Be careful calling Vista a RAM hog, most of the time what you are doing is increasing your performance at the cost of RAM. Most of your RAM will go to superfetch
, which is just basically a caching system for frequently used programs. Use this program
to see what Vista is doing with your RAM, most of it is spent to make your computer run faster. Note that superfetch is easily turned off so claiming Vista is a RAM hog is not a legitimate reason for declaring it inferior to XP. If you don't have 600 MB of RAM to offer your OS in the name of speeding your life up tell your OS you would like the RAM back, Vista will give it back.
The biggest piece advice I can give you is disable the search indexer, it's a terrible resource hog.
You can strip Vista to run just like XP, but with some common sense elements added into the kernel (native DVD burning support, encryption, hard drive backup), when Vista is run like this it is far superior to XP in my opinion. If you are going to leave all of Vista's options and goodies enabled you will notice a large performance hit and it's overall not a good experience.
Edit: Also, Vista (SP1) rivals XP in stability. If you don't believe that, I just looked, I use my computer 6 hours or more a day and I have over 17 days
of uptime right now. If someone posting here with XP is beating that I'd be surprised, and it should be noted it's still running fine.
I do love XP, but I believe a lot of the Vista bashing people in general do is due to the fact they just aren't familiar with it. I took the side of Vista to even the score and dispel some myths. Believe me, I have some interesting stories about Vista bugs... (pre-SP1)