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Do i need XP for...

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August 30, 2006 4:06:14 AM

OK, so i'll admit i know absolutely nothing about windows since win98, i used it until i went to linux, and haven't gone back (and don't plan to)

But, the times they are becoming quite different, and now i'm building systems for other people, who want windows for games, etc. So i basically want to know what the difference is hardware-support wise between:
Win2000 Pro
XP Home SP2
XP Pro
XP Pro SP2
XP Pro MCE

I Would Prefer (and so would my customers) to spend as little as possible, Hence 2000 is my vote, as long as it supports the right hardware. (my work has as many old copies of win2000 as i can carry. all legal, licensed, whatever.)

So who Knows (no speculating please) what versions of windows are needed to support the following hardware features (or at least, what doesn't):

Dual Core
Dual Socket
Hyperthreading (not that i'm planning on building an intel box, just want to know)
DirectX 9
DirectX 8
SATA
RAID (ie whatever comes on nForce 570 chipsets)
PCIe

cheers
DocC

More about : question

August 30, 2006 4:13:41 AM

For the economic solution and is best for 90% of home users is WinXP Home with Sevice Pack 2.

For businesses and users who want the best protection then use WinXP Pro with Service Pack 2

Windows Vista is coming out for consumers in January 2007. Make sure you build your PC's with hardware that will make your PC's ready for Vista.

All your other answers can be found by searching the forums and using Google.
August 30, 2006 9:06:11 PM

Win 2K doesn't support hyperthreading... I don't know if it's an issue they have managed to fix yet or not.
Related resources
August 31, 2006 5:14:14 PM

Quote:
Win 2K doesn't support hyperthreading... I don't know if it's an issue they have managed to fix yet or not.


Care to cite a source? Hyperthreading has always worked fine on 2k for me.
September 1, 2006 3:46:55 PM

Most of your concerns are about CPU and motherboard spec's not the OS. But to answer your main question for building new Windows systems for people at home for games and general use, just get them XP Pro SP2. While W2K Pro is fine and stable enough, even now MS is devoting little time to updates/patches for it. Less still as Vista draws near. XP SP2 is very mature and is the only choice. But MCE for for those that need it is fine. XP Home is okay although I've found Pro a bit more stable and much better for networking (home networks and wireless) in general, of if any of your customers need to partially work at home via VPN for instance.

And by the way, your Win2000 copies from work aren't legal unless your company has switched to Mac or Linux and no longer has any Windows systems. Otherwise your license just moved from W2K to XP, in the eyes of MS. I've been down that road. Legally you can't reuse or even donate away your old CD's of Win2000. That is why with XP and going forward MS put in place the online registration/activation security feature.
September 1, 2006 6:09:09 PM

Quote:
And by the way, your Win2000 copies from work aren't legal unless your company has switched to Mac or Linux and no longer has any Windows systems. Otherwise your license just moved from W2K to XP, in the eyes of MS. I've been down that road. Legally you can't reuse or even donate away your old CD's of Win2000. That is why with XP and going forward MS put in place the online registration/activation security feature.


That's a very broad statement. In reality it depends on how the licenses were bought initially. If they were OEM and came with computers, then technically you aren't supposed to separate the licenses from the PCs. Also, if you bought upgrade licenses to XP, then you still need the licenses for 2000, otherwise the XP upgrade licenses are no longer valid, same goes for software assurance, if that's the upgrade path you took.

Realistically, the only way the 2000 licenses would still be valid for you to resell is if they were bought as retail software, from a store shelf for instance. Unless you work at a very small business, you probably have some sort of volume license agreement with Microsoft. Under those circumstances, the licenses are effectively only good for the initial purchaser.

EDIT: Let me also just say that if the licenses came OEM on the computers as most do, you CAN sell or donate the licenses as long as the computers they came with also go with them. Pretty much, as long as the license and PC stay together, you can do whatever you want with them.
September 1, 2006 11:12:07 PM

Quote:
And by the way, your Win2000 copies from work aren't legal unless your company has switched to Mac or Linux and no longer has any Windows systems.


Yep, no more windows.
Actually, i've got the only windows2000 box left in the office, need it for Protel (and can't virtualize on my Athlon XP2200).
The other 10ish computers have been running Linux for at least the past 2 years (Gentoo FTW!), there's a stack of win2000 setup discs lying around gathering dust. They were bought from new, either oem or retail, but they're "homebuilt" systems, no dell crap here, so no "this cd goes with that box" troubles.
So don't worry about the licensing, it's all sorted.

