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What is your favourite version of Windows?
Windows 7 37%  37%  [ 44 ]
Windows Vista 6%  6%  [ 7 ]
Windows XP 28%  28%  [ 33 ]
Windows Me 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Windows 2000 15%  15%  [ 18 ]
Windows 98/SE 6%  6%  [ 7 ]
Windows 95 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Windows 3.1/11 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Windows 3.0 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
DOS 5%  5%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 118
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Vista, even on my Core i5 760 2.8GHz Quad-Core CPU, 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM and a Crucial M4 SSD (on SATA II) managed to be a bit slow at times (graphics card EVGA GTS 450 by the way). I agree with you though some aspects of the UI is nicer. I prefer Vista's Start Menu too, but I prefer Windows 7's taskbar. However, I much prefer to Vista to XP and on newer machines if I had the choice, it's a no-brainer for Vista.

I bet you that XP on your D1950 would not be as fast as Vista once XP has been updated. XP is slow and clunky on newer hardware with all the updates installed, Vista is a lot faster, 7 faster still. XP is starting to show it's age now. I'm using XP SP3 on my Athlon 64 box (A64 3700+, 1GB DDR RAM, 80GB IDE HDD, GF 6600GT AGP 128mb) and even on this well-suited machine for XP, it's slow with all the updates. I ended up reformatting and re-installing and disabling Windows Update because it's just so much faster, still thinking about the upgrade to Windows 7 for this machine though. Tried Ubuntu, too slow even on this machine (version 10.10 that is), and I have software and hardware which do not support it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:03 pm 
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A31 wrote:
Vista, even on my Core i5 760 2.8GHz Quad-Core CPU, 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM and a Crucial M4 SSD (on SATA II) managed to be a bit slow at times (graphics card EVGA GTS 450 by the way)...I bet you that XP on your D1950 would not be as fast as Vista once XP has been updated. XP is slow and clunky on newer hardware with all the updates installed, Vista is a lot faster, 7 faster still.


On this Core i5-760 machine, do you actually feel a speed difference between 7 and Vista? I don't mean benchmark scores, but a perceptible difference in performance.

My HP 8200 Elite has Core i7-2600 (PassMark score = 8971, much faster than your i5-760's 4577), 8GB DDR3 RAM, and Windows 7 64bit. My Dell Precision 390 has Core2 Quad Q6700 (PassMark = 3390), 4GB DDR2 RAM, and Vista Business 64bit. For everyday tasks, I do not notice any difference in performance. I notice a difference only for certain data analysis programs that I use, which need to open files as large as 25GB. If the Dell takes say an hour to open one of these files, the HP would need only like 35 minutes. Not sure how much of that is due to the hardware versus the OS.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:14 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
On this Core i5-760 machine, do you actually feel a speed difference between 7 and Vista? I don't mean benchmark scores, but a perceptible difference in performance.

Vista is definitely slower to boot than Windows 7 on my machine, even on the SSD, and it takes longer to shut down, and yes I do see a bit of a difference between Vista and 7, it's just the small little things like searching for files and that though, not so much opening programs. I think it's more to do with the hardware than the OS, both Vista and 7 are written to take advantage of multiple cores and SSDs (W7 more so for the SSDs because Vista does not have TRIM whereas W7 does).

One other thing I will say about Vista, I've always considered it to be a "power user's OS", because we all know that Vista isn't perfect out of the box, and we all know you need to do various tweaks to get things how you want them, some of them quite involved, so that's why I've always considered Vista to be a "power user's OS". You've got to know how to the use the OS in order to get it right and how you want it. Windows 7 doesn't need as much tweaking and all XP needs is a lot of updates so long as you don't mind losing performance. XP and Vista are quite the opposite regarding updates, Vista tends to get faster, XP tends to get slower, Windows 7 IMO stays about the same.

pianowizard wrote:
If the Dell takes say an hour to open one of these files, the HP would need only like 35 minutes. Not sure how much of that is due to the hardware versus the OS.

