edit/update : РMy aim when setting up my PCs for use as digital darkrooms  in support of nature and landscape photography is for perofmance speed (to handle the editing of large image files), and colour rendition.

I have a back up PC which I am in the process of upgrading to Win7 64-bit Home Premium. I have run the Release Candidate version on it prior to this, and was reasonably confident that the full install would work.

Running a 2-core AMD Opteron processor with 4GB memory, it’s running at roughly eqv speeds to my main machine, a 4-core Intel Q6600 with 8GB memory running WinXP Pro 64-bit, although not yet fully loaded (PS etc.).

The install (clean) I have found to be the fastest of any of Microsoft’s thus far – it found all my devices and had drivers for them without me having to dig out discs (e.g. nforce 4 device drivers) and manual installing.

One thing that helped the install was having a dedicated partition for operating system – all my image files are on separate disks to start with.

XP Pro, whilst fast, was not fully supported either by MS, or other suppliers, so I was having to work round certain needs – e.g. my HP printer was limited in use, with frequent dropouts. Win7 is claimed to fix a number of USB issues, and I’m looking forward to that, together with the new drivers that HP brought out specific to Win 7.

I have since found that I had to install one driver manually, which was for the Eye-1 display 2 I use for monitor calibration. On the positive side, I can confirm Win 7  automatically manages 2 monitor profiles for a dual-screen set up.

Still got some way to go on this install but so far so good.  Need to install 2 scanners, and will look at the speed of PhotoShop on this set-up, compared with my main PC.

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