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Gamers OS of Choice

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February 22, 2009 2:43:19 AM

Hi everyone, i wanted to get people's thoughts on what OS would be best for a hardcore gamer and if setting up a dual boot system running xp and vista would be ideal for gamers.

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February 22, 2009 2:47:29 AM

the rig that i'm running is a
CORE2 E8400 (3 GIG)
4 GIGS OF RAM
512MB ASUS 8600GT
And my games pile is massive, which do you think would be best for my situation
February 22, 2009 5:39:06 AM

I'm not a hardcore gamer really but I've played on both XP and Vista. I currently have Vista 64bit and have been running it for the last 2 weeks and it's been great. DX10 makes the games that uses it look great compared to DX9 on XP. I was literally playing my games on the XP system 3 weeks ago. I've seen of other people complain about Vista but it's been really good for me so far. Other than that, you can get 64 bit versions of XP and Vista which allows your system to use more RAM. If you want to switch to Vista and utilize DX 10 ensure your graphics card is enabled to do that. I don't have a dual boot nor do I need one as I can play all my games in Vista. If you're concerned about crashing issues, Vista 64 with service pack 1 has only crashed on me with a malfunctioning program from my ISP that was remedied quickly.

If you can, try to test out both as I think it may be a preference of which OS you like dealing with on a day to day basis.
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February 22, 2009 10:10:03 AM

I have a pile of about 150+ games, going from old (starcraft, red alert, carmageddon...) to brand new, and I've recently been testing them all on Vista 32bit and they all work fine (only problem is CD protection on some but a no-cd patch fixes that).
Dual booting is not an option for me so that's why I had to test them all, since my test was purely for a gaming PC and that the hard drive would be re-imaged at least once a month, security and other features were not an issue so in my testing I had disabled about 20 services and optimized everything for performance.
I haven't tested Vista 64 yet so it is possible that some of the very old games might not work in that.
On a decent spec machine I would say Vista is the better choice, the only other thing I have noticed is that it accesses the hard drive a lot more than XP so I would advise making sure your hard drive has 16-32MB of cache.
February 22, 2009 5:33:35 PM

Still using WinXP.
February 23, 2009 7:38:58 AM

Used XP and loved it, moved to Vista and havent had a prob. All I do with my is gaming and the obligatory porn ;) 
February 23, 2009 8:18:34 AM

I dual boot Vista 32 and W7-64. Not had any gaming problems with either but would definitely recommend going 64bit.
February 23, 2009 11:21:50 AM

Xp, for compatability reasons. (16 bit)
February 23, 2009 11:34:19 AM

What 16bit porgrams are you using?
February 23, 2009 4:37:35 PM

My game collection of 16-bit DOS ports (no DosBox emulation), all of which are 16-bit. Plus I have some custom apps for my work that were coded in the early 90's, all of which are 16-bits. As such, I can't use Vista as a primary OS, as non of these programs would run.
February 23, 2009 4:49:04 PM

I see. All my old games were on the SNES!
February 23, 2009 6:47:02 PM

Vista supports 16-bit the same way as XP does so it's not likely to be a Vista specific issue, I'm sure the problem is you wanted to run them on Vista 64bit which wont work.
XP/Vista 32bit can run 16/32 bit apps.
XP/Vista 64bit can run 32/64 bit apps.

Having said that it is possble that some older apps don't work correctly with Vista for other reasons.

Also if you have a few 16bit apps I would probably consider having Vista 64 as primary/host and 32bit in a virtual machine.
February 23, 2009 7:25:47 PM

Devastator_uk said:
Vista supports 16-bit the same way as XP does so it's not likely to be a Vista specific issue, I'm sure the problem is you wanted to run them on Vista 64bit which wont work.
XP/Vista 32bit can run 16/32 bit apps.
XP/Vista 64bit can run 32/64 bit apps.

Having said that it is possble that some older apps don't work correctly with Vista for other reasons.

Also if you have a few 16bit apps I would probably consider having Vista 64 as primary/host and 32bit in a virtual machine.


As if theres any reason for Vista 32...

