USB 3 is due to roll out this year. I would be very surprised if they dropped USB's, as it's easy to connect loads of items very quickly and the data transfer rates are as quick as fire-wire. Some of us who worked in the IT departments remember what a chore it was to set up printers and scanners on PC's now, all you do is plug in one USB cable and away you go.
Keith I think you've fallen vistim to missconception & urban myth!
When Vista 64 or 7 installs it creates two program files, one for 32bit, the other for 64, your programs will install into the section which suits, thus so long as the drivers are Vista compatible they will work. USB is USB which means it should work on any usb port regardless of the OS. So if your drivers will work with 32 bit they'll work with windows 7.
I wouldn't reccomend anyone buys 7 Ultimate over professional, it only comes with a couple of extras - language support, and bit lockers HDD encryption system which hardly anyone uses.
Don't regret not buying an iMac, a friend has just bought one, for £1400 it comes with a 3.06 Ghz dual core processor, the model above that has an i5. The top processor now is the i7. The ATI Radeon graphics card, is a £70 job, which can't hold a candle to the 295GTX of Nvidia. Want to upgrade? Well you can't because it's all sealed in a nice looking case which costs a fortune. Nothing she produces software wise of it works on other hardware because everything is geared to windows, and software applications are rather limited compared to what's available for the PC.
Go for the Windows 7 OS there are a few driver issues, but sticking with a 32 bit system is like trying to stay in the past. The time will come when 32 bit simply isn't supported any longer, it would be wise to be ready sooner rather than later.
Thanks for your input flake. As I understand it, W7 comes either as 32 bit or 64 bit. Even so, 64 bit at this moment in time is a bit of an overkill in my view, unless you are an avid gamer and need the extra RAM that 64 bit provides. 32 bit allows up to 4 gig of RAM, but it's more than likely you only get 3. To be honest that's enough for me with what I use the computer for. The other thing is there isn't a great deal of software or hardware capable of providing 64 bit at this moment in time and I doubt if manufacturers will be in a hurry to step up to the mark too quickly in the near future. Also, my EOS 5d isn't supported by 64 bit which means I would need to upgrade to the 5d MK11 which is supported by 64 bit, Just too many issues for me to contend with at the present.
I agree with you about W7 Pro vs W7 Ultimate. I will definitely go for pro as I just don't need the other stuff and can save myself a few bob.
I agree about the USB connection working on any OS. That's what prompted me to get further info from members. I just couldn't understand why Western Digital said it wasn't compatible with W7. But you never know do you?
I know there are frustrations with Mac, but they are generally not virus issues or equipment crash issues. I think the build quality and design of the iMac is fantastic and out-classes MS/Dell by a mile. I think when you get a Mac built to spec you need to know what you want it for from the outset. Then there is no issues with upgrades.
The only software I use is Photoshop, Office, Final Draft and what comes with my hardware.
Anyway, can't afford the iMac, so it's Dell and W7 Pro so far. That much has been sorted.
Windows 7 64 bit installs both a 64 bit OS and a 32bit section as well so there are no compatibility issues. Your 5D will work with the 64bit OS without a doubt, because it's still supported in the latest EOS utilities and DPP which are installed into the x86 program section (32bit).
Adobe CS4 is a 64 bit program but that installs a 32 bit version as well so you can use old plug ins.
4GB is the maximum 'address space' not RAM, the most of that is something like 3.5GB or less. Given that the OS will occupy quite a portion of that, it doesn't leave a lot for photoshop projects. It's not unusual to see 1GB once a few layers are added. You haven't said what your current system is, but if the video card can use the Ram then you have even less space to work with.
There's a fair pros & cons article here As it says, the only thing you need to do is check that drivers are available for your components, and go ahead!
Thanks everyone for your advice. My current machine was custom built about five years ago. I have an AMD Athlon XP2200 processor, 1.8GHZ with 1 gig of RAM and Radeon 7000 series video card. So not a tremendously well specified product. But then it is quite old now. I will be getting one of the DEL XPS models soon. I will look into the 64 bit question.
Flake, some points from the article link you posted:
Pros and Cons of a 64 bit system:
You can address much more than 4GB of memory, which is ideal for avid gamers, CAD, video editors and heavy multi-taskers. However, any 32 bit software you use will still be restricted to 4GB memory – you need a 64 bit CPU, OS and applications to take full advantage of the extra RAM.
16 bit applications will no longer run. Although this is unlikely to be a problem, if you use very old software (from the Windows 3.1 days!) then it will not work under a 64 bit OS.
Existing 32 bit drivers no longer work.If you have older or poorly supported hardware you may find that it can no longer be used. Got a 7 year old scanner that just about works in Vista? You may not be able to get it working in 64 bit Windows 7.
Unsigned kernel-mode drivers no longer work. Along with the issue above, the inability to run unsigned kernel mode drivers will cause problems for old hardware. (There is reportedly a way to bypass this check).
Running some 32 bit applications on a 64 bit OS could actually be slower. The additional overheads in running 32 bit software in 64 bit mode could cause a slight degradation in performance. It will take some time for 64 bit software to become the norm.