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Multi Core: Vista vs. XP

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July 31, 2007 7:29:50 AM

Hello!

Which operating system is better with the use of the multi core processors, Vista or XP?

Simply put, when it all comes down to it, what operating system is better if I have invested in a multi-core cpu such as the Q6600, Vista or XP? (provide reasoning if you want/can)

Thanks in advance...have a good day!!

More about : multi core vista

July 31, 2007 8:02:25 AM

q6600 is faster with vista then dual core if you ask me - vista seems slow sometimes but it depends on the hard drives

if you run raid and os drive the vista will fly
July 31, 2007 8:08:01 AM

Vista is beta testing a fix for performance issues that regard video performance and other things. Vista is your best bet for the future (duh), but seriously its just common sense to get a new OS with a new CPU especially if you pair it with a good gfx card.
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July 31, 2007 11:55:35 AM

You would think a next gen OS is designed to use the multi core capability which will be the trend for CPU's for the next 5 years. I plan on upgrading to Vista later this year when SP1 comes out. On a side note, I wonder how Linux distributions are handling multi-core...
July 31, 2007 2:38:13 PM

Hello again.

The problem is, Vista has TERRIBLE support for audio cards, and in general still has many flaws all over the place with this stinky OS.

I have a direct X 10 graphics card (eVGA 8800GTS 320MB) which runs Flight Simulator X really really good (I use this as a "performance benchmark"). It also looks great. FSX uses DX10. But I can't stand not being able to control my sound too well using my Creative sound card when I'm listening to music or watching video. I cannot control the BASS or anything from the computer.

I was thinking of dual booting XP and Vista. I could use Vista for DX10 games only, and use XP for everything else, but I do not want to lose any performance in terms of the CPU. That is why I asked this question. I was thinking that Vista may perform better with my Q6600, but I am not sure.

Feel free to offer advice...
July 31, 2007 3:12:19 PM

Personally i reckon all bets are off as far as performance for Vista are concerend, i'm waiting for SP1, they're actually going as far as updating the knerel, so who knows what Vista performance will be after that, maybe it'll fly, maybe it'll be even worse.

raduim02, i'm dual booting right now, and it's working fine for me.... except that i do everything on XP, including gaming, and i basically install stuff on Vista to see if i have compatibility issues. I have the not so legal Vista now, but I'll will actually go and buy Vista once SP1 is out and DX 10 games are available and i have a DX10 graphics card, but as for this moment in time XP is still the OS for me.
July 31, 2007 3:17:44 PM

I run a q6600/8800GTX, XPpro32 and Vista64 dual boot... I find myself using XP an awful lot; in fact I hardly go on Vista even though it runs really smooth.

If you have both OS, dual boot is the way to go… best of both worlds.
August 1, 2007 12:46:24 AM

I plan to dual boot then. I was thinking about doing this before, but was a little hesitant. As long as I don't lose any performance with my components, I will definitly dual boot Vista and XP.

I am hoping in the future that Microsoft re-develops their audio architecture, because from what I have gathered from multiple sources is that Microsoft developed its new audio architecture for the company's own advantage.

(IMO...Vista sucks right now...it was basically catered to the dumbest person in the world which makes it annoying for us computer savvy people, lol)
August 1, 2007 1:19:58 AM

I'll get flamed for this but I will tell you that Vista is hand down a better OS than XP. I do have a dual boot setup but haven't booted into XP for at least six months. I don't use older apps or games. I run Vista Ultimate 64 and the only time that it has ever locked up is with beta software. To you point I don't this the OS will play a huge role as it's the application that need to be multi-threaded.

All those with bug problems please share them I want to see them for myself. Driver and legacy application support is not a bug. That's not say that someone shouldn't trim the fat out of the OS.
August 1, 2007 8:23:06 AM

Multi-boot Vista & XP on this computer (E4400/3 Go/8800GTS), and XP seems to be runnin' a little bit smoother ... Vista's little bit slow on this one, I mean less smooth I could have guess before.
August 1, 2007 8:45:39 AM

radium02 said:
I'll get flamed for this but I will tell you that Vista is hand down a better OS than XP. I do have a dual boot setup but haven't booted into XP for at least six months. I don't use older apps or games. I run Vista Ultimate 64 and the only time that it has ever locked up is with beta software. To you point I don't this the OS will play a huge role as it's the application that need to be multi-threaded.

