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Motherboard/memory/cpu ? Upgrading To Windows 7

#1 User is offline   robdog930 

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:39 PM

Hello I just bought a brand new laptop, So now I would like to upgrade my Desktop to windows 7 64bit from vista 32bit but my processor is old and can't support 64bit so I would like to update that too. My mother board has 2 ram slots with a maximum of 4gb ram( it has 1 stick 2gb in it now). My 1st question is will 4gb be enough to smoothly run 64bit Windows 7 letting me save money and keeping this MB or should I just buy another lower end motherboard that takes more ram. 2nd question these 3 upgrades(RAM,Cpu,Windows 7) will cost me about $300 dollars are they worth it. FYI PC is not used for gaming.

My PC now:
Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz 800 MHz 1 MB Socket 775 CPU ( want to upgrade to either e7400 or e8400)

2gb ddr2 kingston pc6400 (1 stick) ( want to add 1 more 2gb stick when I get windows 7) http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820134636

MSI g31m3 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813130217

nvidia 7900gs graphics card

Antec 500w psu

Vista 32bit
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#2 User is offline   SnyperTodd 

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 04:43 PM

My answer would be yes, it is worth it to upgrade. You'll see a major performance increase for two main reasons. For one thing, you're running the memory in single channel right now. Just adding another 2GB stick to make that dual channel will give you a noticeable performance gain. Also, the Core 2 architecture is much more efficient than the Netburst architecture used in the Pentium 4. In other words, an E7400 or E8400 will be considerably faster than your current 3GHz P4. You shouldn't have any issues using those parts on that motherboard, but you may need to update the BIOS to allow it to work with the 45nm processors you're looking at.
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#3 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 07:51 PM

Checking the BIOS versions on the MSI website, you need version 2.1. Here is a link to the CPU support page. The BIOS required is in the right hand column. Clicking on it will take you to the BIOS download page. Some where on the boot screen when the computer first starts it will tell you the current BIOS version. Download and update the BIOS before you upgrade the CPU.

As to the memory, I have a laptop running Win7 64bit and it only has 2GB of memory (2 x 1GB for dual channel) and is the one I am using for this. I also have a Desktop with 4 GB running Win7 64bit and it works just fine. I disagree with those that you have to have more than that to run the 64bit, you do however have to have 64bit to utilize more than about 3.5GB of memory.
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#4 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 09:09 PM

View Postrgreen4, on 13 March 2010 - 07:51 PM, said:

I disagree with those that you have to have more than that to run the 64bit, you do however have to have 64bit to utilize more than about 3.5GB of memory.


I will agree that you can run 64 bit Windows with less than 4 GB of RAM, but the biggest reason typically to run a 64 bit OS is to take advantage of more than 4 GB of RAM. While a 64 bit version of Windows can in theory speed things up a bit, it generally seems not worth it to me to take the time (i.e. do a clean install and re-install ALL your applications) to switch from 32 bit to 64 bit just to get that rather minor speed boost. It only seems worth it to me if you truly need more than 4 GB of RAM overall (which most people do not really need yet) or want to run a 64 bit program (such as Photoshop) that will allow that one program to access more than the typical 2 GB of RAM a single program can use in 32 bit.

Now, in this case, since the OP is talking about doing a new motherboard (and processor), it likely means a re-install of Windows anyway. In such a case, then it would make a lot of sense to go to 64 bit Windows since one would ALREADY be doing a new, clean install of Windows and all applications most likely...it likely should not hurt to go to 64 bit (unless one is running some rather old programs or hardware peripherals) and it will certainly "future proof" the system a bit more.
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#5 User is offline   robdog930 

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:58 PM

Thanks guys for the replies, Im just trying to save money and avoid buying a new Motherboard, this one maxing out at 4gb is not too future proof. If I really had to buy a new Motherboard I'd probably get an LGA 1156 and get the i5 cpu instead of the e8400 which is only $30 more and buy 4gb ddr3 for now. I'd just use all my old components(hard drive,PSU,graphics card,optical drives, case ECT..)and upgrade to windows 7, but keeping this motherboard and just upgrading my existing ram and CPU, and Operating system would save me around $200 dollars as shown below, Im really undecided now on what to do.


