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Author Topic: Windows 7 - worth the upgrade?  (Read 11254 times)
PeterAit
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« on: October 22, 2009, 08:33:47 AM »
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My photo computer is currently running Vista Home Premium 64 bit and everything is working just fine. I can get a free Win 7 upgrade from Dell, but I am wondering if I should bother installing it. I know there will, as always, be some hassles involved in the upgrade. What benefits will I get from upgrading? Given that everything is running smoothly, I wonder if the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach might be wise.
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mike.online
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2009, 09:51:01 AM »
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you can always try it with virtualbox first.... the friends i have who have been using it for the past few months always preferred it to vista. having said that, i see no need for me to upgrade any time soon

check this for more info:
http://gizmodo.com/5383982/how-to-virtualize-any-os-for-free
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 10:09:28 AM »
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Quote from: mike.online
you can always try it with virtualbox first.... the friends i have who have been using it for the past few months always preferred it to vista. having said that, i see no need for me to upgrade any time soon

check this for more info:
http://gizmodo.com/5383982/how-to-virtualize-any-os-for-free

And if you are working on a nice solid XP box like I am, you'll have to do a full reinstall of all your apps...only Vista can be upgraded with apps in place.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 11:02:24 AM »
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From what I have read online from many users, the benifits are; more snappy response, less memory needs, and less cluttered OS. much more support for other periferrals for future changes to your system.

I have signed "special" Win 7 Ultimate sitting on my desk, along with the hardware, waiting for the new computers case to arrive so I can finish this install of a new system... while I have a Win7 Pro upgrade from XPpro in UPS route now for the upgrade of another system.  So I cannot speak about usability.
BUT as someone metioned about a fresh install....When ever you are moving to a new OS, it is usually best to do it from a clean install. There are a bunch of files that often get orphaned over time, LBA files, install files, and lots of stuff that can use a cleaning.  Besides over time your system slowly gets bogged down, and a clean start is often a good way about it. As your system matures with your usage, you can take advantage and arrange things if you think you need to.   I HATE doing it, as I have all these tweaks and special setting for brushes, for plugins, for pallets, screen modes in Photoshop, A number automation modes for ACDSee Pro3, for a number of apps.  There is likely a good way to transfer these over after a clean install, Would be nice to know where they are.  Its time consuming, but I think it is worth half the day...or whole day :-)  I have a few systems, and ALWAYS have a secondary main system as work doesn't stop, just because you need a new system. good luck with it.
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mmurph
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 07:00:21 PM »
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I am going to upgrade 6 machines in the next couple of weeks.  Two are Vista machines, but they are  running other things now (VMWare Virtualizition and Windows Home Server.)

I just pulled the original drives that came with them and put in a new 320GB.  That is plenty for an OS drive with applications (though I am moving applications to a 2nd 320GB with Windows 7.)

If you have either Seagate or Westeren Digital drives, you can get a free copy of Acronis backup/cloning software at their web site. I make a clone copy of the drive to one of about 15 old 120-200 GB IDE drives I have around (via a USB enclosure.) Then I pull the main SATA OS drive, label it, set it aside and start with a  clean 320GB for a new install.

If you are just "playing" and going back to the base OS after a while, just leave the extra drive in the machine, but pull the power and data cables.

I downloaded the Windows 7 RC a few months ago and was very happy with it. I need it for a few things, like my  digital tuner card for a media PC.  Otherwise I am just ready to upgrade everything capable from XP, and leave the 3-4 machines that are too old behind (I bought two desktops - an i7 and a quad - and two laptops, a netbook and  a Core 2 Duo - in the past 3 months to get ready. )

Cheers!  Have fun!

Best,
Michael
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 07:37:01 PM »
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Quote from: mmurph
Cheers!  Have fun!

Best,
Michael


Sounds like you have your hands full!  
If you are upgrading any drives I would take a look at the SSD from Patriot Torqx.

I just bought a few of them. I have a new build and a couple of upgrades.  I read a few things and it is a good idea to how a backup of your OS on a drive ready to swap back over the content in case it wipes out. I thought it would make a good scratch disk, but I read here or elsewhere that 2 10K/150GB Raptors are faster than 2 SSD Torqx 64gb in Raid 0, ?

