View Full Version : Windows XP Home or Pro ?

27th May 2003, 19:14
Which is better and why? Have read that Pro offers a few more management features and such, but not sure what that means.

I have a new comp in my near future and am debating the two OS's.

Will be doing business applications such as office and some accounting on the comp. Obviously Internet stuff and lots of big gaming too.

Any help and thoughts on XP would be appreciated. :-)

27th May 2003, 21:08
Management features usually means more tweakable settings. :D Although you can't tweak much when the administrator locks you out of most things.

I've only used the pro version of WinXP, so have no way of comparing the two.

28th May 2003, 02:33
The main difference, from what I've heard (like Salvage, I've only played with Pro, but I hang out in places where I hear this stuff!), is in terms of networking. Home will allow you to build a small, simple home LAN, apparently, but if you want to do any web serving, ftp etc, or think you might want to in future, Pro is probably the way to go. My preference would be, unless the cost difference is massive, to go for Pro, but that's because I do do a lot of playing with networks and will probably get into running servers some time soon. I'm sure there's a more detailed comparo available on the web...

Here's Microsoft's own (take with a salt lick): http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/howtobuy/choosing2.asp

Here's another: http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_home_pro.asp

And one from Gateway: http://support.gateway.com/s/SOFTWARE/MICROSOF/7509594/750959411.shtml

As I'm reading these, I'm inclining more and more towards Pro! Your call, of course, hope this info has been useful...


28th May 2003, 18:18
Thanks guys!

Those are some good links there. Lots of info.

Pro does have some interesting extras, I just have to decide if I would ever use them. Some I would probably never use. Some seem worthwhile.

I may build my new system. Have been looking at component prices as compared to prebuilts systems from Dell and the like.

Seems I can save from 4 to a bit over $700.00 on a high end system depending on how I go. But there could be a manufactured deal out there somewhere. I have had great luck with Dells.

Looking at MoBo's from Asus and MSI with the Intel 875 chip.

Not worried much about assembly, over the years I have replaced everything in my comps many times except for a MoBo and power supply!

And just think, if it ever breaks, why service and support is right here at my house. Haha! ;-)

28th May 2003, 20:40
G'day Sneak

Go for it! I built one for the kids, with probably less experience than you had, and it was a snap! The Asus motherboard was great, with all the necessary hardware and vry good documentation. The guys at my friendly little local computer shop where I bought the bits installed the processor on the mobo for free for me, but it took them seconds and I'm sure I could have done it - but if your guys will do that too it's great.

I'm definitely planning on building the next one for us, for 3 reasons:
<ol><li>There are definitely some savings, though perhaps not huge ones, if you shop around.
<li>I can do it piecemeal, as I can afford it, cannibalising bits from the old one and mixing and matching, rather than having to find a couple of grand up front.
<li>Most prebuilt systems look good on the headline stats - HDD size, processor speed, RAM, etc - but if you go for a dig you'll find the motherboard is last generation and not very upgradeable, or the RAM is plentiful but low spec, or the video or sound are integrated on the mobo and really not very good. If I build a system, it will cost about the same as a bought one with similar headline stats, but it will have excellent, well-matched components throughout and a good upgrade path.</ol>
See ya,


Old Man
29th May 2003, 00:42
I'm going to add my voice to the build-your-own computer group here, Sneak. Although I did it with a slight variation. I chose all the components and hired some local guys to procur and put it together for me. Still came in under list for similar bundled capabilities. That way the builder could deal with the parts suppliers if any warranty work was required. Which it wasn't by the way. And this way you get the builder's expertise too. Just encourage them to comment and then listen to what they have to say when you give them the component list.

Good luck and keep us informed.

29th May 2003, 01:23
Hi Sneak! :) Good to see you drop buy. I am one of the build it yourself people, for reasons mentioned by Bravus.

I have three computers: my gamer, my wife's business computer, and a backup server, all running Windows 2000 now. Whenever I upgrade one, like buy a new video card for myself, the others get some nice hand-me-downs. So I get three upgrades for the price of one. I have parts in the backup server that are 3-4 years old. I guess I spend $500 a year on parts, and that keeps me up to date, not with the latest stuff but with one year old technology, which is good enough. I hardly ever have to make the big plunge or the big decision. I just identify the weak points and spend a little money where it will do the most good. When I finally do get rid of a system, it is at the bottom of the food chain, and it hardly matters.

I find that pre-built systems often have some limitation, some cheap components somewhere, or limited upgrade potential. Most often, they do not offer exactly the components you want, and they don't have the balance of power between video, audio, and CPU that is needed for a good game machine. To buy a good game machine you can spend $3000, say, for an Alienware box, or get the stuff you really want, second tier but still well balanced, for about $1500. My last store bought computer was a Micron, purchased used, 5 years ago. After I had owned it for two years, the only components that remained were a case and a monitor. The case still lives, and the monitor is now a spare.:)

Doing it yourself is a little daunting at first, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. Keep a spare handy for advice on the internet and for downloading the drivers you forgot about. The main thing is to view it as an education. You will no doubt have frustrations, but in the end it will probably be worthwhile. My experience was definitely worthwhile.

Good luck.:)

Mr. Perfect
30th May 2003, 06:42
Actually, sweet gaming machine can be had for about $1000. :) Nice 333FSB Athlon, a dual channel DDR Nforce 2 board, 512 megs of DDR operating in said dual channel mode, a Radeon 9500/9700 Pro.... ;) Er. Oh. Right. Anyhow, www.newegg.com is your hardware retailing friend!

As far as XP Pro vs XP Home: go Windows 2000 SP2! :D

In my eyes, the biggest difference between XP Pro and Home is this: home requires that you activate it every time you install it or install more then three new hardware devices. Pro, on the other hand, can be installed at any time for any reason and doesn't care how many parts you change. Personally, I wouldn't want to have to call up Microsoft and convince them to re-activate my XP Home machine everytime I get together the money for some major upgrading...

30th May 2003, 13:30
Mr. Perfect has given perfect advice. The difference in our prices is probably a monitor, case, power supply, and CD writer, which you probably have already. NewEgg rules. I get all my stuff from there after trying many vendors. I bought Win 2000 Pro because of the activation issue and because XP has uncertain issues regarding Thief. Some people have real trouble with XP and Thief, and I didn't want to mess with it. Win 2000 does the job and should continue to do so for a long while.

2nd Jun 2003, 16:44
Well just because of the activation issue I would go with XP Pro. Have been told by a couple of people in RL to go that way too. I have been known to tinker and upgrade my machines. And having to call Willie Bill of MS for permission would truely inhale.

Will have to search back on Thief troubles in XP. I wonder if there are still troubles being that the OS has been out for a long time now?

Am not in a hurry, but early to mid summer I will probably build it. Unless some manufacturer comes up with a deal to beat all deals.

Am shopping around and reading MoBo reviews and other things.

Even been over to Newegg! :-)

4th Jun 2003, 15:04
One thing to consider - and it probably won't affect you - in XPPro you can't enable fast-session switching (logging in multiple users simultaneously and switching between them) if you put the PC on a network domain. With workgroups, you're OK - and most home LAN users use workgroups anyway.