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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 omnicronx on 5/5/2009 12:35:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Saying you'll "never need it" shows a lack of understanding of how windows memory management works.

Ok, I don't actually totally disable it (I find you need 512M, mainly because some older programs require a page file, and for a few reasons I will mention below), but its damn close. Unlike XP which indiscriminately used whatever memory was available, whether it be paged or not (resulting in thrashing) Vista/7 specifically tries to load as much into the system memory as possible in the first place. The only reason Microsoft recommends to at least match the amount of physical RAM is because it is required to do a full memory dump. I've never done this in a home environment in my life, and I still have enough virtual mem to perform a mini dump, or capture blue screen errors.

I've also heard claims that it helps with managing the loading and unloading of applications, but I have yet to see a negative impact with only 512M RAM.(as I will mention below it is quite the opposite). That being said, your most commonly used programs are already in system memory because of superfetch, pretty much rendering your point about 'forcing your to consume usable RAM for memory allocations' moot as this is already default behavior.

By definition paged memory cannot be as fast as system memory, there will be a negative impact on your system anytime virtual mem is used as a subsitute for system memory. There is no getting around this, and while Vista/7 tries its best not to do so, I found that it would do so anyways on a regular basis. Although not nearly as bad as XP.

There is no doubt in my mind that going to the minimum page definitely speeds up my system, and while I would never attempt this at work, there is no reason to have a full fledged page file with 8GB of RAM at home.

P.S In the unlikely event Windows somehow does run out of memory with 4GB+ of RAM, Vista+ has a feature (which interesting enough is called RADAR or Resource Exhaustion Detector and Resolution) which will shut down the program using the most resources, so the days of XP where your system would become completely unresponsive are gone.


RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By ChronoReverse on 5/5/2009 1:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
All your memory in any modern operating system is using "virtual memory". Virtual memory is NOT the same thing as the page file.


RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By omnicronx on 5/5/2009 1:41:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Virtual memory is NOT the same thing as the page file.
They are directly tied to one another, using virtual memory implies that the page file is being used. Notice how they say increase the virtual memory and not the page file size in the text below.
quote:
If your computer lacks the random access memory (RAM) needed to run a program or operation, Windows uses virtual memory to compensate. Virtual memory combines your computer’s RAM with temporary space on your hard disk. When RAM runs low, virtual memory moves data from RAM to a space called a paging file. Moving data to and from the paging file frees up RAM to complete its work. The more RAM your computer has, the faster your programs will generally run. If a lack of RAM is slowing your computer, you might be tempted to increase virtual memory to compensate . However, your computer can read data from RAM much more quickly than from a hard disk, so adding RAM is a better solution.
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/hel...

*also notice the 'Applies to all editions of Windows Vista.' displayed at the top.


RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By TomZ on 5/5/2009 1:50:57 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
They are directly tied to one another, using virtual memory implies that the page file is being used
Not necessarily. You could have a virtual memory system that doesn't use a disk page file. I would guess that this is exactly how Windows operates when you completely disable the page file.

Also, the OP is right - Windows always uses virtual memory. For example, as an application increases its memory requirements, Windows will map more and more memory into that process' memory space.

The quote you gave is really for non-tech end users; it is a simplified and not totally accurate description.


RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By omnicronx on 5/5/2009 2:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Wow.. My interpretation was so wrong its not even funny.. Kind of sad considering what I do..

http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2...

I may need to disappear for a while!


RE: Windows 7 on dv9207us
By omnicronx on 5/5/2009 2:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
Although my previous point still stands.. just replace virtual memory with paged..


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