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View Full Version : Computers New Mac OS = New Mac, New Windows OS = Old PC


Braincase
06-16-2009, 03:02 PM
Link (http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/166502/windows_7_beats_snow_leopard_on_older_hardware_support.html)

Got a four-year-old Mac? Forget the newest version of OS X; Apple’s Snow Leopard (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/article/166364/snow_leopard_will_make_macs_business_class.html) will only be supported on Intel CPUs. Got a PC from 2001? Windows 7 (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/businesscenter/article/165695/windows_7_looks_good_but_xp_migration_is_key.html) just might run on it. I tested a below-spec PC with the latest version of Windows and saw surprising results.

If you have a PC and you want the upcoming Microsoft OS, but don’t want to buy a new computer, Microsoft has your back. The minimum specifications listed on the Windows 7 RC download page are a 1 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, and 16GB of free hard disk space. This means if you have a computer that is more than a few years old, you can still get some functionality from the latest OS rolling out of Redmond. Intel hit the 1 GHz processor mark on March 8 2000, which means theoretically Windows 7 could run on computers over 9 years old! Since Microsoft is known for understating their hardware requirements, I grabbed an old PC out of retirement and put it to test.

The PC I chose had an Intel P3 933 MHz processor, 768 MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard disk. My test subject was manufactured in 2001.
Installation was not all breezy. My first attempt stalled when the installer could not find a driver for my DVD drive. I resolved the situation by borrowing a DVD drive from a newer computer. Once Windows installed, I realized that I was stuck using the “Standard VGA Graphics Adapter” driver since Windows did not recognize my Nvidia GEForce 2 MX 200 graphics card. Desperate to use my 20-inch monitor’s native 1600 x 1200 resolution, I installed the XP Nvidia driver since one for Vista is not available (Windows 7 is compatible with Vista drivers).

After a few Blue Screens o’ Death, I reverted back to the built in Standard VGA driver. Thankfully, yet oddly, Windows continued to offer a 1600 x 1200 mode. Obviously using Aero was out of the question, which was to be expected. The last issue I had was that Windows 7 didn’t recognize my 3COM 3C905TX network adaptor (really, Microsoft?!). Rather than hunt down a driver that might work, I threw in an Intel NIC that happened to be within arm’s reach.

With all that behind me, I installed Google Chrome and Office 2007 and prepared to get to work. Frankly, at this point, I was shocked to find my circa-2001 computer running a 2009 operating system. I’m not going to lie and say that the performance was great, but it was, well, surprisingly usable. The time between pressing the power button and having a desktop was a respectable 110 seconds. Within five seconds, I launched Chrome, my go-to browser, and started surfing the Web. Watching videos on YouTube was as choppy as you'd expect, but the rest of my Web browsing experience was decent. I started Word, and had to wait 8 seconds until I was able to start entering text.

To mix things up a bit, I launched Outlook 2007 and configured it for my mail server. Despite the fact that downloading my e-mail ate up an annoyingly high percentage of CPU power, the system remained responsive as I tabbed to other applications.

To test things further, I opened up five tabs in Chrome and one in Internet Explorer 8. I launched Windows Media Player and played a song. I switched between applications and found that, although switching from one window to the next took a couple seconds, it didn’t leave me gnashing me teeth. Opening the task manager, I could see that Windows 7 was only using about 600MB of the 768MB I had installed. It was playing nicely and being respectful of the memory it had available.

All in all, the performance I was getting was better than the experiences I had using computers at internet cafés in developing countries. It was perfectly usable as long as your expectations are appropriately low.

If your computer is as old as mine, you might consider saving your cash and installing a lightweight Linux distribution such as Puppy Linux (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/downloads/file/fid,71038-order,4/description.html) or DSL (Damn Small Linux). However, if you have a computer that is newer and more capable than my worst-case-scenario tester, I recommend doing a little research to make sure drivers are available for your hardware. If all checks out, your computer is ready to run Windows 7
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The Rick
06-16-2009, 03:16 PM
Swapping DVD drives? Manually installing video drivers? Needing to "throw in" a new NIC? Nearly 2 minutes to boot? 8 seconds to start entering text?

None of that sounds like an enjoyable experience to me. Macs are about the experience for the user when they sit down to perform a task, and that experience is unparalleled by any Windows or Linux PC.

Fish
06-16-2009, 03:18 PM
After a few Blue Screens o’ Death, I reverted back to the built in Standard VGA driver. Thankfully, yet oddly, Windows continued

After a few BSODs, Windows "oddly" worked....?

It wouldn't recognize my DVD drive, my Nvidia graphics card, or my 3Com 905 NIC. I'd recommend saving money and installing Linux.

But Win7 is great!!

LMAO

This guy isn't very convincing...

But for what it's worth, I've had great success running Win7 on older machines. I didn't install on anything as old as that, but it ran very well on P3 and P4 machines with a GB of RAM.

The Rick
06-16-2009, 03:19 PM
Also, the cost for Snow Leopard (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, blah, blah, blah) will be $29. How much will Windows 7 be?

