Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows IT

Microsoft Upgrades Vista Kernel in SP1 231

KrispySausage writes "One of the big features discussed in early speculation of Windows Vista SP1 was the kernel upgrade, which was supposed to bring the operating system into line with the Longhorn kernel used in Windows Server 2008. With Vista SP1 going RTM, there hasn't been so much as a peep from Microsoft about the mooted kernel update. Has it happened? Well the answer is yes it has. Presumably the main reason for Microsoft's silence on the subject is that as they're keen to promote the improvements and enhancements to Vista, rather than placing emphasis on a kernel upgrade, which some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Upgrades Vista Kernel in SP1

Comments Filter:
  • confused (Score:5, Funny)

    by farkus888 ( 1103903 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:07PM (#22308366)
    I thought "improvements and enhancements" was MS marketing speak for "newly-introduced instability".
    • Re:confused (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hazem ( 472289 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:14PM (#22308512) Journal
      I've always figured that the period after they declare they'll no longer support the product is that sweet spot when it will finally function predictably.
      • Re:confused (Score:5, Interesting)

        by wile_e_wonka ( 934864 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:49PM (#22309084)
        It's interesting you say that--I just installed the release candidate for SP3 on my XP VM, and I'll tell you--it made a huge difference to the performance of XP. It now functions just fine with the meager amount of RAM I allotted to it, and it functions well with Office 2007 (i.e., it doesn't take forever to open or run slow) despite, once again, the meager amount of RAM I allow it to use.

        And, of course, as you noted, XP is losing support next year--just as it's running better than ever!
        • Re:confused (Score:5, Informative)

          by Joe U ( 443617 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:06PM (#22309374) Homepage Journal

          And, of course, as you noted, XP is losing support next year--just as it's running better than ever!
          No, it's not. Microsoft supports all operating systems for 2 years past the last service pack.

          • Re:confused (Score:5, Informative)

            by Joe U ( 443617 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:15PM (#22309510) Homepage Journal
            Ok, I don't like replying to myself, but I didn't do enough research.

            When a new service pack is released, Microsoft will provide either 12 or 24 months of support for the previous service pack
            When support for a product ends, support of the service packs for that product will also end. The product's support lifecycle supersedes the service pack support policy
            Windows has a 24 month policy

            Mainstream support for Windows XP Pro ends 4/14/2009, which means they're not going to sell it or add new features to the core OS.

            Extended support for Windows XP Pro ends 4/8/2014, which means no new updates at all past that point.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by mrxak ( 727974 )
              Well, maybe whatever comes after Vista (if it even comes out in a reasonable amount of time) will replace my Bootcamp XP by 2014.
              • by shokk ( 187512 )
                Always skip one version of the OS. In my case I went from Win98 to WinXP.
                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward
                  I'm pretty sure that's skipping two versions. Skipping one version would have landed you with WinME (98 > 2000 > ME > XP in release date order), and no one would be bragging about that "upgrade"...
                • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

                  by sconeu ( 64226 )
                  That skipped 2 versions (depending on upgrade path).

                  Me and 2000. Though I hesitate to call LoseMe an OS. Win2K on the other hand was (and still is) very good. I'm still running 2KPro on my home box.

                  • Re:confused (Score:4, Informative)

                    by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:10PM (#22311442) Homepage
                    The product lines (not from the beginning, obviously):

                    Windows 3.1 -> Windows 95 -> Windows 98 -> Windows ME -> Windows XP
                    Windows NT 3.51 -> Windows NT 4.0 -> Windows 2000 -> Windows XP