Whats the point of using a Virtual PC for XP when XP runs everything on gods green earth without any issues anyway? Its faster, more reliable, has plenty of driver support, and works.
February 24, 2009 8:04:05 AM

No DX10 on XP...
February 24, 2009 8:43:22 AM

Thanks for the input guys, everyone's replies is helping out. To be honest the look and feel of vista is more for me because it makes my pc not feel like something that i was using years ago when playing things like quake 3 and unreal tournament. Vista looks and feels nice and i put in on regularly and go "hmmm this is nice now" until i install something old when in the mood and think "damn it vista, you pain" and then take it off and try to tell myself that xp is better because it will let my not so old system run something i was playing back in high school days. You can't win with computers but they will always dominate the console's at the end of the day. so...now that vista is more my thing would it be worth going 32 or 64 bit. From what I've read on the internet there's not much point going 64 bit because very little supports it and 32 bit will run a lot more than 64 bit. The gaming performance between xp and vista SP1 is much different that it's gonna kill you to use vista but the effects of directx 10 over 9 makes a big difference. I noticed it more when i would play something like clive barkers jehrico in vista and think "this looks great, love the way they've done the effects here and the lighting there", then i went bacvk to xp and went to play it and thought "what the hell, where's all the effects and lighting gone, this looks to bland and very 2 years ago.......boring". Vista will be my move, just need a hand in 32 or 64 bit. Keep in mind that i've got 32 ultimate and 64 ultimate so throw ya thought's at me guys.
February 24, 2009 11:43:52 AM

Captainhero said:
No DX10 on XP...

Your point? Name me 10 games that people actually have that use DX10.
February 24, 2009 6:38:00 PM

Also some people need a 64bit system because they have a lot of RAM or SLI graphics cards and that.
February 24, 2009 10:18:19 PM

Vista 64 for simple RAM factors. I'm running 9GB and am in heaven.

gamerk316 said:
Your point? Name me 10 games that people actually have that use DX10.


Bioshock
Company of Heroes
Crysis
Gears of War
Stalker clear sky (looks amazing in dx10)
World in conflict
Far Cry 2
Flight Sim X
LOTR Online
Universe at War

I could mention a couple others, but these are games I actually enjoyed.


February 25, 2009 11:18:01 AM

Devastator_uk said:
Also some people need a 64bit system because they have a lot of RAM or SLI graphics cards and that.

XP 64, now that 64-bit drivers are out for everything, its an attractice option again.
February 25, 2009 11:50:58 AM

Devastator_uk said:
Vista supports 16-bit the same way as XP does so it's not likely to be a Vista specific issue, I'm sure the problem is you wanted to run them on Vista 64bit which wont work.
XP/Vista 32bit can run 16/32 bit apps.
XP/Vista 64bit can run 32/64 bit apps.

Having said that it is possble that some older apps don't work correctly with Vista for other reasons.

Also if you have a few 16bit apps I would probably consider having Vista 64 as primary/host and 32bit in a virtual machine.



This is incorrect - 16 bit functionality was removed and never put into place for Vista. It is, and was, never able to do that natively. You *can* run 16 bit programs on a Vista machine, you just need to use a Virtual Machine to do it.



For the OP - If you are sticking to your current config, I see little reason not to stick with XP for the time being and go with Win 7 at the end of the year. Or maybe torrent the Win 7 Beta now to play with, if you like. This is the "Do Nothing" approach to problem solving. You won't be able to use all the memory due to address space limitations, but that's a relatively minor issue since it has little/no impact on how the machine actually runs.

If you want to use Vista (and FWIW, I am quite happy with my Vista machine), then I recommend skipping the 32 bit version entirely: After all, you already have XP installed, therefore you may as well skip straight to 64. In actual operation, you will find very little difference between the 32 bit and 64 bit versions: 64 bit will have two versions of Internet Exploder, two Program folders (regular and one for x86), and it's a little more touchy about drivers being 'signed'. In return, you get essentially unlimited space for whatever hardware you care to add, and in my experience Vista x64 is more Robust than the x86 version.