In your example, that's got to be down to hardware alone, you need a good amount of processing power but mostly large amounts of RAM for opening massive files, and the 2600 is better than the Q6700 here, especially as the Q6700 was one of the earlier Core 2 Quads IIRC. I've got a Q8400 desktop and that was a later C2Q (2008/09), and I think the Q6600 and the Q6700 were released at the same sort of time weren't they (2007)?

pianowizard wrote:
PassMark score = 8971, much faster than your i5-760's 4577

With regards to your PassMark scores, even though your 2600 comes out considerably higher, I bet in the real world for most tasks (internet, email etc) if you used my 760 and I used your 2600 we would barely notice a difference between the two. Even when opening your large files, we're both on 8GB RAM, and that's what you need to open your large files - large amounts of RAM. Upgrade to 16GB and I bet that HP would be even faster, probably about 20-25 minutes or so. What speed is your RAM? Mine's 1333MHz, if your's is 1600MHz or faster then you'd probably see a tiny bit of difference.

I've gone way off track talking about CPUs and RAM here...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:58 pm 
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A31 wrote:
Even when opening your large files, we're both on 8GB RAM, and that's what you need to open your large files - large amounts of RAM. Upgrade to 16GB and I bet that HP would be even faster, probably about 20-25 minutes or so.


I failed to mention that these data analysis programs are both 32-bit, meaning each program can utilize only up to 2GB of RAM anyway. So, whether I have 8GB RAM or 32GB wouldn't matter.

A31 wrote:
What speed is your RAM? Mine's 1333MHz, if your's is 1600MHz or faster then you'd probably see a tiny bit of difference.


Yes, it's also 1333MHz.

BTW, I neglected to mention one more reason I like Vista more than 7: Vista has such a bad reputation that when a computer has a Vista COA, it tends to drive its value down a little bit. So I can save some money by buying these computers versus those with 7 or even XP.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:25 am 
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I went with both 2000 Professional and Win7.

2KPro was a very light, capable, no-nonsense OS which I had running on my T21 and main desktop at the time with no fuss for years. It simply worked, and it worked well. Actually, I didn't upgrade to XP until very late in its game and went to Vista shortly afterward. I'm not saying XP is a bad OS, but I preferred 2KPro for its classic interface. The only major problem was a particular update which made it impossible to access and modify files unless you went into Windows Explorer. Reverting that update fixed the problem.

I didn't like Win7 at first because of the UI change, but I quickly grew to like it. Performance-wise my hardware runs it and Vista pretty much identically, but I prefer Win7 for the UI enhancements. Might not be everyone's cup of tea but they work for me.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:36 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
I failed to mention that these data analysis programs are both 32-bit, meaning each program can utilize only up to 2GB of RAM anyway. So, whether I have 8GB RAM or 32GB wouldn't matter.

In that case, it's probably down to the CPU or the hard drive I'd imagine. You're on an HDD and not an SSD right?

pianowizard wrote:
Vista has such a bad reputation that when a computer has a Vista COA, it tends to drive its value down a little bit. So I can save some money by buying these computers versus those with 7 or even XP.

Yes, this is something I have noticed too, there are some nice PCs on eBay at the moment, machines with Core 2 CPUs (Duo, Quad and sometimes even Extreme) and like 2GB/3GB RAM with a large hard drive and GeForce 9-Series graphics (tend to be 9600 or 9800, if you're lucky you may even get two in SLI) and because they have Vista on them they don't sell for as much as the machines with Windows 7. But, I do see a lot of these machines from "the Vista generation" (2007-2009) sold with Vista COAs but pre-installed with Windows 7 so they can sell for a higher price. However, there's a bundle of cheap machines on eBay with XP, but I'd rather own a dual- or quad-core machine with two 9800s in SLI and have Vista on it over a cheap 5 year old machine with a Pentium 4 and XP.