                    Although Windows 2000 was really quite usable for most home users (compared to NT4, especially), it was not considered a home-user OS. That niche was filled by Windows ME. The OSs were even released within the same year (about 6 months apart in 2000, if I remember correctly.) XP came just a year later.
                • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

                  by miffo.swe ( 547642 )
                  I skipped all of them and went Linux instead. Do i win something?
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by sonofagunn ( 659927 )
              On my old as heck home PC I have Windows 2000 and still receive software updates with security, performance, and stability updates. Pentium III, 500 Mhz, 384 MB RAM and it works fine for MS Office Pro and Opera.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by afidel ( 530433 )
                Well, Windows 2000 is currently in extended support which means technically only security related patches are supposed to be released for it, and that stops Jan 2010 I believe. This was a big problem for many companies as MS refused to issue a standard patch for the DST updates for Windows 2000. They had a convoluted manual/policy based process which didn't allow for easy confirmation that systems were updated. XP will enter this same quasi-supported phase in August of next year.
  • consumer vs. geek (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eck011219 ( 851729 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:07PM (#22308368)
    Not to mention that almost everything they've done to promote Vista has been aimed at the end-user, the joe-blow consumer. That user has no idea what the kernel is or why they should care -- it's just geeky mumbo-jumbo that would scare their target Vista audience.
    • now that I have my joke out of the way, thats right mods it was a joke not a trolling attempt. I really think you are probably right about their motive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by daem0n1x ( 748565 )

      There's an answer to that. Just promote the word "kernel" until it sounds cool.

      "Hey, dude. I just bought a new PC with a fuckin' great kernel, like 100.000 Gigasomething, and all. Yeah, Microsoft rocks!"

      Valves (or tubes) are cool in the music equipment scene, forget that 90% of the buyers have no idea what a valve is, or what's for. In a subway station near me there used to be a shitty little instrument store. One of the items in exhibition was a lousy solid-state guitar amplifier with a

    • Or maybe it just reminds too much of Linux. (i.e. now MS imitates the Linux upgrade model)
    • by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:02PM (#22312278) Journal
      Honestly, the user SHOULDN'T care!

      Back in 'the day', Bill Joy said "Operating systems are like underwear - Nobody really wants to look at them." This was true until Linux started getting attention, and MS turned their efforts to becoming a 10-ton monster by selling OSes. Since then, the word OS has morphed into meaning a feature-rich (feature-laden?) bundles of applications along with the software infrastructure required to run them. (Whereas formally the OS is really just the infrastructure itself.)

      Now we're talking about kernels. NOBODY other than developers and support folks should need to care about their kernel. In fact, most people don't know what a kernel actually is, and that's OK. In fact, it's even good--it's pointless knowledge for end users.

      I'm not one to support MS, but not blathering on about the kernel in end-user release notes is the right thing to do.
  • by PrescriptionWarning ( 932687 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:07PM (#22308376)
    "which some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability."

    now who would think that? Honestly now, lets see some hands. You in the back, PUT YOUR DAMN HANDS IN THE AIR!
  • Risk... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:08PM (#22308388) Homepage Journal
    When adding ANY code, there is risk of security vulnerabilities and potential exploits. Sadly, most people seem to not know this.
    • While any code can introduce risk for security vulnerabilities and exploits, I think the point is that people would rather have patches for KNOWN security vulnerabilities and potential exploits.
  • What?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:09PM (#22308402) Homepage
    Seriously, you're telling me that a version number jump in the kernel during a Service Pack is somehow news? And not only that but *unconfirmed* reports of that. *With screenshots*. Wow.

    And what does it do. What does the new 0.0.1 add to Windows? Dunno. There isn't a word about it in the article, just some screenshots of version numbers.

    How the bloody hell does this make the front page?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dada ( 31909 )
      What I find most surprising is that Slashdot's headline is quite tame compared to the source "article". Usually it's the opposite.

      I've been out of the loop for a while... What's the geek news site that has replaced Slashdot? There must be one... Of course that's a rethorical question: anybody who found it would be there and would've stopped reading /. altogether.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by calebt3 ( 1098475 )

        What I find most surprising is that Slashdot's headline is quite tame compared to the source "article". Usually it's the opposite.
        You aren't implying that the editor read the article and deemed the title too strong? Blasphemy!
    • I agree. Horrible article. I looked for new info about what the kernel upgrade had, but he didn't know...? WTF?

