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Windows Vista RC2 - Getting there

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:16 pm
by LoneWolf
Well, I revamped my test system. Went to a newer Intel D865GLC mainboard, which added dual-channel support, and an AGP slot, among other things. So my testbed (the box formerly known as eMachines) now looks like this:

Intel P4 2.8GHz Northwood, 533MHz FSB
768MB DDR in dual-channel mode
120GB Seagate 7200.7 HDD
ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro 128MB
DVD-ROM and CDRW drives
I took out the SoundBlaster Live!, since Windows won't be supporting Directsound3D (at least not in hardware accelerated mode any more). Then I obtained Windows Vista RC2 (build 5744) and installed from scratch. I had to install the ATI drivers later, but this went smoothly, and the beta drivers from ATI's site (I didn't install Catalyst Control Center) work well for what I've been doing. Due to a Microsoft bug, I had to do a minor registry edit to allow Aero Glass to be turned on (I hear this is a problem limited to RC2 only). I'm getting a performance rating of 3.9, which would be higher, but Vista's score reflects the lowest score generated by the MS performance analyzer, and my RAM and CPU had the lowest scores (graphics and HDD were far higher).

I've added the current Avast! Antivirus, Office 2007 Beta 2 technical refresh, Firefox 2.0 RC2, and Acrobat Reader 7.0.8. I've also set up my GMail account to run within the new Windows Mail application (I'm testing Windows more than I'm testing Office, so I didn't set up Outlook, though I will later).

So far, things run quite well. I think Microsoft's addition of the Junk E-Mail option added to their mail app will take some marketshare back from Thunderbird, which I've been using and like, but which doesn't seem to handle large folders full of mail as well as Microsoft has. I have had one reboot crash when I was doing a lot of stuff at once, but admittedly I'm running the system on an Antec 300w PSU that is probably working hard; it could also be that the two 128MB DDR modules are a little finicky. I'll make more notes as I go along; if anyone wants me to look into certain settings or options, just ask. At this point though, it's worth trying if you can get ahold of a copy and have a spare box; OS speed and stability are about where things need to be to run Vista full-time.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:02 pm
by MonsterMan
Interesting. My old A64/3700+ scored a 4.2 for the CPU...I would think the gap between a 2.8GHz P4 and that would be a bit bigger...odd. But then, this was with the 5536 build. The scores seem to change a bit between builds.

I haven't tried RC2 yet on my X2. That is a project I hope to do this weekend, time permitting.

Gotta see how far I can OC it first :wink:

I only had one real problem with 5536; it was supposed to have been fixed in the 57xx builds....time will tell.

BTW, I love Vista so far :)

And I still, and always have, HATE XP.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:50 pm
by Spazmogen

I just nuked Vista Ultimate lastnight RC1 build 5600. XP Pro is back in.

I should have paid attention as to how the new system scored. It ran pretty smooth.

I had RC1, which seemed stable, there was precious little software to use with it. It lasted about 6 hours. I did like how stable firewire was for external drives, though.

The new system is:

Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13ghz stock Intel cooling.
2gb Patriot 667mhz in dual channel
Gigabyte GA-965-DS3 motherboard
nVidia 7600GT 256mb PCI-e
80gb SATA2 Samsung HDD. 8mb cache.
Onboard HD audio

I still have a couple of bugs to sort out with the new system (front USB connector etc). But all of the major stuff is dead on solid.

BTW: with Vista, I found that Windows Server 2003 drivers work fine...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:41 am
by hoxlund
lonewolf was this x86 or x64 bit version you installed?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:38 am
by LoneWolf
Kept meaning to answer this Hox, but CDRLabs had some major hiccups the other weekend, and I'm never home to post the response I had to save in wordpad.

I don't have x64 because my beta-test box is a P4 Northwood 2.8GHz, without EM64T support. I 'm not willing to test Vista (even RC2 or later) on my Athon 64 X2 primary box. I've heard that driver support on x64 is still really glitchy.

Very soon, I'm going to try putting the SoundBlaster Live back in, but using the kX Project's OpenAL drivers, to get a feel for how that works. I also really wish there were drivers for the TV tuner of the AIW 9700 card; as things stand I can't run the Media Center functions.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:48 pm
by hoxlund
yeah when i install vista im back and forth from x86 to x64

tomorrow im showcasing vista to our entire store, to get people aware of the new changes and stuff like that

it'll be installed on some sony desktop machine we have there

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:20 pm
by LoneWolf
I just plugged a D-Link DWL-520 PCI Wifi card in...Vista recognizes its Atheros chipset and installs generic drivers. I was up in about a minute and connected my DGL-4300 router. WPA2-Personal security was enabled by default, so it appears that the driver is pretty robust.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:32 am
by hoxlund
i broke down and finally enabled my built in 7.1 sound on my mobo

only to use with vista x64

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:48 pm
by LoneWolf
hoxlund wrote:i broke down and finally enabled my built in 7.1 sound on my mobo

only to use with vista x64

The (IMO) ugliest thing about Vista is audio. Since Microsoft decided to scrap hardware acceleration of DirectSound3D, it really hurts a lot of Creative Labs cards. It also means that if you have a game with EAX support that goes through DirectSound3D (as opposed to OpenAL) you've just lost all your sound effects and positional audio if you run the game in Vista. This one really bothers me.

The upshot is, it matters little what kind of sound card you have if you run Vista, aside from the quality of its DACs, and support for HD Audio. No more way of reducing CPU load in games by choosing the right sound card, and little to spur innovation in computer audio itself. I think it's a major move backward, and that if anything, Microsoft should have been pushing people other than Creative to support DirectSound3D in hardware. :evil: