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Need advise about updating my OS in existing Mobile Workstation

Question asked by Ray Piescik on Oct 15, 2013
Latest reply on Oct 17, 2013 by Charles Culp

I currently use the following system with Solidworks 2012 SP 4.0:


Dell Precision M4300 Laptop (4+ years old, but performace is good)

Intel Core 2 Duo CPU  T7300@2.00 Ghz  (64 bit capable)

Win-XP SP3 32 bit

4 GB RAM   (3.5 GB reported by OS)

NVidia Quadro FX 360M

1920 x 1200 display

256 GB Solid State Drive

3D connection Space Pilot


While it's a little old, I am still happy with the performance, especially after adding the Solid State Drive.


Now I want to update my OS to Win-7 64 or Win-8 64 on the same computer, in order to upgrade SW.  I plan to do this by first cloning the drive (so I can go back if I don't succeed or if I'm not happy with it), and then doing a clean install of the OS and all programs.  Here are my questions:


1.  Should I go with Win-7 or Win-8, and what are the pros/cons?

2.  Documentation of M4300 shows maximum memory as 4GB.  Is it possible that it could use more than 4GB, but that is relic Win-XP information?  Dell says that 4GB is a Motherboard limitation.

3.  Do you think the performance would increase or decrease with the new OS?

4.  What other advise do you have regarding this change?


( I know the obvious answer is to get a new computer, but even if I did that, I would want to keep this one running as the 2nd home computer)