Current state of the game for me, just to keep track of where I’m at and where things are going:
- Acronis Partition software works great, check. Upgrading to a Vista-friendly version was free, too, many kudos for that.
- Avast! AntiVirus works and is free. Yarrr.
- Creative Audigy 2 drivers suck, and crash Ventrilo to boot. Grr. Haven’t tested ALchemy yet, but will, with Max Payne. I have only a handful of games that use EAX, so it’s not as huge a concern as I thought it might be. [Edit] Tried Alchemy – the free edited-to-work-on-Audigy2 version – with Max Payne 2, and it works great. Without, Payne sounds flat and lifeless; with, it’s the game I love.
- RAMDisk software is going to go into beta “any month now”. Waiting – can’t move to Vista until EvE runs, obviously . I could move to a different supplier, but anyone who promises me “a qualitative software product” is not on my a-list. [Edit] I found a free version by Cenatek that works well, so I’ve started moving over to Vista64 now.
- Any Password Pro runs on Vista, the free version does not. Grr?
- Games are starting to trickle in. Nothing drool-inducing has been released at this point, so no reason to get bent out of shape.
- Professional Audio in Vista sucks.
On the hardware side of things, stuff is very slowly firming up.
Tricky. Creative seem to be the only ones that offer affordable hardware and Vista64 drivers, yet their drivers suck. There is, however, hope – see graphic.
Looking good. NVidia appears to be on track to release G92 by November/December timeframe, while DAAMIT still have a hard time and will likely have to offer a dual-chip RV670 thing. Given that a G8800GTX can run DX10 games but barely and one would like to have a bit of headroom, waiting appears to be prudent.
One thing that caught my eye is that G92 will have sound hardware built in – according to current rumors, at least. I’ll need sound for games, not professional audio, so that may get me out of my sound pickle without having to resort to on-board sound.
Looks like Intel Penryn more and more. Might go quad just for the quad-ness of it, although dual would be plenty fast for games, and be available at higher clockspeeds for the same money. AMD’s own K10 is slipping on the desktop front, and clock speed yields aren’t that great. Either way, it’s Q1 2008 for mass availability and affordability.
No big changes. DDR3 is here and does not impress; DDR2 is dirt-cheap. 2GB turns out to be fine for Vista in benchmarking, with 4GB reserved for the hardcore crowd for now.