I want to see which solution is the least distracting from my work (I know that this whole experiment is distracting, but the work going into this will pay off in the future), and present some hard data as to why I’ve chosen that solution.
All testing will be done on the following hardware:
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor
- ASUS M2N4-SLI AM2 NVIDIA nForce 500 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
- 3.5Gb DDR2 800 RAM
- 4 x 250GB IDE Hard Drives (see below for config details)
- HighPoint RocketRaid133 PCI IDE Controller Card
- XFX 8600GTS 256MB DDR3 Graphics Card
- 2 x SAMSUNG 990DF Black 19″ CRT Monitors
Hard drive setup:
- Hard Drive 1
- Ubuntu – I will install a new Windows virtual machine from the ground up, with the Adobe CS4 software and any relevant security software. I will also make an attempt at installing Adobe CS4 through WINE and report back on the progress and give any tips I can on installing it.
- Hard Drive 2
- Windows XP (1) – This Windows installation will have 2 user accounts, one for gaming and one for general workflow.
- Hard Drive 3
- Windows XP (2) – This installation will be strictly for gaming. There will be no other software installed, other than what is needed at the very basic level. I will also strip services to the acceptable level to get the better performance I would like.
- Hard Drive 4
- Windows XP (3) – This installation will be strictly for the general workflow. I will need to install the normal security tools, and any other tools I would need for graphic design/web development.
The hardware being used isn’t exactly top-notch, being almost 2 years old, but it is the hardware that I use in everyday situations, so I feel it will be the most fitting test hardware that I can benchmark.
Throughout these four Windows installation, Windows XP (32-bit) and Firefox will be the only common software on each.
The gaming installations will have these programs in common:
Whereas the general installations will have these:
- Adobe CS4 Design Premium
- AVG 8 Free Edition
- Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition
- Spybot Search & Destroy 1.6.2
- UltraMon 2.7.1
Next, let’s talk about how the different operating systems will be setup for boot time and what I am going to use for benchmarking.