Cpu e8400 $167.99
2gb Kingston$45.99
Windows 7 $100.00

Total: $313.98

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $104.99
Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 XMS3 4GB Ram $109.99
I5 750 CPU $199.99
Windows 7 $100.00

Total: $514.97

This post has been edited by robdog930: 14 March 2010 - 02:05 PM

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#6 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:25 PM

View Postrobdog930, on 14 March 2010 - 01:58 PM, said:

Thanks guys for the replies, Im just trying to save money and avoid buying a new Motherboard, this one maxing out at 4gb is not too future proof. If I really had to buy a new Motherboard I'd probably get an LGA 1156 and get the i5 cpu instead of the e8400 which is only $30 more and buy 4gb ddr3 for now. I'd just use all my old components(hard drive,PSU,graphics card,optical drives, case ECT..)and upgrade to windows 7, but keeping this motherboard and just upgrading my existing ram and CPU, and Operating system would save me around $200 dollars as shown below, Im really undecided now on what to do.


Cpu e8400 $167.99
2gb Kingston$45.99
Windows 7 $100.00

Total: $313.98

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $104.99
Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 XMS3 4GB Ram $109.99
I5 750 CPU $199.99
Windows 7 $100.00

Total: $514.97



Hi. Your first choice is a good one and will ceratinly beef up the performance over what you have now. Your second choice is much better package performance wise. I have been on my eMachines pretty much since Friday morning and just switched back to the Gateway. The eMachines is running a Pentium D 945 @ 3.4 Ghz and is pretty speedy. This Gateway is running a Core i7 920 @ 2.66 Ghz and makes the eMachines look like a snail in comparison. Granted I'm only running the max of 2 Gb of 667 Mhz ram in the emachines with XP MCE 2005 and I am running 6 Gb of Crucial Ballistix @ 1600 Mhz in this Gateway with Vista Home Premium 64 bit, which will obviously make a difference. Both of your choices are good, but personally, if my finances could handle the extra $200.01, then that would be the way I'd go. That is a tough choice to have to make for sure. I do think the LGA 1156 MOBO w/ the P55 chipset is in position to become the next Intel standard for most machines. I think you'll see fewer LGA 1366 X58 based machines ( Except for High end machines ) in production. Anyway, you've made two really good choices.
Coolermaster HAF 912 Case....ASUS Z87Pro MOBO.....Intel Core i7 4770k Haswell ( OC'd to 4.6 Ghz ) .... Gelid Tranquillo cooler.... Samsung 830 256 GB SSD.... Primary HDD- WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA III /6.0 .... SECONDARY HDD - WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA II / 3.0....16Gb GSkill Ripjaws Series X 2133 Mhz Memory....Corsair AX850w PSU....EVGA GTX 680 Super Clocked Signature 2 Gb GDDR5 Video Card....Samsung CD/DVD RW, DL, DVD-Ram, w/ Lightscribe Optical Drive....Samsung SyncMaster 2243BWX 22" Monitor..... Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS




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Gateway FX6800-01e----Intel Core i7 960 ( 3.2 GHz)---- Seagate Barracuda 750 Gb SATA II / 3.0 Hdd---- 6 Gb Crucial 1066 Mhz memory, running in Tri Channel conf-----Corsair TX650w PSU----- EVGA Nvidia GTX 560Ti 1gb GDDR5 Vram ----DVD +/- RW / CD ,RAM/DL Optical drive w/ Label Flash-----Gateway TBGM-01 Motherboard.... Vista Home Premium 64 bit OS w/ SP2; Samsung Synch Master 2243BWX 22" Monitor.
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#7 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:42 PM

View Postsmax013, on 13 March 2010 - 09:09 PM, said:


I will agree that you can run 64 bit Windows with less than 4 GB of RAM, but the biggest reason typically to run a 64 bit OS is to take advantage of more than 4 GB of RAM. While a 64 bit version of Windows can in theory speed things up a bit, it generally seems not worth it to me to take the time (i.e. do a clean install and re-install ALL your applications) to switch from 32 bit to 64 bit just to get that rather minor speed boost. It only seems worth it to me if you truly need more than 4 GB of RAM overall (which most people do not really need yet) or want to run a 64 bit program (such as Photoshop) that will allow that one program to access more than the typical 2 GB of RAM a single program can use in 32 bit.



Since I have done clean installs of all my Windows upgrades for the past 15 years (going from Win 3.1 to Win 95) in order not to bring any inconsistencies into the new install, the 64 bit vs 32 bit at the time of the install is not a big difference. In fact, if moving from XP to Win7 you must do a clean install, so one might just as well gain the advantage of 64bit. Those who have dealt with Windows over a long term would recommend a clean install even if going from Vista 64 bit to Win 7 64 bit, just to make sure that it is a good install. Many problems in upgraded machines can be traced back to upgrading from within the previous Windows version rather than doing a clean install.

