So I’ve started to play with Windows Vista Beta 2. I’ve got a machine at work (dedicated but sucky integrated graphics) and a machine at home (dual-booting my primary gaming system with XP MCE 2005) and so far the experience has been a pretty good one.
I had some initial trouble with the machine at work and ended up doing a whole bunch of memory swaps to finally get stable and usable memory in the machine. Still, I only have 512MB right now and so it’s running pretty slowly. Setup would basically not run with only 256MB, which is about to be expected. With the integrated Intel 815 graphics chipset the graphics really are pretty simple. Not quite the big difference that I had heard about, just slightly different from XP. I didn’t get to see what people were talking about until I loaded it up at home.
At home, with my nVidia GeForce 6600 GT the graphic bells and whistles are in full effect and it’s pretty impressive. Non-fans of the old 2K menu “oozing” will probably be completely unnerved by the fade in/out of entire windows now, but I think it’s a pretty cool effect. The translucency I could go either way with, but at least Windows if finally taking advantage of what has otherwise simply been a gaming requirement for a long time.
I’m playing The Matrix on Media Center on my other machine right now and I think I still have some tweaking to do. I loaded up my registered copy of the nVidia PureVideo codecs which are normally top notch, but the video is stuttering slightly and the audio is slightly out of sync. I might try and load up the ATI codecs that I got with my HDTV Wonder later and see how those do.
Speaking of which, the analog tuners appear to be doing just fine, and the HD tuner drivers did load during device detection, but Media Center can’t seem to work with them yet. I might see if ATI has updated drivers for the tuner available.
Whoops! “Media Center crash reporting” just popped up. Gotta love a beta OS. :-)