I am a bit out of touch when testing this stuff myself these days, But for the HDD things you are saying, take a look. They even have some setup in Raid out of the box and a re very fast, but way too pricey ($1400).
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John.Murray
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 10:51:01 PM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
My photo computer is currently running Vista Home Premium 64 bit and everything is working just fine. I can get a free Win 7 upgrade from Dell, but I am wondering if I should bother installing it. I know there will, as always, be some hassles involved in the upgrade. What benefits will I get from upgrading? Given that everything is running smoothly, I wonder if the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach might be wise.

Since you are at 64-bit with signed drivers, you should have no issues upgrading.  Run the upgrade advisor on the Win7 media first (with everything connected).

Win 7 is flat out better - easier to use, easier to configure, faster....
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mmurph
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 04:50:30 PM »
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Thanks Phil! Unfortunately I had to cut off the buying early this week before I got to high-performance stuff. Thje home theater PC with a NAS, 8 TB of storage, a digital TV tuner, etc. all took their toll!  

I just installed a copy from the Windows 7 Family Pack - $150 package with 3 upgrades to Home Premium - on a 4 year old PC. I installed 64 bit on a Pentium D with 4 gig of ram and 2 new Sata drives - a 320 and a 1 TB.

It was a clean install, as this was an XP machine.  Very, very easy install! It found the drivers for all of my devices automatically - not one was flagged in device manager. When I reinstalled XP on the same machine I had to go to Dell and download and install every driver separately, including the base Intel chipset driver.

Performance seems good even at 64 bit on this older machine. I am going to put a TV tuner in this one. The Media Center is supposed to be great compared to previous versions. It is replacing 3rd part apps for many people - Sage TV, Myth TV, etc.

Very happy.

Best,
Michael
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 05:01:44 PM »
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Trust me..

Sorry, can’t resist:

http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/
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Andrew Rodney
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 07:14:55 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Trust me..

Sorry, can’t resist:

http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/


It requires to download QT.  Who's got time for that? :-)


I am about 75% done with my new system.

i7 860 @3.4
8GB Ram (will switch to 4sticks of 4GB when available
Torqx SSD 128gb for OS
Torqx SSD 64GB for SWAP. I have another one in the package and still need to research if these are better for swap or 2x Raptor 150GB drives in Raid0?
(I will have a Raptor 150GB in the box with autoback to it for the OS if the SSD dumps.

I have a fanless Vid card,
LianLi short tower all aluminum

still short of installing Wi7ultimate and all the editing apps

This is the lightest system and quietest system I have EVER put together. Started my computing life with an Apple 2e, and since then I have put dozens together for myself, and maybe another 40+ for clients when I was in IT.

All this under $2K

Besides the $8K+ Apple, what comes close? at under $2K with further expansion?

Don't get me wrong, my G5 that I turn on every other week to look at a Quark file still looks beautiful, but this new box is very steath and sharp looking.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 07:31:39 PM »
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Quote from: mmurph
Thanks Phil! Unfortunately I had to cut off the buying early this week before I got to high-performance stuff. Thje home theater PC with a NAS, 8 TB of storage, a digital TV tuner, etc. all took their toll!  

Very happy.

Best,
Michael



I hear you very clearly. I too just got a external ATi HDTV usb 650 tuner just to see the news on one of the systems next to me while working. It works if I dont have my Remote desktop watching other location survelence, or using a Rip software for print. someplace there is a resource that is not beafy enough. could be ram or video card.  either case I have another system with the internal older version and it works very nicely.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 01:38:28 AM »
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Quick update....

It took 14min to get windows installed and running.  From the Mobo install to running w7, I did not have 1 hicup.  Very sweet indeed!

with fanless vid, ssd, and quiet fans, I hardly notice it is on....never had that before.







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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 07:23:11 AM »
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For a free upgrade sure go for it.

I don't find Win 7 as great as some folks do, more like a Vista service pack, some nice tweaks and a few nice extras. Hard to suggest paying customers on vista should bother. XP users, probably will find it almost as overweight as vista was, whilst the footprint is smaller than Vista, it's far from tiny!