From start to finish, the install process of Win 7 has run me less than 30 minutes before the machine is ready for the install of the applications. At that point, I then only install the applications as I find I need them. The result is a cleaning of the machine of applications that I find I am no longer using.
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#8 User is offline   JessicaD42 

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:33 AM

Robdog930,

Please note that you will not be able to "upgrade" from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit. To learn more about the differences to 32-bit vs. 64-bit architecture and which version within Windows 7 would best meet your needs, please go here: http://bit.ly/oj1fV

When migrating from Windows Vista to Windows 7 you will have the option to select "custom" or "upgrade" install when prompted. By selecting the "upgrade" option, your documents and applications will follow and carry over through the install process. If you select, "custom" however you will be able to perform a clean install and all applications will have to be reinstalled manually -- documents will be moved to a folder entitled "windows.old".

Please note that if moving from 32-bit to 64-bit you will need to perform a custom installation.

For additional assistance with the migration of Windows Vista to Windows 7, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You are welcome to check the threads there and receive additional assistance and feedback.


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#9 User is offline   robdog930 

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:50 AM

Thanks, yes I plan on doing a windows 7 clean install everything I need has been backed up on external hard drives or my laptop. I plan on doing a clean install of windows 7 64 bit from the current vista 32bit I use now with a Windows 7 upgrade CD.

This post has been edited by robdog930: 15 March 2010 - 11:53 AM

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#10 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:03 AM

View Postrgreen4, on 14 March 2010 - 08:42 PM, said:

View Postsmax013, on 13 March 2010 - 09:09 PM, said:


I will agree that you can run 64 bit Windows with less than 4 GB of RAM, but the biggest reason typically to run a 64 bit OS is to take advantage of more than 4 GB of RAM. While a 64 bit version of Windows can in theory speed things up a bit, it generally seems not worth it to me to take the time (i.e. do a clean install and re-install ALL your applications) to switch from 32 bit to 64 bit just to get that rather minor speed boost. It only seems worth it to me if you truly need more than 4 GB of RAM overall (which most people do not really need yet) or want to run a 64 bit program (such as Photoshop) that will allow that one program to access more than the typical 2 GB of RAM a single program can use in 32 bit.



Since I have done clean installs of all my Windows upgrades for the past 15 years (going from Win 3.1 to Win 95) in order not to bring any inconsistencies into the new install, the 64 bit vs 32 bit at the time of the install is not a big difference. In fact, if moving from XP to Win7 you must do a clean install, so one might just as well gain the advantage of 64bit. Those who have dealt with Windows over a long term would recommend a clean install even if going from Vista 64 bit to Win 7 64 bit, just to make sure that it is a good install. Many problems in upgraded machines can be traced back to upgrading from within the previous Windows version rather than doing a clean install.

From start to finish, the install process of Win 7 has run me less than 30 minutes before the machine is ready for the install of the applications. At that point, I then only install the applications as I find I need them. The result is a cleaning of the machine of applications that I find I am no longer using.


My point was that I personally do not see an advantage of going from 32 bit to 64 bit just for the sake of going from 32 bit to 64 bit unless you need to access more than 4 GB of RAM. If all other things are remaining the same and you have 4 GB or less of memory, then you likely will spend a lot of time doing a clean/custom install for very little benefit just for the sake of running a 64 bit OS.

If, however, you are doing a clean install for other reasons (i.e. you want to "upgrade" to Windows 7 from Vista and want to do it by way of a clean install rather than an "upgrade" install...or your current system is "mucked up" and you want to do a clean install of your current Windows version to go back to "ground zero", etc), then going from 32 bit to 64 bit even if you have less than 4 GB of RAM makes lot more sense as you are already going through the hassle of doing a clean install for reasons other than just going from 32 bit to 64 bit.

