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What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)

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Raymond Tarry
What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 21, 2008 at 3:00:31 pm

Hi, I'm using MS Windows XP Professional 2002 Service Pack 2. Does it great affect your compression to have a more recent version. Would the Windows Home Edition be better? Thanks Raymond


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Daniel Low
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 21, 2008 at 3:30:51 pm

XP Pro SP2 is probably the best version of Windows for the professional - (Home edition won't support more than one physical processor), and it's unlikely that you'll ever see a better version of Windows. Ever.
All the more shocking when you consider that XP is now well over 7 years old.



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Raymond Tarry
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 21, 2008 at 4:27:01 pm

Thanks, that's good to know, especially since my editing computer has dual Xeon processors. Thanks again - Raymond



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Ben Waggoner
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 21, 2008 at 11:54:45 pm

That's a very broad answer without asking any specifics!

I'm happy doing all my encoding and video production on several Vista Ultimate machines (with a Server 2008 Standard system I use as a backup rendering node as well). It's a misconception that Vista is any slower than XP similar configured. If you turn on indexinx and have a ton of files, it'll be more active the first few days as ait builds the index, but that service is paused when doing anything CPU intennsive. Also, if you're using the Aero Glass GUI, all the on-screen rendering takes place on the GPU, not the CPU, making it much more responsive to user input when under heavy load, and better yet, it keeps the UI from stealing cycles from whatever you're readering.

Vista is also optimized for NUMA architectures for multi-socket systems. This means it'll offer a nice performance boost versus XP on AMD 2+ socket systems, and Intel's forthcoming Nehalem platform (shouldn't matter for your current Xeons).

The key is to run an OS that supports all of your hardware and software. The CS2 suite had some issues for me on Vista, but CS3 has been rock solid for me; I don't have any software I use anymore that has issues on Vista.

So, Raymond, what software do you run on your system? Any unusual hardware?

Also, XP Service Pack 3 has been out for a few months now, and it's be fine for me as well. It's not nearly the leap forward that SP2 was (which was almost as substantial a release as a new OS, but just for free and without UI changes). But probably worth installing if you don't have any software that doesn't support it.

Ben Waggoner
Principal Video Strategist, Silverlight
Microsoft Corporation

Compression Blog: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/
Compression Classes at Stanford and PSU: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/21622/


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Raymond Tarry
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 22, 2008 at 2:03:06 am

Ben, Thanks for the very detailed reply. It's great to talk to such an accomplished Pro. I use Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 as my editor, I have Discreet Combustion 3 which I use on occasion and Grass Valley Procoder 3 is in the mail( I asn't getting good results from the Premiere's Adobe Encoder)
I have 3 hardives, 1 500gb SATA for Storage and 2 160GB SATAs in a RAID for editing. I'm going to change the 160s for 500s and that's why I was wondering about the OS. Just looking down the road.

The immediate goal is video for the web - still exploring possibilites - and putting my three short films up on my website.
So you would recommend either change to Vista or keep XP and upgrade to Sevice Pack 3?
Thanks again for all the info - Raymond



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Ben Waggoner
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 22, 2008 at 6:51:53 am

If you're running an ancient version of Premiere Pro (CS3 = Premiere Pro 3; 1.5 is over 4 years old now), you probably want to stick with XP as Adobe stopped updating 1.5 well before Vista shipped. The current CS3 works great for me on Vista.

Vista is most compelling when coupled with current hardware and software that can take advantage of it.

Ben Waggoner
Principal Video Strategist, Silverlight
Microsoft Corporation

Compression Blog: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/
Compression Classes at Stanford and PSU: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/21622/


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Daniel Low
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 22, 2008 at 1:31:13 pm

I didn't feel there was any need to ask any specifics. My answer was based on my real world experience. Like many I looked forward to using Vista but having done so, my experience with it can be best described as painful.

No video professional I know (and I know many) has either moved to Vista, or stayed with it for more than a few weeks before 'upgrading' back to XP.
Vista needs more processing power and more memory to do the same thing that XP does and at the same time it doesn’t really do anything more than XP does.

It's kind of irrelevant that Vista could potentially offer some hardware based performance improvements when other aspects of the OS affect your performance while using it. Of course many of these things can be turned off, adjusted and tweaked, but only if you know your way around, and you shouldn’t need to have to do those things.

Even your Chief Executive admits that Vista is http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/359541_msftmvp18.html’'>‘Work in progress’ and let’s not forget that it’s been on the shelves since the beginning of last year and took 5 years to get there.

I'm sure for some, Vista has proved to be a worthy upgrade, but in the company I work for, with a couple thousand employees worldwide, only a very tiny handful have Vista yet we are all using fairly up-to-date hardware on our desktops, and the very latest hardware for our heavy lifting, all running a flavour of XP (or Linux).

We're not the only ones, sadly there are too many stories like this out there: Computerworld August 08

Sure, large organisations can be slow to move to 'update' like they did with Win2k to XP, but in that case there was a defined road map, it's rare to hear of such road map for Vista

Vista’s prime-time may come; will that be before the already hyped-up ‘Mojave’ (Windows 7)? We’ll have to wait and see.


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Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ben Waggoner
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 22, 2008 at 5:24:02 pm

Yes, people who are negative about Vista certainly seem to like what they see in Mojave a lot better.

You can check it out for yourself here:

http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/?WT.srch=1

I'm manifestly a video professional, and on all my hardware I've acquired since Vista shipped, I find Vista a better OS. While XP certainly can work on less powerful machines, any machine capable of running current generation video products well are going to be more than enough to run Vista.

