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Consumers can download the Release Candidate build of Microsoft's slick new OS, Windows 7, and try it out for themselves. Both 32- and 64-bit versions are available for download.
Consumers can finally get their hands on a near-release copy of the latest version of Windows

Windows 7 has the tech community and the consumer world buzzing.  For consumers, it has been a long four months since the release of the Windows 7 beta which saw hundreds of thousands of downloads.  Some turned to torrents to try to swipe the newer beta builds or the recent Release Candidate, but for most it was a matter of waiting.

The waiting is over at last as Microsoft has officially released the Release Candidate 1 build of Windows 7 to the general public.  The build is available directly from Microsoft for download.

Microsoft is suggesting that novice users not download the build as no tech support will be provided.  Customers who download the build will have to burn the ISO onto a disk.  Unlike the more recent beta candidate builds, the RC1 build requires a complete reinstall, even on machines with a working build of Windows 7.

Both 32- and 64-bit versions of the build are available.  Microsoft recommends users' computers have at least 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of free disk space.

Microsoft is promising not to limit the number of downloads of the new release, like it initially did for the beta release (before later relenting and allowing unlimited downloads).  The beta release proved a headache for some, as the large demand crashed some of Microsoft's servers at the time, rendering many eager users unable to download the beta from Microsoft.  Microsoft is hoping that this time around things go more smoothly.

The test builds of Windows 7 will work until June 2010, but starting in March 2010 they will shut down every two hours.

Microsoft has publicly stated that Windows 7 will launch "no later than January 2010."  However, it now appears that the new OS will land in time for the holiday season, as Acer has leaked its release date as October 23.

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RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By StraightPipe on 5/5/2009 11:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
In Vista I disabled prefetch entirely (via Regedit) and I was quite pleased with the results.

I'm running a gaming rig with 4GB of ram and vista would eat up 30% on boot (over 1GB), then each day it would ramp up until 90% was being used. That may be great if i could control what was fetched, but i cant...ideally I'd like to see it fetch my web browser (currently Chrome), my video player (VLC) and the last game i played (drakensang).

Instead it was out there gobbling up all sorts of ram for MS apps and other junk, then as soon as I'd start a game it would take massive swapping before it could actually cache my game...this was a real performance killer, so it's disabled.

When will smartfetching arrive on windows?

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By omnicronx on 5/5/2009 11:28:43 AM , Rating: 3
then each day it would ramp up until 90% was being used.
Thats not normal behavior in my books. Sounds like a memory leak to me, and chances are it is one of the programs you are running, and not Windows. And just so you know, Chrome has been known for its mem leaks in many situations. Especially if you leave the chrome windows open, while their cleanup efforts when you close a tab are amazing when compared to IE and FF, they have a long way to go with leaving windows open.

P.S on your 'smartfetching' comment, that is exactly what it does. Its not going to load a program into memory that you use once a year. If you use Chrome and VLC on a daily basis, these are surely the programs that are getting priority. Prefetch was XP, Superfetch is essentially a 'smart' approeach to Prefetch

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By StraightPipe on 5/5/2009 12:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
It may be a memory leak, in windows, because it behaved that way since i installed Vista Business 64 (and on Vista RC2, and on Vista Beta). I haven't tried re-enabling superfetch since the service pack got installed.

Also Chrome was not installed when I disabled this feature. At the time I was using IE7.

What I meant by "smart" fetching, was the ability to designate which apps got fetched instead of Windows arbitrarily deciding for me. Like a memory manager.

//i'd like to think i know what I want a little better than windows does...

for example, fetching web browsers that load in less than a second anyway doesn't make a difference that's distinguishable to the naked eye.. fetching a huge ass game on the other hand can be very useful (and noticeable)

for another example. say I play fallout3 every day for a month. Windows says hey, the user has run this game 30 times, lets fetch this game. but on day 31 I install a crysis and stop playing fallout. it'll take weeks before windows realizes that i no longer play fallout and move on to crysis, when I knew it on day 1. hell, it owuld be nice if "smart" fetch even had an option in installer to make the new game your default fetched game.

really i see it needing default browser, default player, default game, and maybe default word processor...
of course every user wont need every category, and some may want two options for one category, but let the educated user choose if they want to.

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By TomZ on 5/5/2009 1:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt there's a serious memory leak in Windows itself. Much more likely to be in one of the loaded apps, services, or drivers. Can't you see the leak when you look at the memory allocated to each process in the Task Manager or Resource Monitor?

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By StraightPipe on 5/5/2009 2:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
NO, you couldnt see the leak (no apps were using more than 100MB in taskman). But disabling super fetch immedieatly solved the problem.

Who knows, it could ahve been fixed in SP1, but i'm happy without superfetch.

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By TomZ on 5/5/2009 6:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really get the downside with Superfetch, since it is just using unused RAM anyway. If applications need the RAM, then Superfetch doesn't use it, and the application uses it instead. I'd rather have at least some marginal benefit from unused RAM, rather than no benefit at all.

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By Sazar on 5/5/2009 3:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
To add on. On the 64-bit version of Windows 7, Chrome with default settings is broken.

You need to add some instructions. Copy/paste from Google.

The fix for launching Chrome from its icon:
1. Right click the icon and select Properties
2. Select the Shortcut tab
3. Add a space and --in-process-plugins to the Target field, after …\chrome.exe"
4. Click OK

Note that this fixes Chrome to work with x64, however I get periodic faults with pages not loading and have to refresh to fix the problem. x32 works flawlessly.

RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By inighthawki on 5/5/2009 8:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
Superfetch works by using "unused" ram for apps that u used the most, its not stupid, but of course it wont know exactly what u want it for. But in the case of loading a game, no memory is "swapped", its directly overridden as soon as the app needs it. There are no performance hits to having it enabled.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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