Vista Impressions

After a week of using Vista Ultimate, I am relatively pleased with the upgrade from XP. No crashes yet!

The Good:

+ Appears to run apps just as fast if not faster than XP. Firefox 2.0 with 15-20 extensions still lags a bit. I don’t use IE 7.

+ Readyboost helps with large file copies, speeding it up a bit. Don’t have real measurable results. During bootup, I can see the USB thumb-drive being accessed extensively. This is using an Apacer 200x 2GB drive.

+ Superfetch is most beneficial after bootup into Windows. Commonly used apps are already loaded into memory. I always check email using Thunderbird first and it loads immediately with no hesitation.

+ During file copies, the status dialog box shows calculated transfer rate and time remaining. I don’t think it showed this rate before in XP.

+ Prettier interface, especially with Aero theme. Transparency effects are impressive and offloaded to GPU, freeing CPU for more important tasks.

+ Large internal database of hardware drivers. I didn’t have to install any except maybe a late to party driver by Nvidia.

+ More “secure” with prompts for user permission for any app or driver install. Can be turned off.

+ Separate volume controls for different software: one for Skype, Windows event sounds, and others. They finally added this.

+ Much better networking controls and information. I like the mapping feature of all the network devices.

+ Improved task manager with description of user and system services. Makes finding what the funciton of each service much easier.

+ Dreamscene addon allows you to use a .WMV or other video file as a Windows background. Really neat, but finding a clip that doesn’t distract you too much from your work might be a problem.

+ Wireless connection finally fixed. In XP, it would constantly disconnect and reconnect throughout session.

The Bad:

– Much larger required footprint for memory and disk space. This is expected, but even at 1GB memory, I don’t believe this is adequate for smooth operation. Recommend 2GB or more RAM.

– Slower bootup time, about 3-5 seconds more compared to XP.

– Windows Defender disrupts some startup programs I have set: Sabnzbd and Syncback

– No included anti-virus, but I use NOD32.

– Firewall still anemic, where are outgoing filters? Stick to Comodo Firewall.

– No compelling need to upgrade from XP if you are happy with it.

– Price, whats up with that? Way too expensive for what it is, and I don’t care if it has over 50 million lines of code.

– Confusing mix of Vista versions to consumer with varying levels of activation and upgrades.

The Bottom Line:

If you are having few problems with XP or even 2000, then I don’t recommend buying the upgrade. Just wait for your next PC purchase to have it already bundled.

The Host System:

Pentium 4 Dual Core 3.2Ghz
Nvidia 7800 GTX SLI


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