Last week I checked at Newegg and saw that I could get 4GB of RAM (two 2GB sticks) for my ASUS R1F Tablet PC for $72. That deal was too good to pass up, so I placed the order. The memory arrived Monday, and I was able to install it in under five minutes. (Thank you, ASUS, for making it so easy to get to the RAM slots. I’ve upgraded other notebooks that required removing the keyboard to get to RAM.)
Next project was replacing the stock installation of Vista Business x86 with a clean install of Vista Ultimate x64 with SP1, using media from MSDN. I was astounded at how easy it was. Here’s a high-level summary:
- The documentation for this notebook says it only supports 2GB, but it accepts and recognizes 4GB. However, the latest BIOS only recognizes 3.2GB, even with a 64-bit OS.
- Every device was recognized with the exception of the fingerprint reader (which has new 64-bit drivers and control software available from the component supplier, UPEK).
- Windows update automatically supplied a few new drivers, including the latest Intel video driver for the GMA950 (confusingly but accurately labeled Mobile Intel 945 Express Chipset Family). I had to track down a few extra drivers and utilities, including those for the Synaptics Touchpad, the Toshiba Bluetooth stack, and the wireless console. It wasn’t particularly difficult or complicated.
- DVD playback is excellent using Windows Media Center.
- I’ve installed most of the apps I use everyday, including Office 2007, with no compatibility problems.
- Performance is superb, much better than before. Startup time is roughly 35 seconds. All auto-start programs are loaded and I’m able to open my home page in IE7 in roughly 52 seconds. It’s worth noting that I had previously replaced the stock 120GB 5400RPM hard drive with a 200GB 7200RPM drive.
- I saved an image of the clean installation using Complete PC Backup. The image fit comfortably on two DVDs.
The whole job took a couple hours, and during most of that time I was able to do other things.
I’m indebted to the folks at Notebook Forums, who have a very nice thread on Vista 32/64 drivers for ASUS systems.