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TrevS
Jan 20, 2011, 08:04 AM
Hi all

This is my first post on here as I've just bought a Macbook air 11". I use a Mac Pro 8 core for work so bought the MBA for use on the train to work and more occasional use around the house etc.

I'd like to play the odd PC game now and again (nothing too heavy like crysis) and wondered what the best windows OS is to install via bootcamp on the machine?

Any help much appreciated.

Trevor



Boston007
Jan 20, 2011, 08:09 AM
Hi all

This is my first post on here as I've just bought a Macbook air 11". I use a Mac Pro 8 core for work so bought the MBA for use on the train to work and more occasional use around the house etc.

I'd like to play the odd PC game now and again (nothing too heavy like crysis) and wondered what the best windows OS is to install via bootcamp on the machine?

Any help much appreciated.

Trevor

Win7 without a doubt
Vista is GARBAGE

TrevS
Jan 20, 2011, 08:11 AM
Win7 without a doubt
Vista is GARBAGE

I would probably be looking at either XP SP3 or win 7. Just want which ever will run better on the machine and better for gaming.

Trev

Boston007
Jan 20, 2011, 08:14 AM
I would probably be looking at either XP SP3 or win 7. Just want which ever will run better on the machine and better for gaming.

Trev

Well that depends on what games you want. I just think Win7 is much more efficient than XP is. All new games will be made for Win7 anyways.

orfeas0
Jan 20, 2011, 08:16 AM
I would probably be looking at either XP SP3 or win 7. Just want which ever will run better on the machine and better for gaming.

Trev

I suggest the xp. 7 isn't bad like vista, but I don't think it's as light as windows xp (sp3). but you can always try 1 then change.

TrevS
Jan 20, 2011, 08:17 AM
Well that depends on what games you want. I just think Win7 is much more efficient than XP is. All new games will be made for Win7 anyways.

I mainly play battlefield games, BF2, BF2142 & bad company 2 on my PC at home. That machine runs XP which I am used to and can pick up a copy cheaply on ebay but I just wondered if there were any performances benefits of using windows 7. As the MBA is fairly ordinary spec performance is bigger issue than on a desktop mac

Trev

snorkelman
Jan 20, 2011, 11:33 AM
only windows 7 is fully supported by apple for the current generation MBAs, XP is unsupported which means compromises and a fair bit of fiddling to get it to work

alan111
Jan 20, 2011, 11:47 AM
Win 7. I honestly feel that it is definitely a better OS than XP. Although more bloated, it gets everything done better and it more stable.

TrevS
Jan 22, 2011, 08:42 AM
Ok so I've decided to give Windows 7 a go. Which version should I be getting, home, premium or ultimate?

Also sould I be looking for the 64bit version?

Thanks

Trevor

KPOM
Jan 22, 2011, 08:57 AM
Ok so I've decided to give Windows 7 a go. Which version should I be getting, home, premium or ultimate?

Also sould I be looking for the 64bit version?

Thanks

Trevor

Do you have 2GB or 4GB RAM? If it's just 2GB, go with 32-bit. Also, if you are looking to conserve disk space, 32-bit uses up about 4GB less.

With 4GB, 64-bit will give you access to about an additional 256MB of RAM, plus it's the version Microsoft is pushing now, so driver compatibility is almost a non-issue. 64-bit drivers must be digitally signed, and 64-bit Windows reduces vulnerability to some older malware. I use 64-bit.

For gaming, Home Premium would be sufficient. Pro adds the ability to install Windows XP Mode (essentially XP SP3 in a virtual machine), but the latter isn't recommend for games, anyway, so it probably isn't worth it if you are primarily using Windows for games. Pro also adds some networking capabilities plus the ability to back up to a home network. Ultimate just adds some encryption software and additional languages over Pro.

Microsoft's web site offers a full comparison.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/buy/windows-7.aspx

If it's just a few games, 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium would be fine.

St. G
Jan 22, 2011, 09:08 AM
The people who love Win 7 and hate Vista are hilarious, since Windows 7 essentially *IS* Vista, plus a couple of features. Vista was built on such different architecture than XP that when it launched, legacy compatibility was a big issue, but by about 1-1 1/2 years later, most of that was straightened out. By the time it was replaced by W7, Vista was great. Windows 7 is only as good as it is because Vista forced hardware and software makers through a transitional period. If MS had jumped from XP to W7, all the complaints people had about Vista at launch would have been true for W7.

But yes, at this point, there is really no reason to buy a Vista license.

TrevS
Jan 22, 2011, 09:21 AM
Do you have 2GB or 4GB RAM? If it's just 2GB, go with 32-bit. Also, if you are looking to conserve disk space, 32-bit uses up about 4GB less.

