Hey guys, a few months ago I installed Ubuntu and its great.. only thing is most of the programs I use I have to use in a virtual box and its got the point where I think I'm going to have to switch back to windows.
My question is, since switching to Ubuntu I installed some more memory taking me up to 4gb total. My question is what's my best windows option while keeping the OS as minimal as possible. in other words I don't want the OS to take up most of the memory and processing power. Do the vista and windows 7 versions take up much? Not really sure what to buy? also I heard that with a 64 bit version I might struggle with drivers?
Thanks for your time
Unfortunately no, but I do remember that it came with a credible source.
So I'm willing to say that while the extra GB won't be available to software, it will be for background processes.
Just out of curiosity, how much RAM does your laptop show? (info on first tab of "System" in "Control Panel")
Do you happen to have a link to that report? AFAIK a 32bit OS can allocate up to 4GB in addresses in total. But that includes BIOS, video memory, etc. Everything that is assigned to devices other than RAM can't be allocated to RAM.
So in total you do have 4GB of addresses assigned, but not all of this 4GB is the RAM. So you end up with ~3GB allocated for RAM + ~1GB allocated for other devices.
To be honest, I have a Pentium IV with XP and 2,5 GB RAM and a laptop with a Corel Duo and Windows 7 (32 bits) and 4 GB RAM and there's no big difference. I use TuneUp Utilities and CCleaner regularly on both.
I do that too
Why do you have to use VB? Can't you just run those Windows programs in Wine? That's what I do with the few I use regularly and it works really well.
Windows 7 is a LOT faster and better performing than even Windows XP (IMO), the way it handles multi-core CPU's makes it a solid choice over Vista and earlier versions. You should be able to improve the performance by turning off any unnecessary services, visual themes you don't need, start-up programs that aren't needed (etc). I personally use a program called TuneUp Utilities, it's pretty cheap and does all the maintenance and tweaking stuff well.
Actually that's not entirely true. While 32bit cannot allocate the remaining GB to program resources (stuff you launch), it's been shown that in a 4GB system 3GB will be available to programs and the remaining 1GB will be used by background system processes (not idly sitting by) - I read about it in an independent report.
Compared to Vista, no. It takes a bit more than XP because it does have the look and feel from Vista. Unfortunately, you're right if you think that you will struggle with drivers if you install the 64 version, and maybe part of your fucntionality (things like some special keys that some keyboards have to play music or opening your e-mail directly from the keyboard)
I did install Vista 64 in my computer before Windows 7 was out, and to be honest, it was far away better than the 32 version and my laptop heated even less. So I didn't miss the loss of that extra functionality. But you do need to make sure that you have drivers for all your hardware, and not all companies do that.
When you have 4GB of RAM, make sure you install a 64bit version of Windows (or any other OS AFAIK). 32bit versions cannot allocate more RAM than ~3GB, meaning the remaining GB is just sitting there idly...