Why It's Time To Upgrade to Windows 7
I have a feeling I was not the only one still hanging on to my Windows XP machine, even though the new Windows 7 OS was widely released way back towards the end of 2009. After a sour experience with Windows Vista, as well as a disastrous upgrade to some .Net software, I was reluctant to take any chances modifying a system that had been working well for me for years. So I doggedly stuck with XP throughout 2010 and 2011. However, about a year ago I decided to take the plunge and added a new 64-bit Windows 7 VM on my MacBook and I am happy to report that I am very glad I finally made the change. The point of this post is simply to recommend the upgrade to Windows 7 for all Windows-based users of Salford Systems' software still running XP. You will not regret it.
The advantages that I have seen include first and foremost the access to far more RAM within the 64-bit working environment. This allows SPM more workspace for the GUI and will make the operation of even older 32-bit SPMs smoother. If you need to work with data files larger than can comfortably fit within the older 1 GB limits (due to Microsoft limitations) you will have far more flexibility under Windows 7. Further, you can now upgrade your license to push to the limits supported by your hardware. At Salford Systems our best in-house server is equipped with 256GB RAM and we regularly leverage all of it when working with larger data files. My MacBook now has 16 GB RAM of which I allocate 8 GB to Windows 7 and the ability to work with substantial data sets has been a joy.
Windows 7 is also a fair bit more responsive as a working environment for anyone with a newer multi-core machine. The higher versions of SPM 7.0 can also leverage multiple cores for faster run times but you will need Windows 7 to take advantage of this. Good luck with your upgrade!
If you've also compared performance across different operating systems, let us know your experiences and takeaways in the comments!