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View Full Version : Going 64bit Vista - Anything to avoid or get?



Speedmonk42
10-24-2008, 09:32 AM
Hey I am taking the plunge into Vista 64bit.

8GB of RAM

I don't use any plug-ins so I don't forsee any problems there.

Buying a new system.

Just curious if there are any obvious recommendations to go for or avoid?

Graphics card? ect?

Thanks,
JM

Cougar12dk
10-24-2008, 11:15 AM
In my experience Vista has grown considerably since it's first release and is extremely stable on my computer. And once you get past the constant, annoying popups when you want to start a program or do something, it's an okay OS. Not great, but not as horrible as many will have you believe.

WRT gfx card.... I currently use a GF8800 512MB ('cos I can't afford a newer, better one) and have had no problems at all.

Speedmonk42
10-24-2008, 11:39 AM
I was leaning towards the ATI 3870. I have read about all these driver nightmares regarding Nvidia cards, which I understand has been solved.

I was just wondering if anyone had any glaring pitfalls to avoid.

Captain Obvious
10-24-2008, 11:48 AM
Drivers for all sorts of bits and bobs can be an issue. Older hardware often fails to work properly, even USB things. Anything that requires a driver, you might want to look up first.

RollerJesus
10-24-2008, 11:50 AM
And once you get past the constant, annoying popups when you want to start a program or do something, it's an okay OS.

You can turn those off as well, not sure exactly but google will get you there. Also, I had to turn Aero on to make LW right properly.

creativecontrol
10-24-2008, 11:52 AM
I've been using Vista64 for some time now and I wouldn't ever go back. For LW I love it, especially the windowing system which gets rid of the annoying window painting when windows are moved.

I use Nvidia with no current difficulties although there were some previously. They seem to have been solved for some time now.

You can easily deactivate all the annoying pop-ups and warnings in Vista. You really do need to spend a few minutes and customize it, don't just use the default installation as is.

Overall, it loads programs like LW and Photoshop about 10 times faster than XP ever did. The superfetch is great if you have plenty of RAM. It also manages memory FAR better.

Captain Obvious
10-24-2008, 12:11 PM
The only bit of hardware I've had trouble with is USB wifi. My motherboard doesn't have built-in wifi, and I wanted something that worked both in 64-bit Vista and Mac OS X, and there certainly wasn't a lot of that around. But it's still something to look out for. Other than that, I have no real complaints about Vista (other than the fact that it still sucks more than Mac OS X or Amiga or what have you). Way smoother ride so far than XP ever was, that's for sure.

IMI
10-24-2008, 12:54 PM
Hey I am taking the plunge into Vista 64bit.

8GB of RAM

I don't use any plug-ins so I don't forsee any problems there.

Buying a new system.

Just curious if there are any obvious recommendations to go for or avoid?

Graphics card? ect?

Thanks,
JM

If you're buying an "off-the-rack" PC by some OEM manufacturer, make sure you have the necessary PCI/PCI-e/PCI-e x16 2.0 slots for it on the motherboard for adding stuff.
If it has SATA connections on the mobo, try to get one that has them side-mounted, or at least well out of the way of the PCI-e x16 (graphics) slot. An 8800 GTS will take up 2 full spaces and that heatsink is huge - SATA connectors that plug in at a right angle to the mobo anywhere near there will be a problem.
Might want to make sure it has an x-1 slot for a better audio card.

Of course, this is all just if you plan on upgrading. Honestly though, if you want a bada** machine, have it built to your specs, or build it yourself.

Vista isn't a problem. It's perfect. :)

Speedmonk42
10-24-2008, 01:46 PM
Fantastic, thanks for all the replies.

I won't be going first class, but will be getting

Asus Mobo with P35 chipset.
Q6600
8GB of RAM
Graphics card will be last minute and impulsive. I am still leaning towards ATI cards for the sole reason I don't feel like figuring out Nvidias stupid naming conventions.

Speedmonk42
10-24-2008, 02:09 PM
With Vista 64, is there any advantage to getting a 'workstation' class graphics card?

Not sure about the current status of LW + OpenGL + card. I know in the past it didn't do anything, but not sure if that is still the case with either the current version of LW or the current version of the OS(vista 64)

RollerJesus
10-24-2008, 02:32 PM
I really don't recommend an ATI card, I've had personal problems with heat on them and we have a lot of driver issues on the ATI card machines at work.

