It will be a week before my new hard drives arrive so I’m giving Vista Home 32 bit a brutal shakedown on this laptop. It honestly seems to run faster and better than Vista x64 on my Q9450. I still think I’m going to throw XP Pro on it but with some clever tweaking of Tasks and Services I got Vista’s footprint down to under 650M. A slight help but still a bit heavy when you only have 2048M to play with and need to run some very memory heavy games.
I’m trying to find out just how viable Vista is. There are a bunch of people these days who think you should just suck it up and use Vista. However, my experience with Vista 64 on my gaming rig is that it really makes the system less responsive. It uses too much memory and 3-4G is really optimal. But drivers are just really unstable or non existent for Vista 64.
Just what on Earth makes Vista worth it then? I couldn’t ever really see any noticeable difference in DirectX 10 games. Yeah, I do like some of the UI things a bit but… at the end of the day XP is just faster. But Vista 32 isn’t nearly so bad. It’s just a lot more responsive and the benchmarks seem just fine. It seems to want less memory.
In other news I have some more thoughts on the m17. The speakers are too quiet. This is a common complaint of mine with many laptops. They just never seem to be loud enough. Using some special software I have been able to determine that the GPUs and CPU run about 50c degrees while idling in Vista. This is while using my Belkin lap cooler. So the laptop is still breathing just fine. It just runs hot. With two GPUs this probably isn’t surprising.
The heat doesn’t bother me though since I use the lap cooler anyway. Yes, I have tried to overclock the FSB. But the CPU multipliers seem to drop when I do that. I need to do a little more reading on overclocking without affecting speedstep or whatever other power management features are coming in to play.