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Windows Vista Ultimate: OEM or Retail?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by PGR, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    After much research, I've decided to take the plunge and go x86 Vista Ultimate for the new system I'm building. I'd like to go x64, but almost none of the USB hardware I use (cameras, programming cards, weather station, communications & R/C gear) has any x64 support so x86 it is and that's not negotiable right now.

    I can get a retail copy of Vista Ultimate for around $275 and the OEM (system builder's) version for around $170. The immediate temptation is to go with the OEM version, but this will be a brand new system and I might be making some substantial changes to it before I'm finally satisfied with how it's configured. Who knows: I could decide that the mobo sucks and change that too.

    How big of a can of worms does Microsoft make system changes these days? Are there differences between the OEM and retail versions in regards to what changes you can make before the Genuine Advantage software un-validates the OS? Please note that I'm not interested in hacks or work-arounds. However boring this may sound, I want to play by the rules.

    I don't need to save the money. I can afford the retail version, but I'd rather pay the OEM price and be my own tech support if there aren't any other penalties.

    Thanks ahead! :)

    Pete
  2. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    OEM... its cheaper and is the same thing. dont let that reactivation crap scare you. i've reactivated the same copy of OEM V64 on 30 different setups now and they give me the code every time.
    MKmods and OnBoard say thanks.
  3. Steevo

    Steevo

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    I have only bought one copy of upgrade anything, and that was for a locked down IBM. OEM can be transferred, fit is correct, it is just marketing to scare the average user away and so MS can make more money.



    The only real differences are no support from MS directly, and you must purchase (or have had purchased) qualifying hardware to order it from most vendors. MS might ask you if you have qualifying hardware in a new build/install. All that means is did you reuse a screw, wire, power cord, etc...... from the original.
    Fitseries3 says thanks.
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  4. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    I was always scared away, thanks for the info.:toast:
    Fitseries3 says thanks.
  5. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    just make sure you tell them your board died and you reinstalled when you have to reactivate ;)

    of course thats only when you change a mobo.
  6. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    retail has both 64bit and 32bit

    OEM is one or the either.
  7. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    Thanks for the answers so far. They're reassuring, but bring up another question:

    What is the reactivation process? Phone call, I'd guess, but how hard is it to get through and how long on hold (typical)? I only had to reactivate the XP Pro on this old system once after I replaced all the hard drives with Raptors. I was on hold listening to Muzak for almost 2 hours before I got a human on the phone and the music really sucked!

    That was maybe 3 years ago, though. Are things any better?

    Finally, if I was to buy the retail verson, would they let me install both the x86 and the x64 versions in separate partitions on the same drive?

    I'm kinda grasping for straws here, huh? :laugh:

    Pete
  8. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    install, activate, IF there is a problem you call, wait 5min, tell them you replaced mobo cause it died and they give you the new number. done.
  9. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    hell, I didn't even have to do that. I reinstalled with a new mobo and it activated fine for me.
  10. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    Aaaaalll righty then: OEM it is!

    That decision just paid for my Addonics EIDE flash card reader.

    Thanks fellas!

    Pete
  11. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    No point for 32 bit anymore. There was at first because of drivers, but they have most of that fixed now. When you install x86 stuff it goes into x86 program files automatically.
    [​IMG]

    64bit vista
  12. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    People keep saying that, but the bottom line is that there's a substantial number of programs and especially hardware which simply won't work under an x64 OS.

    I've spent days systematically visiting the forums and manufacturers' websites for some important USB devices I use almost daily. Things like the data logger I use in my model aircraft to monitor in-flight electrical demands and the programmers for the electronic speed controllers, programmable battery chargers, and Futaba 12FG R/C controller I use to fly my planes with. Then there's the logging interface for my Davis digital weather station and the control interface for my Icom communications receiver and my trusty Garmin GPS unit.

    Not one of the items I just mentioned will work under an x64 OS right now, primarily because there are no x64 drivers for them and the x86 drivers won't run in an x64 environment. Maybe the software will work, but the hardware won't so what good is the software?

    Computer science is in a transitional period right now. x64 may be the cat's meow for professional workstations and gaming computers, but it's not quite ready for prime time. There's just too much legacy and specialized software and hardware in use which simply isn't compatible with x64 and that's preventing a lot of people (like me) from upgrading.