So, as I went on to say (in the part you left out of the quote), if the OP is talking about doing a motherboard upgrade, then a clean install is likely already called for, so also going from 32 bit to 64 bit makes more sense even if it will only be 2 GB of RAM since the OP was likely already going to be doing a clean install.
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#11 User is offline   robdog930 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:03 PM

One Last question on this topic, if i upgrade these parts and also decide to get a bigger hard drive, will I have to buy the full install version of windows 7 rather than the upgrade version or can I use software that will clone my current hard drive to the new bigger one than just buy the W7 upgrade version. Or am I better of buying an OEM full version, I know theres no Microsoft support and its tide to one motherboard. Im still not sure if Im going to change out the motherboard I know that might affect it. My machine has Vista 32bit that I installed from a retail upgrade version CD which I still have and I plan on doing a clean install. thanks for all the info
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#12 User is offline   SnyperTodd 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:40 PM

View Postrobdog930, on 18 March 2010 - 02:03 PM, said:

One Last question on this topic, if i upgrade these parts and also decide to get a bigger hard drive, will I have to buy the full install version of windows 7 rather than the upgrade version or can I use software that will clone my current hard drive to the new bigger one than just buy the W7 upgrade version. Or am I better of buying an OEM full version, I know theres no Microsoft support and its tide to one motherboard. Im still not sure if Im going to change out the motherboard I know that might affect it. My machine has Vista 32bit that I installed from a retail upgrade version CD which I still have and I plan on doing a clean install. thanks for all the info


You can use the upgrade version even if you buy a new hard drive. If it doesn't activate for you, you may have to call MS and explain what you did, and they'll get you fixed up quick and painlessly.

Technically, the OEM license requires that you sell the machine to an unrelated third party rather than keeping it for your own use.
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#13 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:49 PM

View Postrgreen4, on 13 March 2010 - 07:51 PM, said:

As to the memory, I have a laptop running Win7 64bit and it only has 2GB of memory (2 x 1GB for dual channel) and is the one I am using for this. I also have a Desktop with 4 GB running Win7 64bit and it works just fine. I disagree with those that you have to have more than that to run the 64bit, you do however have to have 64bit to utilize more than about 3.5GB of memory.


I completely agree with you on that. I have a desktop (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, 4GB of RAM) and it runs quite fast, dispite having "only" 4GB of RAM (DDR3).
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#14 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 04:12 PM

View PostSnyperTodd, on 18 March 2010 - 02:40 PM, said:

Technically, the OEM license requires that you sell the machine to an unrelated third party rather than keeping it for your own use.


Yeah, but who actually follows that? I'm running an OEM license of Windows 7 on a computer I recently built myself and the authorities haven't come after me yet. :D
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#15 User is offline   SnyperTodd 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:24 PM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 18 March 2010 - 04:12 PM, said:

View PostSnyperTodd, on 18 March 2010 - 02:40 PM, said:

Technically, the OEM license requires that you sell the machine to an unrelated third party rather than keeping it for your own use.


Yeah, but who actually follows that? I'm running an OEM license of Windows 7 on a computer I recently built myself and the authorities haven't come after me yet. :D


I don't know if anyone actually follows that, but there are some Windows Team people on this forum and JeffWindowsTeam pointed that out in another post. I never knew it before he pointed it out, but knowing it now will definitely keep me from recommending anyone go with an OEM version now, unless they plan to sell the machine they're building.

Truth be told, I buy OEM versions as often as possible, but 99% of what I build is for an unrelated party anyway. I've put OEM copies on machines for family and my own in the past without knowing I was violating the license agreement. It was my own fault for not knowing that part of the license agreement. In my own business, even though I'm very very low volume, I do everything by the book. Everything, not just software licenses and things like that. It really paid off when I got a call from the IRS on my birthday this year, I had nothing to hide and all my records in one place and everything went smoothly with them. I've worked for people who "bent the rules", and they'd always be sweating bullets when someone wanted to look at the books. Even though I may not necessarily agree with a rule, for my protection and the protection of my wife and kids, I choose to run my business within the confines of the law.

edit: grammar

This post has been edited by SnyperTodd: 18 March 2010 - 05:26 PM

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#16 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 06:22 PM

Hmmm, I have two OEM copies of XP. XP Home w/SP3 & XP MCE 2005 w/ SP2b. Guess if I build a machine and install one of those I'll just ship it to myself. Posted Image All I knew was that the copy had to go with the machine, I didn't know the machine actually had to travel somewhere. Posted Image
Coolermaster HAF 912 Case....ASUS Z87Pro MOBO.....Intel Core i7 4770k Haswell ( OC'd to 4.6 Ghz ) .... Gelid Tranquillo cooler.... Samsung 830 256 GB SSD.... Primary HDD- WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA III /6.0 .... SECONDARY HDD - WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA II / 3.0....16Gb GSkill Ripjaws Series X 2133 Mhz Memory....Corsair AX850w PSU....EVGA GTX 680 Super Clocked Signature 2 Gb GDDR5 Video Card....Samsung CD/DVD RW, DL, DVD-Ram, w/ Lightscribe Optical Drive....Samsung SyncMaster 2243BWX 22" Monitor..... Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS




