I’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading my desktop machine from Vista 32 to Vista 64 for two reasons. Firstly I’ve got a 64bit dual core AMD processor and I want to use it! Secondly I want to be able to use all of the memory in the PC; it’s got 4GB and whilst 2^32 is 4.1GB, by the time you take off the video memory and some other hardware reservations the useable memory is about 3.5GB.
So last night I took the plunge and installed from scratch. It gave me the opportunity to stripe the three disks that are in the box too. The Vista performance indicator was telling me that with a score of 5.0, the disk performance was my lowest score.
It took about 35 minutes to install Vista on top of the striped disks… and then another 45 minutes to upgrade that keyless installation with the same image to get around the limitation of only having a Vista upgrade disk. No problems to speak of so far as there are 64 bit drivers for all of my hardware but I’m not surprised to find this as for once I’d done my research before jumping in feet first.
There are drivers for my motherboard’s RAID chipset, my Nvidia video cards, Creative Audigy sound card (that’s about 3 years old), mouse, webcam, Garmin satnav and my Blackberry. The only thing that doesn’t seem to be working is the installer for Sony Ericsson’s PC Suite but to be honest I can live without that. I was only looking for the USB driver that I can get from somewhere else when and if I need it.
I’ve still got one unknown device showing in Device Manager but that is the Creative sound card’s game port that I can happily live without.
Striping the disks has given me a performance boost. According to Vista I now have a performance score of 5.4 with the processor being the lowest score with everything else at 5.9 bar the gaming graphics score of 5.8. It isn’t going to justify an upgrade to a quad core box despite the availablity of the new shiney AMD Phenom quad core chips!