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Old Apr 6, 2013, 04:32 AM   #1
northernmunky
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Windows 7/8 for games

Hi all,
I hate Windows!

...so now that I've got that out of the way... there are some pretty decent games out recently and coming out soon that I'd quite like to have a go at! Namely Farcry 3, Bioshock Infinite, and the new Star Trek on its way and Grand Theft Auto 5. And it's gonna be a while before the Mac versions come out, and even then I'm not sure I'm expecting the ports to be that good.

Now, I don't own a Windows box, don't want or need one. I have a Macbook Pro and don't need Windows clogging up my precious HDD space... so, like a geeky genius I'vd removed the DVD drive I seldom use, stuck that in an enclosure, and slotted a fairly decent spare 2.5" SATA HDD in its place with a DVD caddy. Now I have two HDD's in my Macbook Pro!
Like a geeky genius!

Now I just have to install some form of Windows OS, and I admit It's been a while since I was a PC guy... anyone got any experience/recommendations on a gaming platform?
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 09:44 AM   #2
auhagen
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Windows 7 !

Windows 8 = pure ****. Even worse than Vista in my opinion. It's build for a tablet, not for a work station.

It's like what Apple have done to osx from 10.6.8 -> 1.8.3. A lot of ugly stupid small tings, that belongs to a tablet, and not a work station.
That said there are functions I like in 1.8.3, but thats another story.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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+1 for 7 here, although I run it via Bootcamp.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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Windows 8 boots a lot faster and from experience has better memory management. Overall it performs better. I've been playing Bioshock Infinite and the latest Crysis and they both run flawlessly.

If you don't like the metro interface you can install something like Start8, and you'll never see it. I actually forget that I'm on Windows 8.

Depending on the game, I use mouse+ keyboard or an Xbox controller. For XCOM I had to fix one of the start files to get the controller working. Other than that, no issues. People that say Windows 8 sucks have not used it extensively and don't know the performance benefits of 8 over 7. I don't have any problems with it but then again I take the time to learn and tweak to my liking.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:35 AM   #5
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Windows 8. One thing Microsoft doesn't do is slow down Windows with each new release, they actually make it faster.

Plus with Windows 8.1 right around the corner (a free upgrade for Windows 8 users) it will likely be slimmed down for 7" tablets, which means an even smaller memory footprint, or even more resources for a game to use.

Windows 7 may have a nicer UI, but if all you're doing is playing games there's no reason not to go with 8.

Pro tip: Pin your games to the start screen, and you'll (almost) never see the desktop - it's like a whole new OS!
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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From the benchmarks I have seen, you are not going to notice any gaming speed differences between 7 and 8. 8 does boot faster, but that is mainly because it is really just coming out of hibernate and not doing a full shutdown/start.

Windows 8 supports a slightly newer version of DX, so many years down the line, you might have games that support it over the Windows 7 version. But I am not aware of any major differences between the DX versions.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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Win 8 hasn't been getting awful reviews, so it probably is the way to go, esp. since you may have to pay collector's item pricing to get Win 7 right now. Or maybe not, Amazon pricing on 7 seems ok now.

As a geeky genius, you are likely already aware of the fact BootCamp has to be installed on your start up drive. You can free up some space by placing your Home folder on the spare drive.

Cheers!
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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If it's just for gaming, Windows 8 is easier to get, I believe it may still be cheaper, and it is a little snappier. I wouldn't want to do my work in the UI, but it'll get your job done if all you need it to do is boot up and run a game now and then.
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejadedmonkey View Post
Windows 8. One thing Microsoft doesn't do is slow down Windows with each new release, they actually make it faster.
This one is new.
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 12:06 PM   #10
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I love Windows 8 performance when compared to 7. Don't care about the Metro UI since all I do is play games. And I only get to see Metro once each time I use Windows. And that's because W8 boots into it.. otherwise, I wouldn't even need to use it. People overreacted regarding W8 due to the Metro interface. IMO, Apple done way worse regarding OSX's iOS-ing than Microsoft did with W8.

/inb4 flaming
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 01:12 PM   #11
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Either will be fine for gaming. Both maintain excellent backward compatibility, but Windows 8 seems faster. Though it's not meaningful now, Windows 8 also has an eye on the future with DirectX 11.1 support.
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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Can Windows 8 be set up more like "Windows Classic" ???
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 10:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phrehdd View Post
Can Windows 8 be set up more like "Windows Classic" ???
Yes it can. Do a Google search for Start8. Start8 gives you the old start menu back as well as allow you to boot directly to the desktop bypassing the metro start screen.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 07:53 AM   #14
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It's encouraging to hear so much positivity for Win8 here. I have a MBP (2012, 13") and have finally decided to take the Windows Bootcamp option. Ironically, the straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that I actually found an old XP install disk with it's key, and have not been able to install it because the puppetmasters in Cupertino decided to remove XP from Bootcamp. (Shouldn't bootcamp just give control to whatever bootable media you stuck in the computer, and install whatever you want???)

So, I got the thing working like a champ in VirtualBox, and all it did was make me realize what a dinosaur Win XP is. So I shifted to wanting 7 or 8, full bootcamp experience, computer ready for best of both world's at the touch of a few buttons.

So, I've been thinking of sinking the $$$ into Win 7 or 8. 8 is cheaper, but I'm worried about compatibility (the reason I'm going for a Win partition in the first place!).

I have a ton of Steam and GOG games. Will they run with little fuss or muss in Win 8 as well as they would in 7 (or XP for that matter?).