Just on the licensing issue, btw, how does XP work? 95/98/2000 just has to type a "CD Key" in after installation. Not very hard to pirate, granted (as far as i can see, i could put the same cd into a dozen computers, type in the same cd key, and nobody could tell. Please note that i won't, there's enough setup CDs with their own CD keys to go around, and the less windows the better, imho), so how does that equate to a "license"?

And with XP, once it's been installed, do i have to ring up or email or something? and if i do that twice with the same installation cd, how do they tell whether i've put it on 2 comps, or just reinstalled? (every time i build a new system, i play around with the installer a lot, at least with linux installs, install about 3-4 times before i "finalise" it)


And please, no more "just buy x" responses. Win2000 is my preferred option, i will not buy XP if 2000 can do the same job (and be more stable to boot), and i don't care about Vista either. And my friends/customers feel the same, they're not about to blow an extra $150 on a system that only costs $800 if they don't have to, very tight-budget students.


So besides HyperThreading, everyone thinks that everything else is supported by both 2000 an XPH?
Someone once told me that XP Home either doesn't support either HT, DualCore, Dual Socket, i really can't remember what they said, and it'd be strange if 2000 supported all of them and XPH didn't.



ps, after much googling, i finally found somewhere that says DirectX 9.0c is supported all the way back to win98, but everyone says that DX10 will only be on vista? yeesh, well, i suppose they gotta give people some reason to constantly buy new crap they don't need...
September 2, 2006 1:04:37 AM

Quote:
And with XP, once it's been installed, do i have to ring up or email or something? and if i do that twice with the same installation cd, how do they tell whether i've put it on 2 comps, or just reinstalled? (every time i build a new system, i play around with the installer a lot, at least with linux installs, install about 3-4 times before i "finalise" it)

You have 30 days to activate XP over the phone or internet. Your system specs (CPU, Mobo, Memory, Drives, Etc) are all encrypted and indexed by your CD-Key. This prevents activation on another computer by using the same key. It also means that if you change any hardware (vid card, memory, drives, etc) more than, I think it's 6, times - you'll have to re-activate with Microsoft.

Quote:
So besides HyperThreading, everyone thinks that everything else is supported by both 2000 an XPH?
Someone once told me that XP Home either doesn't support either HT, DualCore, Dual Socket, i really can't remember what they said, and it'd be strange if 2000 supported all of them and XPH didn't.


http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/cs-017343.htm

Quote:
Microsoft* Windows* Operating System Desktop Based PCs
The following desktop operating systems include optimizations for HT Technology and are currently eligible to carry the new Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology logo:

Microsoft* Windows* XP Professional Edition
Microsoft* Windows* XP Home Edition

The following desktop operating systems are not recommended for use with Hyper-Threading Technology. If you are using one of the following desktop operating systems, it is advised that you should disable Hyper-Threading Technology in the system BIOS Setup program:

Microsoft Windows 2000 (all versions)
Microsoft Windows NT* 4.0
Microsoft Windows Me
Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 SE


XP Home does not support Dual Socket, but will support Dual Core.



Quote:
ps, after much googling, i finally found somewhere that says DirectX 9.0c is supported all the way back to win98, but everyone says that DX10 will only be on vista? yeesh, well, i suppose they gotta give people some reason to constantly buy new crap they don't need...


Windows 2000 won't run Media Player 10. Also, many of the newer games, Oblivion for example, only run on XP. Something to consider if your building PCs for gamers.
September 2, 2006 5:19:27 PM

I wouldn't go as far as saying 2000 is more stable than XP. XP is a lot more user friendly, a LOT. Especially for non-technically inclined people like students.

Since your people want to play games, there's really no contest between XP and 2000. If you had said that all they want to do is run Firefox and MS Office, then 2000 would probably be fine. A lot of the newer gamer hardware is designed for XP and doesn't work on 2k.

An OEM copy of XP Home is about $90, probably less if you hunt around. Just determine which is more important from these two choices and you'll have your ultimate answer: saving $90, or not having a 6+ year old O/S that will soon be two versions out of date and unsupported.
September 16, 2006 4:56:32 PM

Quote:
But, the times they are becoming quite different, and now i'm building systems for other people, who want windows for games, etc. So i basically want to know what the difference is hardware-support wise between:


xp is now required for almost all new games, as fredweston was saying, and if you're building computers for gamers then i guess they wouldn't want to be running windows 2000 for games as they'd only be able to play OLD GAMES. :lol: 

my point, get xp home sp2 OEM.
September 16, 2006 5:31:18 PM

Quote:
And please, no more "just buy x" responses. Win2000 is my preferred option, i will not buy XP if 2000 can do the same job, and i don't care about Vista either. And my friends/customers feel the same



If your building a computer for a "customer", then your prefered option doesn't mean a thing. You should be giving a "customer" what will suit them best, and that's XP. Windows XP has been out since 2002. To intentionally give them an OS older than that isn't doing the right thing.

