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Gaming, To Vista or Not to Vista

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  • PC gaming
  • Gaming
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Video Games
Last response: in Video Games
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January 13, 2009 2:22:47 AM

I am currently building a new pc. Parts are in the mail as we speak. It is gonna be primarily for gaming. I own XP Professional, But my friend has Vista Ultimate x86. For gaming whats gonna be my better choice. I've read a decent chunk, but seems alot of stuff i've read has been a little dated. Not sure what patches and fixes have come out to address everyone complaining about Vista.

I really wanna try dx10 since my new card utilizes it and like Vista's style more than XP. Plus with building a new pc, Sorta want that NEW pc feel. But will my games suffer framerate wise?

My Rig
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066
HIS Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
NZXT Nemesis Elite Black Case

I know XP caps ram a like 3gb, But would 4gbs under Vista be enough to crank my setting max for game like crysis and such. Or should I go ahead and order another 4 gigs? Also playing on an old school 19" crt atm, But will be upgrading to a 24" in about 2 months. So again framerate in future.

Any help in the matter would be greatly appreciated. Never really fooled with Vista before.

Thanks




More about : gaming vista vista

January 13, 2009 3:23:30 AM

My personal recommendation would be to use XP for now if you still have an install disc for it and wait for Windows7.

I have vista sitting on my laptop and it is ok, it doesn't feel like much of an upgrade from xp. There is alot of tweaking to be done to drop the resource usage and annoyances too. Compatibility can be a problem but to my surprise several older games seem to work fine on it. I have installed serious sam, unreal gold and call of duty on my vista business edition laptop and they all run fine.

If you don't have an install disc and you have to buy an OS then go ahead and use vista ue. Unless you have some old ass apps your games will most likely work. Double check your hardware for compatibility issues.
January 13, 2009 3:48:40 AM

I've been using Vista for a while now. I haven't had any serious problems with games not working. The only game that had problems was The Witcher. I even run most of my games in a window, instead of fullscreen, so I can monitor stuff like chat programs while playing. I've left games running for hours either windowed or minimized because I decided to multi-task/do something and have had no problems upon switching back to the game.


The game I've played using Vista with no problems..

Crysis, UT3, TF2, HL2, Audio Surf, Civ IV (Original and all expansions), UT2004, Serious Sam 1+2, Rome Total War, and more that I can't think of. The ones I listed were the games I played extensively.


EDIT: About the RAM...

I only have 2GB of ram on my machine and I haven't noticed any problems. I can run Crysis with all settings set to Very High (maxed settings) at 1024x768 at about 30fps. It runs a steady 60fps on all High settings (one notch bellow maxed settings). I have a 8800GTX (No OC) and a E6850 (OC to 3.6GHz)
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January 13, 2009 6:58:59 AM

ravenware said:
My personal recommendation would be to use XP for now


wtf man >.< That system is perfect for Vista 64.
January 13, 2009 7:04:05 AM

Go for Vista x64. it's stable, it won't suffer your frame rates nearly as much as many make out, you get DX10 and you can haave (in theory) up to 128GB of RAM.

Don't build a new machine and put an old OS on, seems so pointless. Try out Windows 7 if you fancy it though, the beta's out and they've taken the download limit off for 2 weeks.
January 13, 2009 8:25:48 AM

Vista 64bit is the way to go. Vista is a more stable and secure os than xp, and it utilises modern hardware improvements better than xp, ie multi-core processors are handled better, large quantities of ram are also put to good use by vista.
Windows 7 is in beta, and I woudlnt be bothered installing it as your main os, unless you like the following:
-Windows 7 beta (7000) is not stable, easily blue screens**
-You can have issues finding drivers for some things in windows 7 beta
-Windos 7 beta has a few annoyances regarding getting some software working.
-Windows 7 beta expires in august 09, so you will have to reinstall then also.

**dont mind what people might say about Microsoft getting it right with windows seven and that vista was a pile of rubbish. Windows seven is an improved version of windows based on vista, it is in beta, so obviously it is not as stable as vista, and aside from the obvious, use both os's for a while and you can verify these results for yourself.
January 13, 2009 8:26:55 AM

+1 for pr2thej and mi1ez

Only people that don't have extensive experience and don't know much about it would advise you to put XP on that pc.

Seriously, people should get over the initial bandwagon.

Vista 64 SP1 it the nuts when it comes to gaming. I haven't had a single issue on my Vista 64 rig, dx10 on a 4870 is really something to behold (performance and quality improvements), and running with 4GB is sweet.
January 13, 2009 8:27:58 AM

ewor said:
Vista...utilises modern hardware improvements better than xp, ie multi-core processors are handled better



How are quads handled better?
I tried to argue the same thing the other day, and i couldnt find any reasoning why. Was something i heard in passing though so i was quoting someone else when i said it.
January 13, 2009 8:42:48 AM

@ewor
Sorry, I wasn't suggesting Windows 7b1 as a main OS! Hells no!