Looking on eBay for buying the OS alone, for Vista you can pick up Ultimate from anywhere between £30 and £120 it seems these days, most of them hovering around the £50-70 mark. XP looks to be even cheaper, from about £20-£50 (didn't see any over the £50 mark) and Windows 7 is obviously the most expensive, cheapest is £80.

LegendaryKAB wrote:
Performance-wise my hardware runs it and Vista pretty much identically, but I prefer Win7 for the UI enhancements.

Yeah I don't think there is a massive difference in things like opening programs and documents, but Windows 7 is much quicker at booting up. Vista's a bit like 2000, slow to boot but once you're in the OS it's fine. I don't like 2000 by the way, I prefer XP, and I still don't like XP all that much. Thinking of putting Vista or Windows 7 on my Athlon 64 box today, what do you think? Reckon it'll be OK?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:59 am 
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A31 wrote:
Vista is definitely slower to boot than Windows 7 on my machine, even on the SSD, and it takes longer to shut down
Even though there are thousands of factors contributing to boot time, one thing that was improved in Win7 compared to Vista is multi-threaded loading of drivers during startup. On a multi-core CPU this can potentially speed up the boot.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:57 am 
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This discussion got me curious and so yesterday I Googled up tons of benchmark comparisons between Vista and 7. In all tests, 7 benchmarked faster. HOWEVER, in virtually all of these tests, the difference was only between several to around 20 percent. Such a difference is simply not noticeable for the vast majority of the basic applications that we use. This difference is also way too small to account for why some people "hate" Vista but "love" 7; instead, the explanation is that these people are comparing running 7 on modern (e.g. Core i) machines made in 2008-2012 versus running Vista on much older (e.g. Pentium 4) systems from 2001-2005. For years I was one of those haters, basing my verdict entirely on my experience test-driving Vista beta and RTM back in around 2006 and 2007. This attitude changed about a year ago, when I bought the aforementioned Dell Precision M90, which had a Vista Business COA. That COA forced me to install Vista Business on this machine and at first I found it too slow, so I immediately downgraded it to XP Pro, expecting it to perform better. But XP turned out to be equally "slow"! So I went back to Vista Business, and gradually realized its "slowness" was purely psychological, caused by my 5-year prejudice against this very decent operating system. Since then I got hooked on Vista and 5 of the 7 computers I acquired in the past year have Vista COAs and are running Vista. (The two exceptions are my HP 8200 Elite which has Win 7 and my Panasonic Toughbook Y5 which has XP Pro.)

In light of the small performance differences among XP, Vista and 7 (for reasonably modern computers that is), my main criteria for deciding which one I like most are the user interface and security features. XP loses big time on both counts. 7 is somewhat more secure than Vista, but Vista trumps 7 in terms of the UI. I like my computing experience to be as pleasant as possible, and so I value the UI more than security and went with Vista.

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Last edited by pianowizard on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:55 am 
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A31 wrote:
Yeah I don't think there is a massive difference in things like opening programs and documents, but Windows 7 is much quicker at booting up. Vista's a bit like 2000, slow to boot but once you're in the OS it's fine. I don't like 2000 by the way, I prefer XP, and I still don't like XP all that much. Thinking of putting Vista or Windows 7 on my Athlon 64 box today, what do you think? Reckon it'll be OK?


Hm, I'm not totally sure as I've been using laptop hardware pretty much exclusively since '04 or so. I did run a Vista upgrade on my old desktop (P4 2.6GhZ, 1GB RAM, ancient HDDs, Radeon 9800) and it was pretty sluggish. It was usable after I popped in an extra gig of RAM so make sure you have slapped in some extra memory if you haven't already. I also put Vista on an old T42 of mine with 2GB of RAM and it gave me about the same user experience; a little sluggish but nothing particularly frustrating.

