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Windows 7: Seven questions


21 Mar 2009   #1

Vista Ultimate x64
 
 
Seven questions

I suppose this is the correct section to post this - if not, please feel free to move it...

First, I have not loaded the Windows 7 Beta anywhere yet... I am on Vista x64 on all my machines currently.

Q1: Am I correct in assuming that if drivers are available for Vista x64, the same drivers should work for 7 x64?

Q2: Same question as regards programs/installers and such - if it works OK in Vista x64, will it work in 7 x64?

Q3: I also assume there will be an upgrade possibility to install 7 directly over Vista... Will this be advisable, or will it be better to start from scratch? I HATE the idea of re-installing everything, but I'd rather go that route than have problems later. I remember from 98 --> XP it was advised to do a clean install.

Q4: I am currently having a bunch of small niggling problems with an HP laptop preinstalled with V x64U. The problems are not life-threatening, just annoying. I was thinking about trying to re-install Vista (without all the HP junk) as I have a commercial disc as well, but... I thought if I'm going to go that route, I might as well be adventurous and install 7 instead. I would probably wait for the public RC. Either way, I guess I'll need drivers for most of the hardware. Can I assume 7 will have drivers for Mobo, HD etc, or do I really have to find EVERYTHING? Again, will the Vista drivers provided by HP work here?

Q5: If I go with Q4 and install the RC - will the RTM version be able to be installed over the RC, or will it need another clean install...?

Q6: Since I haven't done any Beta testing... I hear that they have made 7 "leaner" in terms of its consumption of resources. Currently the two biggest consumers of RAM I have are sidebar and svchost. Both seem to have "memory leaks" in Vista whereby the longer you run your computer without a shutdown/restart, the more memory they consume. Currently I have sidebar at almost 375 megs (and only 3 items running, all MS official), and one instance of svchost can also get over the 300 meg mark if I leave it long enough. Looks like sidebar is gone in 7, and the gadgets can just run on the desktop - which I already do with Vista - but has any of the memory-eating phenomenon with these guys been addressed in 7?

Q7: Am I correct in assuming that 7's handling of display stuff (DirectX, OpenGL, etc) is pretty much the same as Vista's (i.e. what works in Vista should work in 7)? I use a lot of 3D CAD apps. Vista's dropping of support for OpenGL in favor of DirectX was a disaster for most major 3D CAD apps - the vid card manufacturers didn't manage to keep up with their drivers either - so there was quite a lag before some stuff actually ran acceptably under Vista. Some apps still have problems, but by now I would say that it is the manufacturers fault for not re-writing their stuff to work under Vista. I get the impression a number of them had hoped that Vista would just "go away"...

I haven't got any more questions for the moment... But I would just like to extend a large thank you to all the people in here and in the Vista forums who post great info and give help/advice... What an incredible resource!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Mar 2009   #2

Win 7 Professional x64
 
 

I can't answer all your questions, but I'll try with the first two

Q1 : not all drivers will work in win 7, even if they work in Vista

Q2 : same answer, I know that a couple of programs will not run even in compatibilty mode on win 7

I guess it's trial and error''''
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2009   #3

 

Q3 - upgrades work, and you can search the forums for various topics dealing with upgrade success (or lack thereof) easily.

The caveat is that if you have applications installed or drivers installed that are not compatible with Windows 7, as noted in your first two questions....

Q4 - Read the answer to question 1 - it is no different because it is an HP than if it is Dell, home brewed, custom built, whatever - most drivers work, some don't.

FWIW, I upgrade an HP 2710p Tablet-PC from Vista business to Windows 7 and it works like a champ.

Q5 - ATM, that is not known - but since M$ is talking about now supporting XP --> Windows 7 upgrading, and since many of us have upgraded from one Beta version to another, I would imagine that there is going to be no caveats on upgrading to RTM from beta versions - but in the past, there have been plenty of instances (most notable Vista SP1 beta --> Vista SP1 RTM) the forced you to uninstall the beta and then install the RTM version, so to say 100% yes that you will be able to would be a folly on my part.

Q6 - I currently have 7 gadgets running, including the Windows 7 forums gadget, and although in its virtualized state it is using 700+ MB of *virtual memory* (NOT RAM) it is only using 100 MB of RAM actively. I also run Process Explorer as my default Task Manager, so I get a lot more info from it - but just to give you an idea, check out my system specifications - and with the sidebar, Firefox with 4 tabs, Thunderbird and my file manager of choice, Xplorer2, all running, I have just under 2 GB of RAM free. (1.94GB free). Of course, it depends upon the applications you run and whatnot, so YMMV, but FWIW, Windows 7 is leaner, stronger, better, faster, whatever you want to call it - it. just. works.

Q7 - Mostly true for Windows 7 - there is much better driver support now then there was for Vista 6 months before Vista's release (assuming, of course, that we are at the 6 month limitation before Windows 7 gets released to the public). I have tried some OpenGL tests in Windows 7 thus far and my pair of GTX260s seems to have absolutely no problem with them - so, if you're using business cards like the Quadras, you should also have no issues with current drivers.