The Rick
06-16-2009, 03:22 PM
Before this gets out of hand, I don't really have an interest in a rehash of Mac vs. PC flame wars. I love my Mac. I made the switch a few years ago and haven't looked back.

I have used Windows 7 however and thought it was pretty good...

irishjayhawk
06-16-2009, 03:26 PM
Some would argue that kind of support is precisely what's holding Windows back.

Also, the thread title is quite misleading. I have an intel based mac from 2 years ago and it's going to support Snow Leopard.

I don't get the point of this thread.

Guru
06-16-2009, 03:29 PM
Also, the cost for Snow Leopard (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, blah, blah, blah) will be $29. How much will Windows 7 be?$49

dirk digler
06-16-2009, 03:33 PM
I would like to have a Mac to play around with but they are awfully expensive for my taste.

I enjoy building my own PC's and I am waiting to build me a new one until Windows 7 comes out. I am actually excited about the new OS.

irishjayhawk
06-16-2009, 03:35 PM
I would like to have a Mac to play around with but they are awfully expensive for my taste.

I enjoy building my own PC's and I am waiting to build me a new one until Windows 7 comes out. I am actually excited about the new OS.

BYOPC is definitely a good avenue. I love OSX too much though, so until they license it, I can't go back to that route. I could always try a Hackintosh but too much work.

Oh, and I dislike linux.

The Rick
06-16-2009, 03:40 PM
$49
Over Steve Ballmer's dead body...

irishjayhawk
06-16-2009, 03:50 PM
Over Steve Ballmer's dead body...

I'm still flabbergasted that guy has a job. He's wrong more than about any other CEO out there. He's polarizing. And he comes off as an arrogant prick who lacks intelligence in the field he's running.

Guru
06-16-2009, 03:51 PM
Over Steve Ballmer's dead body...Best Buy released a statement that they would offer Home upgrades for $49 and Pro upgrades for $99 for a limited time in July. If you are going to upgrade, go to best buy in July and pre order.

Braincase
06-16-2009, 04:31 PM
After a few BSODs, Windows "oddly" worked....?

It wouldn't recognize my DVD drive, my Nvidia graphics card, or my 3Com 905 NIC. I'd recommend saving money and installing Linux.

But Win7 is great!!

LMAO

This guy isn't very convincing...

But for what it's worth, I've had great success running Win7 on older machines. I didn't install on anything as old as that, but it ran very well on P3 and P4 machines with a GB of RAM.

Actually, the machine he ran that on didn't meet the minimum system requirements.

Braincase
06-16-2009, 04:32 PM
Also, the cost for Snow Leopard (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, blah, blah, blah) will be $29. How much will Windows 7 be?

Less than the difference in cost between a PC and a similarly configured Mac.

Fish
06-16-2009, 05:00 PM
Actually, the machine he ran that on didn't meet the minimum system requirements.

What do the minimum system requirements have to do with the DVD drive, Nvidia graphics card, or 3Com 905 NIC not working?

Pitt Gorilla
06-16-2009, 05:06 PM
I purchased a top-of-the-line PC in mid 2000 and a bottom-of-the-line iBook (on clearance for new models) in mid 2001. I rebuilt the PC several times due to hardware/software issues and eventually put it out to pasture in 2005. The iBook is still my wife's day-to-day computer and has never had an issue.

We now use Mac's exclusively.

Silock
06-16-2009, 07:03 PM
...and the point of this story is . . . ?

I remember the big stink people made when Apple decided to stop shipping computers with 3.5" floppy drives. WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?!?!?!?!


Times change, move on. Leopard still works on the older Macs.

Guru
06-16-2009, 07:49 PM
I would love to give a mac a try. They are too expensive to consider though.

Pitt Gorilla
06-17-2009, 04:43 PM
I really like the new Safari. In fact, I recently dumped Camino for it.

88TG88
06-17-2009, 05:08 PM
I would love to give a mac a try. They are too expensive to consider though.

I have a pc and a mac and I love it. I do 90% of my work on my mac, but my PC has all the windows only stuff. I never tried that bootcamp stuff though.

Braincase
06-17-2009, 08:20 PM
What do the minimum system requirements have to do with the DVD drive, Nvidia graphics card, or 3Com 905 NIC not working?

The NVidia GEForce 2 MX-200 maxed out at 64 MB RAM, not up to spec for Windows 7. The 3COM 905TX has been a problem for years, perhaps due to the Lucent chipset on early models.

beach tribe
06-24-2009, 11:06 AM
I've had the same Mac since 2003. I've been through 3 PCs in two yrs at work.

Claynus
06-24-2009, 12:40 PM
I've had the same Mac since 2003.

You like using that old, slow POS?

kepp
06-25-2009, 10:58 AM
I've built two PCs for my family to use over the past five or six years. Probably spent a total of $700. Neither ever had any problems. Macs may have a more flowery experience, but there's no way I'll pay that much for a computer that I have to replace when Apple decides its out of date.

Silock
06-25-2009, 11:19 AM
Apple decides its out of date? The hell are you talking about?

Fish
06-25-2009, 11:20 AM
Apple decides its out of date? The hell are you talking about?

Yeah.... I scratched my head at that one too....

