Is Vista right for me?
November 10, 2006 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Is Vista for me? There's a lot

I'm still running XP SP1 because my motherboard (648FX-A) doesn't get along with SP2. When I installed SP2, about 18 months ago, it wouldn't boot and I lost everything on my hard I backtracked to SP1. I contacted my computer manufacturer and they told me that Microsoft was working on a patch for my motherboard but I haven't even researched it yet. My computer should be able to run Vista, it's a P4 3.0 gHz with 1 GB of ram and tons of free hard drive space and a 256 MB of onboard video.

Here's my question, will Vista run well on my machine? Can I upgrade to vista from SP1? Should I try and install SP2 again?
posted by smithmac_99 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
What's in Vista that you're willing to spend money and time for, plus risking your machine? Unless there's a compelling feature of the new OS (of which I'm aware of none, but some people may think otherwise) I don't see any reason to bother. Particularly on slower hardware such as yours.
posted by majick at 12:08 PM on November 10, 2006

Have you tried updating your motherboard BIOS?

IIRC, Vista is based off of the Windows 2003 code. Onboard video isn't really recommended but I'm sure it will run fine. (You may have to turn off/down some of the visual stuff)
posted by mphuie at 12:11 PM on November 10, 2006

"will Vista run well on my machine? "

I have the pre-RC1 version dual booting on my pc. It's a Dell Dimension, 1GB ram, 2.53 Ghz Celeron, built-in Intel graphics card (dxdiag tells me it has ~96 mb, but I'm not sure).

I have Vista set up as "Ultimate", though it won't do the 3d window flip for me. Beyond that, it runs great. Sure, my CPU is running about 80% whenever I move a window, but nothing seems to be bogged down. I don't really see any difference in performance between Vista and XP SP2, which runs very well.

So, in short, I think you'll be fine on the hardware side, especially if you tone down the special effects.
posted by niles at 12:16 PM on November 10, 2006

Maybe I'm just a fuckhead, but wouldn't it be cheaper to buy another socket-478 motherboard (that's known to work with SP2) than to shell out for Vista?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:35 PM on November 10, 2006

Ars Technica has a recent article on running Vista on hardware even older than yours.
posted by utsutsu at 12:38 PM on November 10, 2006

The other thing to consider here is that the entire reason there WAS an SP2 is that SP1 has tons of security issues. For no other reason I would try Vista...SP1 is seriously, seriously insecure. If you are on a broadband connection, it just increases the possibility of your machine being compromised.
posted by griffey at 12:49 PM on November 10, 2006

Vista's entire desktop UI system is built to be rendered on your GPU on your video card instead of through your CPU as it is now.

If you don't have a compatible, DirectX-9 capable GPU, it reverts back to standard 2D window drawing.

The GPU method is actually faster, since your CPU is completely free of the burden of rendering any on-screen windows, but it scales down nicely and you won't notice any performance differences. It also handles memory more intelligently and things tend to work pretty darn well.]

Meanwhile, why don't you download the Vista Upgrade Advisor and have it give you the comprehensive low-down on if your hardware and software will work on Vista?

And regarding Vista features, I point people to this.
posted by disillusioned at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the help people! I'm totally aware of the security issues with SP1, which is one of the main reasons for my post. I don't really want to buy a new motherboard and then upgrade to SP2. Mostly because I'm afraid of changing motherboards. The only thing I've ever done inside my machine is plug in new RAM, new graphics cards and new hard drives. Also, the Vista Upgrade Advisor only works with SP2. But keep on posting :)
posted by smithmac_99 at 5:08 PM on November 10, 2006

You should probably get a second gigabyte of RAM if you want Vista to run well.

Also I just looked up the specs on your board from the ECS web site, and it doesn't mention any sort of onboard video, so I'll assume you meant a video card with 256MB of video memory...
posted by clevershark at 7:57 PM on November 10, 2006

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