BeeVee
10-24-2008, 03:54 PM
From my experience, I would lean towards NVidia too. Historically, the OpenGL drivers have always behaved better than on ATI cards (but obviously YMMV). I really like Vista though, particularly with Aero on. Yes it needs more memory than XP did, but I'm sure a lot of the problems people had at the start were the same as they had with XP when machines shipped with 64MB RAM...

B

creativecontrol
10-24-2008, 04:19 PM
I don't recommend ATI either. Don't like their drivers at all.

I also don't recommend a high end Quadro or the like. Makes no difference at all.

At home I have an NV8600 with 512M at it works real nice. At work I have an 8800 and it a bit better with heavy poly counts but not much. The nice thing is the 8600 was less than $100. Don't spend much on a card, not worth it right now.

IMI
10-24-2008, 04:30 PM
Fantastic, thanks for all the replies.

I won't be going first class, but will be getting

Asus Mobo with P35 chipset.
Q6600
8GB of RAM
Graphics card will be last minute and impulsive. I am still leaning towards ATI cards for the sole reason I don't feel like figuring out Nvidias stupid naming conventions.

The P35 is a great choice. It's stable, and been around long enough for all the BIOS bugs to have been worked out. Make sure the mobo has at least one PCI-e x16 2.0 slot, in case you want to upgrade your video card on down the road - they won't be making regular PCI-e x16 cards much longer.
The Q6600 is a great buy, and will work great with that board - I guarantee - as will all the Intel quads. BTW, it would be a good idea to get a 3rd party heatsink/fan for the proc, because the stock one is kinda lame. If you do, EVERY Asus P35 board has room around the processor for the Zalman CNPS9700 hsf, and it can be adjusted to vent in any one of four directions. And you can also fit RAM modules with tall heatsinks around it... something you can't easily do with an AMD mobo.

Nvidia is the only way to go with graphics cards. The 8800 GT/GTS/GTX cards are alot less expensive than they used to be, and are still more powerful than the 9000.x series. You don't need anything more powerful for LW, since LW uses mostly the CPU for OpenGL.

akademus
10-25-2008, 04:21 AM
Got myself 2 new systems last week (hp xw6600 workstation and hp dv9843cx laptop) both on 64-bit vista and everything is working like charm! Having 64-bit fprime is all I need, everything else is already in LW :D

Lightwolf
10-25-2008, 04:22 AM
Asus Mobo with P35 chipset.

If you ever contemplate 16GB, take a look at a P45 based board.
Some P35s supposedly take 16GBs as well, but it'S not official.

Cheers,
Mike

Quiet1onTheSet
10-25-2008, 01:08 PM
I was leaning towards the ATI 3870. I have read about all these driver nightmares regarding Nvidia cards, which I understand has been solved.

I was just wondering if anyone had any glaring pitfalls to avoid.Um. Yea-ahhh! "Vista 64!"
OTOH, if you must install it, cut the power lead off the hard disk activity lamp, once inside your box.

Hopper
10-25-2008, 01:30 PM
Asus Mobo with P35 chipset.
Q6600
8GB of RAM
Graphics card will be last minute and impulsive. I am still leaning towards ATI cards for the sole reason I don't feel like figuring out Nvidias stupid naming conventions.
Like the others - agreed. That will make a solid system for sure. Even if you leave the processor alone and not tweak it to 3.2 or so, it's very zippy rendering.

I also agree with Lightwolf - That's a nice board, but if you're going to go that route, you might want to go with the P45. You won't be disappointed. I would consider that board very much like the nVidia 790i Ultra in quality. Good stuff.

And for graphics - I'm also taking the majority road. Every once in a while I'll step away from nVidia and give ATI a chance. And I'm always disappointed.

The GT260 or 9800GTX is overkill, but a good bang for your buck for a single card setup. My 9800 GX2 drives a 30" at 2500x1600 with no issues and is fast as hell (hot as hell also), so a GTX will perform almost exactly the same. Plus, the new 178.24 drivers are excellent.