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Gateway FX6800-01e----Intel Core i7 960 ( 3.2 GHz)---- Seagate Barracuda 750 Gb SATA II / 3.0 Hdd---- 6 Gb Crucial 1066 Mhz memory, running in Tri Channel conf-----Corsair TX650w PSU----- EVGA Nvidia GTX 560Ti 1gb GDDR5 Vram ----DVD +/- RW / CD ,RAM/DL Optical drive w/ Label Flash-----Gateway TBGM-01 Motherboard.... Vista Home Premium 64 bit OS w/ SP2; Samsung Synch Master 2243BWX 22" Monitor.
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#17 User is offline   SnyperTodd 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:08 PM

View Postcoastie65, on 18 March 2010 - 06:22 PM, said:

Hmmm, I have two OEM copies of XP. XP Home w/SP3 & XP MCE 2005 w/ SP2b. Guess if I build a machine and install one of those I'll just ship it to myself. Posted Image All I knew was that the copy had to go with the machine, I didn't know the machine actually had to travel somewhere. Posted Image



You could probably sell it to someone you didn't know and buy it back for the same price, but I bet MS wouldn't like that... I don't know, I've built machines for people and taken the same machines back in trade towards a new machine a year or two later. I wonder how that would fit into the licensing agreement. Would I have to buy a new license if I were to keep one of those machines for my kids to use (which is exactly what I just recently did)?
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#18 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:24 PM

View Postcoastie65, on 18 March 2010 - 06:22 PM, said:

Hmmm, I have two OEM copies of XP. XP Home w/SP3 & XP MCE 2005 w/ SP2b. Guess if I build a machine and install one of those I'll just ship it to myself. Posted Image All I knew was that the copy had to go with the machine, I didn't know the machine actually had to travel somewhere. Posted Image


Well, all of my Win 7 installs are upgrades. I assembled two machines and installed Vista, on one I used an upgrade package (I had an uninstalled XP) and on the other I used an OEM edition. The one with the OEM edition is still here (now upgraded to Win 7), the one with the upgrade went to an unrelated third party.

Personally, I do not understand the fuss. There is currently a $4 difference between the OEM version and the Upgrade version of Win 7 Home Premium. I personally recommend the Upgrade version for the extra $4 because you have the option of 32bit or 64bit. If you install the 32bit for some application compatibility at this point and then later want to install the 64bit when the new version of that application is compatible with 64bit, you just re-install. With the OEM version, you then have to purchase a new package. You spend $4 now and save $105 later if you change your mind.
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#19 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:52 PM

View PostSnyperTodd, on 18 March 2010 - 05:24 PM, said:

I don't know if anyone actually follows that, but there are some Windows Team people on this forum and JeffWindowsTeam pointed that out in another post. I never knew it before he pointed it out, but knowing it now will definitely keep me from recommending anyone go with an OEM version now, unless they plan to sell the machine they're building.

Truth be told, I buy OEM versions as often as possible, but 99% of what I build is for an unrelated party anyway. I've put OEM copies on machines for family and my own in the past without knowing I was violating the license agreement. It was my own fault for not knowing that part of the license agreement. In my own business, even though I'm very very low volume, I do everything by the book. Everything, not just software licenses and things like that. It really paid off when I got a call from the IRS on my birthday this year, I had nothing to hide and all my records in one place and everything went smoothly with them. I've worked for people who "bent the rules", and they'd always be sweating bullets when someone wanted to look at the books. Even though I may not necessarily agree with a rule, for my protection and the protection of my wife and kids, I choose to run my business within the confines of the law.



You likely did not know because it appears that Microsoft used to basically say it was OK (if not encourage it) and has since kind of changed their minds and is doing a little "re-writing" of history to try to say that this has always been their policy.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1561

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=535

I personally do not know if that provision is legally enforceable or not. This falls into much the same area as Apple's EULA/license provision that requires the Mac OS to only be run on Apple hardware. Both those provisions have never been tested in court to my knowledge. And I suspect that neither Apple or Microsoft likely really WANT to test it.