All that said, anything reasonably modern I've put Vista or Win7 on has worked out rather well. Anything from an X60s to my current T500, X200, and Asus G73 have all done just fine.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:30 am 
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A31 wrote:
Thinking of putting Vista or Windows 7 on my Athlon 64 box today, what do you think? Reckon it'll be OK?


Your Athlon 64 3700+ has a PassMark score of 593. The slowest computer I have run 7 on is a Dell OptiPlex GX280 with 3.40GHz Pentium 4 (PassMark 550) and 3GB of PC2-4200 RAM. I still use this computer but it's not in my signature because it belongs to my institution. Win 7 was just slow enough to be annoying, prompting me to go right back to XP. I intend to keep this computer for several more years and so, after Microsoft support for XP expires in April 2014, I will once again upgrade to 7 but I would rather stick with XP when I still can (i.e. when I still get security updates from Microsoft). If I had an Athlon 64 3700+ system, I would do the same, but if you must put 7 on it, definitely get 2 more gigs of RAM.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:09 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
In all tests, 7 benchmarked faster. HOWEVER, in virtually all of these tests, the difference was only between several to around 20 percent. Such a difference is simply not noticeable for the vast majority of the basic applications that we use. This difference is also way too small to account for why some people "hate" Vista but "love" 7; instead, the explanation is that these people are comparing running 7 on modern (e.g. Core i) machines made in 2008-2012 versus running Vista on much older (e.g. Pentium 4) systems from 2001-2005.

My thoughts exactly, it's all very well getting bogged down in numbers and speeds in bench-marking applications, but really you can't tell the difference in the real world. Somebody tell me if they can tell the difference between gaming on a GTX 560 and then gaming on a GTX 560 Ti - I bet you could tell me some games get slightly higher FPS on the 560 Ti, but really, is 5 FPS more on certain games worth £50 more? I know we don't talk about graphics cards here really that much because after all this is a laptop forum, but it's the same sort of thing. If you have Vista and you're happy with it, why upgrade to Windows 7?

LegendaryKAB wrote:
I also put Vista on an old T42 of mine with 2GB of RAM and it gave me about the same user experience; a little sluggish but nothing particularly frustrating.

I ran Vista on 2GB RAM on a P4 HT 3.0GHz and it was OK. Didn't really like my HP dx2200 that much, I've sold it now, but I didn't like that machine because XP ran like a dog on it (don't know why, even after a fresh install from an original XP Pro disc), Vista wasn't much better and 7 was a little faster than both but still sluggish. Not a great machine, not really fit for any Windows OS.

pianowizard wrote:
In light of the small performance differences among XP, Vista and 7 (for reasonably modern computers that is), my main criteria for deciding which one I like most are the user interface and security features. XP loses big time on both counts. 7 is somewhat more secure than Vista, but Vista trumps 7 in terms of the UI. I like my computing experience to be as pleasant as possible, and so I value the UI more than security and went with Vista.

XP's Luna interface looks outdated and old, certainly if you use XP make sure you use the Zune theme (free from Microsoft) or use the classic theme. Vista looks pretty, and is possibly prettier than Windows 7, but I prefer Windows 7's taskbar. As far as security goes, I know Vista's UAC is so annoying it makes you want to pull your hair out, but it does stop and make you think before you install programs, especially if they're from untrusted/unknown publishers. The UAC in Vista is too intrusive I think, and in Windows 7 the default setting is certainly much better, but I think you can change it in Vista anyway.

pianowizard wrote:
Your Athlon 64 3700+ has a PassMark score of 593. The slowest computer I have run 7 on is a Dell OptiPlex GX280 with 3.40GHz Pentium 4 (PassMark 550) and 3GB of PC2-4200 RAM.

