Vista saves the day!

After nearly a 15 hour marathon of setting up my new PC, Vista finally prevailed over XP and saved my day!

First a recap. I’ve been planning to assemble together a new PC to complement my current rig, an old but reliable 478’er Prescott (haha). After nearly a year of skimping and saving, I managed to buy the components piece by piece and finally, yesterday, I took the big leap. Here’s the rig specs:

Intel Core2Duo E4500 = RM 380
2 x 1GB Corsair Twin2X DDR2 = RM250
Sapphire HD3870 = RM 660
Silverstone Strider ST56F = RM 320
Seagate 7200.10 320GB = RM 230
Encloxure Shinobi SH09A = RM 140
Total = RM 2305

I started the assembling all the components at 9, after a good night’s sleep, and finished it at 12, after some mishaps :(. So anyways, with the board POST’ed up, I proceeded to install XP SP2 on it, but the snag came at installing ATI’s Catalyst driver, where I tried not only with the provided drivers, but also their latest 8.3 and 8.2 versions, all of which caused XP to BSOD itself upon loading. Wasted around 12 hours trying to get it work, in the end, I tried Vista.

And lo and behold! Catalyst 8.3 installed perfectly on Vista, giving me 4.4 on the Windows Experience Index, plus giving me my first taste of the Windows Aero theme, and I must say, god damn, it’s beautiful. Definitely didn’t expect to see Vista actually making me go over the moon in happiness, considering the amount of bad rep I’ve been exposed to of it, but I’ll say, it ain’t that bad after all!

Anyways, retiring for a good rest first, before proceeding to play around more with my new rig.

EDIT: I’m selling off my new D-Link KVM switch, since it can’t support my keyboard well. Any local readers interested? :P


  1. IcyStorm Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 4:52 am

    Have fun with Vista while the goodness lasts.

    Any reason you went with the HD3870? Nvidia has better offerings in both the mid-range and high-range price points.

  2. Hinano Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 6:23 am

    I have Vista but I only used the aero theme about the first week I had it. Then I disabled it. It’s such a memory hog

  3. Kyon Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 7:23 am

    Welcome to Catalyst nightmare.
    My experience so far:
    7.10 -> crap
    7.11 -> crap (less than 7.10, at least it didn’t crash so often)
    7.12 -> good
    8.1 -> crap if I’m not mistaken
    8.2 -> good (what I’m currently using)

    And I’m planning to switch soon to Vista, I tried it on my other system and I didn’t have any major problem so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t use it on my main system.

  4. Acadia Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 10:08 am


    Sheesh. Didn’t the instructions explain at least that much? Of course it’ll BSOD because XP doesn’t have .NET integrated during a fresh install. Vista does.

    So all you did was congratulate yourself for installing that slow-ass POS Vista OS. Give it a few weeks and you’ll be begging for XP again.

  5. Forceflow Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 10:18 am

    you will hate vista.

    On an up-todate lappie it runs like a granny.

    Have switched to ubuntu thanks to it.

  6. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 10:43 am


    I am not an idiot. Of course I installed .NET framework first. This isn’t the first ATI card I’m using.

    >>On an up-todate lappie it runs like a granny.

    Have fun with your lapburners.

    Anyways, this irrational hate for Vista is really like the stupidity of true tears Hiromi-haters earlier.

    >>Any reason you went with the HD3870?

    The price is pretty good. I’ve been interested to get ATI’s HD series since they launched it. Earlier plan was to get HD2600XT, but then HD3870 got launched, so I went with that, and thankfully for the price cuts as well.

  7. solgae Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 11:12 am

    HD3870 is a good card for its price, but the 9600GT might have been a better buy. Still, I’m not the one who make decisions.

    Get that SP1 for Vista and you’ll be much more happier. Final version should be up on torrents.

  8. quigonkenny Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

    Vista is teh WIN. As someone who works on computers for a living and has used it since before it officially came out, I can safely say I’ve had fewer problems with it than I did with xp (even taking into account the shorter rime period). Even then, most of those few problems I’ve had were due to driver manufacturers and software providers not getting off their collective arses and fixing their software to integrate with the stronger Vista security. As for Aero, I love it, too. It’s not overbearing like most of the Linux 3D interfaces (although those *are* pretty) and it’s just the right mixture of form and function. Also, it shouldn’t be a memory hog on your system, as you have a video card that will handle the interface in its entirety, while units with weaker cards will have to offload a fair amount of the processing to the processor, which is part of why a lot of laptops to run slower with Vista. (The main reason is all the bloated, marginally compatible software add-ons so many manufacturers stick in their machines nowadays, which you won’t have to worry about.)

