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I'm looking to install a x64 OS to take advantage of 6GB of RAM.

My options are Windows XP Pro and Windows Server 2008.

This box will not be used as a server, but I don't want to install the old OS either.

Any pro's / cons for either choice?

Any insights appreciated.

p.s.:

went with Server 2008 ... http://www.win2008workstation.com/wordpress/ helped a lot

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What will you be using the computer for? I know you're not using as a server, but what programs do you want to run etc. – Move More Comments Link To Top Jul 24 '09 at 6:51
    
used for web development / personal use – roman m Jul 24 '09 at 6:52
    
recommendation ... – guerda Jul 24 '09 at 7:21
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Windows Server 2008 have same base as Vista.

But if you have only this options, I recommend Server 2008.

Because XP (x64) is very old and MS support has expired and haven't new updates.

UPDATE: You mentioned "web development" and for this is good Server, because have hyper-v for virtualization.

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WinXP 64bit is still supported, and will continue to be for another 5 years. See here: support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=8599 – Richard Jul 24 '09 at 7:46
    
@Richard: But only with "Extended Support Retired" (it's paid support) and last SP is SP2 – MicTech Jul 24 '09 at 7:56
4  
XP 64-bit is horrible, unstable and has very bad support when it comes to drivers, antivirus software, etc. Definitely not recommended. – Stefan Thyberg Jul 24 '09 at 8:11
1  
There are even sites dedicated to turning Windows Server 2008 into a workstaion OS: win2008workstation.com/wordpress – matthews Jul 25 '09 at 2:15

One of the biggest reasons to go with Windows 2008 Server is driver support. 3rd-party 64-bit drivers on XP are not very good and not getting better.

Another added benefit as a web developer, is the ability to use IIS7 as your development server. The web server in XP only supports one web root. This can be a pain when developing for web apps that must be installed at the root of a site.

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1  
+1 for mentioning IIS7 as it does not run on XP. Very handy for us web guys. – Kez Aug 23 '09 at 23:51

Windows XP x64 is built on top of an OS which is 8 years old; true that the x64 release was quite a way after.

Here are the system requirements for Windows XP x64 (via: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457053.aspx)

Processor
733 MHz Intel Itanium 800 MHz Intel Itanium

Memory
1 GB RAM
1 GB RAM

Conversely Windows Server 2008 is built on top of the same kernel as Vista and has things such as UAC (love it or hate it UAC is a step in the right direction) and a better CPU schedular. Win 2k8 was build in the era of multi-core processing, unlike XP.

For the record here are the Win 2k8 system requirements (via: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/system-requirements.aspx):

Processor Minimum: 1 GHz (x86 processor) or 1.4 GHz (x64 processor)

Memory
Minimum: 512 MB RAM

My vote - Windown Server 2008.

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Windows XP x64 uses the same kernel as Server 2003 - it even reports its version as 5.2. – TRS-80 Jul 25 '09 at 3:19

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