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scott967

I need opinions: XP vs. Vista, which one!?

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Here's the deal. I bitterly stopped flight simming altogether last October after months and months of random CTDs/blue screens (NOT menu, window or full screen related, IMHO). I searched and tried every thread on AVSIM with no luck or solution. I uninstalled FSXSP1 and reinstalled FSX/SP1/SP2/Accel. with no luck. They still kept coming randomly during flight. In addition, my Windows XPSP1 Home installation is probably over 2 years old by now, with NVidia d/l'd updated driver to current (non-beta) each time avail. After I finally got a blue screen on a stupid d/l'd 19.99 trygames.com game, I was cheered by the notion that likely, my XP installation is video driver corrupted and I need to do a complete OS re-installaion. (and yes I have used the video driver cleaners and do not wish to do that)My question is this. Given current experience with FSX/SP2 vs. Windows XP and Vista and because BOTH are currently available retail in my area, if given a choice, which Windows version should I do a new install with to give me the best current performance and stability with FSX SP2:a> Windows XP Home SP1 (my current OS and by the way, my SP1 is not a manufacturers SP1, it is the orignal D/L'd update, I hear that may in itself be problematic)b> Windows XP Proc> Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 d> It doesn't matter, anyone will do.So......what do you guys think, assuming all else, like RAM and stuff is optimal..... A, B, C, or DThanks guys, I'm trying to get this buggy to run again. Randy Jura, KPDX

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If you have a legal copy of non-OEM XP (i.e. not a copy that came with your Dell), you can create a slipstream installation disk that incorporates all the updates available. Both XP SP1 and SP2 are free (SP2 has all of SP1 so you don't install both) and there is nothing to stop you incorporating them into your installation disk. There are a number of 'how to' sites that take you through the process step by step. You will need a CD burner and software that lets you burn ISO files, e.g. Nero.http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/w...sp2-bootcd.htmlThere is no doubt that XP still has fewer issues than Vista...Cheers,Noel.

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Thank you Noel. I take it you're not impressed the XP pro has any inherent advantage over the home version in so far as FSX?Randy Jura, KPDX

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Hi Randy,I have always used XP Pro. In fact, I'm currently using a beta version of XP SP3 (the official release of SP3 is next week). I cannot comment on whether there is any disadvantage with XP home, as I have never used it. But I'd be surprised if there was any significant difference; it would have been shouted to the rooftops by now if it were possible to screw any more frames out of FSX just by swapping versions of XP...Cheers,Noel.

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There is no difference between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional except in a single area: domain integration.XP Home by design cannot be joined to a domain. Otherwise, the code base is identical. (This version of XP was created so that Microsoft could charge business customers higher prices.)To the OP: Since you are very, very frustrated and just want to get back to simming without necessarily beta testing a bunch of nVidia and Microsoft software, I'd recommend:* Windows XP Service Pack 3* 2GB of RAM minimum* A professional anti-virus package, such as McAfee Viruscan to minimize the impact of trojan and virii on your simming box.* An nVidia 7950 GX2 (512mb) video card using the 6.14.11.6921 driver set.* Regular maintenance (keeping your disk free of clutter and defragged.)The biggest problem on your existing computer (at least as far as FSX goes) is disk I/O speed limits and lack of multi-core support for your CPU.With this setup, you will have eliminated DX10, blue screens, OOM errors and menu CTDs but probably not blurries caused by flying too fast for FSX to keep up with your settings choices.I use this same basic setup to develop for Flight Simulator, so system stability was key for me rather than the "latest technology."Don't give up!

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Running FSX SP2 on Vista 64-bit SP1, Intel E6600 (dual-core), 8800GTX and 4GB of memory, with full autogen and scenery and no problems at all.Frames are a little on the low side though, I'm contemplating investing in a newer quad-core processor but not yet totally convinced it will be worth the investment.

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Thus far, all your answers from you guys has been very helpful, esp. that I had no idea that there was going to be an SP3, much less it's release date is the 29th of this month for us non-business users whioch is just fine with me. I failed to give my hardware specs. which should be quite good enough: An Intel duo cor, I forgot the clock speed, 4 GIG RAM, a 8800GTS, Nvidia of course. My overall impression from a distance this last several months is that guys have made FSX run on both XP and Vista successfully and both have also failed. So I'll mull this all over. Thanks again!Randy Jura, KPDX

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Randy,You're unlikely to have a good FSX experience because you have a piece of problem hardware. If you search the threads on AVSIM and elsewhere, you'll find that many FSX problems lead to one place, and one place only:Your nVidia 8800 graphics adapterPull that out and put it aside. Save it. One day it might work. Replace it with a DX9c-compatible graphics card.Many people will chime in here to say they have the 8800 and it works fine. And they do.However ... almost all simmers who report FSX video problems are using the nVidia 8800. Since you are most likely going to run FSX on Windows XP, you have no use for a DX10-compatible video card anyway, since DX10 won't run on XP. So, eliminate it as a potential source of problems since it's not adding anything to your simming experience.Cheers,

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Kevin, That is the boldest suggestion I have read to date. OK, I can do that.......what would you suggest....money is not at issue here. And if I do that...should I even bother reinstalling my XP OS at all? ATI? If so, which one? Randy Jura, KPDX

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Is your system stable? You might want to monitor your temperatures and try Prime95 or some other stress test software and see if you can pass it without any errors or overheating. Some other things to consider besides software and video cards/drivers that can cause crashing. Tweaked BIOS settingsOverclocked CPU or memory Sound card and driversInoperative fansDust

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Randy,I can say that a reinstall of the OS will provide you with some benefit, because it gets rid of a lot of garbage that tends to pile up over the years. Small programs that you at one time thought, "hey that might be cool," that do nothing nowadays but steal CPU cycles.You say money is "no issue here." That's not quite the same as saying money "is no object." But if money is no object, consider dedicating a computer to just FSX (or just gaming).Strip it of all productivity software and anything else you usually have on a home computer.It's probably cheaper than you think to do this. For example, I just priced this at Dell:Intel

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Kevin, Wow. A lot of guys do just that, dedicated computer. I never thought of it for myself. I just might do it! Thanks!Randy Jura, KPDX

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HiHere is my two cents. I did a complete reinstall of FSX Accleration on Vista Home. I ran it for about a month. I really did not like it. I could not get consistant frame rates, FSX stuttered horribly. I could not get VoxATC to work right (there are many running VoxATC on Vista with no problems). I have some custom throttles and switch panels that were not recognized as USB gaming devices. Those are just the problems that I recall.I gave up on Vista and reinstalled WinXP Home. I customized my XP install using NickN's tweak guide. I could not be happier. FSX runs better than it ever did with either my previous XP install, or the subsequent Vista install. I now get a consistant 23 FPS. I have taken the FPS limit off and acheived over 60 in rural areas, and 25-30 in most airport environments. My sliders are either full right or a few are a notch away from right. AI traffic total about 45%. No airport vehicles, roads about 10%.I am using a dedicated "Game Box" for FSX, FS9, and several other games. My system is an Intel CoreDuo 6700, Nvidia 8800 GTS, Sound Blaster X-Fi Gamer, 2 Gig Mem, Misc flight control hardware. I have UTX, GEX, FTX, FSG Mesh, My Traffic AI, and a few other addons installed.Now everthing is working pretty well. I am happy with my frame rate and scenery.For me, regressing back to XP made life much better. I personally have no problem with my Nvidia 8800. But as you know, each person's experience is different. I know just from reading these forums many are using Vista with no problems.I just wanted to weigh in with my experience. I hope it helps.Nick

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