Tag Archives: OS
I have been running MS Vista (retail) since Janurary and for the most part no major issues. I don’t love it or hate it, the OS works for me, but there is always small little things, but I can usually work around them. I needed to install Visio the other day for doing some flow charting. I wanted to use the 2007 version, so I downloaded the .ISO image from MSDN, but I don’t have any CD buring sotware installed on the vista machine that would recognize the image.
I downloaded ISOBUSTER and even under the ‘free’ mode, I was able to maniulate the ISO like a ZIP file, got the files off I needed to install Visio and I was on my way to doing very mundane things with various symbols.
Here are images of the motherboard that I went with on this upgrade:
In addition to supporting the first IntelÂ® Quad-Core processor, the Intel Workstation Board S975XBX2 is based on IntelÂ® 975X Express chipset. This combination enables key performance-optimized capabilities such as support for one PCI Express* x16 or multiple PCI Express* x8 graphics cards, as well as 8 GB ECC memory addressability to enable 64-bit computing. For those using storage-intensive applications, the S975XBX2 provides up to eight hard disks configuration with integrated SATA (3.0 Gb/s) RAID.
|IntelÂ® Desktop Board D975XBX2 Features|
|Board Series||Extreme Series|
|Form Factor||ATX (12.00 inches by 9.60 inches [304.80 millimeters by 243.84 millimeters])|
|Processor||IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢2 Extreme Processor based on IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢ microarchitecture delivers world-class performance,as well as superior energy/power efficiency.|
|Chipset||IntelÂ® 975X Express chipset enables key performanceoptimized capabilities.|
|Graphics||PCI Express* with Flexible I/O allows dual x8 and/or single x16 graphics card installation, enabling expanded graphics capability.|
|Memory||Dual Memory-Channel DDR2 533/667/800 MHz ECC DIMMs (8 GB Max) provide a more robust operating environment and faster system response.|
|Audio||IntelÂ® High Definition Audio subsystem in one of the following configurations:
|ATI* CrossFire* Multi-GPU Platform Support||Platform Support ATI CrossFire technology enables two ATI graphics cards to work together for ultimate 3D gaming performance and visual quality.|
|I/O Control||Legacy I/O controller for diskette drive, serial, parallel, and PS/2* ports|
|RAID||IntelÂ® Matrix Storage Technology (RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10) together with discrete Marvell* RAID (0, 1) controler provide data protection against a hard drive failure and quicker access to digital photo, video, and business files.|
|Manageability||IntelÂ® Active Management Technology enables basic out-of-band capabilities for monitoring hardware and software status regardless of OS or power state.|
|LAN Support||Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbits/sec) LAN subsystem using the IntelÂ® 82573E/82573L Gigabit Ethernet Controller|
The fine people over at Techgage put the Public Beta of Vista to the test:
Currently, the Beta 2 of Vista does not go as far to support SLi. There is no real need to get too in-depth with these benchmarks, as it would be more suitable closer to release.
As it’s been mentioned before, some are recommending that 4GB of ram may be the requirement for a hardcore gamer. Of course, we will see about this in the coming months, when we finally see SLi support and the ability to run crazy resolutions. As it stands right now, chances are that 4GB will only slow down your computer, even with gaming, due to the 2T timings.
Throughout all three 3D Marks, Win x64 comes out the definitive leader. Though 3D Mark 01 is showing it’s age [heck it has been since 2002], Vista falls quite short compared to WinXP. 5,000 points is not a small chunk. The routine continues with 03 and 06. 03 scores around 11% better, and 06 around 2% better in Win x64.
For real-time gaming tests, I used BF2, HL2, Far Cry and Serious Sam 2. All four are first person shooters, and all have their fair share of eye candy and great graphics. To create the average FPS results, I manually played through the same level in each respective game, for five minutes. Results were captured with FRAPS, which supports both 32-Bit and 64-Bit versions of Windows.
3D Mark was just a tease at the differences, but these benchmarks straight out prove that Vista is not shaping up to be the ultimate gaming platform. Half-Life turned out to be 30FPS on average fast than in Vista, but Far Cry is an even bigger difference. In Vista, that one proved an average of 37.37FPS, but in Win x64 it jumped up to 76.41FPS. That’s near 40FPS difference. The evidence cannot be any clearer. Drivers can however, make -all- the difference, so hopefully we will see performance increase as the drivers mature.
This has strictly been a performance report, but performance aside, it’s obvious that Vista is not ready for retail yet. Some of the benchmarks I use most often were unable to even run, which goes to show just how fussy Vista can really be. Most of your simple applications should have no problems in running, but if you have programs that use any databases on your PC, such as Sandra, they will not likely work. Why, I have no idea, but I would love to find out.
Even beyond that, the programs that do work can easily cause problems. This was evidenced when I had to reload a level in BF2 7 times before it would actually work. Because of the nature of the crash, Vista needs some tweaking done in order to fully support the applications we use on a daily basis.
Most of our benchmarks proved one thing.. and that’s that current Windows is faster than what Vista can provide. The tested computer is not outdated by any means, but Vista did not work as seamlessly as I would hope by this point in time. The biggest issue lies within games. It’s no surprise… gaming suffered a lot on the new platform. Even after closing many services and turning off themes, games still did not come close to Windows XP performance. If this is how things are going to be, WinXP will long remain the top OS until people are forced to move to Vista due to DX10 or other technologies.
Should you give the beta a go? Of course. If you have an afternoon to goof around with, yes you will have fun experimenting with what’s new. If you are one of the few who planned on using this as their primary OS, despite the BETA tag, then you will regret it fairly quickly. Merely copying a registration key file to a products directory brought up a status bar, which lasted around 3 seconds. That wouldn’t be a big deal usually, but this key file was 1.3 kilobytes.
If Microsoft plans on sticking to the schedule, we should see the RC1 within a few weeks, and the retail version in early 2007. Because of this, that means they have to technically have the entire OS ready to ship by at least the end of September. Not to speculate, but can they rid all these problems within a 4 month period? We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
As more enhancements are made to Vista, or Beta 3 / RC1 becomes available, I will revisit the benchmarking and see if there actually have been ‘enhancements’.
I finally got around to upgrading my USB hub, not that I suffering from the speed of 1.1. Just that the hubs are so darn cheap and most of the gadgets that I have are USB, so why not!
There is a little story behind this though, I was looking around for a low profile, compact one because I just want to keep on the floor next to the gaming rig and I dont want this hug block thing with wires sticking out all over the place.
So, I was doing my ‘googles’ and I fist went with the D-Link QuickMedia DUB-H7 2.0. I got it in the mail, plugged it in and worked, but when I would reboot my computer. The post sceen just hung on “loading USB controllers”.
I did the next thing that most people would do. I called thier tech support, which was a toll free number and it didn’t take long to get to an agent whom of course was not located in the U.S., but did speak pretty good english and had average people skills.
Now, here is the kicker… according this gent and his solution base, the fix was for me to remove SP2 from XP!! What??!? You understand that it works okay.. once I am booted and in the OS, it is before the OS loads that I am having this problems. This was thier solution or to go with another product D-Link DFB-H7 USB 2.0/Firewire Combo Hub.
Instead of just blindly following thier advise I thought I would do the ‘google’ again and see what people were saying.. well… I decided to go with the belkin USB 2.0 7-Port hub, which should tell you how the reviews on the D-Links were stacking up.
Needless to say, this little item came today in the mail. Took it out of the box and it was plug and play!!