Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

Vista Pre-RC1 Build 5536

Quick comments….
Install time is MUCH quicker, 23 minutes from initial power on to sitting at a fully functional working desktop.
Install is very quick and easy, a little too basic from my perception though. The number of options are extremely limited.
Basically you choose fresh install on an existing partition, or upgrade an already installed OS.
No creating/changing partitions, no formatting, no deleting partitions, no choosing file systems.

At the end you choose country, and first user name, along with password if you choose. You choose user icon from a small seclection, as well as few selections of desktop backgrounds.
That’s it.
Very very simple. Great for people that don’t know much about computers (But how many of those are installing OS’s?), not very pleasing for advanced users.

Still, it really is quite an easy and quick install. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a few minutes could be cut off that by final release either as the final release won’t have to deal with the various debugging in the Beta’s, and other minor things like
checking the internet for latest beta drivers etc etc.

Boot time after install is about 5-6 seconds faster then a stock WinXP install… but still a 3-4 seconds slower then a tweaked WinXP bootup. Startup from hibernation is quicker then WinXP however, and given then I basically hibernate 99.9% of the time rather then doing a regular shutdown I’m satisfied.

After install…. much faster, and finally genuinely usable. The generally slow and laggy feel is gone. It’s not ideal, or as fluid as my WinXP install (Granted Vista hasn’t been tweaked/customized though) but definitely usable over the long term.
The Vista Aero interface also worked in full on my GF 6600GT, which wasn’t the case in any prior beta’s. It defaulted to the Aero Basic however.

Only two devices did not have drivers after initial install add-on 10/100 Ethernet card (Integrated ethernet did have drivers), and my sound card.
WinXP drivers worked for the 10/100 ethernet, and Creative’s Vista drivers worked…. vaguely. Vaguely as in very basic sound functionality was enabled, but that’s it. And it didn’t sound pleasant. I disabled the Creative card and used the integrated sound card on the mobo and it worked fine in Vista.

Still aggravated by how incredibly sloooooooooow the mouse is even after ramping up mouse speed as far as possible. Definitely still need to install Logitech software to get a reasonably comfortable mouse speed.

No stability issues yet, though I’ve not tested extensively. Most apps install and work properly immediately, though there are certainly a number that are still not functional. A surprisingly large number of applications that won’t natively install, Vista is able to diagnose the installation error and apply the needed backwards compatibility settings specific to that application and offer to attempt installation again which generally works.

A mild curiosity:
WinSAT performance ratings for my system-
Processor- 5.3  (I’m surprised a A64 3200+ albeit heavily overclocked to 2.6GHz was rated 5.3 as that’s Vista’s highest rating right now.)
Memory- 3.7 (Hmm… unusually low. I’d definitely have expected ~4.3 given the amount/bancwidth/latency.
Graphics-5.3 (Mildly surprising)
Gaming Graphics-4.7 (A GF 6600GT at stock clockspeed is just short of Vista’s highest rating? unusual.)
Primary HDD-5.3 (Unexpected… I’d have thought 3.7-4.3 for a Western Digital WD1200JB)

WinSat’s definitely not finalized though, so I imagine those results will change by final release.  Definitely MUCH different then the early Beta 1’s which had my system hovering around 2.0-3.3 across the board. But the initial WinSAt implementation was… dubious to say the least. Not that I’m particularly pleased with it’s current implementation either with it’s cookie cutter one size fits all lowest common denominator approach to the overall rating.

All considered it’s quite a bit better then previous beta’s performance wise. All the things I dislike are still there, but I already know none of those will change.

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August 28, 2006 - Posted by | Operating Systems

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