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Vista Vs XP a Geek's Perspective


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#1 ViperDan

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 02:22 PM

As a disclaimer, upfront, I am not paid by Microsoft or any other software vendor for my recommendations or reviews of their products. Any information that I provide is provided because I have researched the topic and believe in what I am saying. Any benefit I could gain from talking someone into one thing over another would quickly be lost (ie. my reputation) if they found out that I had ulterior motives and pushed them into something that wasn't right for them. That said, any information provided is to help you in making an informed decision that strips away the hype, window dressing and even fear that can be present when looking at technology.

Over the past year and, more specifically, over the past few months, I have had a number of conversations wtih clients and vendors alike regarding Windows XP vs Vista, whether to upgrade and when there won't be an option anymore. That said, I'm writing this article to, hopefully, clear up some of the confusion.

First, I'll start with the hard facts about what you can and can't do.

* Windows XP will no longer be available in the store or preinstalled on systems as of June 30th. After this date, there will still be some systems available as vendors run through inventory, but it is definitely going away and won't be readily available.
* With every installation of Vista, Microsoft allows "downgrade rights" which allows you to downgrade to XP by installing XP on your machine. This arena is a bit tricky as the downgrade rights for software installed by the OEM (ie. Dell, HP, etc.) are reliant on their Terms and Conditions of the OEM. I have heard rumors that these Terms and Conditions require that you upgrade to Vista by April of 2009, but, at this point, these are unsubstantiated.

Some facts about Windows XP's continued support:

* Windows XP will continue to receive full support from Microsoft until April 2009.
* After April 2009, Microsoft will provide critical support for Windows XP, but not much more than that. Any bugs, non-critical patches, etc, will not be supported or fixed after April 2009. If you keep your systems on Windows XP, you will leave your systems and network somewhat exposed to viruses and other attacks.

Some negative facts about Windows Vista:

* Many old applications don't work with Vista. With the release of Service Pack 1 for Vista, there are more applications and drivers that work on Vista, but many of the much older applications still don't work and probably won't ever work with Vista. This is by design as advancing technology, or anything for that matter, sometimes requires cutting ties with older things that are holding back that advancement. (As a note, this is common throughout the technology world as Apple did this when they released Leopard and it commonly happens with Linux distributions.)
* Vista is a resource hog. Microsoft wrote Vista with the expectation that it would not be run on old hardware and, therefore, it does not run well on old or slower hardware. That said, many of the prettier features of Vista can be shut off in order to make your system run faster...this substantially helps with older systems running Vista.
* Vista is a memory hog. Vista was written to use the memory in your system more efficiently so it automatically loads frequently loaded programs into memory so that it can launch them faster, when you need them. This causes less memory to appear as available, but Vista will readily flush out cached information to load information you need. The net effect is a small increase in performance.

Some positive facts about Windows Vista:

* Vista was released to market (RTM) in 2007 and already has Service Pack 1 out. SP1 provided some great increases in performance, compatibility, security and stability.
* With SP1, Vista, now, supports over 77,000 hardware products...that is more than double what was supported when Vista was originally launched.
* Microsoft receives 21% fewer support calls for Vista than it did for Windows XP in its first year of release.
* Vista is far more secure than any other Windows Operating System and, I'd argue, it is even more secure than any other major operating system that is out today. Vista only had 5 security issues found in the first 90 days while XP had 18...by design, Vista is more secure.
* Vista is far more stable than any of the previous versions. There are many reasons for this, but I'll highlight two of them.
o By default, anything that runs is isolated from other applications and the Operating System in its own virtual world. If an application crashes, often because the application had a problem unrelated to the Operating System, then it won't effect Vista and you'll keep running like you were.
o In Windows 95/98, applications would directly address hardware on a system. When multiple applications tried to address a single piece of hardware, often, the entire system would crash because of the conflict. In Windows 2000/XP, Microsoft introduced the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) which acted like a traffic cop and forced the applications to talk through it, when talking with hardware, so it could mediate the process. This worked well, but had some bugs and, consequently, crashes continued. With Vista, the HAL is back and is better than ever. While in 2000/XP, there were ways to bypass the HAL, in Vista, there isn't so the possibility of this kind of conflict is greatly reduced.
* Vista handles file synchronization beautifully. For anyone who has dealt with Windows XP and its offline files process, you know that it works, most of the time, but can be annoying and is prone, at times, to breaking. Vista's offline files setup is more intuitive, works faster and is far more stable...this is great news for the mobile user.
* In the vein of Mobile users, Vista also handles wireless networking and firewalling much more intuitively and it also handles things like suspending and hibernating much more smoothly.