All those with bug problems please share them I want to see them for myself. Driver and legacy application support is not a bug. That's not say that someone shouldn't trim the fat out of the OS.
answeranswer +answer -


I'm the same mate..running Vista Ultimate 64bit and XP 64bit and haven't even used XP yet..any of my latest games are running fine with no crashes whatsoever..another month or two and I'll probably even get rid of the XP partition if I haven't used it.
August 1, 2007 10:07:47 AM

I've yet to see a problem with Vista that was not presented by someone with a lack of understanding in the situation and the problem could be easily solved. The audio issue is because there's only like three sound cards by creative that were designed for Vista, being the X-Fi Fata1ity Professional series (best for money and all around, I have learned), the X-Fi Champion and the X-Fi Elite (more money than sense). Vista is going to handle multiple cores more smoothly, because it was designed with multiple cores in mind. I'm personally going with the X-Fi Fata1ity Pro, Q6700 and 64-bit Vista.
August 1, 2007 10:39:31 AM

The only issues I have with Vista 64 right now are that my oblivion sometimes crashes when loading a new level (not sure if that is just the game) and I cant connect to this unsecured wifi network.

other than that, no probs.
August 1, 2007 10:46:43 AM

I'd say there's a 99.999% chance that the Oblivion crashing is the game's fault. I remember reading about all kinds of crashing before and during the patching; I think they're still releasing patches for it. Morrowind crashed like mad also.
August 1, 2007 12:29:01 PM

One thing that I do notice with Vista is that for all games I play Vista seems to use both cores, whereas with XP this would not happen (most games would have one processor maxed with the other core not being used at all).

This is a subjective observation, but it is something I have noticed. Maybe some element of DX10 is doing this? I'd be interested in other's thoughts...
August 1, 2007 12:31:28 PM

Well I would assume a game is like any other application, it's either multithreaded or it's not. So I would think it would be up to the game/app of how many cores will be used.
August 1, 2007 12:31:50 PM

From what I gather Vista is using one core for the processing of itself and tasks (Areo gets disabled during gaming), then other cores for the game.
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2007 1:06:43 PM

Vista overall is the better OS for multi-cores. Linux, in case anyone is wondering, handles multi-cores very well as well.
August 1, 2007 1:06:58 PM

Q6600, EVGA 8800 GTS 640MB, Vista 64 bit Ultimate, 4GB of RAM. Everything runs find until Windows termina...er defender got its last couple of DEFINITON updates.

Now I can't play games or watch videos because it crashes the video driver. And when it first happend, the video driver had been running stable for weeks and the system had been running stable for months prior to this. I tried later video drivers and early drivers and the result is the same. The only thing on the system that changed was the windows defender definition update, no other products updated in that time period. And most annoyingly is that the bloody thing won't uninstall. Its gotten to the point where I'm going to backup everything on another disk and blow away the install and not include defender in this go around (I don't know what I was thinking).

But Vista itself does a bangup job of taking even single threaded programs and using multiple cores to keep them up to speed. When it works, it works well.
August 1, 2007 1:54:29 PM

I had a dual core in XP for a few months, then I moved to Vista x64 and the OS just seemed more responsive. Vista seems to be getting a bad rep. Yes, there are some lingering issues, but most of those revolve around older hardware and software. As people upgrade in the coming months and years, and once we see a Service Pack, things will smooth out as it did with XP. Microsoft has built a fairly good foundation. Now they just need to perfect it the way they did with XP.
August 1, 2007 2:10:18 PM

kcrush said:
Q6600, EVGA 8800 GTS 640MB, Vista 64 bit Ultimate, 4GB of RAM. Everything runs find until Windows termina...er defender got its last couple of DEFINITON updates.

Now I can't play games or watch videos because it crashes the video driver. And when it first happend, the video driver had been running stable for weeks and the system had been running stable for months prior to this. I tried later video drivers and early drivers and the result is the same. The only thing on the system that changed was the windows defender definition update, no other products updated in that time period. And most annoyingly is that the bloody thing won't uninstall. Its gotten to the point where I'm going to backup everything on another disk and blow away the install and not include defender in this go around (I don't know what I was thinking).

But Vista itself does a bangup job of taking even single threaded programs and using multiple cores to keep them up to speed. When it works, it works well.


