Graphics and these aren't average users. Well maybe gaming is but I really meant the odd word document/e-mail/Internet users. Obviously if you're upgrading RAM get more but laptop RAM in particular is bloody expensive (it's roughly £35-40 per 1GB RAM).

For Vista/Windows 7 3GB is the sweet spot IMO, it doesn't mean you wouldn't want to install more.
3GB is the sweet spot for gaming too. I'm not aware of a single high end PC game that needs more than 1.5GB of system RAM.

That 3.5GB limit in x86 architecture OSes isn't just system RAM, it's the added total of ALL the RAM that your PC may have, eg including VRAM. 1GB VRAM is fast becoming the minimum spec that you can get for enthusiast GPUs. If you're running such a GPU + 3-4GB system RAM, you'd definitely want to have a x64 OS.

If your game needs more than 1.5GB RAM, it's usually because you're running a user-made high-resolution texture replacement mod or something like that. It definitely wouldn't be standard.
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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 12 Jun 2010, 16:38

EvaUnit02 wrote:Vista/W7's Ready Boost feature is bloody awesome. It'd be worth having at least 4GB for that.
Do you use Ready Boost then? I've never bothered, reading it's most useful for PCs with less than 2GB RAM. I use my SD card slot quite regularly, can you just take out the Ready Boost card and put it back in again, without problem?

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by romerojpg » 12 Jun 2010, 16:44

I have still not used Readyboost either, mind you it does seem like you have to get a quality USB stick as it can (I aiont got one so only go from what I have read other say) wipe out an average stick as they are not exactly made for massive use every single day you use your PC.

I have a 4GB stick, never tried it yet, it aint exactly a quality state of the art USB drive either :D

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 13 Jun 2010, 05:16

bradavon wrote:
EvaUnit02 wrote:Vista/W7's Ready Boost feature is bloody awesome. It'd be worth having at least 4GB for that.
Do you use Ready Boost then? I've never bothered, reading it's most useful for PCs with less than 2GB RAM. I use my SD card slot quite regularly, can you just take out the Ready Boost card and put it back in again, without problem?
Sorry, not Ready Boost. I was thinking of Superfetch.

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Re: Windows 7: A better Vista?

Unread post by bradavon » 13 Jun 2010, 11:03

SuperFetch is indeed a solid reason to upgrade to Vista/Win7 (of which there are plenty). Unless I misunderstand what you're saying, you don't need 4GB for it to be effective.

Ready Boost does need a high calibre USB Stick to work. I don't know much about lowering it's shelf life but slow USB Sticks aren't fast enough to be used. You're right though, flash memory only has a finite life span and using it as a form of memory will just lower that.

Sticking in 2GB, 3GB, 4GB RAM will have a much better performance increase and given that most Win7 PCs come with this as standard, it's of less use nowadays. It was really created with Vista in mind and the good chance it would be installed on under specified hardware (which is exactly what happened). If you've got a Win7 netbook you might find some mileage with Ready Boot. Those still ridiculously come with 1GB as standard (it's part of the license agreement of Win 7: Starter, they're not allowed to include more out of the box) but again you'd be better off upgrading the netbook to 2GB RAM.

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