If you are planning on adding more RAM or going SLI/Crossfire or whatever: Then the more you add, the stronger my recommendation becomes to go with either Vista or Win 7 x 64 as your main OS. You can Dual Boot XP 32 for when you want/need to use your 16 bit proggys, or use a VM to do it. Just understand that VM's generally don't allow hardware accelerated graphics, which shouldn't be much of an issue for modern hardware anyhow.
February 25, 2009 11:53:50 AM

gamerk316 said:
XP 64, now that 64-bit drivers are out for everything, its an attractice option again.



Word of caution: The driver model was changed, therefore 64 bit Drivers for XP =/= 64 bit Drivers for Vista. A little homework before choosing your devices and OS goes a long way.
February 25, 2009 3:49:15 PM

Scotteq said:
Word of caution: The driver model was changed, therefore 64 bit Drivers for XP =/= 64 bit Drivers for Vista. A little homework before choosing your devices and OS goes a long way.


People clearly have no idea what the diffrence between a .dll and .exe.

A .dll is coded exactly the same as an exe, but is invoked by another program (Think of .dll files as having specialized code that may only need to be invoked once, then can be freed from RAM when done, to save time/space.) The only requirement for .dll drivers in XP64/Vista64 is that they have proper 64-bit support.

WDDM, the new driver model, is only applicable for video cards, and has no factor on drivers for XP64 and Vista64 (unless they are really badly coded). Its the same reason why most XP32 drivers work fine on Vista32.
February 25, 2009 4:02:03 PM

Scotteq said:
This is incorrect - 16 bit functionality was removed and never put into place for Vista. It is, and was, never able to do that natively. You *can* run 16 bit programs on a Vista machine, you just need to use a Virtual Machine to do it.


I have to disagree because I've used 16 bit programs on Vista 32, the functionality is available in all 32 bit Windows system but is removed from all 64 bit MS operating systems.
February 25, 2009 4:07:25 PM

Vista sucks. Skip it and wait for Windows 7. Use XP as a stop gap until then. You may get slightly better visual effects in game, but you'll have to deal with an unresponsive system like Vista. If you like clicking on buttons, waiting a second for things to happen, and then click the next one, Vista is awesome in that way.
February 25, 2009 8:34:08 PM

Still running Win XP Pro 32bit on my primary gaming machien. Since I only play MMO's and "older Win XP era games" on it, the primary OS on it won't change.

Further, since I really don't like Vista, I will be waiting until Windows 7 before I think about duel booting. (I currently have Windows 7 64bit on a second hard drive in the machine right now. Just haven't had the time to really mess with it.)

As for the 16 bit conversation, I just gave up trying to run games that require an OS with a DOS underlay and bought a cheap machine just for that purpose about 1.5 years ago. (An 800 Mhz off-lease Pentium 3, loaded it with Win 98 SE.) I grew tired of trying to play the original Railrood Tycoon and not having sound. (As the game only has 4 "sound card" options, and SoundBlaster cards since the Audigy series aren't compatible with that choice.)

There are other games that I could never get to work right on XP 32 with an Audigy 2 either...

Original Quake: Corrupted graphics
Total Annihilation: Sound issues
Wing Commander: Auto crash
....

And, if the game is really old, and bases its speed on the speed of the processor, then I still have my 200 Mhz Pentium system that I can connect to a monitor.
February 25, 2009 8:53:41 PM

crom said:
Vista sucks. Skip it and wait for Windows 7. Use XP as a stop gap until then. You may get slightly better visual effects in game, but you'll have to deal with an unresponsive system like Vista. If you like clicking on buttons, waiting a second for things to happen, and then click the next one, Vista is awesome in that way.


Or you could disable user access control and turn off a few processes (just like xp) and have a totally responsive machine. Just because you can't do it means nothing to the many others who are happily cruising on their vista machines.

Quote:
Your a hardcore gamer with a 9600GT? lol

Thats like saying your a hardcore racer with a chevette.

Vista 64 of course.



Since when did being a hardcore gamer require loads of cash?

Your analogy is very flawed, you can be a hardcore car enthusiast without actually owning a racecar.

He is indeed a gamer, just not an elitist who thinks a gamer needs certain specs to be called so.