I have been using XP since it came out. i recently spent 2.5 weeks at a family get-together, 7 hours from home. The only computer out there was a windows 2K machine. I couldn't do anything on it. I'l give you some examples.

1) I had my Digital camera with me, with XP i just plug it in and download the pictures, no software required. Any XP machine will do this. on 2K i need a driver disk, as well as twain software that is compatable with my camera. This is a bitch to find over the internet.

2) USB thumbdrives. On any XP machine, you plug it in and use it. On a 2K machine you need a driver specific to that drive's manufacturer.

3) Dialup modem: See #2. It may not use all the functions (fax, speakerphone) but it will dial-up at 56K.

4) Picture viewing. Windows XP includes a VERY nice image viewer. You can even preview images in a folder without opening them. With Non-XP when you doubleclick on a jpg, gif, bmp, it opens the default application for that file type. on that computer it was Adobe Photoshop. Do you have any idea how long it takes to cycle through 20-30 pictures having to open them all 1 at a time?

These are the gripes i managed to find just in 2 weeks while there on vacation. If i'd had to spend more time there, i probably would have paid for the upgrades and new OS myself.

Xp is the only OS i'l run.
September 17, 2006 6:34:09 AM

Quote:
And please, no more "just buy x" responses. Win2000 is my preferred option, i will not buy XP if 2000 can do the same job, and i don't care about Vista either. And my friends/customers feel the same



If your building a computer for a "customer", then your prefered option doesn't mean a thing. You should be giving a "customer" what will suit them best, and that's XP. Windows XP has been out since 2002. To intentionally give them an OS older than that isn't doing the right thing.

I have been using XP since it came out. i recently spent 2.5 weeks at a family get-together, 7 hours from home. The only computer out there was a windows 2K machine. I couldn't do anything on it. I'l give you some examples.

1) I had my Digital camera with me, with XP i just plug it in and download the pictures, no software required. Any XP machine will do this. on 2K i need a driver disk, as well as twain software that is compatable with my camera. This is a bitch to find over the internet.

2) USB thumbdrives. On any XP machine, you plug it in and use it. On a 2K machine you need a driver specific to that drive's manufacturer.

3) Dialup modem: See #2. It may not use all the functions (fax, speakerphone) but it will dial-up at 56K.

4) Picture viewing. Windows XP includes a VERY nice image viewer. You can even preview images in a folder without opening them. With Non-XP when you doubleclick on a jpg, gif, bmp, it opens the default application for that file type. on that computer it was Adobe Photoshop. Do you have any idea how long it takes to cycle through 20-30 pictures having to open them all 1 at a time?

These are the gripes i managed to find just in 2 weeks while there on vacation. If i'd had to spend more time there, i probably would have paid for the upgrades and new OS myself.

Xp is the only OS i'l run.

I can't beleive Windows 2000 requires drivers to operate jumpdrives. Even windows ME doesn't need drivers for jumpdrives. Windows ME also have a nice thumbnail file view and a preview window inside "My pictures", plus an awsone slideshow viewer (better than XP's ironically). ME has a "scanner and camera wizard" similar to XP's (albeit with not nearly as many drivers though). You're saying Windows 2000 has none of these things?8O Windows 2000 is more stripped down than I thought.
September 18, 2006 8:38:36 AM

i'm afraid i'll have to disagree with some of you here, my experiences with win2000 seem to be much different.

Quote:
I can't beleive Windows 2000 requires drivers to operate jumpdrives.


It doesn't. At least, not any i've used (which is about 4-5 different types), taking documents between linux@home and win2000@work.

Quote:
1) I had my Digital camera with me, with XP i just plug it in and download the pictures, no software required. Any XP machine will do this. on 2K i need a driver disk, as well as twain software that is compatable with my camera. This is a bitch to find over the internet.

2) USB thumbdrives. On any XP machine, you plug it in and use it. On a 2K machine you need a driver specific to that drive's manufacturer.