Why even have windows defender enabled.. anyway, that sounds like a corrupt install.. do you have system restore? You could try that.
August 1, 2007 2:27:24 PM

kcrush said:
Q6600, EVGA 8800 GTS 640MB, Vista 64 bit Ultimate, 4GB of RAM. Everything runs find until Windows termina...er defender got its last couple of DEFINITON updates.



Haha :lol:  ...that is the proper description...I always turn it off. I didn't believe the Apple commercial until I used Vista my self. But I was glad Microsoft put an option deep in the system to let us turn this trash off.
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2007 3:03:32 PM

bydesign said:
I'll get flamed for this but I will tell you that Vista is hand down a better OS than XP. I do have a dual boot setup but haven't booted into XP for at least six months. I don't use older apps or games. I run Vista Ultimate 64 and the only time that it has ever locked up is with beta software. To you point I don't this the OS will play a huge role as it's the application that need to be multi-threaded.

All those with bug problems please share them I want to see them for myself. Driver and legacy application support is not a bug. That's not say that someone shouldn't trim the fat out of the OS.



Agreed. I have a dual boot vista 32 and xp 32. I never use xp anymore but it's there if I need it. Vista actually seems more stable to me. However, if you have software or hardware that will not work well with Vista then you better stick with xp awhile longer. I have my HDTV tuner card on my other PC because it was not working under Vista when I first tried it.

I'd also wait for critical/business PC's at least until sp 1 before going to Vista. This is just good policy for any OS. Of course, if you have an IT dept. which has tested Vista extensively on your software and hardware then maybe go for it
August 1, 2007 3:14:21 PM

I agree with Vista getting a bad rap. I mean if it was so bugged prone and such a pain why would compaines like Dell and such offer it? It it was that bad, their support lines would be on fire. I am sure you have read your fair share of forum posts about Vista issues, well you have to keep in mind 90%of forum posts are support posts, people needing help or questions, you rarely ever see a thread that says Vista rocks! or anything for that matter. Like I said above as soon as SP1 comes out, I am going to switch over, just not sure 32 or 64 bit.
August 1, 2007 3:16:11 PM

I got defender because the price was right (free) and it was the only anti-spyware (at the time) that specifically mentioned vista 64 bit.

What method (other than msconfig) did you use to turn it off?

I couldn't get the stupid thing to uninstall so I disabled the boot and turned off the services, but then it whines every couple of minutes that its been disabled, which is a real pain when you're watching a movie full screen and suddenly the thing goes black because Vista needs to reiterate for the 120000th time that for some reason I decided to block this program and it just wanted to tell me that again....again...
before the movie player kicks back in.
August 1, 2007 3:44:32 PM

Turn it off through the security center.

.. the security center (service) itself is probably what is whining to you.

Side note: I use this (http://www.sandboxie.com/) and have no anti-spyware, etc.
August 1, 2007 3:55:48 PM

The ironic thing about that kcrush is that 64 bit is pretty much immune to virus's and some spyware, so you dont need it anyway.

@robucf4, get 64 bit as all drivers need to be written in 64 and 32 bit in order to be whql certified by microsoft. Therefore almost any issue you have with 32 you'll have with 64 and vice versa, so you're better off just getting 64 bit. Not to mention what I said already, you'll get full use of 4gb+ of ram giving you a more futureproof investment.
August 1, 2007 4:37:33 PM

radium02 said:
Hello again.

The problem is, Vista has TERRIBLE support for audio cards, and in general still has many flaws all over the place with this stinky OS.

I have a direct X 10 graphics card (eVGA 8800GTS 320MB) which runs Flight Simulator X really really good (I use this as a "performance benchmark"). It also looks great. FSX uses DX10. But I can't stand not being able to control my sound too well using my Creative sound card when I'm listening to music or watching video. I cannot control the BASS or anything from the computer.

I was thinking of dual booting XP and Vista. I could use Vista for DX10 games only, and use XP for everything else, but I do not want to lose any performance in terms of the CPU. That is why I asked this question. I was thinking that Vista may perform better with my Q6600, but I am not sure.

Feel free to offer advice...

I was able to get all my XP games working under Vista 64 with a little effort. Just install the patches, updates, drivers, etc. High-tech games (like Oblivion and Ghost Recon), low tech games (like Empire Earth and Pharoah). And all office software.
I did not notice a performance hit when using a X1950XT and E6400 with 2 gigs RAM.
August 1, 2007 4:50:38 PM

Your avatar scares me...
August 1, 2007 4:52:31 PM

I noticed that several of you have posted complaints about compatibility between Vista and Creative hardware.

