Vista - Why so many flavors?

Help me. I am getting confused…

I am trying to configure a few new computers for the team and I am getting confused by the Vista offerings.
Why so many different flavors?
Why do the manufactures only offer some of them on each system?
Ultimate only offered in 64 bit, Why?

Who is having good luck with Vista?
Who is having problems with Vista?

:confused: :confused: :confused:

I got Vista about a month ago…

I love it. I simply got it for the fact that my computer wasn’t recognizing attached devices with XP, and with Vista the detection is 100% better than XP was. The only thing I can say I’m not really pleased with (and it’s my own fault) is that I’m running it on a slow machine, I need to upgrade this pig with some ram (at least a gig) and a video card (at least 128mb). The other hand Vista runs games and apps smoothly, and there’s options to run XP sensitive software in XP compatibility mode…pretty neat in my opinion.

To close I’ll say that Vista is…unique, as its got a new interface and whatnot (like instead of the file,edit,view…task bars in windows’ windows, you have to hit ctrl to see those task bars). All in all it’s pretty slick, but I’m sure there will be some doubters, just really gotta try it and see how you like it.

~Greg

The comparison chartthat Microsoft has is pretty good.
The different version of Vista have different system requirements. If Vista Home Basic is only offered than the PC has a less-than-spectacular video card. I reccomend staying away from Home Basic.
I like the 64 bit version because of the added security it has, but you will run into compatibility issues with certain programs and hardware.
All of the different versions also have ‘Anytime Upgrade’ built in. Say you settle with Home Basic but a month later want to upgrade to Premium for what ever reason. You can upgrade right through the MS website without having to go to a store and buy an upgrade version. The Anytime Upgrade is also cheaper than buying a retail version.

With any version of Vista and especially the 64 bit versions make sure that everything is going to work before you purchase it. Make sure there are drivers for your hardware and that MPlab, LabView and other software that you will use work. Personally, I dont think I could pay $400 for an OS when XP is working just fine for me.

I have Home Premium and my vote is still out. The list of issues I have are:

The machine does not sleep. It once did!

Sometime Windows Media does not start when commanded. Sometimes it does??

The sound card sometimes does not function and sometimes it does.

Two or three times it crashed hard.

But the largest annoyance is AutoCad and the need for 2008. I have 2007 and it does not work, so AutoCAD did not do their homework and Vista also does not have compatibility fix. Who’s to blame?

Carmine

Team #75
Mentor

I got Vista Home Premium with the lap top I just bought a week ago. So far, I love it. I found it very easy to use.

As a professional in the field, I can only recommend to avoid it. Yes, as with any Windows it has been implemented with a GUI designed for ease of use, that is a given. However, as far as the back end, there is too much to avoid right now. Too many compatibility issues to bother with as far as hardware and software, and simply BEWARE and be sure of what you are doing if you choose to dual boot with any other OS.

Get a Mac.

I have been using Windows Vista since RC1 came out early fall last year. All I can say is that I really like it. Sure there are some shortcomings right now and the hardware requirements are a tad high, but if you have the hardware and time, then I would fully recommend it to anybody. Let me tell you the story of my laptop:

I purchased my laptop around March 2006 after a water accident occurred with my last laptop. It came configured with the following hardware:

  • Dell Inspiron E1505
  • Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 80GB Hard Drive
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1300
  • Intel PROset wireless 3945ABG
  • Windows XP Media Center Eddition