And Vista doesn't use any more CPU power or memory for the same stuff as XP; an application uses what it uses. Some people have gotten confused by looking at Task Manager memory use in Vista, noticing that after the machine has been used for a while it tends to stay at around 50%. This is a bug, not a feature; it's keeping recently used files and applications cached in RAM in case they get used again. But that memory is immediately surrendered to any app that needs it. And if you're using Aero Glass, Vista will use less CPU, since all GUI rendering gets moved to the video card.

That's not to say that you didn't have a bad experience; if you were using an app that hadn't been updated to support Vista, or hardware with an incompatible driver, then you can have all kinds of problems. But those aren't issues with the OS, but with your apps or drivers (which very well may have long since been addressed).

If you can give me some details about what didn't work for you, I'd be happy to find out the status of those.

Ben Waggoner
Principal Video Strategist, Silverlight
Microsoft Corporation

Compression Blog: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/
Compression Classes at Stanford and PSU: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/21622/


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Daniel Low
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 22, 2008 at 10:39:54 pm

Ben,

I'm sorry I got myself confused with Mojave and the real, next version of Windows . Mojave is a marketing effort by Microsoft to try and persuade people that Vista is in fact "great", sadly from where I stand it makes these people to look like fools (I'm from the UK so stuff like this, like so many American commercials, makes me feels somewhat nauseous anyway). The people in the clips admit that they haven't even tried Vista, they'd just heard that it was no good.

A new OS that bristles with amazing new features, top-level security and a beautiful new GUI should be a no-brainer for people looking to upgrade or buy a new computer. You shouldn't need Smoke and Mirrors to persuade them it's good for them.

The Mojave experiment is clearly not aimed at me and others who have tried to get on with it and make it work for them as they wanted and expected and hoped.

I do not want to use something that clearly is not ready to be used, no matter what you say, your mileage obviously varies considerably from the many other long-time Windows I know personally who have gone back to XP or who didn't upgrade after trying it out on other machines.

Vista has earned its less than good reputation and nobody can deny that it's been a disaster for Microsoft, why else would you need something like the Mojave Experiment?!

Who in their right mind decided that there should be several different 'versions' of Vista? What version of it would you recommend for us video professionals?

There is a reason why no other OS vendor confuses the consumer in such a way.

There is no other vendor that charges so much for something that didn't deliver all it promised to.

You can build a PC for less than the cost of Ultimate!!

Why would you make DVD Video authoring only available in Home Premium and Ultimate and not any of the others!?

Why would you limit any of the Home editions to only one physical processor, all that does is to stifle progress. It's got to be one of the most retarded limitations ever.

Why shouldn't a 'Home user' have a seriously powerful machine or indeed upgrade to one - (which of course will need to be done in order to run the OS smoothly in the first place - despite all you claim!)

I'll tell you exactly what didn't work for me; the operating system didn't work for me, instead it felt like it was working against me, every step of (many expletives) the way.

For example: Exactly how many times do I have to say 'Yes I want you to do what I just told you to do".

I kept saying to myself, "why did Microsoft try and fix what ain't broke".

This link will give one example of exactly what I mean:

http://spacefold.com/colin/posts/2006/08-20VistaFileReplaceDial.html

We all stick up for what is best for our interests but sometimes one has to concede. Let's all hope that Vista SP2 brings new joy and removes some of the pain.

Right then, let's get back on to the subject in hand....Compression Techniques: Got any new tips, ahead of your book Ben? ;-) (I'll be first in the queue for it BTW)

DL


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Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ben Waggoner
Re: What version of Windows is best (does it matter?)
on Aug 23, 2008 at 5:39:40 am

So, the specific complaint I read here is about the User Authentication dialogs? That basically pops up when an application tries to modify a file that's not in a standard place for that application. This generally reflects an application that doesn't follow long-standing Microsoft programming guidelines, and is a useful way to keep any malware accidentally on a machine from hurting anything.

That said, it's also trivial to turn off on a particular machine if you're not worried about misbehaving apps and malware. The good news is that the existance of the UAC is finally getting developers to follow the rules and newer apps don't trigger them nearly as much. So if that's your primary complaint, you can either turn it off if you can live with XP-level security, or see if your apps have been upated so as not to trigger that.

Which version should a video editor buy? I think any of Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate would be equally good for runnig the apps themselves. Business and Ultimate gives you full domain and remote desktop support if needed (not for a home machine or standalone workstation), and Home Premium and Ultimate give Media Center (possibly useful for testing content playback). As to why diffent versions? The same reason that most software products have different versions; there are features that Pros are willing to pay for that consumers aren't. If you have a single product with a single price, either the price is too high for consumers, or so low that you can't justify bulding in Pro features for that market. Again, most content creation products have a varient on this (three versions of Photoshop, 2-4 of Final Cut (depending on whether you count the server and iMovie). Note that XP actually has quite a few more available versions than Vista:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP_editions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_editions

In the end, for consumers you basically have the Home and Pro versions like XP, plus the Ultimate version that combines all the features of both (the lack of which was a pain for me at least, since Icouldn't be on a domain and also have Media Center).

Ben Waggoner
Principal Video Strategist, Silverlight
Microsoft Corporation

Compression Blog: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/
Compression Classes at Stanford and PSU: on10.net/blogs/benwagg/21622/


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Raymond Tarry
Re: What version of Windows is best Thanks guys!
on Aug 23, 2008 at 4:21:26 pm

Hey Ben and Daniel! Thanks for your great advice. I'm going with XP pro and I'll upgrade to SP3. Thanks for all the detailed posts. I aspire to be that good - Raymond



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