Just curious...for those of you that have Vista and Creative sound cards...do the very latest Creative drivers for Vista work?

eg. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series Vista Driver 2.15.0002 (51.09 MB) 30 May 07 (Vista 32bit)

I have both XP Pro and Vista Ultimate, on separate machines, both 32 bit. I would sure like to try a Xi-Fi on Vista - if it works!



August 1, 2007 5:10:39 PM

It will not use the rear speakers in a 5.1 set up. It will not work with games using directsound. EAX will not work in games. Sound will be barebones, hardly customizable and buggy. Drivers are unstable and may crash weeks after installation. Creative has a thread 22 pages long filled with complaints from customers over the vista driver issue. If you get vista, don't bother with an xfi, you dont get any of its real benefits (wont work in bf 2, bf 2142, any directsound programs). This is based on their most recent drivers for vista and remains as such until a new driver comes out.

There is no audio console either, just the basic driver. Alchemy doesnt work properly either. Creative can and will have a class action lawsuit on their hands over this, one that I will be sure to be part of.
August 1, 2007 5:48:46 PM

So far I have been running Vista Home Premium for 1 week. I really an NOT impressed yet, but still working it out. I have always been happy with Windows XP, and I played Everquest II on that just fine.

I recently upgraded to an AMD X2 6000+, NVidia 8800GTS 320MB, 4GB Ram, WD320GB RE 16MB Hard Drive, Vista Home Premium.

Every component in this PC is a massive upgrade from what I had before. This computer for the most part I love, but the OS locks up on me every so often and I have to restart the machine, which is very frustrating. I was playing Everquest II after building this in very high quality and very happy. But lately I've had to turn it down majorly, do to these problems.

This definitely seems to be the OS, since I've had this lock up just browsing as well. I wonder if some Windows Updates, screwed something up. Anyone had these same issues and resolved them?

I would hate to blast this OS and go back to the reliable XP.

Oh and one thing I left out, I'm using On-board sound, and have had ZERO sound issues, if fact the sound is much crisper and nicer for me with this new computer.
August 1, 2007 6:23:02 PM

eric54 said:
It will not use the rear speakers in a 5.1 set up. It will not work with games using directsound. EAX will not work in games. Sound will be barebones, hardly customizable and buggy. Drivers are unstable and may crash weeks after installation. Creative has a thread 22 pages long filled with complaints from customers over the vista driver issue. If you get vista, don't bother with an xfi, you dont get any of its real benefits (wont work in bf 2, bf 2142, any directsound programs). This is based on their most recent drivers for vista and remains as such until a new driver comes out.

There is no audio console either, just the basic driver. Alchemy doesnt work properly either. Creative can and will have a class action lawsuit on their hands over this, one that I will be sure to be part of.


The EAX support, for dated games I might add, is provided by Alchemy; I have spoken with 4 people recently that have Vista 64-bit and X-Fi Fata1ty Professional that have zero problems with anything.

I saw the 'unsatisfied' post and from reading just the first 2 pages of it and seeing that most of them conflict with each other, I'd instantly write off most of those due to lack of any technical understanding on the user's part.
August 1, 2007 7:14:19 PM

jflongo said:

This definitely seems to be the OS, since I've had this lock up just browsing as well. I wonder if some Windows Updates, screwed something up. Anyone had these same issues and resolved them?


I don't think that's a correct statement. a) it could be hardware, particularly if problems occur after locking up after running the comp for a while; b) Vista uses the display driver to render desktop, so it could be that, at the very least.

But since many are running Vista problem free with comparable configuration, my guess is hardware.
August 1, 2007 7:18:01 PM

I am Running Vista Ultimate 64 bit with a creative x-fi platinum and i have no problems at all getting 5.1 working. You have to also download alchemy too to get most of the functions working. Heck and I'm just using a Pentium D820 with 2 gig of memory with 2 seagate barracudas' setup as raid o on a Asus PL5D2 and just a lousy 6800xt in which the new drivers have been out for a week now for nvidia 162.22. They have been out since July 26th. :sol: 
August 1, 2007 9:04:35 PM

It's likely the game, the next patch for it will probably fix any vista issues. Of the 9 games I have (wc3, bf2142, tq-it, overlord, transformers, rct3, Colin mcrae-dirt, black and white 2, and world in conflict-beta) all work flawlessly. Titan quest is a buggy game in the first place so any crashes with that game i shrug off to bad coding (it is thq after all). Since your os freezes in internet explorer it seems like something else is affecting your computer. I would think its something attached and/or a bad driver.
August 1, 2007 9:09:47 PM

jflongo said:
So far I have been running Vista Home Premium for 1 week. I really an NOT impressed yet, but still working it out. I have always been happy with Windows XP, and I played Everquest II on that just fine.