First, if they sue some end-user for violating those provisions and lose, then the flood gates open up. At least right now with no definitive court precedent on the provisions, it looks a lot more scary to most consumers and thus they follow might tend to follow those provisions, but there will be some that "throw caution to the wind" and risk it. If they sue some end-user and lose, then they can no longer "scare" people to following those provisions. All it takes is ONE end user that is stubborn (and potentially "vindictive") and who is willing to fight it to a court ruling not matter that cost...if they sue such a person and lose, then the "house of cards" come falling down. So, I would guess that they are not too eager to go suing any end user (the Pystar bit with Apple was a different ball of wax as they were not end users) over this matter for this reason.

And the only way for them to stop the "flood gates" if they lost would be to adapt. Apple could likely do this by making it PERFECTLY clear the Mac OS that they sell in retail stores is an "upgrade license" and make the license read that you must have the Mac OS installed on the computer prior to using that retail license. In essence, this is really what the "retail" Mac OS box is meant to be...Apple just does not explicitly state that now. If they went this path, then there technically would not be an true "retail" Mac OS license. You could technically only get the Mac OS as an "original" OS for the computer by buying a Mac. As for Microsoft, they would have to stop selling the OEM licenses in retail settings to "stop" the "flood gates". But, both "adaptations" require rather significant shifts in their business practices. Plus, it would likely cost them revenue. Even though both point out such provisions, they are more than happy to take the money from that sales of their OS that violated that revenue. And you could argue that they both might be deliberately leaving the issue "muddy" because of that revenue (see the first article talking about how Microsoft is not really getting after sites like NewEgg or TigerDirect or ZipZoomfly.com to clearly indicate that OEM licenses are NOT for self-builders).

Now, if either was SURE that they would win, they still have to face the very high potential for a "marketing blackeye". After all, suing your end user customers does not typically play well. Just as the RIAA how that is going for them. Add to that the cost of suing an individual end user vs. the potential reward. They likely would spend tons of money suing an end user and not really get much money out of that person...but they likely would get a ton of bad press. Not exactly something that they are likely itching to do.

In the end, I cannot say whether it is "legal" or not to use an OEM license for a computer you build yourself. It would appear that you could make a good case that Microsoft's provision is not enforceable, but you likely would have to pay quite a bit in order to defend yourself if you were sued. But...it is still far from clear that you would win even if you can potentially make a good case. In the end, it is a choice each individual would have to make.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#20 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:05 PM

View Postrgreen4, on 18 March 2010 - 07:24 PM, said:

Well, all of my Win 7 installs are upgrades. I assembled two machines and installed Vista, on one I used an upgrade package (I had an uninstalled XP) and on the other I used an OEM edition. The one with the OEM edition is still here (now upgraded to Win 7), the one with the upgrade went to an unrelated third party.

Personally, I do not understand the fuss. There is currently a $4 difference between the OEM version and the Upgrade version of Win 7 Home Premium. I personally recommend the Upgrade version for the extra $4 because you have the option of 32bit or 64bit. If you install the 32bit for some application compatibility at this point and then later want to install the 64bit when the new version of that application is compatible with 64bit, you just re-install. With the OEM version, you then have to purchase a new package. You spend $4 now and save $105 later if you change your mind.



The fuss is related to a NEW machine that you build, which an Upgrade license would not apply to. According to Microsoft (these days), your only option would be a "retail" license for that new machine...either one that you go out and buy for that machine...or one that you have on another machine that you then REMOVE from that machine and transfer to the new machine. Some argue (and it seems that Microsoft uses to permit/encourage) that you could also use an OEM license. Considering that an OEM license tends to cost about 1/2 the price of a "retail" license, THAT is what the fuss is about.

Now, if your computer already has Windows (assuming legally) on it, then I agree...there should be no fuss...just get the "upgrade" license. I will note that there is still potentially a bit of fuss there. In Microsoft's eyes (to my knowledge) that new version of Windows that you are going to install with the "upgrade license" is supposed to completely replace the old version. Thus, if you have any thoughts of doing a "multi-boot" with different versions of Windows, it would appear that Microsoft's position is that you must go out an purchase new "retail" license of that new version of Windows rather than the "upgrade license". Once again, I do not know if this is a legally enforceable position/provision or not, but I likely suspect that Microsoft is not too eager to go suing end-users over it for much that same reasons as I outlined in my other post.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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