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Any Of You Power Users Have An Opinion On XP vs. Vista?

So long story short, there's a chance I might be getting a new laptop to replace my laptop that will be handed off to a co-worker. While I can get the new laptop with Windows XP Pro, I'm debating whether I should go with Vista (would have to be Ultimate or Business edition because of the Windows Domain/Active Directory access I need) since Microsoft is going to be phasing out sales of XP in the next few months. My brief experiences with Vista on this laptop (in a temporary dual boot) weren't all that great, and this certainly isn't a slouch hardware-wise, and that pretty much ran in line with every other Vista vs. XP rundown. The problem is that most of those XP vs. Vista comparisons are from when Vista was first released. So after some searching, I found this one that shows improvements in Vista with apps and games (with a Vista service pack release candidate installed).

So, you power users out there (and I'm talking folks who run more than a few programs at once and actually use memory and CPU-intensive programs): What do you think? Have you really pushed Vista to its limit? Do you have any applications that you need that don't work in Vista? While I'm not much of a gamer (I don't have that kind of time), application performance is key for me, especially in things like the Adobe Creative Suite (CS2) where I spend a great deal of time, rendering, editing, and dealing with dozens of RAW images at a time. But I want a decent video card so I don't waste system memory on video processing. I also have a lot of other little tools that I'd try to use, most of which will need to work (some of them I can live without, but many I can't because of the jack-of-all-trades nature of my work).

I will be getting a dual core CPU, a 7200 hard drive, and at least 2 GBs of RAM (along with a DirectX10 GPU), but I probably will avoid the x64 version of Vista, simple because of driver issues -- I have to deal with a lot of old and obscure hardware and peripherals here, and I have a feeling that the 64-bit version might give me issues. I don't have a 64-bit CPU to test with, otherwise I would beforehand (that, and I've heard that CS2 doesn't like Vista64 at all, but somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

Any thoughts from anybody? As usual, I'll be shopping at Sager for my laptop.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I do have a fully legal copy of Vista Business edition (given to me by a friend of mine that has OEM contacts all over the place) that, should I ever feel the need to, I could upgrade on top of a Windows XP Pro install.

Posted by Jake on 02/19/08 @ 12:49 PM
Posted in Geekdom, Jake | Permalink

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