Now that Microsoft has issued the first release canditate of Vista to testers, ExtremeTech has decided to build its own high-performance Vista machine. The article details component choices that will make for a machine that can attain a ‘Windows Experience Score’ of over 5. The build parts total over USD 2500, so fast Vista performance won’t come cheap.
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2006-09-13 10:06 pmjjmckay
what?? My 5.1 is bigger than your 4.9!!
2006-09-14 10:26 amkaiwai
Good question; the better question is, how do they calculate that benchmark? what is considered ‘ok’ for performance? what is it between? How does it even work? to me, all it seems is a grand way of pushing up hardware purchases.
People want to know that there is certain ‘levels’, so if they get a 1, what does that mean, if they get a 5, what experience are they going to expect; if Microsoft want people to prep themselves now so that when Windows Vista ships, customers jump on board as soon as possible, then Microsoft needs to nail down things so customers know whether or not they’re ready rather than having some impossible to understand numnber(s).
My dual core 2.8ghz gets 4.9, the CPU lowers it to 4.9 and the machine cost 400 bux. The gfx card cost 350 though, nvidia 7800.
The performance of ExtremeTech’s system was probably limited by the RAID 5 array. It is not like the Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard uses anything like a LSI Logic RAID controller integrated into the motherboard. So I wonder how much CPU time was spent calculating parity?
It would have been nice for them to test the system without RAID and see what the score is. And for the amount of money they spent they should have used a true hardware RAID solution if storage was that important.
It seems a little contradictory to have a high performance Vista system. It’s like building a plane with the latest and powerfull engines, and using lead for the structure.
Edited 2006-09-13 23:21
Now that Gigabyte has merge with Asus i don’t think i would use asus. i would probably use DFI or MSI boards instead and would wait for Intel’s four-core CPU : Core 2 Quadro.
Edited 2006-09-14 00:04
“It seems a little contradictory to have a high performance Vista system. It’s like building a plane with the latest and powerfull engines, and using lead for the structure.”
Well, Vista’s kernel >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>>>>>>>> Linux kernel any day of the week.
Sorry, that is the truth and I know it hurts but you will get over it.
2006-09-14 1:00 amsilicon
Can you cite any sources? Perhaps provide results of benchmarks you conducted? Or are you just blurting rubbish?
Well I can cite many sources that contradict your post.
And then there’s the US$500 you’ll pay for Vista Ultimate, at least retail. 3000 bucks is a whole lot of money just to get the “Vista Expierience” the way MS intended you to.
IF you are building your system you can get it at the OEM price. I find it amazing how people complain over and over when XP home is $60+ or so off pricewatch OEM FULL version.
I personally run FC5 at work and home, however the option is there and people should take advantage of it.
I find it amazing how people complain, howmany can load Fedora Core 5/Rhel3-4/SuSE on an old pentium with X?
So stop complaining, NO one is forcing you to buy it or use it.
2006-09-14 3:25 amnedvis
“…howmany can load Fedora Core 5/Rhel3-4/SuSE on an old pentium with X? NONE .
Sorry, Southern.Pride, you’re wrong.
Fedora Core 5 is optimized for Pentium 4 CPUs, but also supports earlier CPUs such as Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, and compatible AMD and VIA processors.
Same with SuSE and I can tell you I’m running ver. 10.0 on my Celeron 500 MHz Compaq Deskpro ( low -end system with only 256 Mb SDRAM).
And thank God I don’t have to worry about minimum hardware requirements to have everything I really need from my machines.
Sure machines are prone to break but it has nothing to do with Microsoft obsolescence policy nor mania for great or grandiose performance.
Are we going to setup computer clusters in near future just to open a wordprocessor?
2006-09-14 12:05 pmcyclops
Couple of things, This comment is especially strange considering the posts on *memory* requirements.
One of the advantages to why there are many distributions of Linux is that they have different one tailored to different needs. Damn small linux is the star in this area, and will run on a very limited machine.
Even if you run linux. Its a very Microsoft world. Linux will be greatly affected my the launch of vista. I hope it will spur on developers to innovate more. Obviously the bundling of IE7 could affect whether I could access certain web sites, The bundling of Media player decides on whether I can download or play content from amazon. The bundling of MSN decides how I communicate with my friends. In the instance of needing a high powered machine I am hoping this will drop computing prices again.
2006-09-14 1:50 pmaent
Yes, but there is a difference between not working with 10+ year old hardware and 5 year old hardware, 1 year old hardware, and only working with hardware very expensive today.
My pentium 3m with a nvidia geforce 2go runs the latest beta version of ubuntu, with all of the affects enabled, with absolutely no problems and is still decently fast. And its just getting better as well… I can’t run games (well, most, older games work) or anything because the little power the GPU has is sucked up by Xgl and Google Earth is too slow to be usable, but for nearly everything else including all of the Xgl affects, its great.
