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Vendayan

New machine, should I use Vista 64?

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My intended build is as follows: Asus board - nVidia 750i chipset Intel Q6700 2.66GHz @ 1066FSB (how much would the Q9400's 1333FSB help me over this one?) 8GB Corsair 800MHz 750GB Seagate 7200RPM Two GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB cards (cheaper than a single GTX 260 currently) 1000W modular powersupply (no extra cords restricting airflow, which is a concern) Fans involve 2 120s and an 80 along with a fan controller in one of the 5" bays. I might drop an expansion slot fan in as well if it will fit with the cards. My questions for the community are: If I drop Vista 64 Ultimate on this box, what sort of issues am I bound to see while gaming? Am I going to suffer more incompatibilities than it's worth for the 8GB of memory? How is the 64 bit driver support for nVidia working lately? What are the DX based development concerns when using Vista 64? Is it time for me to bite this bullet? [Edited by - Vendayan on November 7, 2008 12:33:44 PM]

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Original post by Rattenhirn
If you want use more that 3 of those 8 GB RAM you have to bite the bullet.

Correct. 32 bit Windows has some issues even getting up to 3.8 GB of ram. If you want to be using all that ram, you are going to need a 64 bit OS.

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I've been running Vista 64 for well over a year now, and I've had very few problems with it. Just about any program or game that can run on XP can run on Vista 64. You might have some problems with very old (win 95/98 era) games.

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Original post by Moe
Quote:
Original post by Rattenhirn
If you want use more that 3 of those 8 GB RAM you have to bite the bullet.
Correct. 32 bit Windows has some issues even getting up to 3.8 GB of ram. If you want to be using all that ram, you are going to need a 64 bit OS.
Pretty sure the OP was asking whether he should use Vista 64 + 8 gigs or RAM, or Vista/Xp 32 with 4 gigs - based on whether Vista 64 would cause a lot of compatibility headaches.

Unfortunately, I have never used Vista 64, so I can't provide an answer.

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Vista X64 is a very good gaming and game development platform. Outside some minor issues in Visual Studio itself (Locals window does not exist on X64), the development experience is very good.

I have not encountered a single reasonably modern (think "published within 5 years") game that wouldn't run in X64 - if not out of the box, at least with only a little tweaking and/or patching. I have no experience with heavy DRM:d games as I refuse to install or play this variety, but the NX feature of 64-bit processors as well as the signed driver requirement of the OS itself could cause some trouble in this scenario due to preventing DRM drivers from messing up your system (which is how most of DRM software works).

Nowadays, the drivers are good and stable for (again, reasonably modern) hardware.

I've been using Vista almost full-time in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors since the late betas.

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Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
Quote:
Original post by Moe
Quote:
Original post by Rattenhirn
If you want use more that 3 of those 8 GB RAM you have to bite the bullet.
Correct. 32 bit Windows has some issues even getting up to 3.8 GB of ram. If you want to be using all that ram, you are going to need a 64 bit OS.
Pretty sure the OP was asking whether he should use Vista 64 + 8 gigs or RAM, or Vista/Xp 32 with 4 gigs - based on whether Vista 64 would cause a lot of compatibility headaches.

Unfortunately, I have never used Vista 64, so I can't provide an answer.


That's very much the case. I'm well aware of the memory restrictions posed by a 32 bit OS. I just want to know the side effects of breaking that barrier.

I like hearing these encouraging things about Vista 64, but I work in what's primarily a linux house here, doing web development with (don't hate me Washu) *ahem* java. So the sort of feedback I hear from the people who do work with Vista 64 is usually full of nothing but "!@#$ it, why can't this monstrosity work as well half as well as my Mac or at least as well as XP!"

I've heard a lot about issues with flash player most notably as well as with other apps, and -tons- of issues in the beginning about game incompatibilities. I just want to know if I'm going to find any similar headaches or issues developing with DX10.

I also plan to commit this order here in about 3 hours so if anyone can see anything wrong or questionable with the specs I'm building here let me know. Especially if I should be going for the Q9400 in order to get the 1333FSB, or if I'll be shafting myself by buying 2 9800s instead of a single 260. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Most game incompatibilities are a result of the developer assuming full access to all the files of the target computer.

Vista differs from XP in this scenario in that it does not grant full access to system files and registry without elevation by default, even for admin account; in XP, a process running under admin account (an extremely common pattern) could do all kinds of evil stuff without ever asking the user. Vista has several techniques to prevent this kind of troubles, and they work quite well now.

If you're developing new software and actually take into account the user permissions, you will have next to no problems with Vista (and D3D10). D3D itself is very stable on Vista.

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I've used Vista x64 at work, and it works fine. Only issue I've had is that there isn't a 64 bit Microsoft Database Driver for Oracle, but there seems to be ways around that even.

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I've been running Vista 64 for a good 6 months. Its been flawless. Development, gaming, and "every day use" type things all work like a gem. I'm running the following:

Intel Q9300 quad core
8GB DDR1066
9800GX2 video card
3 250GB drives in RAID5.

This thing can not be slowed down. (Within reason, I'm sure I could if I tried.) I can be developing, gaming, and surfing 8 sites all while I respond to my email and Vista still performs almost perfectly. I've also never had any issues with compatibility. 32bit games and applications are fine.

