jrdegaetano
1 Copper

Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

I have done just about as much research as one person could do on the subject, and I am (fortunately for my nerves) coming to a fairly firm understanding of what I can/cannot should/should not do in regards to my situation.  Here's what I am left with:

I am currently running Win Vista x32 on my Dell XPS 410.  Here are the specs:

-Dell Dimension DXP061

-Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz 2.39 GHz (Number of processer cores: 4)

-4 GB Ram (PC2-5300 4X1GB Sticks with 2 dual channel slots)

-300 GB Internal Hard Drive

-NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS (Stock GFX Card died, and I replaced it with this less than a year ago)

-Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit (64-bit capable/compatible)

-Intel P965 Chipset

As you can tell, I have not been running this rig to it's full potential...and to be honest, I didn't even realize what it was capable of until about 1 week ago.  Here's what I know I can do from here:

1)  Install Win 7 x64 (Clean)

2)  Install SDD Hard Drive and install W7 (Retail Copy) to new drive.

3)  Install up to 8gb ram (with 99.9% certainty, regardless of what dell documentation and crucial says.  I know the chipset I mentioned can support 8gb, I have seen countless posts of users with the same system running 8gb, and I can physically put 8gb ram in the system)

Bear in mind that as the amount of money it takes to effectively do what I have listed above goes up, the worth goes down.  I purchased the machine in 2007 and the goal here is to optimize for less than it would cost to build a better system. 

Now these are the only things that I am still struggling with:

1)  Upgrade, Retail, or OEM -

The popular suggestion to avoid any potential license related issues would be for me to buy the retail copy of Win7, as the independent liscense would prove valuable (and only then would Microsoft offer tech support from 32-bit to 64-bit install, per microsoft).

-Upgrade @ $100 -

Now this really only becomes important when it comes down to looking ahead.  If I buy the upgrade, it is my understanding that the $100 I spend on that software, will be eaten up by this machine and this machine alone...and that if anything were to happen where I needed to reboot from disc, I would have to start with Vista every time, then upgrade to Win7.  This does not seem appealing.

-Retail @ $200

- This proves to be the best in regards to planning ahead, but the worst for cost effectiveness in the NOW, in relation to how much I am putting into an old machine.

-OEM @ $100

- Independent license, but I am again bound to this machine.  (Is that correct?)

Now here is how I end up looking at this.  If I spend the $100 to upgrade and it works, I just saved $100.  If I spend $100 to upgrade and it doesn't work, I will spend another $100 on the OEM for my new build ($200, but potentially over time).  If I plop down the $200 now, I won't have any problems until they release Windows 8 (seems like it could happen fairly soon). 

Which option would you go with?


2)  New HD: SSD or bigger, faster HDD -

I will make this easy right now.  In regards to budget, I am ONLY potentially interested in purchasing an SSD for the OS due to how expensive they are right now. 

I have already spent $100 on an 1-TB on an external hard drive in preparation for this switch, and data storage in the future.  Including this new external hard drive, I have a total of 1.5+ TB of space. 

Would there be any point to having only an SSD big enough for OS and using old HDD for all applications and files?

At the end of the day, I am just looking for the best approach as far as spending goes.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

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6 Replies
fireberd
6 Indium

Re: Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

The first thing to consider, regardless of what you do.  Once you have done what you want to do you will still have an old technology PC.  I have a Q6600 CPU system and it is outdated, compared to current technology, both in CPU capability, memory speed and size, and BIOS type.  The motherboard, to support the Q6600 is also outdated technology.

SSD drives are still a "techie" type item and thus relatively expensive.  An SSD drive will have faster access and the accompanying program loading speed increase.  This is only an advantage on some programs and applications.  As I see it, unless everything is on the SSD you lose a lot of the benefit of the SSD - e.g. if you have the program on the SSD, but all the data associated with that program on a standard hard drive you are still basically limited to the speed of the hard drive and thus negate a lot of the faster access speed of an SSD.  I'm going to build a new PC later this year for my recording studio system but I'm going with 7200 RPM hard drives rather than SSD. 