It's not so much the CPU I was worried about, it was the graphics card (only being AGP) and the 1GB DDR RAM. I forget what speed this RAM runs at now, but it's slow. I'd say of all the components in the PC, the CPU was one of the stronger ones, graphics card second. GPU is a 6600 GT 128MB by the way. Did originally have a Sapphire Radeon X800 XT 256MB (much better card than this 6600), but the X800 died and I needed a cheap replacement and this 6600 GT for £12 was the cheapest decent AGP card I could find. Did find some 6800 Ultras on eBay, but these went for a lot more than £12. The 6600 does what I want it to do (play NFS Most Wanted and FS 2004) and NVIDIA still support these 6-series GPUs, so I can get the latest drivers, unlike AMD who no longer support the X800. I could still download a driver for the X800, but it's an old one from a few years back.

pianowizard wrote:
but if you must put 7 on it, definitely get 2 more gigs of RAM.

Most I can go is 1.5GB. My GA-K8VT800 PRO board has 3 bays on it, but two of these are already filled with 512MB each, and the spare 512MB stick I have runs slower than the two already installed, meaning my system would become slower, not faster. I've put XP into "best performance mode" (ie - classic interface), seems to have sped things up. Got a copy of XPx64 at my disposal, do you reckon I should install this and see if 64-bit XP is any faster than 32-bit? I know I've only got 1GB RAM, but you never know. Personally, I don't think it will be, but you never know.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:34 pm 
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A31 wrote:
Didn't really like my HP dx2200 that much


For desktops, I am a fan of only one brand: Dell. I rarely pay much attention to HP desktops, though there is certainly one thing about them that I hate: you cannot downgrade BIOS versions. This limitation proved to be a huge problem for my current dc7900. Updating its BIOS introduced a certain problem with dual-monitor support, and I couldn't fix that by reverting to the older version. My Dell OptiPlex 760's use the exact same chipset as the HP dc7900 and when I updated to the latest BIOS I got the same dual-monitor issue, but because I could go back to an older version, that issue was remedied.

A31 wrote:
XP's Luna interface looks outdated and old, certainly if you use XP make sure you use the Zune theme (free from Microsoft) or use the classic theme.


I have been using the classic theme from the very day I started using XP back in 2002, when I bought a Dell Inspiron 8200. As soon as I turned on that computer and booted into XP, I immediately thought the default theme looked stupid!

A31 wrote:
Most I can go is 1.5GB. My GA-K8VT800 PRO board has 3 bays on it, but two of these are already filled with 512MB each, and the spare 512MB stick I have runs slower than the two already installed, meaning my system would become slower, not faster.


Then take them out and populate all three slots with 1GB sticks.

A31 wrote:
Got a copy of XPx64 at my disposal, do you reckon I should install this and see if 64-bit XP is any faster than 32-bit?


I have no idea. I always thought that 64-bit is worthwhile only if you want to utilize more than 3GB of RAM.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:51 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
For desktops, I am a fan of only one brand: Dell. I rarely pay much attention to HP desktops

I'm not a fan of OEM desktops. Whilst I see they are convenient if you want Windows pre-installed and everything all set-up for you, I can't choose exactly what I want in them. I much prefer building and maintaining my own PCs, it's much more fun, usually cheaper if you want high-end specs, and you learn so much from building your own, and also you have the pride of saying "I built my computer" to your friends who will be stunned. ;) Both of my current desktops are custom-built, and I love them both. I agree with you, Dell's desktops are good. I've worked on a few of these for customers recently and I prefer these to the HPs I used to do. I also like Dell's laptops as well. They've come a long way in the past few years.

pianowizard wrote:
Then take them out and populate all three slots with 1GB sticks.

...all for the reasonable price of £70 - see http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartsp ... 02A5CA7304 I love this PC but I'm not spending £70 on it. I know I can look on eBay at the second-hand market but finding DDR RAM is difficult these days, and it's expensive! It's £23 for 1GB, multiply that by three it's £70, you could almost get 16GB DDR3 for the same price. I know I could buy 1x 1GB stick and keep the 2x 512MB to get 2GB, but I don't think on XP I'll see a difference between 1GB and 2GB - 1GB and 3GB, maybe though.

pianowizard wrote:
I always thought that 64-bit is worthwhile only if you want to utilize more than 3GB of RAM.