I recently upgraded to an AMD X2 6000+, NVidia 8800GTS 320MB, 4GB Ram, WD320GB RE 16MB Hard Drive, Vista Home Premium.

Every component in this PC is a massive upgrade from what I had before. This computer for the most part I love, but the OS locks up on me every so often and I have to restart the machine, which is very frustrating. I was playing Everquest II after building this in very high quality and very happy. But lately I've had to turn it down majorly, do to these problems.

This definitely seems to be the OS, since I've had this lock up just browsing as well. I wonder if some Windows Updates, screwed something up. Anyone had these same issues and resolved them?

I would hate to blast this OS and go back to the reliable XP.

Oh and one thing I left out, I'm using On-board sound, and have had ZERO sound issues, if fact the sound is much crisper and nicer for me with this new computer.


I'd run memtest.
August 1, 2007 11:42:18 PM

My expiriences with 64bit home premium:

1. If it lock s up uninstall it and reinstall, I had to install mine 3times before it worked, and now does it go!

2. Yes its all eye candy but the Aero interface does look really really nice and is so easy to use, I couldnt go back to XP now just because it looks so old fashioned.

3. I used vista 64 with 2gb of ram and 4gb , and I must state that the performance increase is actually very big. You really need 4gb of ram to bring out Vista's potential and the good thing is these days it doesnt even cost very much!!!

Just to also say, even though im vista AND 64bit I have had one compatibility problem, and that was the wireless network. But over 6months THAT has been the only problem I have had. The continuous driver issues that apparantly make Vista crap, to me, seem non-
existent and just invented by vista-haters.

Dont say im wrong because I know im not, your system or personal preferences may be different to mine and thats fine but I like vista a hell of a lot.
August 1, 2007 11:46:00 PM

eric54 said:
It will not use the rear speakers in a 5.1 set up. It will not work with games using directsound. EAX will not work in games. Sound will be barebones, hardly customizable and buggy. Drivers are unstable and may crash weeks after installation. Creative has a thread 22 pages long filled with complaints from customers over the vista driver issue. If you get vista, don't bother with an xfi, you dont get any of its real benefits (wont work in bf 2, bf 2142, any directsound programs). This is based on their most recent drivers for vista and remains as such until a new driver comes out.

There is no audio console either, just the basic driver. Alchemy doesnt work properly either. Creative can and will have a class action lawsuit on their hands over this, one that I will be sure to be part of.


eric54, you are 100% right. You cannot take ANY advantage of Creative cards in Vista. I cannot even control the bass or treble. And to add more wood to the fire, you can't even use any of the creative applications with their X-Fi sounds cards. These cards aren't cheap either...

But then again, you can't completely blame Creative. The only reason people are bashing Creative everywhere is because the majority of the sounds cards out there are Creative...so it's not like we can go to another company for decent sound cards (and if you know of one, please post the link!!). In my opinion, someone should start a new sound card company...more competition = better for the consumer.

Microsoft's Vista is also a culprit, sorry to say...they rewrote the audio architecture--which doesn't really provide too many benefits...simply put---the troubles outweigh the benefits.
August 2, 2007 12:01:32 AM

Hmm, just checked at home and I did turn defender off in the security center and it still whined.

Currently preparing for another reinstall.

I also have an X-fi but currently its only pumping through the speakers in my HDTV, but I've expereienced no problems so far :) 

And hatman was 100% about the world of difference between 2gb and 4gb of ram for vista. Vista is a memory hog. I've seen it take up to 1.5 gb just after boot. The more memory you have the more it will eat and performance generally gets better.

Too bad they didn't bother to fix that 3gb problem where you have to download the hot patch before you can put in more than 3gb of ram. But maybe in the next SP.