With win 2k, I've used digital cameras (kodak, samsung, nikon), mp3 players (msi mega player), and many a card reader, both CF and SD, with no problems whatsoever (except the occasional "you must be an administrator" message, but that's a paranoid sys admin, not a win2k problem).

Quote:
3) Dialup modem: See #2. It may not use all the functions (fax, speakerphone) but it will dial-up at 56K.


a) who uses fax and speakerphone on modems?
b) who buys a modem and then throws away the driver disk?

Quote:
4) Picture viewing...

*yawn*
*right-click mouse button*
"browse with Paint Shop Pro 5"

Quote:
If you're building a computer for a "customer", then your prefered option doesn't mean a thing. You should be giving a "customer" what will suit them best, and that's XP. Windows XP has been out since 2002. To intentionally give them an OS older than that isn't doing the right thing.


If they'd said XP, i'd give them XP. But these are the kind of people who said "build me something for this price, i don't care what's in it" (i much prefer people who know what they want, much less work for me).
Actually, i had XPh down on the list of components that I gave them for a quote (total ~$1000AU), and mentioned in passing that if i took XP out, it'd take $120 off the price, to which i got a very blank look, and "well why should i buy it then? I bought windows (98se) with my last computer, why should i have to buy it again?"
To which i had no response, hence i came here.

Quote:
xp is now required for almost all new games, as fredweston was saying, and if you're building computers for gamers then i guess they wouldn't want to be running windows 2000 for games as they'd only be able to play OLD GAMES


Well, i don't actually know what age of games they'll be playing. They're not the "gamer" type that you get around these forums, they said "games" in reference to stuff from their old computers (one is upgrading from a K6-3-500), none of them would be playing Oblivion.
(When i said that, I did actually mean windows in general for any type of game, otherwise one said he'd have been fine with linux for just OOo and Firefox.)

But, just on the games thing, if i can put DirectX 9.0c on a computer with 98 or 2000, why else wouldn't games be playable (assuming the hardware's good enough)? Examples much appreciated.
September 19, 2006 4:20:47 AM

The problem with DOS based Windows 9x is that modern hardware, and I'm talking motherboard chipsets, nics, and audio chips don't necessarily have drivers developed for Windows 9x anymore. It's reached the point where it almost impossible to install Windows 9x Operating systems on modern hardware. Windows 98SE won't even natively support a SATA drive. To use Windows 9x OS, you'd have to build a fairly obsolete computer for it to work, negating the whole point of upgrading. Windows 2000, while not as "user friendly" as XP, is at least a modern enough operating system that users can install most hardware and peripherals. As mentioned, it is mostly a problem with the latest software, mainly games, that have a problem with Windows 2000. Also note that for some reason a few USB 2.0 drivers require Windows XP with service pack 1 in order to install (came upon this problem with a Biostar 6100 T-Force board). I'm not sure if Windows 2000, through it various service packs (how many does it have, 4?) contains the fix that would allow such a USB controller to enable 2.0 functionality or not.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but have you asked if they'd be interested in a Linux/BSD distro, such as Ubuntu or PC-BSD? Maybe start them out on a Knoppix CD to see if they can handle the new environment?
September 24, 2006 12:07:08 PM

I also disagree on the flash drives and what-not... Win2K is like XP in that respect. However, if you're going to run games, then Win XP would be the platform of choice.

As I've said, 2K doesn't support Hyperthreading... despite what someone else had to say on the subject. A lot of people complained that it actually slowed down their 2K boxes when they enabled it. While most software made for XP should work on 2K, it's by no means a guarantee. A lot of games are coming out "XP only".

Quote:
Actually, i had XPh down on the list of components that I gave them for a quote (total ~$1000AU), and mentioned in passing that if i took XP out, it'd take $120 off the price, to which i got a very blank look, and "well why should i buy it then? I bought windows (98se) with my last computer, why should i have to buy it again?"
To which i had no response, hence i came here.


Well with that logic, why not just install Linux for them?

Tell them it's a new copy of Windows, and just like any other software you upgrade, you must purchase the newer version of that software. Just because you buy Warcraft II, doesn't mean you get Warcraft III for free when it comes out. With a new computer, they MUST purchase a new copy of Windows, otherwise they violate Microsoft's licensing agreement. Even if they had a computer that came with XP, they would still have to buy another copy of XP with a new computer.

(Technically, they would also have to purchase 2K, but you're giving it to them for free. You might also want to explain that).

Explain that they want the most modern OS possible. It doesn't make sense to install 98SE on a brand new computer... and it doesn't make a lot of sense to do it with 2K, either.
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