The WDDM 1.1 is a newer version of the same model architecture for drivers for display related devices introduced in Vista - so all those CAD developers who were hoping Vista would go way are in for a rude awakening.

Now that hw Qs are over:

My personal advice to you - don't upgrade to Windows 7 on any machine - you admit you're not a beta tester, and there are so many things that can easily go wrong with this. Sure, there are plenty of users on here saying it has no problems, it works, it's awesome, it f***ing Pwns!, what have you, but I am a more seasoned beta tester 8and* a realist - I know that i I ran into any minor problems and even most *major* problems, I have the skills to figure out wtf is going on and fixing it - you, OTOH, may not have the same skill set as I do.

If anyone comes into this thread and says "Dude, it's easy, don't listen to him" or anything of the sort, bear this in mind - I am 38, been working on computes since I was 12 (on a TI 99/4A) and have a sheer amount of experience. I also know what it is like when you face a problem that might be simple to someone else but that you cannot handle yourself because you don't know the answer. Finally, Windows 7 is a *beta* product - it is not flawless, it is not perfect, and it *will* go south - guaranteed. There are very very few perfect installs of Windows 7 running around (I happen to have one of them for the moment, but I tend to beta test a lot of apps, so we'll see how long that lasts). And by perfect, I don't just mean, no Blue Screens - I men good WEI, good stability and performance, I mean supported hardware, I mean good benchmarks, I mean good tasks scheduling, I mean everything. It. just. works.

Your best bet is to install Windows 7 on a separate HD (if possible) or a separate partition and run it independent of what you are running now. The exception here would be the HP laptop - if you are absolutely willing to format the laptop should it come to it, I'd upgrade that one to Windows 7 - you'll appreciate the performance benefits much more on that laptop than on a desktop machine that can easily handle Vista.

Feel free to ask any more questions you have. We're here to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Mar 2009   #4

Vista Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok, thanks for the extensive advice! Sounds like it will be a better way to go to set up a dual-boot Vista/7 on the HP laptop, when to do it is still to be decided. It's a recent machine and perfectly capable of handling Vista - it actually works fine, except one program I use frequently refuses to exit correctly (it does on my other two machines) and my VPN doesn't connect correctly... I attribute these either to HP junkware (haven't been able to pinpoint the cause) or something else they did to "customize" Vista...

One small point on the memory consumption (of sidebar in particular) - my RAM meter here shows 50% use of 6GB, so I am using 3Gb without much being open except FF and Windows Mail (admittedly I have a large newsgroup on WM which does make it consume a lot of memory). You say your virtual size of sidebar is 700+Mb of VM, here I've got 500 but as far as I can tell 300 of it is in RAM. However, from what I have I have understood, it will liberate some if needed by the system...? But I still do not understand why the memory use in RAM goes up over time - even if it does get liberated if needed - what's it doing?

--ch
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2009   #5

Vista Ult 64 bit Seven Ult RTM x64
 
 

Hello chmillman,

Welcome to the Seven Forums.

Vista and Seven will over time load portions of your most used programs into memory so that when you do open them they will load faster. The idea is that unused memory is wasted memory. If a program does need the Ram it will unload these and let the program use it.

Gary
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2009   #6

Windows XP
 
 

JohnGalt - wow! Thank you for the incredibly helpful advice! No wonder you're a moderator!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Build 7600
 
 

Windows 7 is really stable . . . and especially "FAST".

Using build 707* . . . and still rocking, after 7 upgrades

Kind regards,
CatFish
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2009   #8

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chmillman View Post
Ok, thanks for the extensive advice! Sounds like it will be a better way to go to set up a dual-boot Vista/7 on the HP laptop, when to do it is still to be decided. It's a recent machine and perfectly capable of handling Vista - it actually works fine, except one program I use frequently refuses to exit correctly (it does on my other two machines) and my VPN doesn't connect correctly... I attribute these either to HP junkware (haven't been able to pinpoint the cause) or something else they did to "customize" Vista...

One small point on the memory consumption (of sidebar in particular) - my RAM meter here shows 50% use of 6GB, so I am using 3Gb without much being open except FF and Windows Mail (admittedly I have a large newsgroup on WM which does make it consume a lot of memory). You say your virtual size of sidebar is 700+Mb of VM, here I've got 500 but as far as I can tell 300 of it is in RAM. However, from what I have I have understood, it will liberate some if needed by the system...? But I still do not understand why the memory use in RAM goes up over time - even if it does get liberated if needed - what's it doing?

--ch
Re: RAM usage - with nearly identical setups in Vista x64 and Windows 7, I have found that Windows 7 seems to give me back roughly 20% of used RAM - so, if in Vista you're showing 3 GB free, you should (theoretically) show roughly 3.6 free in Windows 7 - and it is much faster, and stable, and a lot better overall.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by v8ornot2v8 View Post
JohnGalt - wow! Thank you for the incredibly helpful advice! No wonder you're a moderator!
Thanks, m8! Made my day!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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