I thought this too, but I was thinking more about the CPU. x86 is running fine at the moment and I bet there will be compatibility issues with x64 so I'll leave it as x86.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:22 pm 
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A31 wrote:
I'm not a fan of OEM desktops. Whilst I see they are convenient if you want Windows pre-installed and everything all set-up for you, I can't choose exactly what I want in them. I much prefer building and maintaining my own PCs, it's much more fun, usually cheaper if you want high-end specs, and you learn so much from building your own, and also you have the pride of saying "I built my computer" to your friends who will be stunned. ;)
Yep, I'm with you on this. Except here in Israel where I am, almost no one buys brand desktops, so it's not stunning anyone to hear that you assembled your own. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:31 pm 
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A31 wrote:
I much prefer building and maintaining my own PCs, it's much more fun, usually cheaper if you want high-end specs


Things may be different where you live but in the U.S., my impression is that turn-key systems are usually (though not always) cheaper, e.g. just the processor alone may cost half as much as a complete Dell or HP computer. Furthermore, they look nicer than home-made units and have much better resale values, and probably also have better warranties. I think many years ago (e.g. back in the 1990s) it was indeed cheaper to build one's own computers but the big-brand desktops' prices have dropped so much in the past two decades that the opposite is now true.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:55 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
Things may be different where you live but in the U.S., my impression is that turn-key systems are usually (though not always) cheaper

OEM machines are usually cheaper if you want low-end stuff as you quite rightly point out, but if you want high-end, I'm sorry but building your own is just so much cheaper. I dare you to go to Alienware, configure a system there, then go to Newegg and find all the same parts and you'll see the price difference. Also, your OS won't be full of bloatware, and you can choose any OS you want, whether it be Vista (for you) or 7 (for me) or Linux or whatever.

pianowizard wrote:
Furthermore, they look nicer than home-made units and have much better resale values, and probably also have better warranties.

I disagree here. There are an unlimited number of cases out there you can use, there's always a case that will suit your style, whether you want your case to be sleek or whether you want it covered in LEDs, there's something out there for you. With an OEM system there is one, maybe two or three choices of cases and that's it - usually you can choose a form factor (slim tower or desktop) and you may be able to choose a colour (black or silver usually). You can mod the cases to look however you want with a custom-built machine, it's harder to do this with an OEM box. As far as warranties go, I agree you get tech support with OEM systems but XFX and EVGA (I recommend these guys if you want graphics cards) have some of the best warranties out there (EVGA offers lifetime I think) and lots of the other manufactures also have great warranties.

pianowizard wrote:
but the big-brand desktops' prices have dropped so much in the past two decades that the opposite is now true.

I don't think so. It's usually cheaper just to build your own, even though the OEM's prices have dropped. Like I said earlier, go to Alienware, configure the system, then go to Newegg and build the same system, if not better, and you'll see a price difference. It's because nobody is charging you to build the system, because you're the one who's going to be building it.

dr_st wrote:
Except here in Israel where I am, almost no one buys brand desktops, so it's not stunning anyone to hear that you assembled your own.

It's the opposite here in the UK. People just go to PC World over here and buy the first thing they see. If the PC is sitting next to a tag which says "Windows 7" on it, they'll buy it! It doesn't matter what spec or anything, they'll buy it purely because it has Windows 7 on it!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:40 pm 
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A31 wrote:
OEM machines are usually cheaper if you want low-end stuff as you quite rightly point out, but if you want high-end, I'm sorry but building your own is just so much cheaper. I dare you to go to Alienware, configure a system there, then go to Newegg and find all the same parts and you'll see the price difference. Also, your OS won't be full of bloatware, and you can choose any OS you want, whether it be Vista (for you) or 7 (for me) or Linux or whatever.