The video card you have is also "dated".

Considering, the cost of Windows 7 64 bit, upgrading memory, the SSD, and a new video card (the 8400 is "dated"), you can buy a new PC, which will come with Windows 7 64 bit,  for not much more.    You can still use your 1TB drive with the new system. 

 



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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jrdegaetano
1 Copper

Re: Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

I have some issues with this though.

1)  It is because of pretty much everything that you have said in regards to the system being dated, that I will never buy a pre-fab computer again.  If I give up on this computer, I would build my own so that I never have to hear anything about my equipment being dated and needing to buy new...I would know all of the components I installed and could act accordingly.  

2)  Dated doesn't always mean un-usable.  If I bought an i7 quad core, in 6 years, that would be dated...but if it was still working properly...can you honestly say it wouldn't be good?  I am not a gamer, and I don't really have a need for a top end gfx card.  I bought that one last year brand new, so I can't begin to understand why it would be oudated.

3)  Yes the CPU is old, but it is still better than some of my "new" options.  

4)  If I subtract the ssd from the mix, I can literally spend $100 to upgrade to win 7 x64 plus a little more to upgrade the ram to 6 or 8 gb.  How can you suggest that I won't see a considerable performance boost in doing this?  

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fireberd
6 Indium

Re: Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

My PC, which is a home built with an Intel DP35DP motherboard, Q6600 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD4850 video card. It has Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.  Compared to the Vista 32 bit Home Premium I have on a separate disc (I can dual boot) I see no difference in speed, or operation on any application that I have.   However, with the 64 bit OS and 8GB of RAM I do have more room for my recording studio application (Sonar X1) when I get a lot of tracks going.  Otherwise, I see no difference.  I have MS Office 2003, but it is a 32 bit program.  I use the 32 bit version of Internet Explorer, as recommended by Microsoft, as some add-ons are not fully 64 bit.  Actually, the only full 64 bit program I have is Sonar X1, everything else is still 32 bit.  The Intel chipset driver for my motherboard is still a 32 bit application as is the sound driver for my HT Omega "Striker 7.1" sound card.  With all the 32 bit applications, that is probably why I don't really see any difference.  When more software vendors start making 64 bit applications we will see some improvement, but they are slow to rewrite their applications for 64 bit.

My system is a home built, but the motherboard will not accept the newer i3/i5/i7 CPU's.  I can upgrade to a higher Qxxxx but I'm still limited on bus speed by the motherboard.  Thus my home built is basically upgrade limited as is your Dell.

Yours can be upgraded to a certain extent (hardware) and you can install Win 7 64 bit.  I didn't say you couldn't upgrade, just that you have to consider what $$ you are going to put into it and what you will have after whatever you do.



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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msgale
4 Germanium

Re: Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

I am with firebred.  You neglected to indicate the type/speed of your disk, which is important.  Many standard disks are 5400 rpm.  You can easily improve performance by going to either 7.2K or 10k disks.  I am leery of your claim that you can run eight GBytes of main memory.  Unless you are running 64 bit aware applications, you are not going to gain any significant performance with a 64 bit OS.  There aren't many 64 bit apps out there.  Photoshop and Maya are.  IE9 is and there is a 64 bit version for Flash Player to go along with it.  Most other plugins aren't.  There is a 64 version of MS Office, which runs exactly the same as the 32 bit version.  I do run 64 bit operating systems on all my PCs, but that is because I use Photoshop and Maya on one, and MS SQL Server (2012) Developer edition.

PS I used Cheetah 15k.7  on both of my desktops, and a 7.2k on my laptop.  I also have 16 GBytes of memory on one desktop and 48 GBytes on the other

PPS to firebred, have you considered the WD family of Raptor 10k drives?

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jrdegaetano
1 Copper

Re: Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

@fireberd:  You said "However, with the 64 bit OS and 8GB of RAM I do have more room for my recording studio application (Sonar X1) when I get a lot of tracks going. Otherwise, I see no difference."

I probably neglected to mention that I use my computer for music production as well...which should change things, because what you just said literally confirms that what I want to do will accomplish exactly what I need. 