Sounds like pretty good hardware for Windows XP, huh? Well, all I can say is that Windows XP ran horribly on this machine. I’m not sure why, but it was slow, I always got the BSOD, it would freeze all the time, etc… Even with fresh installations of XP. Basically, XP was impossible to use on this laptop so I started looking for alternatives…
I tried linux, but it was too much of a hassle to configure and to use all my programs. I tried Windows 98 :smiley: Yea… didn’t go so well. Then I found Windows Vista Beta2. I installed it, liked the GUI, but it was way way too slow with all of the debugging software running and with the bugs left. So I went back to XP for a while.
So I believe in September they released Windows Vista RC1. I signed up for testing, got a spot, and installed it on my laptop. All I have to say is Wow! It was much improved from Beta2. I believe by this time they had gotten rid of most of the debugging problems. After it installed everything worked great. I later upgraded to RC2 to get some more features and bug fixes, and it worked great as well. Dell started to distribute beta drivers when I had RC2 installed. I had RC2 until February when I bought Windows Vista Home Premium. When I bought Vista, nothing really changed. They included the sounds and a few other features, but it was basically the same Vista I had become accustomed to. As far as compatibility, I haven’t had too much trouble. I’ve had drivers since I installed Vista RC1. Some drivers have been shaky such as my wireless driver. My wireless card would randomly shut off for no reason, and I would have to restart my laptop to fix it, but I later found that it was because the newer drivers had a bug that would shut them off. I went back to the default Vista drivers and fixed that problem. I’ve only experienced the BSOD twice with Vista, once was due to a bad driver for my Dazzle video converter, and again due to my hard drive being corrupt. The UI is the best thing about Vista. It’s much more responsive than XP used to be, the graphics are awesome, and they have many innovative features such as the individual volume controls for every program that makes a sound and the quick search feature in the start menu, which is my favorite feature. For a laptop, power usage is a critical problem. With XP I would only get 4 hours of battery running time. With Vista, I can control more aspects of my system and can squeeze out 5 hours of running time. Gaming may also be a concern for anybody on the Delphi community. I play HL2, HL, Dod with ease. The Sims2 also works fine. Basically from what I’ve seen, games will play as good as they do on XP or even better. Now… some OpenGL things are messed up. Basically, Vista was going to drop all OpenGL support, but they later added a converter to use DirectX10 for OpenGL, which causes it to be slower than normal. As far as program compatibility, I haven’t run into any major problems. If I do run into a problem, I can usually select a compatibility mode that works. I have Photoshop Elements 5 installed and running good, Dreamweaver MX running, Microsoft Office 2003, Autocad 2006, along with other programs that may be used by this community. All of those programs work with Vista without any problem. Vista includes a performance report that comes in handy if your PC starts to run slow. All I do is open it up, and see what is causing my problems. Vista basically logs everything that happens on the computer, the boot up, while running, and shutting down. Right now it shows that my video drivers are conflicting with resuming from standby. It took about 25 minutes to install on my laptop. It takes about 40 seconds for my laptop to boot up to a point where it is usable and about 1 and a half minutes to shutdown. The Gadgets are pretty neat as well. Most of them are 3rd party and there are already about two hundred available. I usually don’t use them because they get in my way, but lately I have been using them. I can’t really think of any consequences of using Vista that you cannot get around.

Just to set the record straight, my system specs are as followed…

3.06g P4 w. ht
200gig sata hard drive
512 mb of ram
onboard video

Vista home premium runs fine on these settings…yea sometimes it gets laggy, but I can game AND run Inventor 2008 on it.

I bought this computer for a graduation present to me.

* Dell Inspiron E1505
* Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz
* 1GB RAM
* 80GB Hard Drive
* ATI Mobility Radeon X1300
* Intel PROset wireless 3945ABG
* Windows Vista Home Premium 

I heard all the rumors not to buy vista because it still has “new program bugs” that need to be fixed, it will make your life harder, and it will crash every other hour. I haven’t come across any of these problems. Im on it at least 6 hours a day, running it to the max. I love it. It runs smoother then XP, it looks nicer and is much easier to do things. The only problem is that not many 3D design programs won’t be compatible until 08. SO here i am waiting till 08. But if your looking to get Vista you need to make sure that you have at least 1 gig of memory and a decent graphics card. With out these it WILL be hard to run vista. But before you buy vista read the box it explains all the do’s and don’ts for running it. Hope this helped

Jacob

I completely agree, I am a network/computer technician in my spare time and as any Microsoft operating system it needs a period of time where all the bugs show up and Microsoft releases patches and service packs for them. I would suggest waiting another year or so to install vista.

When it comes to selecting your system, then i would suggest home premium for you because of your Pentium 4 processor. This version of the OS will run smoothly on your machine and not slow it down considerably as compared to XP, also if your processor can handle a 64 bit operating system then get the 64 bit version. It will maximize processor use, you can still run all the normal 32 bit applications on a 64 bit system, it will only make processing faster due to the maximized use of the core.

P.S. If you may be thinking of getting a new machine, never ever ever go with Dell, in the two years ive been a technician i have seen hundreds of blown out dell motherboards and other computer components. I suggest a custom built PC, Gateway, or HP. (stay away from Sony like the plague)

Myself too, I have come across way too many Dell’s and in addition to that HP’s with mobo’s that you wouldn’t believe the devistation caused to the machine due to the excess heat/incapable video.

In responso to the Apple - not actually a bad idea in today’s marketplace. Very minute problems with boot camp running Windows apps if there is a must need, but compatibility issues are much lower compared to Vista in the current market. As a lifelong IBM PC user, I am in the process of switching my personal mobile computer to a MacBook. Extensive features exclusive only to Apple can only help persuade one in addition to the stable environment.

As for myself, I ran testing with Vista for multiple clients on one of my Shuttle systems:

You only need a minimum of 15 GB for Vista operations
I recommend 2GB for optimum performance, I was running 3GB just so I could multi-task to the specifications asked of me.
DuoCore is the only way to go with Vista. Lag created from the OS is to excessive for legitimate processing time with any other.

I’d suggest the opposite…my family has owned 4 dell computers since about 1999 or so.