I forgot to mention I do have a 2nd computer on XP running on Athlon 4400 X2 with 2gb and it runs as well as can be expected. Its solid and dependable. But for games its the better machine despite the vista machines extra power, vista has this nasty habit of slowing games up. But I think MS is planning on fixing that. But I wouldn't expect to get a big boost out of XP for quad core.. When it works Vista handles it more gracefully.


August 2, 2007 3:38:23 AM

radium02 said:

But then again, you can't completely blame Creative. The only reason people are bashing Creative everywhere is because the majority of the sounds cards out there are Creative...so it's not like we can go to another company for decent sound cards (and if you know of one, please post the link!!). In my opinion, someone should start a new sound card company...more competition = better for the consumer.

Microsoft's Vista is also a culprit, sorry to say...they rewrote the audio architecture--which doesn't really provide too many benefits...simply put---the troubles outweigh the benefits.


Well, actually you Can and probably even should blame Creative. Microsoft did not rewrite the audio architecture. They rewrote the general device driver model to make it more like, well, that of other OS's out there (which are all UNIX-based so let's just say UNIX). As a matter of fact, the new system - where the driver has very limited direct access to hardware, is definitely the better and more stable approach. The idea is to prevent a driver from hanging the system, and limit the hanging to the application. And Creative was the culprit of many a system crash in my experience. So Creative does get the blame. And MS should actually get applause for their initiative to make the system more stable. Funny thing is, that's what all the users wanted, too. It's just that noone wants to admit that there is a cost for this stability. No such thing as a free lunch.

By the way in terms of memory usage - it's not that Vista has a huge footprint, it uses prefetch quite aggressively. The OS footprint is just a fraction of the total usage.
August 3, 2007 9:02:48 AM

Hello all! This is my first post so please don't flame me too badly. I had a newbie question. I've read so much pro and con on Vista that I don't know what to believe any more. I keep up on a TV show from back home by downloading it. I know that's not what the TV network wants me to do but it's either that or fly 10,000 miles every Thursday night. And back home I pay a high license fee for TV that I don't watch at all because I'm not there. Some of the stories I've read about Vista say that the OS will degrade my playback if it detects unlicensed content. Others say that's nonsense.

Finally the question: Can I play .avi, .mp3, and other popular media formats on Vista with no ill effects regardless of licensing status?
August 3, 2007 9:42:17 AM

I love vista on my q6600, its doing 2 things right now WOW and BOING

winamp doesnt work on it, divx encoding doesnt work on it - the main reason i got the cpu was to do faster encoding ....
August 3, 2007 10:23:30 AM

i tried vista64 ultimate for awhile... eventually got tired of how slow it made my system feel compared to ubuntu and xp64 (granted, you can disable a hundred or so of the additional vista services that werent in XP, that do slow it down noticably). as far as games performance and audio support, you are more limited currently compared to xp, but, i suppose after awhile those things will come around too. (it kinda sucks that horizontal monitor spanning was eliminated though, makes watching movies and some games not as worthwhile then, imo)
August 3, 2007 11:14:09 AM

CPEwe said:
Hello all! This is my first post so please don't flame me too badly. I had a newbie question. I've read so much pro and con on Vista that I don't know what to believe any more. I keep up on a TV show from back home by downloading it. I know that's not what the TV network wants me to do but it's either that or fly 10,000 miles every Thursday night. And back home I pay a high license fee for TV that I don't watch at all because I'm not there. Some of the stories I've read about Vista say that the OS will degrade my playback if it detects unlicensed content. Others say that's nonsense.

Finally the question: Can I play .avi, .mp3, and other popular media formats on Vista with no ill effects regardless of licensing status?


Yep can do..it's only with DRM infested crap that's affected.
Anything without DRM is fine which is about 99.9999% of all those movies and tv series floating around :) 
August 3, 2007 7:51:14 PM

kcrush said:

And hatman was 100% about the world of difference between 2gb and 4gb of ram for vista. Vista is a memory hog. I've seen it take up to 1.5 gb just after boot. The more memory you have the more it will eat and performance generally gets better.


True by default, but all it takes is to go through the Windows services and disable what you don't need. Here is a website that may help:

http://members.rushmore.com/%7Ejsky/id31.html

For me Vista runs quite happily at about 400MB now - not exactly lean, but it means it sails along under 2GB RAM and I've had no swapping issues with any games.
!