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Can't Decide Which OS to Choose, please help!

Last response: in Windows Vista
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December 27, 2008 6:01:00 AM

Hey, I can't decide which one to get so this seemed like a good place to ask, It's basically a gaming computer ill post the specs later..I can't decide between XP pro 32-bit 64-bit, or vista ultimate 32-bit or 64. I've been told Vista ultimate 64 will run applications faster than XP Pro 64 bit, is this true? Basically I need whichever would be fastest and smoothest.

Specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo 3.00Ghz
4GB Kingston DDR2 1066
Evga GTX 260 216 896MB
Seagate 500GB HD
PC Power & Cooling 750W power supply
ASUS P5Q SE/R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX

Thanks!

More about : decide choose

December 27, 2008 12:57:14 PM

1. As for 'fast and smooth' any of these OSes will be silky smooth and snappy on your system. I have been watching the benchmarks closely and trust me, any speed differences are very minor. You see benchmarks showing one or the other in the lead but when you add up all the benches there appears to be little or no difference. FPS in games are equal across all versions at this time. Vista had a rep for being slow at first but this turned out to be immature drivers and this issue is over now.

2. As for 32 vs. 64 - go 64 unless you have some very old or obscure apps or hardware that you must use. 64 (vista or XP) will let you use all of your 4 gig of RAM. If you install a 32 bit OS you will only get about 3 gig of usable RAM. With 64 you will be able to use a full 4 and then upgrade later to 8 or more. 64 has become mainstream now and everything 'just works'.

3. Vista or XP - Vista has more future, XP is still more universally compatible, but the little bit more compatibility that XP has is marginal at this point. However XP is still a great OS and there is not a whole lot that Vista offers that makes it a must have - the one exception is DX - Vista supports DX 10 and will also support DX 11 while it looks that XP will never support beyond DX 9.

XP 64 never got widespread adoption - driver support has been questionable in some cases, though many people swear by XP 64 so it must be quite usable. The only problem is what the future will bring. Vista 64 is now the main OS showing up on the shelf at Best Buy. This tells you that support going forward for Vista 64 should be very strong. Also the same drivers used in Vista will be used in Windows 7. So you can count on Vista 64 support for many years to come.

Basically for gamers Vista 64 is the way to go IMO. You will find that XP still has its legion of fans but Vista 64 seems to get the edge around here when it comes to recommending an OS for new gaming systems.

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December 27, 2008 8:28:33 PM

Thanks for the response, when you say Vista 64 is that referring to Ultimate or can any of them be 64 bit? Also how old do the apps have to be to not run on 64 because I'm not sure how old my oldest program is. For example I still play Counter Strike and thats a pretty old game. Also, since 64 bit uses more of your computers RAM, doesn't it also take up more ram at the same time?
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December 27, 2008 8:47:40 PM

Any version of Vista can be 64-bit with the exception of Starter Edition. Since that version is unavailable in North America anyway... that point is moot. I usually recommend Home Premium unless you need the features of Business. Ultimate is fine if you want all the features of Business and Home Premium in one package... but you'll pay an Ultimate price for it as well.

Compare the features of each on MS's website to see what you need or want.
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December 27, 2008 9:04:01 PM

I don't play counter strike but I have never heard anything about a problem with 64. Half life works fine for me. It's mostly really old stuff, like 1998 stuff, 16 bit, that won't play. Anything 32 bit works fine.

From what I have seen and read 64 uses a tiny bit more RAM than 32 - probably not anywhere near enough to account for the full gig you will lose going with 32.
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December 27, 2008 9:09:28 PM

Think I'll go with Vista home 64 bit, programs are usually upgraded to be used with the latest OS's anyways right?
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December 27, 2008 10:18:06 PM

I have Vista Home Ultimate x64 (had to order the CD) and really happy.

With 4GB and new hardware, better have x64.

What are you buying? Full Version, OEM, Upgrade?

Upgrade: Unless you buy Ultimate, the x64 CD is not included. Must order it from M$ for around 12$.
OEM: I believe you can only have x32 or x64, but not both in one package.
Full Version: Like upgrade? Not sure about that one.

My recommandation: I would get from someone a Vista x64 CD and I would install it without CD Key. This would give me a 30 days for trial. I would install my apps and games and see how things are running.

If you are satisfied, just buy it and register it with your CD Key and then, activate it with M$.
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December 27, 2008 10:58:14 PM

Yeah thats a good suggestion but sadly I dont know anyone who has Vista 64 bit.

Would OEM be a better choice? I really have no idea, not too good with computers.
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December 27, 2008 11:08:09 PM

eryx24 said:
Yeah thats a good suggestion but sadly I dont know anyone who has Vista 64 bit.

Would OEM be a better choice? I really have no idea, not too good with computers.


There is a sticky about it:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/236023-44-retail

Short answer: OEM are really not expensive but will be link to one computer only. Not legally transferable to a new build.

Normally, a full version will always follow your build via upgrade.
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December 27, 2008 11:11:39 PM

Ah ok, but you can reformat with an OEM right?
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December 28, 2008 3:18:34 AM

eryx24 said:
Ah ok, but you can reformat with an OEM right?

Yes. If you switch motherboards you may have a problem with activation but this can usually be fixed by calling MS and explaining that your motherboard died.
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December 28, 2008 7:16:34 AM

Alright thanks for the responses everyone, I think I'll go with Vista home 64 bit.
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