Someone mentioned W7 earlier on and I was just saying that if anyone's interested the beta is out there in the public domain.
January 13, 2009 8:56:49 AM

pr2thej said:
wtf man >.< That system is perfect for Vista 64.


But why waste the money on vista if you have a perfectly good copy of xp?
windows7 is just around the corner, just wait for windows7.

Spend $180 and then drop $200+ again in a few months?

Quote:
Vista 64bit is the way to go. Vista is a more stable and secure os than xp.


ROFLMAO!

More stable? Are you fu**ing high?
January 13, 2009 9:20:21 AM

As much as I hate Vista, given that spec I'd not choose XP as only Vista will handle all 4 cores (XP can only use 2 cores so half the CPU would be wasted).

If you go for 32bit (whether Vista or XP) you'll have roughly 2.75GB of usable RAM
January 13, 2009 9:38:20 AM

Thats not true DeVastatoR_UK.

The Facts are:
XP SP2 and previous will have difficulty detecting more than dual cores eg in CPU-Z and such.
If your mobo supports Quads then you are fine on Vista or XP
XP reads upto 3.4GB RAM minus Video Card memory. SO if you have a Radeon 4850 512GB then you wil get 2.9GB RAM showing.

Vista is as stable these days as XP, the early problems were caused by a lack of 64 bit drivers. This problem is now solved as any new hardware drivers are also written up in 64 bit, and older ones are rectified if they are any good.
Vista is better optimised and makes much better use of RAM and other resources while raising the memory cap to some silly number you will never use this side of 2020.
January 13, 2009 12:28:04 PM

pr2thej said:
How are quads handled better?
I tried to argue the same thing the other day, and i couldnt find any reasoning why. Was something i heard in passing though so i was quoting someone else when i said it.



XP will load up a single core to (near) max before it starts allocating processes to others. Vista spreads processes amongst the different cores right from the start. So yes, Vista's bahavior as far as utilizing multi core processors is more efficient.





Regarding Vista versus XP - In My Humble Opinion, for the most part people's minds are already made up regarding one or the other. And therefore it's a waste of time/effort/breath to try to talk someone out of the position they walked into the conversation with.



For the OP:

The technical reality is that your graphics setup will have far far far more of an impact on your frame rates than whatever small difference between operating systems. The original slew of Vista drivers were poorly optimized, and created slowness where there should have been minimal/no difference.

Second - The memory 'cap' has nothing to do with XP or Vista. Both 32 bit versions have the exact same limitation: i.e. 4GB of address space to use for everything on the computer - Bios, Communications, devices, and anything that has Memory Mapped I/O. The reason you get to "around 3GB" is because things generally work out in such a way that 500~750MB or so is used by the system before it even gets around to addressing RAM. Vista's default - a change made in SP1 at the request of Hardware OEM's, BTW - is to show the amount installed rather than the amount utilized. Checking the management console will tell you the actuals.

Now, if you plan on going forward with a single graphics card and staying that way, then at this rate there's not a whole lot - (Superfetch, much better search in Vista, lighter weight and a familiar UI in XP) - to differentiate XP and Vista to a casual end user besides the interface.

However, if you plan on adding more RAM, and/or a second/third GPU, then know that your intention to use a 32 bit OS with existing setup puts you solidly against the addressing limitation right out of the gate. You *need* a 64 bit OS in order to have enough address space to cover a larger setup. If that's the case, then at this juncture you should either go Vista x64, or wait for the end of the year~ish and go with Win 7 x64.
January 13, 2009 12:58:22 PM

Scotteq said:
XP will load up a single core to (near) max before it starts allocating processes to others. Vista spreads processes amongst the different cores right from the start. So yes, Vista's bahavior as far as utilizing multi core processors is more efficient.


I dont understand how spreading tasks between cores is more efficient than loading one core though.
After all, surely the same number of clocks is being allocated to the task, therefore the task isnt being performed any faster.

I could even argue that because Vista is loading 4 cores, and XP is loading just 1...surely that means XP is the more efficient one with regard to Quads

Ofc as you say anyway it really doesnt matter how the OS treats a multi-core as they come out in benches at matching speeds. Its just nice to understand if there are actually any differences.
January 13, 2009 1:18:24 PM

pr2thej said:

.......surely the same number of clocks is being allocated to the task, therefore the task isnt being performed any faster................I could even argue that because Vista is loading 4 cores, and XP is loading just 1...surely that means XP is the more efficient one with regard to Quads


Imagine it like this, if you have 4 tasks, each task will go to a single core, rather than 4 tasks going to a single core while the other three sitting there idle. Meaning if each of the 4 tasks takes 10 time units, the quad core be utilised properly finish the 4 tasks after 10 time units, while the quad core using only one core requires 40 time units to complete the same 4 tasks.