      That Windows Vista SP1 would have a kernel upgrade has been known for almost since the start of SP1, easily for months at least.

      Articles have even already been written about what the new kernel contains. Even by Microsoft, something this guy doesn't seem to even know!

      Here's the deal, although in some sort of "prerelease" form: []
    • We get posts that are 'newsworthy' every time the Linux kernel increments, so why not the Vista kernel?

      I for one see it as a good thing, but yeah it's not newsworth. Anyone who's been following the development of SP1 even a little bit knew there would be a new kernel. That's good as it means MS is addressing bugs and other issues in the current kernel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I agree that the article is weak, but I downloaded the leaked rtm and installed it this past Saturday on my laptop. I had originally moved back to xp on the laptop because of the obvious performance problems with vista. However, sp1 makes a massive difference on a few different levels:
      1. suspend / resume
      2. memory consumption
      3. Finally fixes the horrendous performance when copying files
      4. Network performance is excellent even when listening to music.

      Overall on a laptop that is not my primary computer I am
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:12PM (#22308482)
    They didn't put any electrolytes in it...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by misleb ( 129952 )

      They didn't put any electrolytes in it...

      Please. SP1 has more electrolytes than your body has room for. It'll run so fast they'll think your computer is from Kenya!

      • by grcumb ( 781340 )

        Please. SP1 has more electrolytes than your body has room for. It'll run so fast they'll think your computer is from Kenya!

        Kenya? You mean, collapsing into flaming rubble in the fight for power and resources?

  • by ip_freely_2000 ( 577249 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:12PM (#22308484)
    ..of SP1 RTM, kind of like what the exo performance/xpnet people did late last year.

    I am one of the many who switched back to XP..performance on my tablet stunk with Vista. However, I did like some of the ease-of-use mobility features, but it wasn't worth the grief of performance and drivers.

    I would like to run Vista....I just need a compelling reason to do so.
    • by afedaken ( 263115 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:56PM (#22309216) Homepage
      Finally, another tablet user!

      I occasionally game on my unit, so now I'm running an XP/Vista dual-boot, but msot of my work time is in Vista these days. For my unit, it doesn't seem to be appreciably slower than XP was, (but to be fair, I'm not running Aero Glass since the integrated graphics don't support it) and some of the features work noticeably better.

      For me specifically:
      - Handwriting Recognition is improved. (In both English, and Japanese.)
      - Searching was greatly improved.
      - Hibernation to file now restores properly every time.

      System specs:
      Toshiba R15-s822
      1.6GHz Pentium M
      160GB HD
      2GB RAM
      Vista Ultimate.

      Would you tell me a bit more about your Vista experience? Specifically, was it the over-all experience that sent you running back to XP, or was it the tablet specific features?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by corerunner ( 971136 )
        I love my ThinkPad X61 tablet :)

        It arrived from the factory with Vista Business, but I became so fed up with issues connecting to wifi that I wiped it and installed XP Pro the same day. After a few weeks of struggling to use my new much-anticipated tablet functionality, and then using a friend's tablet that still had Vista Business, I decided to give Vista another shot. I can't believe I battled XP for so long--maybe the XP drivers are just shoddy for my model, but the tablet was practically unusable (eve
  • I dont get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlowHole666 ( 1152399 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:14PM (#22308502)
    I do not get it. On my Suse box I see Linux kernel updates all the time. So Microsoft Updated the kernel to match 2008. How do we not know the only difference between the two kernels was 10 lines of code or something? So the version/build number changed. We do not know what changed. Can a normal user tell exactly what the differences were between Windows 2000 and XP (NOTICE I SAID NORMAL USER!!!) no they can not. I do not think normal people (the majority of Microsoft's user base) will know the difference. Maybe someone working for an anti virus company will notice or maybe a slashdot reader but not the majority of the users. Honestly I think this is just more slashdot fud on the front page to bash Microsoft for doing something that Linux does every few months.
    • Re:I dont get it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by operagost ( 62405 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:02PM (#22309324) Homepage Journal

      Can a normal user tell exactly what the differences were between Windows 2000 and XP (NOTICE I SAID NORMAL USER!!!) no they can not.
      Do "normal" users play games, have wireless networking, use webcams, unzip files, or switch between users?
    • fast user switching?