There are many other things about Vista that usually end up evening themselves out in good vs bad. An example of this would be User Account Control (UAC). This feature prompts you when installing an application and launching some older applications. At first, this feature seems annoying, but it ends up protecting users from themselves as it provides an added prompt to let you know you're about to install something...this is especially helpful when you might have accidentally approved the installation of a piece of spyware and didn't even know you were approving anything to be installed.

In all, it is my opinion, that, Vista's advances in security, stability, performance and usability (Although it requires a little relearning) make it a worthwhile upgrade. Unless you have an application that you can't reasonably upgrade, you are far better off going with Windows Vista than Windows XP...especially if you are working off of a laptop as the improvements of Vista are magnified when you are out in the wild, connecting to networks at Starbucks, the Hilton and elsewhere.

Hopefully, this has been informative, not too dry and has increased your understanding of debate between Vista and XP.

Edited by hamluis, 16 April 2011 - 04:43 PM.
Moved from Vista forum to Gen Chat.

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:07 PM

dude, windows vista is a thing of the past. . . were on 7 now. and 8 will be out before to long, and low and behold, windows xp still has support. . .mainly because its still a good OS (as far as windows goes)

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#3 ViperDan

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 09:47 PM

Dude, I know Vista is a thing of the past, this is an article I wrote a while back that I thought would be interesting to post. Windows 7 and 8 are based off of Vista's "Mistakes" By mistakes I mean the problems and pains that we had to live through Vista.

Happy Computing


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#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 11:05 PM

ok, well it is an interesting article I just thought it was little out of date thats all. . .truth be told, Im still running XP on one of my laptops, am very happy with it.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#5 killerx525

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 06:17 AM

Same here, i'm running XP on my gaming rig but i don't get DirextX 11.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
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#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 01:44 PM

Im running 7 on my gaming rig, but still no directx 11 support-I only had a limited amount of money for an upgrade, and decided I got more bang for my buck to add a second 4890 instead of a 5770 (which would be the best directx 11 card I could afford) since 2 4890s will match a 5970 in performance (minus directx 11 support of course) So ya, im stuck with directx 10 for awhile, but thats ok Im not complaining. The downside to being on a budget :P

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Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#7 cryptodan

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 04:55 PM

Windows XP SP3 will receive support up until Summer of 2014.

#8 killerx525

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 05:58 PM

Im running 7 on my gaming rig, but still no directx 11 support-I only had a limited amount of money for an upgrade, and decided I got more bang for my buck to add a second 4890 instead of a 5770 (which would be the best directx 11 card I could afford) since 2 4890s will match a 5970 in performance (minus directx 11 support of course) So ya, im stuck with directx 10 for awhile, but thats ok Im not complaining. The downside to being on a budget :P

I bought the Asus EAH5670 1GB from some online Ebay store which came from Sydney. It's a pretty sweet card which i just overclocked it even more to get more juice out of it :) I can play GTA IV using medium settings and max settings for most of my games i play.

>Michael 
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#9 the_patriot11

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 06:40 PM

5670 still wont match 2 4890s, as far as framerates concerned, which is what I was after. 2 850 mhz GPUs, and 800 stream processors per card, makes for some extreme performance.

Edited by the_patriot11, 17 April 2011 - 06:41 PM.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#10 killerx525

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 06:42 PM

I would assume 2 overclocked 5670 would beat 2 4890, right?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
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#11 computerxpds

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:00 PM

I never actually ran vista and I just finally upgraded my last PC to 7. I really don't even think vista should have been considered an official release. lol. But even my own school still (up until just this school year) bought and still run windows xp laptops and desktops, we just finally got in our first shipment of 7 laptops(HP) and they have so far worked in well. In the point of view of my own self having a good background in networking and AD's I have to think that xp is easier to configure to run on an AD than 7.

Edited by computerxpds, 17 April 2011 - 07:00 PM.

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#12 killerx525

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:04 PM

My school upgraded all computers and teacher's laptop from XP to 7 pro. Also bought 500 Dell desktops with pre-installed 7 pro.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
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#13 computerxpds

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:10 PM

That would be nice if they would do that at my school we run about over 5,000 laptops and 3,000 desktops, so imagine the work that would take to upgrade them all to 7 plus god forbid the students were not "trained" on how to use it. lol.
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#14 killerx525

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:15 PM

Holy Cow over 5,000 laptops and 3,000 desktops!?! After windows 7 was installed the school uploaded a guide on using the new OS which i haven't looked yet because i already know how to use it :)

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
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#15 computerxpds

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:21 PM

Yeah we have a large school district that covers two towns so it is a lot of students and teachers and most of the teachers use smart board white boards. We used to have more macs than PC's but that was changed in 2007. Although the tech department seems to have a vague idea/understanding of the difference of usable and working because the servers are always overloaded but we have a capital project coming up so that should hopefuly help that issue. LOL. :)
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