Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1
Most of you have probably seen that Windows released Service Pack 1 for Vista not long ago, along with a release of SP3 for XP users. I decided that it was time to finally make the leap to Vista, it’s been in the plans for a long time, especially since I used it during the Beta and really loved it! I still waited for SP1 to come out just because back when I was using it in the Beta some companies such as Logitech still hadn’t gotten around to making any drivers for it… so I figured some maturity time was in order.
One thing that really does bother me a LOT about this purchase is that Microsoft is no longer including the copy of the 64bit Operating System with your purchase! They dropped the price by $10 and send only the 32bit Windows Vista Operating System with your purchase, then if you want the 64bit version of Windows Vista you’ve got to go online and order it for $10. To me this is backwards thinking on Windows part, I see the merit in it that the 32bit Vista works on any processor and the 64bit edition needs to be run on a 64bit processor… but honestly who doesn’t have a 64bit CPU now? And if you don’t why are you trying to install Vista in the first place?!?!
I still really like the operating system none-the-less and have run into very few problems so far… actually a lot of problems I was having (such as with the newer versions of Opera) have gone away… I’m with a lot of enthusiasts who say that if you’re having problems with Vista it’s because your computer is a piece of crap and you need to throw it off a building. Seriously Microsoft Windows Vista ran smoothly on my comp when I was doing the Beta and back then all I had was a 2.2ghz Dual Core AMD, 2 gigs of RAM, and an ATI x1600 video card… games were pretty darn slow, but really still playable, though some like Company of Heroes needed to be lowered in resolution and settings. Now with a 2.6ghz (OCed to 2.9) Dual Core AMD, 4 gigs of RAM, and an ATI HD 3850 I’ve had absolutely no major glitches with Vista to date… of course I’ve only been running it for a few days so I’ll get back to you on what I think of ReadyBoost, and whatever else pops up as it comes up.
CORSAIR Flash Voyager 4GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model CMFUSB2.0-4GB
Corsair Flash Voyager 4GB Flash Drive
It’s really nice having a flash drive with 4 gigs of storage space, but that’s not why I bought this drive. Well it is, but only partially. I bought a larger flash drive primarily for ReadyBoost Windows new technology to help speed up your computer! Instead of using swap space on your hard drive, or taking up valuable RAM windows will now use a flash drive (if you’ve designated it) to work as a cache, it’s also supposed to help speed up your system.
I looked into a lot of different drives, some cheeper, some more expensive, some claiming to be faster… but what really got me was I found a few different lists of people who show you how to find what speed your drive is running at for ReadyBoost and record it. The Corsair Flash Voyager series seemed to hold the crown for every list I looked at. How accurate those lists are I don’t know, they’re not really scientific, and no one really verifies results, you just plop your results into a database and vuala so in actuality people could say whatever they way.
We’ll see here in a few weeks how things actually work out. And if Windows Vista really does have a nice trick up their sleeve.
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 3850
SAPPHIRE 100226L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
I love how technology advances! I’ve been holding out from an upgrade of my Saphire Radeon x1600 256MB Video Card for a while now because there’s always something better! And boy, oh boy am I glad I did! I kept thinking about getting an ATI x2600 series card, but never could really justify it. When the ATI HD 3000 series of cards came out it didn’t take me more than a slight price drop to justify the purchase. For the same as what I paid for one of my ATI Radeon x1600’s (Used to have two in crossfire, gave one to Credal a while ago though, so been running a single for some time now) I was able to get a ATI Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 with double the video RAM of my current card up from 256MB to 512MB. Also GDDR3 instead of GDDR2 so everything about it is a HUGE improvement, for the same price! Now when I was looking at the ATI 2600 cards they were the same price as my current card, and even a decent 165% faster in most games than my current x1600. But since I was planning on going to Vista, it was a good idea to be on a DirectX 10 card, which is another reason for the 2600 upgrade… luckily ATI came out with the new 3000 series of cards, and the 3850 just so happens to be at the mid price range for video cards. I was EXTREMELY happy abou this as the HD 3850 with 512MB of RAM is about 200% faster than the 2600’s and obviously MUCH more powerful than the old x1600 I had been running. Power consumption isn’t that huge of a concern either, as it’s got the new 55 nanometer (NM) die. It’s nice to finally be able to play all of my games at full resolution (1680×1050) with some sort of anti-aliasing, and antistropic filtering. Plus I’m ready for Vista as soon as it gets here!
Customers will be able to download SP1 tomorrow; retail versions will be in stores on Wednesday.
Microsoft’s long-awaited service pack for Windows Vista is reported to be heading to consumers tomorrow. The RTM version of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was first released to testers in early February after a lengthy gestation period.
Customers will have two ways to obtain SP1: a stand-alone installer can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s Download Center or users can get the update through Windows Update where it will be labeled as an optional update. Systems that have drivers which are currently known to be incompatible with SP1 will not be permitted to install the update.
“Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1. Any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not upgrade successfully will not be offered SP1,” said a Microsoft spokeswoman.
SP1 already caused problems for some testers who installed the RTM version, so Microsoft is likely trying to minimize a problematic launch for a larger consumer-based rollout — the last thing that Vista needs is more fuel added to the fire that surrounds the operating system.
Customers will be able to purchase retail-packaged versions of Windows Vista with SP1 already incorporated starting on Wednesday. Those who pick up the retail versions will also take advantage of new, lower pricing that Microsoft introduced late last month.
Microsoft dropped the prices for Windows Vista Ultimate (Full), Windows Vista Ultimate (Upgrade), and Windows Vista Home Premium (Upgrade) to $319, $219, and $129 respectively. Interestingly enough, Amazon.com offers even lower prices for the software on its site at $299.99, $194.99, and $94.99 respectively.
It seems like not yesterday the number one game on both Credal and I’s Xfire profiles was Stronghold 2. Now with only 162 hours and in third place it seems like we didn’t play the game at all! Of course it kind of sucks that Xfire has some sort of glitch with Windows Vista and it shows me as ALWAYS in game for Company of Heroes. Once I get in the game until I restart the computer it shows me as in game! Which BTW I absolutely hate! It doesn’t show a true record of how long I’ve been in game… the past 3 weeks I’ve probably gained 100 hours in CoH alone simply because I can’t get “out of game” without restarting my computer! (I think it has to do with Vista’s caching system, since the game loads UBER faster if I’ve already had it up once… make use of that 4 gigs of RAM!)
Oh well, I still can’t deny the fact that I’ve got a good 600 or so hours in CoH, and at least 200 in Counter-Strike:Source.
Archmaille’s Xfire Profile