      My wife would notice that missing very quickly if we downgraded to 2000. And she would fall in the category of "normal user"
    • by oatworm ( 969674 )
      Umm... one comes with the "Classic" theme and one comes with the Windows XP theme? One keeps nagging me about how I don't have anti-virus software or my firewall is disabled and the other one doesn't? One says "Windows XP" when it boots and the other one says "Windows 2000"?

      The list kind of goes on like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iONiUM ( 530420 ) *
      Slashdot isn't for "normal people", thus this is news for "nerds". I think you mistyped if you were expecting news for "normals".
      • is not news for "normals". It is a calculated misrepresentation of facts for people who don't want there opinions challenged.
  • It's long since I got excited about a Linux kernel update. Since I upgrade the kernel along with everything else perhaps it's hard to say, but on the plain non-virtualized desktop running conventional applications there aren't any revolutions going on. There's new drivers but in theory every USB device is already supported by Linux, it's the userland bits that are missing. Don't get me wrong I'm sure there's a lot of important developments going on, I just don't see it affecting me. Or if it does, it's some
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by misleb ( 129952 )
      I know Linux kernel devs have been switching up the schedulers lately. Well, last year or so. You could conceivably notice that and even get excited about it depending on how it helps multimedia and such. For any other OS, changing the process scheduler and pager would be a pretty big deal.

      Of course, it *is* just the kernel. There is so much more to a modern OS that it is hard to stay focused on the kernel unless you're a developer.

  • That's how much you rev the version number by when all you are doing is fixing bugs that only required very minor code change.
  • That's just dumb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:28PM (#22308712) Homepage Journal

    In other news, Linux v2.6.19.3 was released on February 5, 2007 (6 days after Vista). There have been 75 new kernel releases since then. Source: going to [] and counting ChangeLogs since then.

    I'm not sure why this is news.

  • What is the difference between the Vista and Longhorn kernels? What advantage would I see from this upgrade? Is it more stable? Are there features (scheduling features I'd guess, better realtime support maybe?) that Vista doesn't currently have? Other than the danger of introducing new and exciting bugs, why do I even care?
    • by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:44PM (#22308994)
      This is in the area of Really Bad Analogies, but bear with me anyway: Windows 2003 was the followup to XP. Quite a few users who got their hands (ahem...) on Windows 2003 think that it is a very solid workstation OS, handling a few situations better than XP. If blatantly ignoring the lack of drivers, XP64 (which is derived from the 2003 codebase) is also solid. More polish went into handling high-load cases and simple bugfixing, things that were never justified to backport to XP. (SP2 carried over some things and added a few, so until Windows 2003 SP1 was released, there were two clear forks again with non-overlapping features.)

      What does this mean for Vista SP1? Well, there should be very little reason to use Windows 2008 as a desktop OS. One could imagine that some geek/pro user workloads (network/disk I/O, anyone?) might be improved. On the other hand, these changes should already be in the SP release candidates, and the reviews of those haven't shown any big changes. A practical concern would be that the platforms should be similar from now on, like in the W2K days. I guess that will make at least some hardware vendor developers happy. Maybe this will also mean that additional hotfixes more acutely needed for server scenarios will trickle down to Vista.

  • That's some kind of contradiction along the lines of "military intelligence." I kid.

