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Old January 30th, 2007, 07:23 PM   #1
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Windows Vista: Did you upgrade and is it worth it?

I am seriously considering upgrading to Vista 64 to take advantage of my computers architecture. Who here has upgraded and what pros and cons have you found using it? Any recommendations of the best version (Home, Premium, Ultimate) are also welcome.
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Last edited by Mark Duckworth; January 30th, 2007 at 10:18 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:19 PM   #2
 
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Windoze Vista: The Good, the bad, and the Ugly
The Good: DRM
The Bad:DRM
The Ugly: Vista is incredibly bloated with resource hungry processes
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Old January 30th, 2007, 10:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens
The Ugly: Vista is incredibly bloated with resource hungry processes
That's kind of what I am worried about. I know that XP is going to take some of my RAM and horde it even if it doesnt actually need it and I have heard that Vista hordes even more. As it is now, after 5 years of XP I have it pretty streamlined, running only the processes (behind the scenes) I need it to. I want to hear from people who have and use it if there are those kind of problems with excessive bloatware, resources that are not being routed properly for optimizing editing machines, driver issues etc. And I also want to hear about the positives that exist like faster rendering, easier interface etc.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #4
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I won't even THINK of upgrading on my editing system untill my NLE supports it. And if I know AVID, it won't be this year at all.

What I've been reading about it makes it really NLE UNfriendly.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:23 AM   #5
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Tom's Hardware is showing the release version of Vista to be slower in almost all 32 bit benchmarks including video encoding. I was toying with upgrading, but think I'll wait a while...my quad core and Production Studio are working quite nicely and I'm not eager to rock the boat. Maybe after Adobe puts out the next Production Suite version which presumably would be 64 bit "Made for Vista" AND we can verify that it is both stable and faster than the current setup I'll test the waters.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 07:05 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Richard Alvarez]And if I know AVID, it won't be this year at all.

QUOTE]

And if I know Sony (Vegas), from my experience with thier tech support, Sony is still asking themselves, 'what the hell is windows VISTA?!'
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Old January 31st, 2007, 07:45 AM   #7
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I've been using Vista Ultimate RTM (32-bit) since November.

Here's my perspective as both a video enthusiast and a developer of software for video.

My main development computer is an off-the-shelf Gateway DX300 (Pentium D 2.8GHz, 1GB DDR RAM, integrated audio (Sigmatel) and integrated graphics). I have replaced the integrated graphics with an nVidia 7600GT. 150GB internal hard drive, loads of external drives (USB 2.0).

I have five OSes loaded on it:

XP MCE with SP2
XP Pro SP2
XP Pro SP2 (Netherlands version)
XP x64
Vista Ultimate (RTM, 32-bit)

My main application that is under development is the Enosoft DV Processor. It makes extensive use of the DirectShow framework, performs some intensive calculations (processing DV video) and has a lot of active windows. e.g., displaying video in a window, rendering audio, displaying vectorscopes etc.

I think it is fair to say that it represents the typical workload of most of the members of this forum.

Basic Impression:
=============

I've compared the Vista installation with a clean XP SP2 install.

Vista boots notably faster. Once logged in, it performs many standard tasks faster - at least it seems so. The 1GB RAM isn't a hindrance.

Comparison with our application:
========================

The application definitely runs more smoothly under Vista than XP SP2. Like many DirectShow-based programs, if the system is feeling the CPU pinch, video playback can stutter and audio can get choppy. I can push our software further (in terms of how much processing it is doing) and not see the video problems that I do see with XP SP2. I'm not surprised, since Vista has an entirely revamped pipeline between the desktop and the graphics hardware.

The improvement I see on Vista (32-bit) is very similar to that for XP x64. i.e., running the 32-bit application on XP x64.

As I have posted elsewhere, though, there is one fly in the ointment: audio.

The DirectSound hardware acceleration has gone. DirectSound is now emulated in software. With our application, audio performance is worse on Vista than XP. It even slows down video playback. However, this is only true when using the DirectSound emulation. By default, DirectShow applications use DirectSound for audio. Hence, for our software, we have had to make it Vista-savvy and give the user full control over which driver model to use. By selecting a non-DirectSound option, all the audio performance issues go disappear.

All legacy audio hardware that only supports the WDM driver model (i.e., DirectSound) will NOT work with Vista. In fact, you can't even install the drivers.

Audio hardware that has ASIO or OpenAL driver support will not be affected.

Bloat/Eye Candy:
=============

I like a lot of the "eye candy". In particular, I like the miniature versions of windows that pop-up when you hover over an item in the task bar. For example, if you have a video being previewed in a window (during capture, for example) and another window is on top of it, you can simply hover over the task bar and a mini version of the video pops up. Not just a snapshot, but live and full frame rate. Vista can achieve this with little additional overhead because of the new display architecture. With our application, there can be a number of configuration windows open, some with active monitors (like vectorscopes etc). Simply moving the mouse along the bottom of the screen lets you see all of them without having to move windows around etc.

Missing Feature:
============

With XP (32-bit), when you connect a DV device, you get a new folder in My Computer. When opened, this folder displays the video coming from the DV device. I have found that to be useful.

This feature doesn't exist in Vista. It also doesn't exist in XP x64.



My advice to anyone considering switching is to create a dual-boot system and use it along side your existing OS.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 09:38 AM   #8
 
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John...

Thank you very much for a user's experience. It really demystifies a lot of the doomsaying predictions...but, also validates the audio problem. Think I'll wait a bit for SP1 or 2.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 05:15 AM   #9
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Many thanks for your return of experience on Vista, john !

Very usefull for all people using NLE softwares, IMO.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:29 PM   #10
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Basic rules apply here.

1) Never upgrade while in the middle of a project, or having unfinished projects.
2) Always test on a non-vital workstation, if you have more than one.

Simply because it's new or the latest thing is a poor excuse. From what I've read/heard it's still a risky business proposition. If it helps in the video department, you still have evaluate the compositing and administrative areas a s well. So, unless you have a free weekend to recover and reinstall everything. I'd wait a bit while longer.

I'd agree with John on a dual-boot option, preferably on a separate hard drive.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 06:49 PM   #11
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I think it is important to remember that it is EARLY in the life of Vista. By all accounts, it is specifically intended to give users a snappier response (on fast multi-core computers) for routine tasks like boot up, starting applications, and switching tasks. John's experience is that this is true.

However, there are reports, such as the Tom's benchmarks I mentioned earlier, that the kind of sustained processor-intensive tasks like rendering a timeline, which is the kind of task we DVinfo'ers would care about are no faster, and usually slower, with curent software versions. I'm sure more folks will be doing comparisons using the popular NLE's and that'll give us a more solid sense of the current situation.

For now, I have a fast and smooth running system and I have decided against upgrading at this time. Undoubtedly, Vista and various drivers will be optimized over time, along with the arrival of the next generation of NLE's and maybe then it'll be a clear winner. For now, I'm not convinced I should take the plunge.

For those who decide to upgrade and use dual boot, please DO post apples-to-apples performance comparisions, especially for HD!
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