Vista handling of threaded applications is better, meaning its more efficient at distributing load over several cores, and doesn't leave one core with all the work cued up on it.

Ram usage, people complain that vista often consumes over a gig of ram after startup and not running anything. But if you have 4 gigs of ram vista may as well be using that ram as it sitting there idle as it would on xp, this helps vista be more responsive as it pre loads regularly used programs into ram so they can be loaded faster when the user decides to use them.

January 13, 2009 2:39:47 PM

isnt that assuming that each core can only handle one task each, provided that task isnt exceeding the resource of that core?
If your 4 tasks require 25% of a cores clocks to complete each then one core can handle them as well as four cores can it not?


Or.....(i think the penny is dropping!) is it a question of speed? eg a core will dedicate all available clocks to one process until its complete and then move to the next.
January 13, 2009 2:52:41 PM

pr2thej said:
Thats not true DeVastatoR_UK.

The Facts are:
XP SP2 and previous will have difficulty detecting more than dual cores eg in CPU-Z and such.
If your mobo supports Quads then you are fine on Vista or XP


Ok, I can't say I've tried it but the XP licence states that it is for machines with 1 or 2 processors(or cores) and you cannot buy special quad-core licences for XP. It may be that SP3 changed this but I doubt it since officially SP3 only included security patches and no new features.
January 13, 2009 3:05:26 PM

That i didnt know.
As they say theres a reason for everything! Might have to email my mate Mr Gates...
January 13, 2009 3:19:22 PM

I have a q6600 and XP Pro - no issues with XP Pro detecting quad cores at all....

XP Home may be different - I don't know..
January 13, 2009 3:22:50 PM

Back to the OP's question - what is better XP or "Vista Ultimate x86" - it's a no brainer that XP would be better than the 32bit (x86) version of Vista - as people have posted - only the x64 version will free you from memory issues...
January 13, 2009 3:34:03 PM

Well irrespective of whether Vista support quad core better than XP or not I would choose Vista 64bit to be benifit from the RAM.
January 13, 2009 4:34:47 PM

I have vista 32 bit, if I download the 64 bit version and upgrade will I lose all my data including installed games and such that I have now and have to format and start over or is there a way to install over it without losing that data? If so how?
January 13, 2009 4:44:44 PM

Vista 64bit is the way to go, not just for utilising all cores of a quad (which is true), and the fact that it utilises all the memory that is installed in the system (up to 128GB), u also have the fact that u have DX10 ability.

DX10 is a great addition to the gaming industry, giving an almost realistic finish to a game that could look non HD in DX9.

U will not notice much of a difference in performance with the setup u r getting between XP and Vista, but u will notice a great difference in gaming graphics detail.

BTW, since SP1 for Vista (32+64bit), vista has been the most stable and most reliable Operating system ever made, yes it had a dodgy start in life, but dont all the windows O\S previously made (including XP),

i have had Vista 64 on my system since april last year,the only issue i had was the Windows worm which hit when a friend accessed a sight without my knowledge, apart from that, it has been fast, stable and very reliable for myself and others.

System specs

Q6600 Go @ 3.2
Asus P5Q-pro
4Gb OCZ platinum rev 2 800
Asus 4850 512Mb
S\B Audigy 2 ZS
Samsung 500Gb Spinpoint f1
January 13, 2009 4:46:14 PM

No, the 32 bit and 64bit are not compatible,

u will need to re-install the system.

Just make sure u back up all ur Docs, Pics, music and also ur save game files first.
January 13, 2009 11:13:05 PM

Wowzers, Thank all of you guys so much. I have made post before on sites, but never got this much great info, After reading this I have def made up my mind and am snagging Vista 64 atm. I received my case in the mail today and looks like everything else should be on my doorstep tomorrow. I will be putting off putting it together until I get Vista 64 off me "mateys".

I would like to see my extra memory being used in vista instead of wasting it in XP. And direct X 10 is another bonus. I was gonna just throw his copy of Vista 32 on it and be done with it. So glad I made this post, It has taught me alot. Like I said I really didn't know anything about Vista especially all the different versions. Do have to admit when I first launched I was one that bad mouthed it. Then never paid it any attention.

Look forward to slapping new pc together and testing her out. Thanks again so much, thinking it will be well worth the extra 2 days to get Vista 64.
January 14, 2009 6:40:48 AM

wizdum said:
I get Vista 64 off me "mateys".

:non: 

In return for the advice, hows about stumping up the cash for a well written piece of software?
The OEM version can be picked up for £65 if you shop around, and although it is bound to your mobo you can just tell MS that the mobo died if you want to use with another PC.
!