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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    I am going to upgrade hardware / software and it seems like all of the mainline boxes from Circuit City - best buy - et al only have xp - media center. I don't really know difference, but I know I am NOT going to use new pc for tv / photos / etc.

    I am upgrading from win2k - pro and plan to go with XP - Pro ( don't want to wait the 2 years for MS let everyone debug VISTA.

    Is there any reason I would ever want media center?

    Seems to me like xp - pro is the way to go - assuming I can get a box without media center.

    Any help appreciated.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    Media Center is Windows XP Home with some extra multimedia features. If you need the features that distinguish Windows XP Pro from the Home edition (see Windows XP Comparison Guide), go for Pro. Otherwise, since you don't need the multimedia features, the Home edition should be sufficient, and the cheapest of the XP versions. Also see Five editions of Windows XP compared.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    I can add to what Hans posted to tell you that I have a machine running XP Pro, since day one. Several months ago I bought a new Dell which came with XP MCE and added it to my home LAN. I can't tell if there are any differences between machines and I've not regretted buying the machine with XP MCE, rather than XP Pro. I've really never experienced having a machine with XP Home, so I don't know how significant the "real" differences are. Personally, even though I too don't need all that TV stuff, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a machine with MCE unless you "really" get down to nuts and bolts of the Pro version and HAVE to have it.

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    Like tomyrush, I'm looking at a new CPU sometime soon, so I appreciated Hans' links.

    It appears that the only feature in XP Pro not in XP Home that I could need is "Remote Desktop

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    Thanks for the links - there is one remaining question I see -
    Multi / dual processor support - the chart shows Pro as having multi processor support but not home edition. No comments are made about the Media Center edition.

    All of the newer boxes offer Intel or AMD dual processor support - I understand this is not same as true multiprocessor support, but does provide some of the benefits of multiple threads. I am assuming that media center has the support - since all of the new boxes seem to have the dual processors with the media center support. Is this a valid assumption?

    Has anything been announced about a migration path to Vista from Media center? I am assuming that by the time the users have debugged Vista - there will be a migration path to Vista, but I could be all wet. Don't want to wind up with another version of "Millenium".


    At this point I am guessing that Media Center will work out ok for me - based on my plans to stay with a single large box rather than a network. Who knows I might someday want to watch a football game while playing solitaire.

    Tom

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    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    This is an OBTW comment about new boxes at Circuit City - everything (desktop) on the floor is Media Center (Scottsdale AZ store). I talked to a clerk about modifying stuff and he said "sure - go to our web site" - I did and could not find anything about how to specify requirements. I sent an email asking if I could specify requirements for an order and the reply below is what I got back.

    "Thank you for writing to www.circuitcity.com

    I understand that you wish to know whether you can order the PC that
    differed from the specifications of the ones offered in the store.

    Please note that, you will not be able to order the PC that differed
    from the specifications of the ones offered in the store. I apologize
    for any inconvenience that this situation may cause.

    If we can be of further help, just send us an email or call us toll-free
    at (800) 843-2489."

    Evidently - What you see is what you get.

    Tom

  7. #7
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    That's one of the reasons people buy Dell - what you get can be configured largely as you want!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    First, I should tell you that if you reply to your own post rather than to the post of the Lounger who responded to your post, they will not receive an email notification that you replied and will not know, unless the revisit the thread or their control panel. It will help us to help you more efficiently if you do it this way. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Thanks.

    As to the issue of ordering a PC from a big box store like Circuit City; they all have "deals" with the manufacturers to configure all the systems they sell to their specs so that they can make their claims in their ads. Like lowest price on a Windows Media PC ever. If you read the fine print in the ad there is a disclaimer about this price only applying to this configuration. And since they are the only one licenced by the OEM to have a box configured just that way, their claim will stand up legally and they won't chang the configuration for love or money. It's all about marketing. <img src=/S/disappointed.gif border=0 alt=disappointed width=15 height=15>

    As John said, buy a Dell (and even that will have some junk you may or may not want and might have to remove) or have one built just for you by a local shop. If you go with the local shop be cautious who you choose. Many use junk parts or bootleg parts from China that are inferior or fail quickly, or worse, bootleg or cracked software that you can't update or register.
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  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    I don't use Media Center, but I can say with certainty that if pcAnywhere supports XP Home, Media Center would be no different. Media Center is really just an application (or application suite if you prefer) that runs on top of Windows XP. That's why Symantec's website does not mention the product specifically; it's not an OS unto itself, it's just a different "edition" - not version - of XP Home.

    That said, I would strongly encourage you to consider alternatives to pcAnywhere. There was a time when I wouldn't have said that, but of late nearly all of Symantec's products are far more bloated than an equivalent offering from a different vendor.
    -Mark

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    just a word of advice: careful with symantec's PCanywhere... it broke my computer when i uninstalled it. it uninstalled the DLL required to draw the windows desktop for some reason and I was stuck. i had to salvage what i could from another PC & format the machine (i spent weeks researching ways to avoid doing this).

    PS. nice userpic!
    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>
    <big>John</big>

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    Symantec's products have a reputation for being difficult (and often impossible without a registry edit) to remove. I would always recommend that you make a full image backup before attempting to install or uninstall any Symantec product.
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  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    Sound advice, and a major reason I don't use Symantec's products anymore. They might be slick and win awards, but I'd rather have fast and effective without the glitzy interface.

    PS. Thanks!
    -Mark

  13. #13
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    What AV product are you using these days Mark ??
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  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    My Dell has MCE installed and since I don't "like" pcAnywhere, I run RealVNC quite nicely to connect to (usually) a Win98SE machine, an XP Pro and another Dell with MCE. There are several free remote control alternatives and you'll find a couple by searching The Lounge.

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: xp pro vs xp media center (current)

    After a lot of testing and playing around, I ended up settling on Avast! for personal use. It's very lightweight and does not put nearly the hit on system resources that Symantec's offering does. It's <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> for personal use, although registration is required, and the only irritation I've found is that by default it talks to you. Disable the sounds and it behaves like an AV product should: transparently and effectively. I never cottoned on to the UI that was included in AVG Antivirus, and I feel comfortable recommending Avast! as a free solution to clients.

    I decided to abandon Symantec's products largely after my experience with a dual-Opteron NLE workstation that I built for a client. This machine was massively overpowered in nearly every sense, as it was intended for commercial video editing (4GB RAM, 1.5 TB SATA RAID array, nVidia Quadro video card, the works). On a clean installation of XP, Norton Antivirus slowed the entire system down dramatically, something I found completely unacceptable given the horsepower that was being thrown at it. And incidentally, removing Norton Systemworks was an exercise in frustration, ultimately leading to re-imaging the workstation to get rid of all of the little bits and pieces that were left behind after the "uninstall."
    -Mark

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