I spent $1k on my box, and got a 4.8 for the CPU (3800+ X2 windsor). I don’t think they like dual-core AMD that much. It seems to run Vista just fine, though.
All the other scores were 5.3 (video- 7600gt) or better. Amusingly, my system gets 5.5 on memory transfers, also using 2gb of DDR2-800 memory.
I have to say that buying an operating system for 40% of the cost of my system doesn’t exactly fill me with glee. Vista is overpriced.
Microsoft would look much better selling the “Home” and the “Business” version, then make various add-ons cheap to buy electronically. Then they can complain that it’s all the evil Department of Justice’s fault that they couldn’t ship a “complete” OS.
2006-09-14 1:20 amSouthern.Pride
Overpriced to who’s standards?
In a free market a vendor can price software at what they want. Then the end ‘customer’ can take it or leave it.
However, how many people build machines who will purchase Vista in a store? None more than likely, when you are buying parts you can buy the FULL version at the OEM price a lot cheaper.
I do not care how much it is because I run Linux, so it does not bother me if it is $60+200 or so. I have a laptop supplied to me from work & workstation both loaded with Linux (Fedora) with citrix services for logging in.
2006-09-14 3:39 amfrrossk
If you are running Linux, and you do not care about Vista pricing, what’s all this advocacy about Vista? You make me think you are running Windows on your workstations, not Linux…
2006-09-14 3:00 amNotParker
“I have to say that buying an operating system for 40% of the cost of my system doesn’t exactly fill me with glee.”
Then buy an OEM version, or Vista Home Premium or Vista Home Basic or buy an upgrade version.
In a free market a vendor can price software at what they want
Except it isn’t a really free market, remember the convictions about being a monopoly? (of course, add to that people who don’t dare to use anything else but Windows)
2006-09-14 10:32 amkaiwai
Bull; there are alternatives, there is nothing stopping an alternative from offering something better; is it Microsofts fault that Linux has poor hardware support and a lack of independent software developers like Adobe, Corel, Macromedia, MYOB, Quicken from developing software for Linux?
Microsoft is where it is because it provides and operating system with relativel good hardware support, massive selection of software that can run on it, and to top it all off, it can run on generic x86 computers.
If there was ever someone to blame for Microsoft’s monopoly, its the consumer who doesn’t choose to purchase the alternatives, and the alternative operating system vendors refusig to do something about the lack of hardware support and getting commercial software developers to port their applications to their said platform.
Edited 2006-09-14 10:42
2006-09-14 11:44 amcyclops
I think its interesting that most reports. Including this one, with its creative drivers. Blaim the manufactures for Microsoft’s poor driver support in vista.
Linux FYI has rather a lot of software developers. Its does not run programs from companies focused on the Microsoft XP platform. Like those you have listed.
Amazing that the article didn’t comment that:
a) their expensive RAM got the worst mark (5.1) compared to the rest (5.4 or 5.9).
b) That 5.1 score dragged what could have been 5.6 or more (by using even pricier RAM) down to 5.1 thanks to the rating system idiotically using the lowest score (5.1) of your components rather than the average (5.6).
Is it just me or is this Vista rating system (it’s out of 5.9 I think now, might be more in the future to confuse you!) just a complete load of old bunkum that Microsoft look foolish using?
2006-09-14 11:59 amgrat
As I mentioned in my earlier comment, my own system (AMD) with slightly slower (5-5-5 timings) DDR2-800 memory, scored a 5.5.
I’m guessing Hypertransport and it’s bandwidth is to blame here.
The scoring system will be used, and gamed, by system manufacturers. The fact that the “overall” score is “lowest number” is a bit hinky, but I can kinda see what Microsoft is driving towards.
For those who remember the Norton SI score, where a 4.77 MHz PC was considered “1.0”, this should get interesting as time goes by. Microsoft will be forced to increment the number, and sooner or later, you’ll be looking at software requiring a Vista score of 12.3.
2006-09-14 3:42 pmCPUGuy
It actually doesn’t make sense to use an average score.
Having a good video card doesn’t make up for poor RAM performance (replace this statment with any component compared to any other component).
> 2500 USD just to get a number on a screen to go over 5.
> Is this what computing has been reduced too?
I can scratch out 5.5 on 400 MHz PII using MS Paint…
Its just sad that a system of this spec has to be built in order for Vista to approve of the hardware and give a good score, yep ill be this happy running on your system mate… sounds like a pile of bloated crap to me…..
2500 USD just to get a number on a screen to go over 5.
Is this what computing has been reduced too?