I neglected to say that I was talking about business-use desktops, not gaming desktops such as those made by Alienware. So, in a sense I was indeed referring just to low- to mid-level systems. And I am sure you agree with me that custom-built systems don't resell well. Lots of people try to sell such systems on eBay, with prices much lower than Dell's and HP's equivalent computers, but no one bids on them. I guess if you intend to keep your home-made desktop for many years, this is a non-issue.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:58 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
I neglected to say that I was talking about business-use desktops, not gaming desktops such as those made by Alienware.

Same here, forgot to say that it's best to buy OEM if you want to use machines in businesses.

pianowizard wrote:
I am sure you agree with me that custom-built systems don't resell well. Lots of people try to sell such systems on eBay, with prices much lower than Dell's and HP's equivalent computers, but no one bids on them.

Yep, the custom gaming rigs don't sell for as much because people overclock them and stuff meaning the warranties are void and the hardware quickly becomes obsolete. Most of the gaming PCs on eBay today feature stuff that was good 2-3 years ago, like the Core 2 Duo/Quad CPUs and the early generation Nahalem Core i7s and the GTX 200 line of GPUs. These were good a few year's back and whilst they will still play most of today's games at reasonable resolutions, people always want the latest and greatest. I could happily live on a Core 2 Quad QX9650 and 3 GTX 285s in tri-SLI but there we go, and I bet it would still be great for gaming, but because this hardware was the 'best' three years ago, and is no longer the latest and greatest, people don't buy it.

As for the second hand OEM machines, if you're lucky some may still have a warranty left on them, and whilst a new desktop costs £300-500 for a decent office machine, why pay that when you can pick up a perfectly good machine for £100-150 second hand? You might get lucky, there are some great used dual-core machines from Dell and HP on eBay at the moment, all would be more than adequate for office use. Also with OEM systems you're kind of assured that they've been assembled properly and people haven't tampered with them, so in the long run they'd probably be more reliable second hand.

pianowizard wrote:
I guess if you intend to keep your home-made desktop for many years, this is a non-issue.

Ideally I'd like to keep it for as long as possible. I'll replace things component by component, but I'm hoping the i5 760 will last me a fair while. Might need to replace the graphics card sooner though, GTS 450 for gaming on Dirt 3 should be OK but I'm not sure. Hopefully with the release of the new GeForce 700 series this year, we'll start to see awesome stuff like the GTX 560 Ti and GTX 570 come down in price, after all, I got my GTS 450 for just £60 second hand last March.

However, I think if I put my Athlon 64 box on eBay (not intending to), it would either not sell or it would sell for very little, I'm talking about probably less than £20. The hardware's just too old.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:13 am 
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A31 wrote:
Personally NT4 wasn't my favourite, when I tested it a year or two ago in VMware I found it really unstable, but there we go.
I can't say I'm surprised by your experience -- it's WAY past its prime and any modern virtual machine host is going to present it with virtual hardware that is way too new for it... and as I mentioned, important to get all the service packs on there as in the beginning it was pretty rough...

I remember 2000 coming along and thinking "plug-n-play is for girly-men!"... ah, memories...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:36 am 
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JeffCullen wrote:
I remember 2000 coming along and thinking "plug-n-play is for girly-men!"
Ha ha haaaaa... LMFAO, I remember I had similar thoughts back then, but then I wanted to buy a force feedback joystick for some games and thought plug & play may be indeed a good idea :D

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:01 am 
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JeffCullen wrote:
important to get all the service packs on there as in the beginning it was pretty rough...