    Slightly off topic:
    Vista desktop + openldap win32 binaries + apache and bind = GNU Windows Server?

    openldap on win32: []
    apache2: []
    kerberos5: []

    Granted, the average win32 admin will hit a wall because Microsoft does not design their product, documents and services for an admin
    • Openldap/kerberos5/apache2 opens many, many more security/identity/authentication possibilities than Microsoft's active directory.
      Name them. Seriously. Name just a few, I'm not even going to ask for "many, many more". Just a few, a handful.

      I was joking, I know you can't because you were talking out of your ass. Windows 2008+Active Directory is some hard core shit.

      • by mpapet ( 761907 )
        Name them.

        Windows 2008+Active Directory is some hard core shit.
        Not really.

        It's clear you really don't understand what you/your employer over-paid for.

  • by athloi ( 1075845 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:44PM (#22308988) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    So if you look at it one way, the Windows Vista "kernel upgrade" isn't a fundamental update, but rather, an alignment of the two operating systems.

    This is a smart move. It's easier to develop one kernel than two, so standardizing the two made sense. They've had more time to beat on Server 2008 and test it, and are incorporating those changes.

    The end user won't see this, but the end user doesn't care. Their flashy GUI and UAC (snicker) will run faster as a result.
  • FAIL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EddyPearson ( 901263 )
    First of all, I don't want to use Vista. I now run a half crippled XP because HP refuse point blank to supply XP drivers for this model.

    Vista is a failure. Even though people complained non stop when XP came out, the adoption rate was MASSIVE when compared to Vista.

    Microsoft: From the moment the very first Longhorn alpha were leaked to P2P networks, and people got a taste of the new MS vision, Vista was doomed to fail. Even though there was a complete rewrite, it was all downhill from this point.

    I suggest y
    • Vista is a failure. Even though people complained non stop when XP came out, the adoption rate was MASSIVE when compared to Vista.
      Got any sources for that? I've heard the opposite that's all, or at least it's doing not badly - []
    • HP notebook?

      I'm running a Compaq, recently took over by HP ... look at some of the (slightly) older or (slightly) beefier models of the notebook you are running, and download their XP drivers (they have XP drivers available on other models). 9 times out of 10, it'll work. That's how I got XP running on my Compaq laptop.

      That being said ... after a few weeks of tinkering, I deleted the XP partition and stuck with Vista. It really was a comparable experience in the speed and stability department, and offer
    • ...and go after the reference drivers for your components. Pull the make and model numbers off of your chips that you need drivers for and head after them via Google.
    • Re:FAIL (Score:5, Informative)

      by domatic ( 1128127 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:31PM (#22309736)

      First of all, I don't want to use Vista. I now run a half crippled XP because HP refuse point blank to supply XP drivers for this model.

      This doesn't necessarily mean that the drivers don't exist. They'll be harder to find though. Here's what you do:

      1. Go to Control Panel -> System
      2. Click on the Hardware tab
      3. Click the Device Manager button
      4. For each device with a Red X or Yellow !
              a. Right Click and get Properties
              b. Click the Details tab
              c. Select "Matching Device ID" from the dropdown.

      5. Shake Google for those Strings. Sometimes you'll hit paydirt just searching for the part before the ampersand.

      You can also use tools like AIDA32 and Unknown Device Identifier to identify the hardware. Once you've identified your hardware, you'll probably do OK with the actual manufacturer's reference drivers. While it's possible that a vendor like HP is using slightly bastardized versions of standard chipsets that thus require custom drivers, that usually isn't the case. You may even be able to get the drivers from HP themselves if there are similar models that were supplied with XP.
    • by SEMW ( 967629 )

      Even though there was a complete rewrite...
      No, there wasn't. The only person who has ever claimed that Vista is a complete rewrite was Twitter. The Vista kernel is just a modified and updated Server 2003 kernel (not, of course, that that's a bad thing). There was originally talk of larger low-level changes, but they were scrapped back in 2004.
  • by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:12PM (#22309460) Homepage Journal
    are the 2008 Server changes made to address the incompatibility issues Vista had with older software? If they are, then great.