Since I started using Linux mint, it's got just as much candy as Win 7 (In fact it's a more logical OS layout wise) it runs far faster than Win 7, and has the benefit of running on lower spec pc's well too. ;-)

IMO Win 7 is less objectionable than vista, but it's badly over hyped, it's no killer OS.
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Raw shooter
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2009, 08:25:29 AM »
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Windows 7 will change everything.  It will be interesting to see how much by October 2010.
I am a big fan of Macs and Linux - as these two platforms created the push for Microsoft. The massive installed Windows base plus the existance of a great OS is all the market needs to dominate everybody - yet again.  
Hers's hoping development of other Operating Systems continue.  We all benefit from real competition.  Microsoft dominating, at over 90% of the market, has never helped the average computer user.
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Horatio
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 12:09:05 PM »
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I have vista 64 and just bought the upgrade to windows 7. Did the check on line, no problems reported and everything was running fine.
Upgrade failed after one hour and system crashed. Recovery using Acronis, tried again and same result. Now I have a piece of useless software that I can not return and paid a premium for, and the expense and time to restore everything.
Thanks microsoft. Solution, do a clean install.
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mmurph
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2009, 01:02:15 PM »
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Quote from: Phil Indeblanc
I have another system with the internal older version and it works very nicely.

I have an older internal Hauppauge card running in a $250 Celeron box with 2GB, never a hiccup.  With the onboard encoder and decoder it runs at about 12% CPU use.

I also just bought an ATI USB version - the Digital CableCard version. I hope it is not too CPU bound because of the USB?

We just moved to the cable-top boxes with Comcast.  At thre same time Windows 7 provides built in support for the proprietary CableCard boxes for the first time.  Hope it all comes together OK.
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mmurph
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2009, 01:10:11 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog

Joke, right?  

Lets see. I bought an i7 desktop with 6GB DDR3 and another Quad Core with 12 GB DDR3 for $1,350. About 1/2 of a Mac desktop. Add in a Core 2 Duo laptop with 4GB and 2 batteries,  a Celeron NAS with 2GB and 2 TB to start, and a netbook with an Atom and 2GB. 5 boxes total, we are up to about $2,300. All bluetooth, wireless N, etc.

Then add in another $2,300 for an LCD TV, 2 blueray players, 4x23in HD LCD TV's/monitors, a Hava Titanium Wifi (like a slingbox), the ATI tuner, and 3x Netgear Gigabit Wireless N routers, etc.

My wife has a Macbook Pro unibody laptop that I support. I am happier with my Windows and Linux boxes. Also using Apples since a IIE, but I am mostly just frustrated by them.  

Cheers,
Michael
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2009, 02:00:46 PM »
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FWIW, I run both systems, MacBook Pro with Snow leopard for tethering, Vista 64 QuadCore for image processing in my business and Mac Pros where I teach. I own a Windows 7 upgrade and am waiting for all the drivers and quirks to shake out before installing. BUT aside from cost considerations (PCs being MUCH cheaper) my experience over the years is that macs are a much more stable and reliable platform. I found the Apple video that Andrew  linked to was absolutely bang on.........
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Misirlou
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2009, 07:53:33 PM »
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I've been running the preview of W7 Ultimate on 4 computers since early summer, including a couple of laptops, one newish powerful tower at 64 bit, and a netbook. It has been perfectly stable and reliable on all of them. The interface tweaks are excelllent, but I suspect many people won't know they're even there without being shown. For example, the ability to drag one explorer window to the left of the screen and one to the right, which sizes both of them to 1/2 the monitor. Very nice.

Compared to the macs I'm running on Leopard and Snow Leopard, I'm seeing about the same reliability and snappiness, and I actually prefer manuevering around on the W7 machines now. I also prefer the way you pin items to the taskbar in W7 to the dock on the Macs.

Still getting used to the new consolidated library structure in W7, but I see that being useful in the future. Supposedly, the new touchscreen abilities are pretty great. I'll be installing W7 on one of my mother's touchscreen HPs pretty soon, so I'm looking forward to checking that out.

I don't miss XP or Vista at all.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2009, 08:09:43 PM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
My photo computer is currently running Vista Home Premium 64 bit and everything is working just fine.. What benefits will I get from upgrading? I wonder if the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach might be wise.


For someone on Vista 64bit, I dont know. I never ran or played with Vista, so for XP users, it is a leap of a difference.
I believe in the aint broke dont fix, but I hardly follow it. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes you wish you hadn't.

I did notice when I connected my 8TB jbod tower using 2 eSATA's, it froze a couple times. I disconnected and then reboot everything was fine, then redid the tower, and all looks good so far. Right now, I am taking baby steps in doing the installs and all the tweaks. Then a nice clean backup to have a solid starting point...etc

If you have lots of files, I would turn INDEXING OFF. slows down, and uses space. unless you have the space and find it usefull
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