    Just make sure you don’t try to add a bunch of older software (specifically older burning programs) and you should be okay.

  9. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

    Heh, finally a positive comment! \o/

    Don’t worry, I do realize the compatibility problems of Vista. Besides, I’m mainly using it for the newest games. I’m keeping my old rig alive as well, with a two PC+KVM switch setup. If I can’t do something in Vista, still got an XP rig to fall back on ;).

  10. manga Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    After installing Vista and getting the correct drivers it works like a charm each and every time. No BSOD, no programs crashing or anything. Vista is great. Even old games like Starcraft runs smoother than ever on Vista.

    Runs like a charm on this comp and runs as smooth as silk on my laptop.

    Congrats on getting your parts Kurogane.

  11. Tourbillon Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

    Why is the score only 4.4? Which component is pulling the score down?

    I have a 4.3 rating com and here is my specs:

    P4 3.2Ghz HT Prescott
    1.5gb DDR2 RAM
    Nvidia Geforce 8600GT 256mb
    80gb HDD :(
    Windows Vista Home Premium

    Evidently, your rig is far better than mine…but the scores don’t reflect it, which is why it’s weird.

    oh yes Nvidia > ATI. Both in price and performance.

  12. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 1:16 am

    The processor apparently. My card gets 5.9 alone.

    Well, I plan to do some overclocking with the processor anyways.

  13. Crisu Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 4:32 am

    I like how Antenna tagged this post in the Happiness! category … if only because you had the word “happiness” in it.

  14. Melonpan Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 4:37 am

    Nicu Kurogane Neesama!

    Funny, that I just bought a new pc a few days ago too. Personally I don’t like Vista at all – it crashed more in 1 week than my XP in 5 years. Bah.

  15. EmOtakuVu Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 9:09 am

    My laptop uses Vista and I just upgraded my desktop to it too.

    It definitely took some getting used to and there are a few things I don’t like about it, but all in all I think it’s fine. Nothing worth hating on but not the end all be all either.

    I got to say though, the file transfer speeds really suck and I’m hoping SP1 addresses that some, which is what I’m hearing.

    Otherwise, it’s the win for me.

  16. yoshi314 Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

    vista = you lose.

    you can get 3x the performance from linux on that box.

    but that’s only me.

  17. Necromas Said,

    March 18, 2008 @ 11:20 am

    Pfft, the only real performance killer in Vista is if you bottleneck your RAM, which is absurdly hard to do with todays RAM prices, and you can disable all the annoying things about Vista like the administrator permissions thing or whining because it thinks you don’t have proper security.

  18. Heero Yuy Said,

    March 20, 2008 @ 5:14 am

    Being one of the few people here who’s job is dependent on their level of tech knowledge (I’m one of a few pc support technicians for the main server system for my campus and also the on campus hospital – different networks but still), I have to say vista isn’t bad in of itself.

    The reasons it seems to me that everyone gives it bad press is either A) they’re trying to put it on a machine that barely meets the spec recommendations or B) they’ve gotten so used to doing things a certain way with XP that they get cranky that they have to relearn where some things are located with Vista.

    For people like me however, some of the reorganizing is a godsend.

    Since I have to ghost image computers alot and use a mix of UNIX terminal style to Windows interface systems, some of the file organizations make a lot more sense. I don’t have to do that long “Documents and Settings” since it’s now “Users” and inside it there’s ONE simple place to put what used to be “Program Files/Common Files”, “Docs and Settings/Username/App Data”, and where ever else programs would randomly toss crap.

    Plus the tool arrangements make a bit more sense usually. I only have to click “connect to a network” down in the corner instead of flipping open network connections and click fifty little things in order to switch between networks with particular settings I’ve made.

    As for resources, eh, it’s a little more demanding, but at least it makes sense. The pre-execution common program caching tool is an amazing feature too (it prestores parts of programs….or games in most of your cases….. that you run often to your ram (usually the bits that are used to initiate them running) so that they start faster. This is part of what’s eating your RAM when you’re idling usually)

    As for the specs on your new comp, most of them look fine, though I’m a much larger nVidia fan just cause they tend to blow less smoke in your face and not talk down to people like we’re all on the level that don’t know what core clockspeeds are….

  19. Kurogane’s Anime Blog » I killed my mobo… orz Said,

    April 28, 2008 @ 11:59 pm

    […] RAM from Shawty (popular seller in LYN forums). Got the RAM yesterday, then took it to test on my new rig today. Booted up fine with all 4 sticks. Then decided to test with only the Ballistix. Guess what? […]

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