If someone spent 20 hours a day playing apple II games I would still call them a hardcore gamer.
February 26, 2009 7:55:22 PM

terr281 said:

There are other games that I could never get to work right on XP 32 with an Audigy 2 either...

Total Annihilation: Sound issues


That's odd, I've ran that on 98, 2000, XP32 & Vista32 without any problems and I would know if it didn't work properly as it's my favourite game of all time, especially with UCP add-on and tweaked to 5,000 units per player in 8-player multiplayer :) 
February 27, 2009 7:10:44 AM

Thanks for making things clear CptTripps, your right. Why do people have to spend a fortune on there system just to play a specific game. If people think that owning around 350 games for there system isn't very hardcore gamer then they got something wrong with them.

You rock CptTripps
February 27, 2009 12:56:45 PM

CptTripps said:
Or you could disable user access control and turn off a few processes (just like xp) and have a totally responsive machine. Just because you can't do it means nothing to the many others who are happily cruising on their vista machines.


If Vista is so good when you fine tune it, and trust me I have, why is Microsoft rushing Windows 7? Was your last OS Windows ME? That rocked... with a few 'minor' changes...
February 27, 2009 4:18:02 PM

crom said:
If Vista is so good when you fine tune it, and trust me I have, why is Microsoft rushing Windows 7? Was your last OS Windows ME? That rocked... with a few 'minor' changes...


Why? So they can sell it would be my guess. A company that makes OS software is working on a new version? Suprise suprise...

I don't see how you can say they are rushing it, Vista has been out for two years and besides the gap between XP and Vista their release schedule has been pretty consistent. Windows 7 will start selling 3 years after Vistas release, I don't consider that rushing things.

You are spreading misinformation, which is the worst thing a forum user can do imo.
March 1, 2009 4:57:00 AM

Installed vista 64 ultimate - ran well but didnt let me use some applications and play older games due to only 32 bit apps and 64 bit apps so no thanks

Installed vista 32 ultimate - ran well but lost some game performance creating lower FPS and still didnt run some of the older games, some 32 bit apps and 16 bit apps worked but due to its responsiveness no thanks

Installed XP Pro SP2 with Dosbox and Virtual PC - Runs very quick and the dosbox and virtual PC (running Windows 98 SE) covers my games from old to New. Currently Playing Fallout 3 and Need for Speed SE on my virtual PC, The end result is i'm not going near Vista and will wait to see what windows 7 has to offer.

Alot of my mates and family who bought a desktop pc or laptop with vista have downgraded to XP and are very happy........Theres a reason why XP has been around for so long, cause it bloody works
March 1, 2009 5:13:22 AM

i didnt bought a dx10 capable graphics card to play dx10 capable games to dx9.

vista is the way to go.

now if somebody will argue that theres some performance loss between a dx10 game on vista versus a dx9 game on XP, its not entirely true. (dx10 fc2 runs faster than dx9).


same story on a dx9 game on vista versus a dx9 game on XP. no difference whatsoever. unless a 2-3fps delta really bugs you that much.


March 2, 2009 2:37:44 AM

After SP1, Vista is alot less bloated. You might want to just wait for windows 7 though. And with whatever choice, buy 64-bit.
March 2, 2009 6:13:39 AM

Quote:
Your a hardcore gamer with a 9600GT? lol

Thats like saying your a hardcore racer with a chevette.

Vista 64 of course.



This guy looks like a "hard core racer" with a chevette...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTD2DR0YHqQ

Ive known people spend £50,000 on Chevette's for motorsport purposes :lol: 

Personally I run vista 64 for gaming, Whilst I wouldnt call myself a "hard core" gamer, I have a wife and 4 kids for a start, but I do spend more time gaming than watching TV, and around the house I have 2 8800gtx's and 2 4870's. The only issues Ive had with games running on vista is copy protection stuff that a no-CD patch fixes (funny that I have to go to the pirates for tech support on games I legally own).

Dos Games I run in Dosbox under vista 64, been playing Tiefighter through again over the weekend.

I have a small second system with windows 98 because xp has serious compatibility issues with some older games ;) 
!