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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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Well, decision time. I don't need to buy another CPU. In fact I have one Intel COre 2 Duo E6400 on a P5W DH Deluxe Asus, and an Intel Pentium 4 550 Prescott on an Intel D925XCV Mobo. I have three Nvidia cards: the 8800GTS, a 7300Gt and a 7800 something. One of the reasons I switched to the 8XXX series, was the purple FSX water the 7800 caused and the 8800 fixed. I understand eliminating the 8800. I read those who have had no problems with their 8800, others that have abondoned Nvidia all together to ATI, a card that for some reason I have avoided. I think what I may do is a step wise maneuver. Move all unnecessary non-flight sim prorams to my Pentium 4 computer, retain the 8800 on the Duo Cor, stripped compleely clean of anything else (and after a total new XP Home SP2 re-install) save necessary video drivers and intall FSX up to Acceleration and go for it on the Duo. If I get blue CTDs with the 8800 under those conditions, then I'll know that the 8800 is flaky. At that point I would consider a lower non-DX10/ 8XXX series card OR have a go at an ATI. My sense of the thing is that the 8800 will work fine if I give the Duo Cor system a good scrubdown, we shall see! Are we having fun yet?Randy Jura, KPDX

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Nick, Thanks for that. GIven your experience, I think I 'll stick with my 8800 until it fails under pristine reinstall conditions. Where is Nick's Tweak guide? 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 adapter>>Pull that out and put it aside. Save it.LawlzzzzzWhy does everyone hate the 8800? Mine works great!

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Ryan, .......and that's why I'm gonna stick with my 8800 for now. I need to prove that it's the culprit before I replace it.Randy Jura, KPDX

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Here's the list of links from a previous post by NickN.Recomendations: http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...=1197380641/0#2Install: w/Acel http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...=1197380641/0#1wo/Acel http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...=1197380641/0#6Update for C++ Lib: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...&displaylang=enx64 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...&displaylang=enWndows Setup: http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...197380641/15#22Dealing with more than 2GB of memory in x32: http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...197380641/15#25Drivers and Nhancer: http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...197380641/30#39Tuning FSX with UTX and add-ons: http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...d=437662&page=7If you are struggling with your system and lack the time or expertise to get FSX running properly, another option is to employ a professional to sort things out for you. I used FS-GS to optimise my system for FS9:http://www.fs-gs.com/Cheers,Noel.

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Well, I'm up and running now, so far so good, but too soon to conclude much excpet that NickN's tweaks are working, but not the O&O defrag program. The name degrag. part ruined my entire installation and had to do over, but that's OK. I'll get what I can and go on!Randy Jura, KPDX

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O&O Defrag did not ruin your entire installationMICROSOFT ruined your entire installation becuase of a screwup on their part with XPSP2http://support.microsoft.com:80/kb/941715/enMicrosoft kept that screw-up QUIET for years because it did not affect everyone and they did not want to be responsible for a major duck-up on their part. 3RD party tools such as O&O, Partition Magic, etc took the heat for it instead. Sys Admin's found out real fast right after Sp2 what going on and that is why back then the net was full of warnings about NOT using the web based installer for SP2 and instead wiping things clean and installing with a fresh SP2 slipstreamed install disk.In order to use O&O and many other 3rd party disk tools without issues the Windows XpSP2 install disk MUST BE made AFTER December of 2004, OR, SLIPSTREAMED using SP2 which was posted after December of 2004. The issue is directly related to how the HAL will NOT UPGRADE correctly with the SP2 web patch unless Windows is installed CLEAN with the right ntfs.sys file, which means the install disk must have SP2 and the right ntfs.sys file in it. Any store bought XP SP2 Windows disk produced after December of 04, or, correctly slipstreamed disk includes the fix.O&O Defrag does not kill installs.. ---->Microsoft<---- kills installs, especially older Dells that have old Windows install disks

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Thanks for the explanation Nick, I do appreciate it. I take it that XP SP3 will avoid all that unpleasantry and allow for O&O to work properly then? Randy Jura, KPDX

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Randy:The only difference beteween XP home and XP pro is domain networking capability. There are no perfomance enhancements or magic eggs included that will give you better performance in on vs. another. So if that's your criterion for choosing, then ask yourself: do you have a home domain network? If no, then save your money.Same thing with Vista Ultimate vs Vista (x). Vista Ultimate gives you all the bells and whistles including domain support, but there is absolutely no performance to be gained through the different versions of Vista. Ask yourself: do you require the almost non-existant Vista Ultimate Extras? (I've counted a total of 5 over 2 years), do you have a home domain network, and do you wish to connect your computer to your TV since Vista Ultimate comes with Windows Media Center. If not, save your money.Now, if you compare Vista to XP there are performance differences whereas XP will perform better than Vista pound for pound. Unless you have a heavy hitting rig, you will see a performance drop (small to large depending on your rig). Now with the misconceptions out of the way, what are the specs for your rig? That will be the determining factor.

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>>>>Pull that out and put it aside. Save it.>>Lawlzzzzz>>Why does everyone hate the 8800? Mine works great!>Actually it's not ALL 8800's...only some. And I don't share Kevin's sentiments about 8800 cards necessarily. I think those cards have gotten a bad rap, mostly because of driver issues, not the actual hardware itself.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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