Hi all. Shortly I will be presented with the option to either upgrade my machine to Windows XP or Windows 2000 Pro. Mostly I will be using this system at school for reports and stuff, but I'm also a gamer. Here's my system as follows, I don't plan on making many more changes to it, so product activation doesn't bother me:
Actually, I will be connected to the U of M network. Plus, the software will only cost me $30 because I'm a student I was shying away from XP because I was wondering if it would run more slowly than 2K. I remember seeing some sort of article on anandtech about that.
I have read great things about XP and it will most likely run your games much better than 2000. Just make sure that there are drivers that work with your stuff. Since you are using preaty main stream components, I do not see a problem.
I would go with XP, no doubt about it. I have both Win2KPro & XP Pro RC2 & love the way XP feels & looks.
XP will run just fine on your machine. Anyway, you can disable all the fancy graphics & give it the "old" Windows look if your machine takes a performance hit, but this is not likely to happen in your case.
I am running XP Pro on a 433 Celeron with an old TNT2 video card & it runs better than Win2K does, but I wouldn't recommend anything less than 128 MB of RAM (XP Pro idles using around 80 MB if you chose the "prettiest" graphics setting, but XP Home would be less).
As to gaming, you will be better off with XP over Win2K (my opinion). Although I strictly use Win NT4 (old habits die hard, & I only play 1 game), my XP frames/second were higher than in Win2K & just about the same as my (well configured) NT4 setup when playing Counter-Strike (Half-Life). This is with XP's beta drivers too! The final shipping version will be even better.
With your hardware setup.....XP all the way baby!
If you loan a friend $20 & never see them again, it was worth it.
one of the many examples why NOT to run XP... XP is the uncle scrooge of the MS Os family... f*ck ms and that activation crap.. I upgrade a few times a year, that means I need to REPURCHASE xp once a year or so cause I changed my hardware too signifigantly... no f*cking way... MS can take XP and shove it so far up their ass they can taste it... <eof>
Among all these other positive and negative aspects of XP, I have been using XP for about 3 months, from RC1 and now upgraded to RC2. Here is specs on my machine:
AMD Slot1 850Mhz Proc.
MSI 6167 Mobo
512MB CL2 Micron PC133
Nvidia GeForce2 GTS DDR 32MB
Promise ATA100 PCI card
Creative DVD and CDRW
27GB IBM Deskstar ATA100 HD
30GB IBM Deskstar ATA100 HD
Sound Blaster Live X-Gamer 5.1 Sound Card
Sigma Hollywood MPEG card
I first decided to triple boot Win98SE, Win2000 and WinXP. Upon running WinXP for a while Win98 seemed very useless and slow, boot times were 35 sec versus 25 sec(WinXP). XP recognized all my hardware with no problem and even installed a fairly recent signed driver for my video card (12.40s). Now for the bad part and I'm really hoping the first service pack corrects this: OpenGL games do not run in this operating system, but Direct3D, Photoshop and any type of 3D rendering software run extremely well. I happen to like the different look, kinda takes the monotany away from the standard windows GUI.
I would highly recommend that you try to get both OSs if possible for the simple fact that if you wanted to play Quake, MDK, MDK2, Homeworld, ect... any games that use the OpenGL drivers run them in Win2000 Pro.
I'd have to go with Win2k for that dual-boot. bduncan isn't kidding ... WinXP has no native support for OpenGL. That's the first time I've ever seen the testing demo in MDK2 run at 1 FPS. It wasn't pretty. It was so slow, the OS had difficulty recognizing that the demo was running, and had it listed in the Task Manager as not responding. But the music in the demo played just fine ... which was a strange effect.
Perhaps this will be corrected with the first Service Pack. Personally, I won't be installing the OS until Microsquash releases WinXP SE Pro, without any activation features.