In my line of work, it's more common for me to have to force my Mac users to get a new machine. They tend to want to hang on to their 5 year old Macs because they do exactly what they want them to do and they do it well. I have a hard time convincing them that a brand new one can run the same way and faster...

Claynus
06-25-2009, 11:58 AM
Yeah.... I scratched my head at that one too....

In my line of work, it's more common for me to have to force my Mac users to get a new machine. They tend to want to hang on to their 5 year old Macs because they do exactly what they want them to do and they do it well. I have a hard time convincing them that a brand new one can run the same way and faster...

Like we need any more confirmation that 99 percent of Mac users are bumbling simpletons...

Fish
06-25-2009, 12:04 PM
Like we need any more confirmation that 99 percent of Mac users are bumbling simpletons...

99 percent of computer users are bumbling simpletons, regardless of the OS.

And if you would take 1 hour and sit down in front of the Mac behemoth sitting behind me, I truly believe you would change your mind about Macs.

8-core 2.66Ghz Xeons
16 GB RAM
2TB storage

You would change your mind.

Claynus
06-25-2009, 12:06 PM
And if you would take 1 hour and sit down in front of the Mac behemoth sitting behind me, I truly believe you would change your mind about Macs.

8-core 2.66Ghz Xeons
16 GB RAM
2TB storage

You would change your mind.

For 8 grand you can own one, too!

Fish
06-25-2009, 10:47 PM
Microsoft sets Windows 7 pricing, upgrade programs


(CNET (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10272259-56.html?tag=newsLeadStoriesArea.1?cnn=yes)) -- Microsoft recently announced retail pricing for Windows 7 that was at or below comparable Windows Vista prices, while also offering a chance for people to preorder the software at a substantial discount.

Microsoft confirmed that a program offering Vista PC buyers a free copy of Windows 7 will kick off on Friday.<!--===========/CAPTION=========-->

<!--endclickprintexclude--> From Friday through July 11, consumers in the U.S. will be able to buy an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home premium for $49 or Windows 7 Professional for $99. That offer is good for both XP and Windows Vista PCs, regardless of whether someone has been trying out the pre-release version of the operating system. That matches the details in a memo from Best Buy that leaked earlier this month. The offer, however, is limited in both duration and by the number of copies Microsoft is willing to sell, although Microsoft would not specify that figure.

The upgrade will be available at Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft's own store, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Costco, Staples, Wal-Mart and several other retailers. "That truly is a price that we have never even come close to in terms of an operating system release," corporate vice president Brad Brooks said. "We've still got a business to run. "Of course, even at the preorder price, Microsoft still finds itself undercut by Apple, which has said it will only charge $29 for Leopard users moving to Snow Leopard (those on older versions of the Mac OS will have to buy a full-boxed copy combining Leopard and Snow Leopard).

Brooks, however, said that comparing the two upgrades is unfair. <!--endclickprintexclude--> "Even their chief software architect called (Snow Leopard) an upgrade of Leopard," Brooks said. "The way I look at it, its a service pack and we don't charge for service packs." Microsoft also confirmed, as expected, that a program offering Vista PC buyers a free copy of Windows 7 will kick off on Friday. When boxed copies of Windows 7 go on sale on October 22, Microsoft plans to charge $119 for Home Premium, $199 for Professional and $219 for Ultimate. The Home Premium upgrade is down $40 from the product's original price, although the Vista product had already gotten a price cut along the way. The Professional and Ultimate versions are priced similar to where Microsoft was with Vista. The upgrade prices apply to those moving from a previous version of Windows to Windows 7, but only those from Windows Vista will be able to upgrade without doing a clean installation of the product. The full versions of Windows 7--the editions for those without a copy of Windows -- will be priced at $199 for Home Premium, $299 for Professional and $319 for Ultimate. The Ultimate and Professional editions are again on par with their Vista counterparts, while Home Premium is down from the $239 that Microsoft had charged with Vista. Microsoft also plans to offer the operating system in an easier-to-open box.

Things are trickier in Europe, where Microsoft has said it will only ship a special "E" version, which has the browser removed. Because of that, Microsoft is requiring all users to do a clean installation of the product. So there, Microsoft has said it will offer the full version of Windows 7 for the upgrade price.
Brooks said Microsoft made that move to avoid having to delay its launch in Europe and added that boxed copy sales make up only a fraction of its total Windows sales in Europe and throughout the world. "It does not delay the introduction of Windows 7 into the market and it gives our European customers the best possible price."
The software maker is speeding up the pace of the international launch of Windows 7 compared with past launches. Computer makers will be able to ship new PCs in all languages on launch day.

As for the retail product, Microsoft plans to have 14 languages ready by October 22: English, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Hong Kong Chinese.
Then, on October 31, Windows 7 will be available in the remaining 21 languages -- Turkish, Czech, Portuguese, Hungarian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Thai, Croatian, Serbian Latin, and Latvian.
"It truly will be a global release and make it a Windows 7 holiday for everybody this year," Brooks said. "People wanted it faster. We're giving it to them."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/ptech/06/25/cnet.windows7.pricing.upgrade/index.html

Guru
06-25-2009, 11:02 PM
Just wait until SP1 comes out for Win7