    I desperately want to go x64 but the simple truth is doing so would obsolete many of the peripherals I rely on daily, and what kind of upgrade is that?

    Pete
  13. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    Yea, drivers is the big problem, not software. That's why I'm pissed at MS for selling 32bit copies at all. They should of forced the market to go to 64bit.

    If they don't in windows 7 I'll be spechless.
  14. niko084

    niko084

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    Pretty much I do this 10 times a day....

    I even used to work for a company that would actually stripe and resell oem codes from dead machines... :ohwell:
  15. niko084

    niko084

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    They wanted to hold a market of P4 users to install vista...
    Extra sales, just so they go buy a new computer with it anyways because their P4 wont run it worth a crap...

    Non 64bit p4's obviously.
  16. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    Just get Basic.. I have Ultimate and I just turn aero off and I dont think I have ever used any of the extra features.
  17. Triprift

    Triprift

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    I got Ultimate and have everything on including aero as i want my os to be at its prettiest and aero looks cool too hehe.
  18. GLD

    GLD

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    As DaMaulta said, Retail will get you both 32 and 64 bit copies. Sure it cost more but IMO you would be happier with it then OEM. I am running x64 Vista Ultimate and everything works as it should. I would say go retail, install 64 bit and see how it goes for you. :toast:

    PGR, you have 4 gigs of ram. Why not use it all? 32 bit will rip you off with your 4gigs.
  19. niko084

    niko084

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    Ya I am using Aero too... Personally I say at go Premium or Business, they have some of the nice stuff without a ton of junk to go with them, gives you lots of ram ability.
  20. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    That was the point of my last post in this thread: I don't have to "see how it goes" 'cause I've already done the homework and heard the tales of woe from people who have been there and done and and couldn't make it work even with the help of the device manufacturers' tech support people who confirm that they won't work with x64.

    Period, end of story!

    Futaba and Icom say they may develop some x64 drivers "when the demand warrants it", but right now they don't think it does. The smaller companies aren't even willing to discuss it.

    You 64-bit enthusiasts need to understand that you're just a tiny little piece of the big picture. For every one system running x64 right now, there are hundreds if not thousands of systems running x86 and that ratio is going to have to improve before the small, niche-market equipment providers will start investing the time and money it will take to develop x64 support for their products.

    And if/when they do, I'll be surprised if they don't use the opportunity to leverage their customers into buying new models.

    I hope I'm wrong. Maybe Microsoft can figure out how to make their "new" x64 OS backwards-compatible with x86 drivers and then they can leverage people like me into buying their new model. I'm not going to hold my breath, though, and I'll be running x86 until the dust settles and my peripherals will run on x64.

    Pete
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  21. FooArm

    FooArm New Member

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  22. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    duplicate: see post # 20
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  23. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    The OEM key will work on both versions anyway.

    That's no excuse. Dual boot with XP or run XP in a virtual machine like VMWare. Virtualization software works fine with usb devices. You should seriously get x64.
  24. PGR

    PGR New Member

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    Why? To satisfy you or satisfy me?

    I just don't understand the mentality: Run x64 even if it's going to make my life harder? Run x64 and make it emulate x86 so I can do all the routine things I do with a computer? That sounds like one of the Mac arguments: you can make it emulate a Windows machine and run all your Windows software! Sorry, but that's another stupid idea that I'm not buying. :shadedshu

    Yeah, I'd like to run x64, but x86 is doing everything I need to do without jumping through all the extra hoops, and my new system will still be an enormous improvement over the old one even with x86 on it. In fact, I've read some valid argument by some pretty knowledgable and respected enthusiasts who say my computer will be faster with a native x86 OS than with an x64 OS running x86 in virtual machine mode.

    The bottom line is I'm not buying into the x64 hype; at least not yet. Convenience is more important to me than blinding speed and running x64 will add a level of inconvenience which I see no need to accept. If I want a challenge, I'll build another plane from scratch.

    And that, my friends, is my final word on the subject.

    Pete
  25. Chryonn

    Chryonn

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    Well said.

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