IMI
10-25-2008, 03:22 PM
I had written earlier about making sure the SATA connections on the mobo are not perpendicular to the board surface if you get a video card like the 8800GTS, because the hsf will interfere with the connections. For the P35-P45 boards, at least, I was wrong about that, and it's nothing to worry about if you intend on using the stock cooler on the 8800 GTS (I think the same would go for the 9000.x and the new GTS 280 and 260).

I was thinking about the fact that I bought a 3rd party hsf for my 8800 GTS on my P45 board, which replaces the stock cooler (NOT recommended unless you know very well what you're doing!), which covers the SATA connections, and essentially makes that video card take up three slots instead of the normal two. Fortunately, that board does have the side-mounted SATA ports.

BTW, the cooler I got for it is HERE (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=154). It's a monster, because it has three fans instead of the stock one you get with the 8800, so it cools not only the GPU, but the memory chips as well. It comes with thermal pads and thermal paste for the GPU and memory, but I used Arctic Silver instead.
It's louder than the stock cooler, but not as loud as you'd expect it to be. I barely notice it, even with the fan adjusted to 100%, when I'm playing games.
Seriously though, it lowered my GPU temps by about 15C, and I've never seen the temp go above 63C, in intensive games. Lightwaving will barely raise the temp to 50C.
Installing it on my EVGA 8800GTS 640mb was a tedious process to say the least, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have the proper tools or experience. You could kill your card in a few seconds if you do it wrong...

I also have an ASUS Rampage (X48 chipset) which I'm building a new machine around, which also has the side mount SATA connections. That one's gonna have an Intel quad core extreme in it, and probably a GTX 280. :)

IMI
10-25-2008, 03:35 PM
OTOH, if you must install it, cut the power lead off the hard disk activity lamp, once inside your box.

No, don't do that. Don't "cut" it. You could unplug it if you want, but DO NOT cut it.
You ought to be more careful with your terminology in giving computer advice, Q1...

In case you're wondering, he's upset about Vista's tendency to look over its HDD's every now and then, mostly for superfetch and indexing. The light blinking bothers him more than most people, it would seem.
Of course, some of us don't have that problem at all... I have two Vista x64 machines here, neither of which do that to any degree beyond normal - certainly not what Q1 has described seeing on his, and soon I'll have a third, running as peacefully as the others.
If there's a major downside to Vista, it's that you have to beat it into submission right from the start, right after installing. Let it know who's boss, because by default it *does* want to take over and its suite of pre-installed nannyware can be kind of annoying at first.

Hopper
10-25-2008, 03:40 PM
BTW, the cooler I got for it is HERE (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=154). It's a monster, because it has three fans instead of the stock one you get with the 8800, so it cools not only the GPU, but the memory chips as well.
Ooooooh that's a nice one. If I were to upgrade, I'd do the GTX280HC and put the liquid to it. Certainly overkill, but I'd love to get my GPU down to those temps. Idle for me is about 60-63c. Heavy gaming gets up to 75c at times.

IMI
10-25-2008, 04:00 PM
Mine idles at about 48C. Liquid cooling scares me. I've looked into it, and read alot about it, and I'll probably even try it one day, but I've also read some horror stories.
Any manufacturer of liquid cooling systems you'd care to recommend?

Hopper
10-28-2008, 06:05 PM
Any manufacturer of liquid cooling systems you'd care to recommend?
The only system I've liquid cooled is my own, and I'm using a ThermalTake 780e (CL-W0169). It pays for itself because it's virtually drip proof, has a great mtbf rating, seems to cool quite well (about 50% cooler than my stock fan ever could at 100% speed), is ESA compliant (for monitoring), and is all in one package that fits in 3 full size bays. It took all of about 45 minutes to set up and install.

You can control the pump speed and fan through a seperate control or use nVidia's control panel if you have one of their mobos. It has a window in front so you can see the flow rate.

I just wish they would have left off the "bling" LED lights on the fan. I'm sure there are few reliable ones out there. Most of the nightmares you hear about leaks and such are long since gone unless you severely botch the installation (which is damn near fool-proof). Everyone uses the same quick disconnects now which are rated for a lot more pressure than you could possibly push through that little pump.

IMI
10-28-2008, 09:45 PM
Thanks alot, I'll have to look into that. Liquid coolant definitely transfers heat away more efficiently than air, and I'd imagine it would cut down on the amount of dust getting into a case.