The one thing you need to watch out for as far as development: Make sure if you reference any 32 bit DLLs in your projects that your target compilation environment is 32 bit. If you target 64bit and reference 32bit libraries, you can see some funky errors - at least from my experience.

I think a lot of the issues every day users complain about as far as Vista and Vista 64 revolve around the fact that they may not have a computer with enough horsepower to make Vista run as it should. If you have a solid rig like I do, from my experience, Vista 64 rocks.

Eric

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Intel Q6700 2.66GHz @ 1066FSB (how much would the Q9400's 1333FSB help me over this one?)

Why don't you try it? Set FSB speed to 333, and change multiplier to 8.

Difference is negligible, I run CPU at 1600 FSB.
Quote:
Original post by Vendayan
I like hearing these encouraging things about Vista 64, but I work in what's primarily a linux house here, doing web development with (don't hate me Washu) *ahem* java. So the sort of feedback I hear from the people who do work with Vista 64 is usually full of nothing but "!@#$ it, why can't this monstrosity work as well half as well as my Mac or at least as well as XP!"


Do you wanna honest answer?

x64 bit Linux, with Sun Java 6.0 runs circles around Vista. It's missing all that service crap. (In fact according to people who use PS2 emulator on Vista, there is some slowdown over XP.)

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I have been using Vista Ultimate 64-bit since it came out. I had quite a bit of trouble finding decent drivers for it for about the first year, but it's fine now.

I have two main complaints with it. One is that it makes installing programs a longer and more annoying process due to the ~3 user account control and compatibility warning pop-ups I have to deal with every time I install something that was designed for an older version of Windows. This is an issue with any version of Vista, though, I believe.

The other issue, which is 64-bit specific, is that 64-bit Vista drops support for legacy 16-bit programs and installers. (16-bit=DOS, Win 3.x, and some Win 9x era programs) While I doubt there are too many non-business users who care about being able to run random old DOS programs, it is fairly lame for gamers as there are many excellent old games that are 16-bit. There are emulators and the like. However, that will not help with 32-bit Windows programs that use a 16-bit installer (a surprisingly common situation for programs of a certain vintage). I also have yet to succeed in actually getting a DOS emulator to work on Vista 64, although I really haven't tried very hard.

As for your hardware, it looks good. A few things to consider, though:
- The performance difference between 1066 FSB and 1333 FSB is minimal in most situations. However, the Q9000 series processors use a minor update of the architecture used in the Q6000 series, so depending on what you are doing you may see a 10% per clock performance increase with an otherwise equivalent Q9000 processor. The Q9000s are also built on a smaller fabrication process, so they burn a bit less power and run a bit cooler at equivalent settings, as well. I would also point out that you can save about $90 over either of the options you mentioned by getting a Q6600, which is only about 10% slower. Alternately, only $60 more would get you a Q9550 which in my opinion is the current sweet spot for very high-end processors, at least if you go by newegg.com's pricing.
- If you intend to overclock your CPU, be aware that some people have had issues with hard drive corruption or other problems when overclocking on recent nVidia chipsets. I have heard anecdotal evidence that the 750i is better in this respect, but if you want to play it safe, get an Intel chipset if you plan to overclock. You can get similar graphics performance to your purposed SLI setup on an Intel board with a GTX 260, HD4870, or a 9800GX2.
- The lifespan of a 9800 GTX is uncertain, as they may be effected by the recently discovered nVidia GPU manufacturing error. This issue has been leading to very high failure rates in some nVidia cards. It is not yet clear how big of a problem it is for desktop cards, however there are claims that the problem effects all nVidia GPUs made using their 80nm or 65nm processes (i.e., almost all 8000, 9000, and GTX series cards). Consider getting a 9800 GTX+, which is manufactured on a 55nm process, and might possibly be unaffected because of it. The 9800 GTX+ is also a bit faster than the regular 9800 GTX, and can sometimes be found for the same price, after rebate, as a decent 9800 GTX. AMD/ATI cards would obviously also be unaffected.

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I'm sold then. Much thanks to everyone who responded.

The missing Oracle driver might be the only truly negative feedback I've seen which could significantly effect me, but I imagine the wait shouldn't be too bad for it. I use it at work, but as I recall, someone made a SOAP interface at one time for me to be able to access the only Oracle database I foresee needing to use. At least until they develop the drivers.

I'm likely going to bump the rig up to the Q9400 as well considering the cost difference is only $15. I also may or may not pony up another $60 for the RAID 5 with 250GB drives, but with the way I eat through drive space in my projects, I should be sending little silver surfers to announce my arrival. In the end I'll probably flip a coin on that one.

Thanks again.

-V

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I too use Vista 64 and could not be happier.
However, even though i may get yelled at for doing so, i enabled the true admin account and completly did away with uac. In its place i use tea timer to monitor all registry edits by any program. To me its just as safe and is a lot less compatible with older apps.
So far i have only had problems with one app. Display mate, a test signal generator program for video calibration... but i'm sure that is because i'm using an old version. So far i've had no troubles with playing games or developing them (from an artist's standpoint).

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