"Nice OS, hardware intensive, do your homework."4.0 starson by cpfenn
Pros: Very nice when its all setup properly
Cons: setup can be a bear! hardware requirements.
Summary: I build PC's. I had the luxury of getting a licenced copy of this OS to play with. The key has expired but the install disc lets me install it with 60 days of use. I have experimented with this OS for about 9 months now. I will go into detail about what I have learned from this OS.
All the systems had 1Ghz of DDR 333Mhz ram and a GeForce fx-5200 agp8x 128M DDR ram.
I have used 5 different CPU's.
1. 3.06Ghz/533/512L2 P4 w/HT
2. 2.8Ghz/533/512L2 P4
3. 2.4Ghz/800/1ML2 P4 w/HT
4. 2.4Ghz/533/512L2 P4
5. 2.13Ghz/400/512L2 AMD Athlon XP 3000+
the P4's: the 2.4HT, 2.8, and 3.06 were used in a HP D530, the 2.4 and 2.8 were in a HP D510. The AMD was in a ECS KT600A.
I was using a 40G ata133 HDD for the OS and a 160G ata133 for recording tv and time shifting. The 40G was strickly for the OS and installs. This did make a difference in performance, if I used the 40G for time shifting the performance was weaker. I experimented with a larger drive for the OS and found the same conclusion. If you use pata hard drives use loose performance if you use the OS drive for time shifting. Therefore dont waste money on a big HD for the OS 40G - 80G works very well.
After i figured that out I experimented with the cpus and motherboard combos. I was thinking I would get the best performance from the HP D530 with the 3.06HT. The D530 also supports dual channel ram...cool.
But the winner was the AMD with the ECS KT600A. It ran flawlessly for 48 straight days before it glitched. And it was a minor glitch the video card got a bit hot because the fan died on it. The glitch was unstable video when watching TV or anything.
The D530 with the 3.06HT was second and the D510 with the 2.8 was just as good as the D530. The D510 does not suppport HT or dual channel ram. The KT600A does not support dual channel ram. So I assume that the MCE part doesnt care about the HT or the dual channel, it didn't make a performance difference. When I say the AMD won, it was a very close race. I am thinking if I put the 3.06HT in an ASUS or other mobo it will probably do better than the AMD, due to the chipset.
I also recommend putting your music on different drive than you use to record TV.
I put my music files on the OS drive it worked fine from there. And your able to record tv while listening to music without taxing your cpu. If you have a lot of music you may want to get that big drive for the OS then.
Overall the OS works well, the license is very strict if you change any part of your system it may ask to renew.
Since this OS can be purchased by itself now I recommend it for the PC builder.
Once you find a Hardware combo that works well, clone it and make 2 pc's for the cost of one OS.
And don't forget to make an image when you install it, it save you time when the setup has to be repeated.