I'm going to be building a new system (Intel-based, Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor) and want to know what the downsides are to sticking with XP as opposed to "upgrading" to Vista?
I'm not sure when the next iteration of Windows will be coming out, but I'd hate to drop $200 on a new OS now, only to have to upgrade again in a year or so. And besides, I haven't heard anything good about Vista.
I know I lose the ability to utilize over 4 GB of RAM, and DirectX10 is only on Vista, but aside from that, am I missing out on anything major?
Finding a lost file in Vista is so much easier. Also, the start menu can let you search for a program to run. It's mouse-free. The Vista Firewall can block incoming, unlike XP's. The list of files will be auto sorted once they're copied. The fail-safe lets you prevent Vista from a fresh install. I've yet to touch the Vista setup disk since the 1st install. After a BSOD, Vista pops up a window of the details once it's loaded. More:
Most people are still stuck in the past... they're recalling Vista from a year ago. People read all the articles when a new OS is released... but they never seem to consider that a lot of things can change in a year and don't bother looking for any new information. Post SP1 and with new drivers, Vista will perform as well as XP.
As for 4GB of RAM... that has to do with 64-bit vs. 32-bit rather than Vista vs. XP. You can obtain a copy of XP Pro 64-bit... but if you want to go 64-bit, I recommend Vista over XP.