Oh yes, there are only 6 or 7 to go and download aren't there? :-/ Stupid OS, took Microsoft so long to get it right and they never did, not even after 6 or 7 (I forget how many now, I think SP6a was the last) service packs. I know you could go straight from NT4 RTM to SP6a, but I can't believe how many service packs were released for this OS. Not a fan of it's successor either, Windows 2000. It's slow, ugly and horrible and very incompatible with anything made after 2007 nowadays. I never used 2000 when it came out because I was still on 98 SE and it was fine for me, but I suspect it was a lot better back then it is today. XP was such a big improvement on 2000 but sadly that is now starting to show its age too, it's over 10 years old, even Vista is 6 years old now.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:24 am 
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Tasurinchi wrote:
and very incompatible with anything made after 2007 nowadays
Well, but that time MS had XP so I guess they were trying to push for it instead of Win2K.
A31 wrote:
but I suspect it was a lot better back then
Oh yes, it was. I remember that my main decision to go for Win2k over Win98SE was stability, my computer was having 2 or 3 daily crashes with my (by then modern) USB Modem. After the switch I had no stability problems anymore...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:22 am 
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Tasurinchi wrote:
I remember that my main decision to go for Win2k over Win98SE was stability, my computer was having 2 or 3 daily crashes with my (by then modern) USB Modem. After the switch I had no stability problems anymore...

Although W98 worked all right for me, I remember it being unstable on a lot of other machines. Gotta love Windows 9x! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:25 pm 
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NT4 has six and a half service packs... you get to SP6a (which replaced SP6), then apply a rollup...

I don't recall 2000 being as painful as A31 either -- my experience of 98SE vs Win2k is more like Tasurinchi's... granted, it was certainly heavier on hardware than the 9x line, but like NT4, one application crashing didn't take down the whole system...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Earlier today I installed the newly released Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my Dell Latitude D820 and have been playing with it for a couple hours. It will take me a while to get used to the Metro interface. However, I like the visuals within the desktop area very much, probably even more than Vista's visuals. That alone has convinced me to keep using this Preview version on this laptop for at least several more weeks.

Performance-wise, this Latitude (Core2 Duo T7600, 4GB DDR2 RAM with 3.25GB usable, 160GB 7200rpm HDD) runs as smoothly as when it had Windows XP Pro. Internet Explorer 10 seems to have bugs though, so I am using Google Chrome instead. Windows 8 didn't have drivers for the touchpad or the video card; fortunately, the Vista drivers from Dell's web site worked. All the programs that I need were installed properly, including a 1999 program.

Once I have gotten used to the Metro interface, Windows 8 may become my favorite Windows version of all time.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:54 pm 
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I've been using Windows 8 (developers release) for several weeks now on my T61, with Metro disabled, and it has been just fine. I was even able to install (in 16bit mode) one of the W95 era applications that I still use. I doubt that I will be spending any money for Win8, but if somewhere down the line I have a need for a computer that has a license for it, I now know that I could use it.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:55 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
Once I have gotten used to the Metro interface, Windows 8 may become my favorite Windows version of all time.

I've got the Consumer Preview running in VMware Workstation 8 now. It runs OK but it doesn't support VMware Tools properly so my mouse is really slow and laggy. I've got Visual Studio 2010 installed all fine but I can't help but feel that Windows 8 is aimed more towards the tablets than the desktops. I don't like the stupid Metro interface and the fact that programs are now called 'apps' (thanks a bunch, Apple) and I also don't like the fact that when you insert a DVD into the drive it says "tap here to choose what to do" rather than "click here to choose what to do". In my opinion, visually it doesn't look great, the lack of a proper start button makes the taskbar look odd in my opinion. I think you and I are going to possibly have different opinions on Windows 8. :D I'm not it's biggest fan right now.

Neil wrote:
with Metro disabled

For all wondering,this is how you disable Metro and get the 'good old' start menu back. I will do this next time I am using my Windows 8 VM to see what it's like without Metro. I know it's written for the Dev but hopefully it will work in the Consumer Preview too.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:27 pm 
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A31 wrote:
I know it's written for the Dev but hopefully it will work in the Consumer Preview too.


No it won't, because the registry no longer has the RPEnabled key.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:29 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
No it won't, because the registry no longer has the RPEnabled key.

Sorry my bad only just tried this now and found it won't work.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:02 pm 
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So no real way to disable Metro without third party hacks at this point?

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