With 4GB, 64-bit will give you access to about an additional 256MB of RAM, plus it's the version Microsoft is pushing now, so driver compatibility is almost a non-issue. 64-bit drivers must be digitally signed, and 64-bit Windows reduces vulnerability to some older malware. I use 64-bit.

For gaming, Home Premium would be sufficient. Pro adds the ability to install Windows XP Mode (essentially XP SP3 in a virtual machine), but the latter isn't recommend for games, anyway, so it probably isn't worth it if you are primarily using Windows for games. Pro also adds some networking capabilities plus the ability to back up to a home network. Ultimate just adds some encryption software and additional languages over Pro.

Microsoft's web site offers a full comparison.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/buy/windows-7.aspx

If it's just a few games, 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium would be fine.

I have the 1.6ghz version with 4gb. Want to use windows purely for playing a few games so which should I go for 64 or 32 bit home premium?

Trev

St. G
Jan 22, 2011, 09:25 AM
It doesn't really matter. 4GB is pretty much the break even point between the two versions. I've got the 64-bit version running on mine, because psychologically, I like being able to see all the RAM, but I know empirically that the longer instructions of the 64-bit version are USING more RAM, thus negating any performance benefit from being able to see all of it.

akdj
Jan 22, 2011, 03:22 PM
Not sure, as the previous poster pointed out...that you'll ever really benefit performance wise from the 64 bit installation...however, that said, there very well may be future software releases that you're interested in for your MBA that require a 64bit OS. Your counter OS install, Snow Leopard, is 64 bit. May as well install the same on your BC partition of Win7.

Win7, I think you'll be happy with! It's a pretty sweet OS. I switched permanently to OSX about 4 years ago...but I've always maintained a Windows partition on my MacPro to play a couple of games and use Adobe's Audition (recently released to the OSX side, so less of an issue now). Up until 3 months ago, I was using Vista Ultimate 64bit and actually enjoyed it somewhat...however, the Win7 upgrade is excellent! Very much OSX-like in many ways, much more stable than it's predecessor.

You're correct to have gone with W7...keep in mind, XP was designed during the era of Pentium 3 processors and Celerons running at 500-1000mhz. It's an antique at 10 years old. Certainly the most popular of OS'es from the mighty Microsoft, but it's day has come and gone. Win7, even though built on the Vista foundation...is a very refined and stable, reliable version of Vista!

I'm actually considering the same on my new 11" Air. Installing a 30gig Win7 partition for experimentation! What an exciting little machine! Like you, I pay my bills on my 8 core MP in the studio...but this little bugger is fast as hell with the SSD, outstanding battery life...excellent resolution on this little screen (even with my crappy eyes!!)....and all around Home Run!!! Keep us posted on your endeavor

J

KPOM
Jan 22, 2011, 03:39 PM
It doesn't really matter. 4GB is pretty much the break even point between the two versions. I've got the 64-bit version running on mine, because psychologically, I like being able to see all the RAM, but I know empirically that the longer instructions of the 64-bit version are USING more RAM, thus negating any performance benefit from being able to see all of it.

x2. I went with 64-bit for the same psychological reasons. Note that if you purchase Windows 7 at retail, the box includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit DVDs. That said, if you install 32-bit, you can't simply "upgrade" to 64-bit later. You need to do a clean installation of 64-bit.

KPOM
Jan 22, 2011, 03:43 PM
The people who love Win 7 and hate Vista are hilarious, since Windows 7 essentially *IS* Vista, plus a couple of features. Vista was built on such different architecture than XP that when it launched, legacy compatibility was a big issue, but by about 1-1 1/2 years later, most of that was straightened out. By the time it was replaced by W7, Vista was great. Windows 7 is only as good as it is because Vista forced hardware and software makers through a transitional period. If MS had jumped from XP to W7, all the complaints people had about Vista at launch would have been true for W7.



To be fair, Windows 7 did a lot of code tightening, as well. Its relationship to Vista is akin to Snow Leopard's relationship to Leopard. Not much changed on top, but a lot changed under the hood. Windows 7 uses less system resources than Vista. It also did add a few nice improvements to Aero. It's essentially "Windows Vista Fixed."

You are correct that Vista introduced a significant architectural change, nearly as significant as the switch from the Windows 95/98 platform to XP. The difference, though, is that back then, Microsoft had already introduced that architecture through the enterprise-only Windows NT/2000 line. Had they attempted to market Windows NT 3.51 or 2000 as a consumer "upgrade" from Windows 3.1 or 95 they would have gotten the same reaction they did when they tried to push Vista to consumer XP users.