I have an opportunity to grab Vista pro 64 bit on the cheap. Here's my system;
CPU Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $219.99 Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $134.99 Memory G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $84.99 Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Kingston SSDNow V+ Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $229.99
Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $209.00 Video Card PNY GTX+ 9800 (2 X 512mbddr3 SDRAM 768mhz) COMBO SLI Case Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case $79.99 Power Supply PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $109.99
This is a budget build, I was able to get the above components for less than 700$. It's all assembled; everything works, everything is compatible. Now I just need an OS. I will eventually get 32gb ram and will be using engineering oriented programs like matlab/cad/inventor along with some moderate to heavy gaming.
I've seen the benchmarks and know the differences, and at the end of it all I ask the community this; will I even notice with my build? SSDs, SLI, i5 3.4ghz, etc. Is the value worth the difference? Are there compatibility problems with games? I can't detect them reading old articles; the games didn't exist (e.g. SC2, BF3, etc.).
The tradeoff is that I would otherwise get a retail copy of win 7 64 bit pro for use in this build and all future main builds, whereas the vista is more of a stop and go, probably with an eventual upgrade to win 7 (although I do not know if I can purchase a win 7 upgrade that can be installed more than one time - probably not). This version of vista may not even be pro; I have yet to find out, and if it's not I'll probably complete the upgrade to win 7 immediately, albeit at a much cheaper cost (~80$).
I have to make my decision tomorrow, and I'm leaning towards vista.