Operating System & Conclusion
Windows Vista Ultimate
Although Windows XP is still considered the one and only operating system by many overclockers, we had to go with Windows Vista Ultimate. After talking to Microsoft during our planning stage, we found that Microsoft does not want to promote Windows XP any more, despite continuing support for several years. Instead, we received copies of Windows Vista Ultimate. Sooner or later Windows XP will disappear, and at some point it will be necessary to make a switch.
All of our benchmark software is fully compatible with Windows Vista, although we had to get a patch for Aquamark 3 (Direcpll_V184.108.40.206). You might be able to wait for Windows 7, but since the similarities to Vista will be significant, making the step and giving Vista a try doesn’t hurt. Ultimate is the most complete edition of Windows Vista, and also the ultimate in cost, as it retails for $319.95. The Ultimate edition comes with Media Center, which is part of the Home Premium version, adds BitLocker drive encryption (not available in other editions), and it has all the features of the Business editions as well.