    What I had originally heard was that Windows 2008 Server and Vista SP1 were going to be based on XP code for compatibility issues in order to make the OS more stable and more compatible. I am not sure how much XP code was used on the new kernel.

    Since I support many friends and family members who have Vista machines, I am thinking of buying a new PC with Vista preinstalled on it, and hopefully SP1 to see if it fixes the problems that the original Vista had. As I recall the original XP also had instability issues and compatibility issues and XP SP1 fixed those, and then XP SP2 made even more improvements and made XP more stable and more compatible.

    What I hope is that Vista SP1 ends up being what the original Vista had promised. The only thing is the hardware requirements for Vista are 3 times or more the requirements that XP had. So of course upgrading an XP machine to Vista is going to run it slower. Vista on a newer machine made in 2007/2008 should run a lot better than Vista on a 2004/2005/2006 machine.

    If all else fails, I hope that ReactOS [] is developed into a stable build in 2008/2009 some time. People need to keep an eye on that open sourced OS. Once it goes into beta testing, it is in alpha right now, but 0.4 or 0.5 will enter Beta testing and be good enough to use as an alternative to Windows.

    Keep in mind that Windows 2008 Server is based on Windows 2003 Server, which was based on Windows XP. Windows Vista was not based on Windows XP, but was a rewrite attempt. Vista and Longhorn are actually too different projects, Vista was a rewrite of Windows, while Longhorn was based on Windows XP. At least that is what I heard.
    • by Erwos ( 553607 )
      As far as I'm aware, that's not true. Microsoft ditched the "two separate kernel paths" paradigm with Windows XP. Longhorn _should_ be just a derivative of Vista, albeit a much more polished one. The system is pretty obvious at this point - consumer release (XP), server release (Server 2003), consumer release (Vista), server release (Server 2008). All they're doing is putting the newer Server 2008 kernel into Vista, no different than upgrading my kernel in Linux.

      I'm definitely open to someone with a source
      • I have a relative who does a lot of MS work (server install, maintenance for hire, troubleshooting), and is pretty damned good at it. He put 2008 on his laptop last spring after being completely disappointed with Vista. He told me it was actually very good, with performance and usability bonuses over 2003 on identical hardware. He still runs it as his preferred laptop OS.

  • You have to wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:24PM (#22309622) Journal
    If that was a good idea. Microsoft spent so much time replacing things that worked with XP, for example Networking, that on Vista they were not mature at launch. I'm sure the new kernel is actually a nice piece of work, but IMHO they should wait until Windows Server 2008 SP1 then replace the kernel on Vista with one that is leaner and proven to be stable.

    You know it's not that we don't like new features and upgrades, it's just that by 2007-2008 we expected Microsoft to be better at designing OSs. Should they get an automatic pass with every OS release just because "hey, you know they will get it right by SP2". I say phooey to that. Demand more.
  • by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:42PM (#22310958)
    Microsoft Windows Vista SP1:
    Codenamed: XP
  • by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:08PM (#22311400) Homepage
    Maybe they didn't tell anyone because they were afraid that people would start to kernel panic about it.

    I'll be hiding now.
  • How about speed? (Score:3, Informative)

    by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@g m a> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:33PM (#22311832) Homepage Journal
    The thing that intrigues me is how they are going to fix the speed/memory issues without ripping DRM out. I have a hard time seeng other than smaller improvements in isolated areas as to Vistas performance less they rip/replace large parts of it. A new thorough benchmark comparing XP SP2 vs Vista SP1 would be very interesting. Does it still demand 2 GB to run smoothly under moderate load? Had one for testing on my desk a while ago (im a sysadmin) and frankly it was a real dog.

    Dont get me started at audio issues in most games and audio applications, EAX? forgedaboutit!

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.