Why something other than windows is likely to win the desktops

… or how to bring a really fast desktop to its knees.

I have desktop unit with Windows XP pro on it. It is my primary windows xp box. It is a nice 2+ GHz Athlon 64 with 1.5 GB ram. Pretty fast SATA disks. Single core, but quite fast.

Or so I thought.

I like to listen to internet radio while I work. Helps drown out the server noise. So I have winamp in a corner, playing something at low volume.

I have firefox open. I can’t live without it. IE just doesn’t work for me. I can’t share my bookmarks across windows, linux, others. So IE is a non-starter. That and its … uh … stellar security record … well …

I have thunderbird open. I can’t live without it. Outlook simply isn’t an option.

I use the same apps across OSes, as a large and growing number of people do. But that is another post.

This is a fast 64 bit machine, though I happen to be running it in 32 bit mode. I have VNC running, in case I need to use it remotely.

I have antivirus installed. I had McAfee, ditched that for ZoneAlarm (terrible mistake, while McAfee really isn’t good, ZoneAlarm is actively not-good). Ditched ZoneAlarm (actually ran screaming from it) for a newer McAfee. Have multiple antispyware on here. Even have Clamwin.

So I am paranoid. One has to be if one runs windows.

So the net total of all this, is that I drive CPU usage through the roof. It is pegged at 100% most of the time. Audio is choppy. Usage is painful. Sluggish. Slow.

Compare this with the Linux laptop I just retired. Running at 800 MHz with power saving on, I was doing all those things. That is, without the antivirus, spamware, spyware.

It wasn’t needed. The system was responsive. With less memory, lower processor, and audio streaming.


Do I really need 4 cores, 8 gigs of ram to run my desktop under XP?

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