We’ve had I think two major problems the entire time. One was that our newest was DOA. The first one we purchased would randomly die every hour or so.

Both times they shipped us brand new computers within 48 hours. You can’t beat service like that.

I agree. If you are not a very tech-savvy person, then it is best to buy from a company like Dell. They are extremely good with customer service and the price for the extra service is well worth it. I bought a Dell for my parents and until now the only problem I have had was the network card dieing once. Replaced that and it has never failed. We also bought our printers from it. They initially shipped us a color laser printer that was behaving oddly. One call and they immediately shipped us a new one.

About Vista- I used it for a while because our college had licenses to give out for testing. I really really loved Vista but the only issue I had was other softwares were not compatible. I was forced to switch back to XP because of that. Other than that, I enjoyed every aspect of Vista even though my computer was not exactly upto specs for it(512 RAM, 2.8Ghz). The comparison sheet is pretty good to see which flavor fits your need. I would wait for other softwares to come upto date before migrating to Vista though. I NEED softwares like Photoshop, Premiere pro, AutoCAD, etc to work on my computer.

I also have to agree with Cory on that. All computers are just as reliable as the next, except for Gateway(brand new and has bad cd drive, you have to slam it to close it). It just depends on how people take care of it. A lot of people buy Dells, so chances are there will be a higher number of people with problems. I have a Dell that my dad got from work for free, they were upgrading, and it is a P3. I’m not sure what year though, but it still works great. I also have a 2001 Sony laptop, only problem was the floppy drive and warranty covered it, so I’m happy. The only thing I upgraded was hard disk for more storage. Few of my friends have gotten HPs and they love them. I have a custom built PC that I put about $1000 total into now, I recently upgraded the PSU to 650W because hot weather melted the old 500W.

But back to the OS. I have been a PC guy, and I’m not really a fan of Vista. I was thinking about getting a Sony SZ laptop as my next computer, but the more I work with Vista, the more I hate it. Probably because I used it mostly on the team laptop, which is a Gateway cough. Using Vista on my friends’ HPs though, I didn’t really have a problem, just takes some getting used to. Hanging around the Apple Store more though, I’m beginning to consider a Macbook or Macbook Pro and doing bootcamp.

You see more Dells needing repairs because of the numbers that Dell sells. I see the same thing as a PC tech.
As for different brands, all PCs are made in China anyway and there isn’t as much difference between brands as people think. Sure, a home-built PC is going to suit your needs best, but does it have someone a phone call away to help you with problems? That’s the reason I stopped building PCs for people.

Vista has compatibility problems for a good reason. Programs can’t modify the Vista kernel as easily as they could with XP. That means programs can’t mess things up like they used to (are you listening Symantec?), which creates a more stable system. Hardware drivers have to be signed by Microsoft meaning that no name companies can’t make a dirt cheap device, pound out a driver, make a quick buck and disappear.

The security in Vista far out weighs it negatives for most users. Of you PC techs out there, how many Vista machines have you seen with spyware and trojans like XP gets?

Anyway, the point of this thread has nothing to do with hardware, just Vista. Vista doesn’t fry PCs. Vista doesn’t get corrupted like XP does.
If you’re buying a new machine, get Vista.

You have had good experience with Dell service, I have only had the worst, maybe their service has changed since then but my experience with dell was them asking for 300 dollars to pay for a new motherboard to correct the problem of a on-board network card not working properly, all that was needed was a driver (the user deleted it by accident). This was not a one time occurrence, this happened with various components inside the machine. As for my comment about Sony, older models are great, I cant argue with that, however the newer models have a very bad habit of overheating and shutting down constantly.

Believe me I have sampled every version of vista on my test machine (core 2 duo 6700, asus sli mobo, 512 mb nvidia video card, 4 gigs of ram) Vista crashes more than XP, has more system errors than XP, and more hdd read-write errors than XP.

I do have to say though, the blue screen of death is prettier :slight_smile:

Well, I have a MacBook Pro (Santa Rosa 2.4) and I got vista running on my computer via BootCamp. I think it actually runs Vista better on the MBP than on some other PC laptops.

As for ‘why so many flavors’ I really have no idea. I like Mac OSX because there’s only one version that has everything.

http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/

View the “Choose a Vista”. It’s pretty funny.

Anyone considering purchasing a new computer should seriously consider an Apple computer running Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.

With that, you can now run intensive 3D graphics programs and games for Windows at practically native speeds on your Apple computer. So you really can run Inventor through Parallels while booted into Mac OS X. (With Parallels, you can run Windows apps without having to reboot into Windows.)

Purchasing an Apple computer nowadays is not as “locking in” as what it used to be back in the day. Now they are just as flexible - OS and software wise - as any other manufacturer (like HP, Toshiba, Dell, Sony, etc.), but have the added bonus of the Mac OS X operating system and iLife software suite. (Plus Apple has great customer service.)