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I've not tried Vista on my editing system, only my personal system, but I can say that it's a vastly superior OS over XP. Just everything runs and works better under Vista.
If I were to go with CS4, I'd probably get Vista 64 Home Basic. 64 for the added memory support, which seems to make a significant difference, and Basic because it leaves out all the fluff an editing system doesn't need.
Jim's right that there's a bigger difference between using 32 vs 64 bit, than Home vs. Pro editions of either OS. The added memory support in 64-bit should make a difference.
But note that XP 64 is not officially supported by Adobe for any version of Premiere, while 64-bit Vista is supported for CS4.
If you go to the Microsoft page that compares various Vista editions, they claim that Ultimate and Home Premium are designed for HDV while Home Basic is not, if that is important to you. I assume it just has more codecs built in, but I'm not sure.
I just acquired Vista Ultimate 64 and will be installing it in a separate partition next week, to prepare for my potential CS4 upgrade. And just to complicate it further, I'm going to throw Windows 7 on a third partition and try to do a three-way comparison.
>they claim that Ultimate and Home Premium are designed for HDV
Most likely referring to the built-in Windows Movie Maker, which you won't need on a full editing rig. This is one of those 'fluff' things that is better left off using the Basic version.
We have CS4 on a Vista 64 and an XP Professional system. The XP system has an Asus Maximus formula motherboard with 4GB of RAM. The Vista 64 System has an el-cheapo ECS motherboard with 2GB of RAM. Both have Intel Q6600 processors.
I brought an identical avi clip into new projects and added a load of effects. The Vista 64 system won the render race by 10 seconds.
Who won the stability and bug race and how much of the performance difference is due to the graphic card?
Can you tell us more about the project such as what type of project was it and how long was the overall render time?