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A Question of OS Value: $30 vista or $300 win 7

Last response: in Systems
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August 18, 2012 7:14:22 AM

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.

More about : question vista 300 win

August 18, 2012 7:42:54 AM

Windows 7. It will save you from upgrading in the future. (unless you want Windows 8) You can buy an OEM version of Windows 7, its cheaper but you'll only be able to install it on one mobo.
August 18, 2012 7:45:18 AM

Vista is old and busted. If you're a student in a STEM field you can get Windows 7 and Windows 8 for free through the MSDNAA.

If you're not a student you can upgrade to Windows 8 on the cheap. It's got a bit of a different feel to it but it's quite easy to get used to.
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