Thanks in advance for any replies
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 08:01 AM   #15
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One thing that strikes me as odd is that there is so much praise for Windows 8 coming from Mac users. They seem to like it much better than those who have stuck with Windows 7.

In any case, the two operating systems will provide similar performance, with Windows 8 being ever so slightly faster in terms of gaming.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 08:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacFarlane View Post
It's encouraging to hear so much positivity for Win8 here. I have a MBP (2012, 13") and have finally decided to take the Windows Bootcamp option. Ironically, the straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that I actually found an old XP install disk with it's key, and have not been able to install it because the puppetmasters in Cupertino decided to remove XP from Bootcamp. (Shouldn't bootcamp just give control to whatever bootable media you stuck in the computer, and install whatever you want???)

So, I got the thing working like a champ in VirtualBox, and all it did was make me realize what a dinosaur Win XP is. So I shifted to wanting 7 or 8, full bootcamp experience, computer ready for best of both world's at the touch of a few buttons.

So, I've been thinking of sinking the $$$ into Win 7 or 8. 8 is cheaper, but I'm worried about compatibility (the reason I'm going for a Win partition in the first place!).

I have a ton of Steam and GOG games. Will they run with little fuss or muss in Win 8 as well as they would in 7 (or XP for that matter?).

Thanks in advance for any replies
Most of my games are from Steam and they all run fine. I had a minor issue getting the Xbox controller to work with XCOM but found an easy fix using Google search. That was when Win8 first came out and since then there have been many updates to Windows and Steam so this issue might be completely fixed.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 09:43 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rocknblogger View Post
Most of my games are from Steam and they all run fine. I had a minor issue getting the Xbox controller to work with XCOM but found an easy fix using Google search. That was when Win8 first came out and since then there have been many updates to Windows and Steam so this issue might be completely fixed.
Great, thanks. So, do you "pin" Steam itself, or can you pin the individual games that Steam supports?
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 10:07 AM   #18
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This one is new.
Windows system requirements haven't changed a bit in 6 years, and each new release since Vista requires a little less ram, and is a little more streamlined.

The only thing bloated about Windows these days is the HDD footprint, which is a little obscene, yeah. But when you have to support just about every piece of hardware under the sun...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacFarlane View Post
Great, thanks. So, do you "pin" Steam itself, or can you pin the individual games that Steam supports?
You can do both. Though there's a nice program called...wait for it...Pin Steam that gives all your games pretty banner icons to post up on the start screen. It looks something like this:

Thumb resize.

Click for embiggening.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 12:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacFarlane View Post
Great, thanks. So, do you "pin" Steam itself, or can you pin the individual games that Steam supports?
Personally I use Steam to load my Steam games. But you can pin either to the metro start screen.

EDIT: Renzatic beat me to it
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 12:50 PM   #20
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Don't use 8.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 03:11 PM   #21
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Don't use 8.
During my lunch break I checked out a boxed copy of retail Windows 8 Pro.

$199. Just. Wow. Is it ten times better than Mountain Lion? Why is it ten times the price?

System Requirements on the box states minimum resolution of 1366 x 768. Huh. That rules out my 8 month old Macbook Pro. Neat. However, in all fairness, I booted up my 7 year old Dell Inspiron B130 ($600 new in 2006) and it has the same screen res as my 8 month old MBP. Uh oh . . . why did Apple gimp their baseline "pro" laptop screen?!?
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 03:47 PM   #22
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Yes it can. Do a Google search for Start8. Start8 gives you the old start menu back as well as allow you to boot directly to the desktop bypassing the metro start screen.
Thank you very much for the response!

As strange as it sounds, I prefer the "XP" type screens over the fluff that followed with Vista on up. It is just a simple logical screen with no nonsense.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 07:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by iMacFarlane View Post
During my lunch break I checked out a boxed copy of retail Windows 8 Pro.

$199. Just. Wow. Is it ten times better than Mountain Lion? Why is it ten times the price?

System Requirements on the box states minimum resolution of 1366 x 768. Huh. That rules out my 8 month old Macbook Pro. Neat. However, in all fairness, I booted up my 7 year old Dell Inspiron B130 ($600 new in 2006) and it has the same screen res as my 8 month old MBP. Uh oh . . . why did Apple gimp their baseline "pro" laptop screen?!?
I got mine for $40 as an upgrade and it still wasn't worth it... sooo
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 08:41 PM   #24
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In my opinion getting Windows 7 or Windows 8 comes down to a few simple things:

1a. If you care more about your actual UI than a little bit of RAM, go to 2.
1b. If you have bad eyesight and you need to have a start menu that takes up your entire screen go to 3.
1c. If you have a touchscreen and use it often, go to 3.

2. Get Windows 7

3. Get Windows 8
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 06:25 AM   #25
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In my opinion getting Windows 7 or Windows 8 comes down to a few simple things:
1a. If you care more about your actual UI than a little bit of RAM, go to 2.
1b. If you have bad eyesight and you need to have a start menu that takes up your entire screen go to 3.
1c. If you have a touchscreen and use it often, go to 3.
2. Get Windows 7
3. Get Windows 8
I really don't get all this stuff about 'don't use 8 because of the Metro start screen' or 'don't use 8 unless you have a touch screen'.
I use 8 on Bootcamp/Parallels and it is much faster than 7 was, but also just use 8 as you would 7 with the same type UI, i.e. the traditional desktop.
DON'T USE THE METRO INTERFACE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO! Simple as that.
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