At the present time, I run Cubase 5, Reason 5, and FLS Producer Edition at the same time, with very large VSTs and several audio tracks at times.  Currently, my computer is not performing as I would like it to.  Literally, every person I have asked about this says that upgrading from vista x32 to win 7 x64 will make a significant difference in my ability to run these programs more efficiently.  I have 4gb in right now, and vista x32 doesn't recognize but a little over 3 of it. 

@msgale: The type/speed of the disk is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0GB/s 320GB 7200RPM.  Not much upgrading outside of size. 

@msgale:  I am not sure if when you say that you are leery about the 8gb claim, that you mean you don't know that you trust that the system can actually run with/acknowledge 8gb of RAM, or that you don't know if win 7 x64 can utilize it...but just encase, here are all of the sources that back this up:

1) I have the Intel P965 Express Chipset:

http://ark.intel.com/products/chipsets/22754

2) A post on this same forum (http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19257409.aspx

"Yes the XPS 410 will accept and fully use all 8 GB of RAM when running a 64 bit O/S. I currently have 8GB in mine and it works great."-Posted by dcgtls replied on 2-10-2009 10:33am

Further proof, I imagine that his specs more accurately reflect his current setup:

XPS 410:

Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz (Q6600) , 6GB, EVGA 8800GTS 640MB,

VISTA HP 64bit, 400GB Seagate HDD, 3x500GB Samsung HDD,

4xExternal 500GB HDD, External 250GB HDD, External 200GB HDD,

NEC ND-3650A DVD+-RW/DL, Sony CRX310S CD-RW/DVD combo

Single TV Tuner , 56k modem, X-Fi Xtreme Music, Logitec X530 Speakers

Dell 24" UltraSharp 2407WFP Wide-Screen

...and again within the same forum by the user who originally posed the question:

"Installed the 8GB's of Crucial RAM last night, and it worked great. Turned on the system and the BIOS and OS recognize the full 8GB's i installed. Granted, it says in the performance tab that only 3GB's are being utilized, but once i move to 64-bit, I'm sure that issue will be resolved.

So...it looks like you can go to 8GB's of RAM in the XPS410 system. I wonder why Dell says the system can only take 4GBs? ...and even many of the memory re-sellers websites list the XPS410 as having a 4GB limit as well."

-Posted by coleygm on 2-23-2009 12:23PM

There is a bunch more of that throughout the forum, so there's no need to continue citing sources like that, but here's one last, that visually answers the question with certainty:

3) http://mikefrobbins.com/2011/02/10/memory-upgrades-beyond-manufacturers-recommendations/

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fireberd
6 Indium

Re: Migration from Vista x32 to 7 x64 - XPS410...HELP!!!!

If you have 64 bit DAW software then 64 Bit OS will be an improvement.  If Cubase or whatever you have is 32 bit then 64 bit OS won't get you anything.  Along with Sonar X1D Exteneded Professional which is fully 64 bit, I also have Pro Tools MP9 installed.  However, Pro Tools 9, even Pro Tools 10, is still 32 bit application.  Pro Tools 11 is supposed to be 64 bit.  As I have both Sonar And Pro Tools, Sonar is my "production" DAW, I just recently got Pro Tools and still learing that.

I have a 7200RPM drive.  I haven't looked into higher speed drives.

I have 8GB of RAM and generally I have around 1.8GB of RAM used at Windows 7 64 bit startup.  I actually have two drives with Windows 7 64 bit and Sonar/Pro Tools on it.  I have my "operational" drive (the one I access the internet with, etc) and I have the 7200 RPM drive with Windows 7 64 bit and Sonar and Pro Tools installed on it but it does not access the internet, which is my "DAW" drive and what I use for recording.  Having the separate drive with limited applications also eliminates many interrupt potentials and it has a lower DPC Latency Checker specs.  I use a Roland Octa-Capture for Sonar recording, and an MAudio Fastrack Ultra 8R for Pro Tools and as a backup for the Octa-Capture if ever needed.  



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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