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Vista 64 Bit - Wow

I have been running Vista 32 bit for a year and a half now and have come to love it. Performance wasn't astounding, but if you disabled the search indexing and automatic file system backups it had a fairly low foot print. I have been limited to 2.5gigs of usable ram though, 1 gig went straight to video memory, and another .5 went to other devices such as the physics card. This week is an off week in the summer curriculum at the University so I took the free weekend as on opportunity to finally man up and switch to 64 bit, and claim my 4 gigs.

The switch was far from smooth, between the out of box lack of support for more than 3 gigs of ram from Vista 64 (, Vista's apparent issue with installing on a second drive, and a scratch on my vista disc. So if you are installing Vista 64 keep the following in mind:

  • Only put 2 gigs in the box until you update through SP1
  • Be sure the OS is installed on Disk 0 (or you might find yourself fighting with the boot loader)

Other than that it has been great. The performance improvement with 4 gigs was profound. It 'felt' the same as the 1 to 2 gig jump, okay so not that much. But shortly after the install I spotted a deal on new egg for some Corsair Dominator ram ( Well, soon enough (this afternoon) 8 gigs arrived. After some more fun (with the XPS 720 mobo for 8 gig support EPP/SLI must be off or you BS) the machine was up and running. The first thing that was noticeable was superfetch going crazy. I disabled it at first, but after some thought I gave it a chance to show its worth.

After super fetch has created 6.5+gb of cached ram (wow…) the OS has completely changed. It seems nearly every app has been preloaded into ram. Visual Studio loads in a blink of an eye with no hard drive activity (with raid 5 on WD raptors you know). Perhaps super fetch is designed to run best for future levels of RAM?

Print | posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:11 PM |

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