Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Buying a new Vista PC
Every two years I buy a new desktop PC. As I bought the last one in summer 2005, I'm planning to buy the next PC this year, somewhere in the next 6 months. And unless one of my local stores comes up with an unexpectedly cheap offer, it is most likely that I will buy another Dell. I'm always having logistics problems with Dell, but their computers just work. And I'm simply not hardware expert enough to build my own system. Well, I'll probably could stick the parts together, but I wouldn't be confident that it was as stable as a Dell. It is far too easy to under- or over-engineer one system component which then ends up making the whole thing flaky.
Now Microsoft has just released their latest version of Windows, called Vista. And installing Vista on an old computer is apparently a bad idea. So my thought is to buy a new computer that is designed to run Vista from the ground up, has a DirectX 10 graphics card, and only uses hardware that is 100% Vista compatible.
Only apparently Dell doesn't have Vista compatible gaming computers yet. Dell's XPS M1710 notebook and the XPS 710 desktop, both gaming computers, are still shipping with XP because of driver incompatibility with Vista. And Dell can't say when they will offer Vista compatible gaming computers.
For once I don't blame Dell. I've read a lot about gaming on Vista machines, and it appears that the world is simply not ready for Vista yet. DirectX 10 graphics cards are still few and far between. Drivers aren't optimized yet, and often run considerably slower than DirectX 9. A typical chicken and egg problem; while there was no Vista, nobody was interested in DirectX 10 yet, and now without good DirectX 10 hard- and software there isn't much interest in Vista.
Well, I think my best option is to wait. In a couple of months I'm sure there will be fully Vista optimized gaming computers out there, even here in Europe. Worst case scenario is that I'll buy the PC a few months later than planned. By christmas it will probably be hard to still find Windows XP computers on the market. :)